Full Text of Pope Benedict’s ‘Urbi et Orbi’ today in Rome

Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI delivers his Christmas Urbi Et Orbi blessing from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2008 in the Vatican City.  (Photo by L'Osservatore Romano - Vatican Pool via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Pope Benedict XVI

Verbum caro factum est” – “The Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14).

Dear brothers and sisters listening to me here in Rome and throughout the world, I joyfully proclaim the message of Christmas: God became man; he came to dwell among us. God is not distant: he is “Emmanuel”, God-with-us. He is no stranger: he has a face, the face of Jesus.

This message is ever new, ever surprising, for it surpasses even our most daring hope. First of all, because it is not merely a proclamation: it is an event, a happening, which credible witnesses saw, heard and touched in the person of Jesus of Nazareth! Being in his presence, observing his works and hearing his words, they recognized in Jesus the Messiah; and seeing him risen, after his crucifixion, they were certain that he was true man and true God, the only-begotten Son come from the Father, full of grace and truth (cf. Jn 1:14).

“The Word became flesh”. Before this revelation we once more wonder: how can this be? The Word and the flesh are mutually opposed realities; how can the eternal and almighty Word become a frail and mortal man? There is only one answer: Love. Those who love desire to share with the beloved, they want to be one with the beloved, and Sacred Scripture shows us the great love story of God for his people which culminated in Jesus Christ.

God in fact does not change: he is faithful to himself. He who created the world is the same one who called Abraham and revealed his name to Moses: “I am who I am … the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … a God merciful and gracious, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (cf. Ex 3:14-15; 34:6). God does not change; he is Love, ever and always. In himself he is communion, unity in Trinity, and all his words and works are directed to communion. The Incarnation is the culmination of creation. When Jesus, the Son of God incarnate, was formed in the womb of Mary by the will of the Father and the working of the Holy Spirit, creation reached its high point. The ordering principle of the universe, the Logos, began to exist in the world, in a certain time and space.

“The Word became flesh”. The light of this truth is revealed to those who receive it in faith, for it is a mystery of love. Only those who are open to love are enveloped in the light of Christmas. So it was on that night in Bethlehem, and so it is today. The Incarnation of the Son of God is an event which occurred within history, while at the same time transcending history. In the night of the world a new light was kindled, one which lets itself be seen by the simple eyes of faith, by the meek and humble hearts of those who await the Saviour. If the truth were a mere mathematical formula, in some sense it would impose itself by its own power. But if Truth is Love, it calls for faith, for the “yes” of our hearts.

And what do our hearts, in effect, seek, if not a Truth which is also Love? Children seek it with their questions, so disarming and stimulating; young people seek it in their eagerness to discover the deepest meaning of their life; adults seek it in order to guide and sustain their commitments in the family and the workplace; the elderly seek it in order to grant completion to their earthly existence.

“The Word became flesh”. The proclamation of Christmas is also a light for all peoples, for the collective journey of humanity. “Emmanuel”, God-with-us, has come as King of justice and peace. We know that his Kingdom is not of this world, and yet it is more important than all the kingdoms of this world. It is like the leaven of humanity: were it lacking, the energy to work for true development would flag: the impulse to work together for the common good, in the disinterested service of our neighbour, in the peaceful struggle for justice. Belief in the God who desired to share in our history constantly encourages us in our own commitment to that history, for all its contradictions. It is a source of hope for everyone whose dignity is offended and violated, since the one born in Bethlehem came to set every man and woman free from the source of all enslavement.

May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence. May the comforting message of the coming of Emmanuel ease the pain and bring consolation amid their trials to the beloved Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East; may it bring them comfort and hope for the future and bring the leaders of nations to show them effective solidarity. May it also be so for those in Haiti who still suffer in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and the recent cholera epidemic. May the same hold true not only for those in Colombia and Venezuela, but also in Guatemala and Costa Rica, who recently suffered natural disasters.

May the birth of the Saviour open horizons of lasting peace and authentic progress for the peoples of Somalia, Darfur and Côte d’Ivoire; may it promote political and social stability in Madagascar; may it bring security and respect for human rights in Afghanistan and in Pakistan; may it encourage dialogue between Nicaragua and Costa Rica; and may it advance reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.

May the birth of the Saviour strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the Church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his Church, may keep alive the flame of hope. May the love of “God-with-us” grant perseverance to all those Christian communities enduring discrimination and persecution, and inspire political and religious leaders to be committed to full respect for the religious freedom of all.

Dear brothers and sisters, “the Word became flesh”; he came to dwell among us; he is Emmanuel, the God who became close to us. Together let us contemplate this great mystery of love; let our hearts be filled with the light which shines in the stable of Bethlehem! To everyone, a Merry Christmas!

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About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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41 Responses to Full Text of Pope Benedict’s ‘Urbi et Orbi’ today in Rome

  1. golden chersonnese says:

    Thanks, Gertrude, for presenting to us all these addresses by Pope Benedict. I must say you make it very much easier for us to get them.

    I sometimes wonder how an all-powerful Creator God, given there is one, could become incarnate. He could have been very autocratic about it and come and sorted out the world’s wickedness in short order. Toad possibly has some thoughts on that also. Very convincing, however, is the way HF proposes:

    “The Word became flesh”. The light of this truth is revealed to those who receive it in faith, for it is a mystery of love. Only those who are open to love are enveloped in the light of Christmas. So it was on that night in Bethlehem, and so it is today.

    The Incarnation of the Son of God is an event which occurred within history, while at the same time transcending history. In the night of the world a new light was kindled, one which lets itself be seen by the simple eyes of faith, by the meek and humble hearts of those who await the Saviour.

    If the truth were a mere mathematical formula, in some sense it would impose itself by its own power. But if Truth is Love, it calls for faith, for the “yes” of our hearts.

    And what do our hearts, in effect, seek, if not a Truth which is also Love? Children seek it with their questions, so disarming and stimulating; young people seek it in their eagerness to discover the deepest meaning of their life; adults seek it in order to guide and sustain their commitments in the family and the workplace; the elderly seek it in order to grant completion to their earthly existence.

    Does it for me.

  2. Gertrude says:

    Your comment is interesting. It is without a doubt that Benedict is a great theologian, and I would imagine – in generations to come – will be declared a Doctor of the Church, but for the present do you not think that sometimes we tend to over intellectualise our faith?

    Since I am a simple soul I often find wisdom from the Desert Fathers. They had no theological discourses to ponder, and faith was, to them, exceedingly obvious. I recall one of Clement of Alexandria’s diatribes in the Protreptikos, and although he was berating the common belief in pagan gods at that time, it has a certain relativity now:

    ….Such people mourn their gods instead of honouring them.
    Their lives are more worthy of pity than of pious respect.
    Seeing this – can you still remain blind?
    You do not turn your eyes toward the Master of all,
    The Lord of the universe?
    Will you not take refuge in the Pity that comes from heaven
    in order that you may escape these prisons/
    For God in his great love for man, stays very close to man
    Like the mother bird when the fledgling falls from the nest God the Father seeks his creature, heals it when it falls,
    Chases away the wild beast, picks up the little one
    And encourages him to fly back into the nest.

    Note the allegory, and as Rabit would say ‘powerful stuff’!!

  3. toadspittle says:

    .
    “5th December, 2010: MAY DAY

    May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence. May the comforting message of the coming of Emmanuel ease the pain and bring consolation amid their trials to the beloved Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East; may it bring them comfort and hope for the future and bring the leaders of n
    ations to show them effective solidarity. May it also be so for those in Haiti who still suffer in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and the recent cholera epidemic. May the same hold true not only for those in Colombia and Venezuela, but also in Guatemala and Costa Rica, who recently suffered natural disasters.
    May the birth of the Saviour open horizons of lasting peace and authentic progress for the peoples of Somalia, Darfur and Côte d’Ivoire; may it promote political and social stability in Madagascar; may it bring security and respect for human rights in Afghanistan and in Pakistan; may it encourage dialogue between Nicaragua and Costa Rica; and may it advance reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.
    May the birth of the Saviour strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the Church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his Church, may keep alive the flame of hope. May the love of “God-with-us” grant perseverance to all those Christian communities enduring discrimination and persecution, and inspire political and religious leaders to be committed to full respect for the religious freedom of all.”

    Well, Toad supposes it may. But he’s not going to hold his breath til it happens..

    “…and inspire political and religious leaders to be committed to full respect for the religious freedom of all.”

    As all religions, Catholics more than most, are committed to – are we not? (Not so sure about the Muslims, though.)

    We can dream.

  4. toadspittle says:

    Doh! Toad’s ‘2’ fell off the date!

    But you see what he means.

  5. Gertrude says:

    You old cynic Toad. It is sad that actions of Islamic fundamentalists colours our attitude to Islam as a whole. In most countries Christians/Muslims lived side by side in friendship for centuries (save the odd crusade!) but nonetheless, the Holy Father’s words are as aspirational as they are inspirational. We must all try to do better!

  6. toadspittle says:

    Amen, Gertrude.

    (That last sentence of yours was a perennial on Toad’s school reports, except for English and Art!)

    Toad was going to propose that he was more of a skeptic than a cynic. But, angels on a pin.

  7. Brother Burrito says:

    ‘May’ is a lovely word being both an abbreviation of Mary, and also the name of the month honouring Her.

    All of us blokes want to understand the mechanisms by which stuff happens; here is my take on it: The world leader of all the Catholics, a patently holy and wise man, publicly pronounces his wishes for a better world, referring to current affairs in the process. All heedful Catholics, the world over, acknowledging his holiness and wisdom, listen up and add their prayer intentions to his. God listens too. God then pours out His Grace, (for He is a kind and generous God) which changes people’s hearts and minds, especially those of the Catholics, for the better.

    Good thoughts, words and deeds happen. In myriad ways, the Pope’s wishes become accomplished, though not instantly-nothing good happens instantly, cf my wife’s impulse purchases while Christmas shopping.

  8. Brother Burrito says:

    Gertrude,

    I too am a simple soul, though I discern that your simplicity is of a higher quality than mine(!).

    Over-intellectualisation is a bane, I agree. I find it easy to regress to childhood, spending most of my life thereabouts anyway. The faith of the desert fathers was similarly child-like, due to their proximity to the Gospel events, and their pure withdrawal from the world.

    Would that we could all be like them, today! Alas, worldly responsibilities claw at me. Oh to be retired with no money worries!

    I must buy a lottery ticket! 😉

  9. Gertrude says:

    Dear Burro – there are no levels of quality in simplicity, and you are a good man, loved by Our Blessed Lord who uses all your qualities for His glory.

    As for being ‘rich and retired’ – well, I am the latter, but certainly not the former! Was it not Bernard Shaw (in his preface to St. Joan, I think) who made the immortal comment that ‘youth is wasted on the young’? Advancing years bring no regrets – just a degree of wisdom as to the error of our youthful ways 😉

  10. golden chersonnese says:

    Golden meant: I sometimes wonder about the different ways that an all-powerful Creator God, given there is one, could become incarnate. He could have been very autocratic about it and come and sorted out the world’s wickedness in short order.

    Well, Golden, you are not alone.

    There’s a similar wondering going on over on the new theological blog as we speak.

    Even given that God had chosen the Incarnation as the means to effect our salvation, it must be admitted that the Incarnation itself could have happened in many different ways. First, the Incarnation could have happened immediately after the Fall. Second, the Incarnation could have happed at the very end of time. Third, the Incarnation could have happened in a different place or in different circumstances.

    Was Christmas Necessary?

    http://newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com/2010/12/was-christmas-necessary.html

    Recommended

  11. golden chersonnese says:

    For those that picked up Fr Reginaldus’ point in the link above where he quoted Ss. Thomas Aquinas and Augustine thus:

    “What greater cause is there of the Lord’s coming than to show God’s love for us?” And he afterwards adds: “If we have been slow to love, at least let us hasten to love in return.”, here is Dr Anthony Fisher OP, 3rd Bishop of Parramatta in Sydney’s West. (Parramatta is Oz’s most Catholic diocese by percentage of population.)

    Towards the end of his Christmas message to his diocese, the Dominican bishop quotes Pope Benedict on the Incarnation as it occurred in that particular Bethlehem incident. Perhaps we can see why they say Pope Benedict is an augustinian theologically.

    If you think my lord + Parramatta looks young, he is 50 years of age now, after becoming auxiliary bishop to Dr George Pell, Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, when he was only 43 (Dr Fisher that is, not Dr Pell).

    Bishop Fisher’s mother was a Basque, which may account for his slightly ‘exotic’ youthful good looks. It is generally expected that he will succeed Dr Pell as Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, who will be 70 in the New Year (Toad please note).

  12. toadspittle says:

    .
    You know you are getting old, when even the Cardinals start to look young.

  13. toadspittle says:

    .
    Gertrude says..
    “…do you not think that sometimes we tend to over-intellectualise our faith?”

    With which Toad agrees.

    She then says…
    “Since I am a simple soul….”

    With which Toad disagrees.

    And ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ are merely the flavour of the month.
    Coming soon, ‘Quivering Brethren fundamentalists.’

  14. golden chersonnese says:

    Cheer up, Toad.

    My lord + Parramatta would have at least 4 and a half years to go before being cardinalled, assuming Dr Pell remains in office until he is 75 (His Eminence’s 7oth birthday will be in June 2011). +Parramatta will then be at least 55 and may have lost some of his boyish looks by then.

    Dr Pell is looking more his age now (69 like your good self, Toad), as shown in this video of the recent debate he had with the co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation on the motion “that without God we are nothing”

  15. toadspittle says:

    .
    “….that without God we are nothing”

    Not all that spectacular with Him, really, opines Toad.

  16. manus2 says:

    Late to the party as usual.

    Do we over-intellectualise the faith? For most people the reverse is the problem. We retain a childish understanding of the faith which is no match for our more adult understanding of the secular world, and are unwilling to put the work in to deepen our faith and thereby increase the clarity of its demands on us. We keep our faith deliberately in the dark so we can moderate it by our more sophisticated cynicism.

    Now of course, for the few of us who claim to dive a little deeper, there is the glorious excuse of putting the Gospel call on hold until we truly understand it – I’ll start helping my neighbour once I’ve completed my theology PhD … sometime soon … end of the decade perhaps … – but this is a minority taste in displacement activity. We clearly need to serve neighbour and deepen our understanding today.

    I don’t see how we can give praise and love to God without striving to understand him as fully as our talents allow.

  17. toadspittle says:

    “I don’t see how we can give praise and love to God without striving to understand him as fully as our talents allow.”

    Says Manus. Toad totally agrees. So, think again!

    (Toad’s talents are so meager as to fail to understand Him at all.)

  18. golden chersonnese says:

    Ah, Mr Manus, I see you have an avatar now which is, in fact, a hand that just happens to have an eye in the palm.

    Care to explain its significance?

    As far as I know it is called “hamsa” and is used by Jews and Muslims in the Middle East to ward off the Evil Eye.

    I think for Jews there is also a kabbalistic significance?

  19. manus2 says:

    Hi Golden,

    Well, it’s all a tribute to our earlier discussions about anagrams and the meanings of names, you see, but also due to the idiosyncracies of WordPress. Over at Joyful’s blog I had a (system selected) gurning avatar which seemed fair enough, while here I had some sort of (equally radomly selected by the system) respectable Celtic pattern. But then WordPress started getting clever and insisted on uniformity, so I started to gurn over here too.

    A Christmas make-over seemed in order to be considered fit company for all the saints, simians and assorted amphibian and avians we find here.

    So, I plumbed for the White Hand of Saruman, as follows: meaning (manus), anagram (ish), and local connection: Tolkien was a parishoner here (indeed our neighbour remembers him regularly sitting on his wall on his way to/from daily Mass).

    I’m glad you spotted that the blob in the centre was an eye (of Sauron, of course – a bit of a symbolic mash, I know). I wouldn’t want you to have thought it was, say, a squashed toad or anything.

  20. Gertrude says:

    I don’t see how we can give praise and love to God without striving to understanding him as fully as our talents allow.

    As I earlier mentioned – I am indeed a simple soul, and I have found the more I try to understand God, the more I realise that Almighty God is indeed (for me) unknowable.
    Our knowledge of God (the Father) is entirely dependant on our understanding of God (the Son) the Incarnate.
    I agree that this is how we learn to praise and love God, and, as you say, we do this according to our talents. I am not sure that deepening one’s faith in order to ‘increase the clarity of its demands on us’ is the right approach (for me). In his Rule St. Benedict says we should guard ourselves at every moment from sins and vices of thought or tongue, of hand or foot, of self-will or bodily desire, remembering that we are always seen by God in heaven, and that our actions everywhere are in God’s sight and are reported by angels at every hour! (RB7: 11-22). This, for me is aspirational, and sometimes achievable (and sometimes not!).
    If you are referring to Apologetics, then that is a completely different thing, and I agree, it is incumbant on us all to equip ourselves then for the demands of our faith, in an increasingly secular world, and that is very definately according to our talents.

  21. manus2 says:

    And Toad, my fine friend, I hope you had a wonderful feast. Of course God can remain safely incomprehensible should he choose. That’s the thing about the Incarnation, you see, he chooses rather to reveal himself. Thus removing any excuses. But we can safely anticipate the revelations being inexhaustible into eternity.

  22. manus2 says:

    Hi Gertrude,

    It looks as if we have cross-posted – but we are obviously thinking along similar lines. I was also thinking a little bit about the Rule of St Benedict – the requirement for everyone to do some manual labour (at least in theory) as well as spiritual reading every day – which seems to me a good analogue for the need to practice daily charity as well as develop our deeper understanding. Very balanced chap, Benedict.

  23. toadspittle says:

    .
    This is the kind of thing that puzzles Toad. Gertrude says…

    “…we are always seen by God in Heaven, and that our actions everywhere are in God’s sight and are reported by angels at every hour! “

    If God knows and sees everything (even our most cigarette thoughts – Ho, ho, ho! – as my old Religious Knowledge teacher used to say, about once a week)why does He need a squad of inquisitive angels on the payroll, as well?
    To whom are the host of Winged Wikkileakers reporting? Toad thinks we should be told. Is this nitpicking? Or is it significant?

    But he does agree about the desirability of, say, cleaning out henhouses and cutting firewood – manual work, in fact. As long as you don’t overdo it…

  24. golden chersonnese says:

    Gertrude reflects: As I earlier mentioned – I am indeed a simple soul, and I have found the more I try to understand God, the more I realise that Almighty God is indeed (for me) unknowable.

    Gertrude, it has occurred to me that much of the doctrine of our Christian faith is precisely the product of the work of our previous talented reasoners who assiduously applied their rationality to revelation. I would say that even the doctrine of the Incarnation, more or less the subject of this thread, is the result of a great deal of rational debate that took place prior to and during the early Church Councils. St Athanasius is an obvious name that springs to mind here.

    JP II, of course, devoted a whole encyclical to the topic of “Faith and Reason”. Here is just one small snippet from it:

    But this does not mean that the link between faith and reason as it now stands does not need to be carefully examined, because each without the other is impoverished and enfeebled. Deprived of what Revelation offers, reason has taken side-tracks which expose it to the danger of losing sight of its final goal. Deprived of reason, faith has stressed feeling and experience, and so run the risk of no longer being a universal proposition. It is an illusion to think that faith, tied to weak reasoning, might be more penetrating; on the contrary, faith then runs the grave risk of withering into myth or superstition.

    The present Pope has, as we know, followed through with these ideas of his predecessor.

    There’s a summary of the main points of the encyclical Fides et Ratio here:

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/education/ed0294.htm

  25. golden chersonnese says:

    Excusez-moi, Gertrude (or anybody in the CP&S loop), can you tell me if there is a post by me that has been quarantined?

    I posted earlier in response to Gertrude, but my efforts seem to have disappeared down a gigantic cyber-blackhole.

    If so, I shall repost.

  26. Gertrude says:

    GC: For some reason your comment was in the ‘spam can’! I am not knowledgeable enough to know why – that’s Burro’s Dept, (or Teresa), but I think I have restored it – in the absence of said people!! Many apologies on our behalf.

  27. manus2 says:

    GC,

    Wow, fantastic, a Fatima connection too! Just perfect … for our Southern Hemisphere correspondents. Perhaps I should invert my avatar on JP’s blog anyway.

  28. manus2 says:

    Gertrude,

    I’ve just done a little bit of scriptural digging (hardly my forte, I’m afraid), and discovered something rather interesting. I was thinking about the First Commandment, along the lines of “you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength” etc, because my only point was that if we have to love with all our minds that implies a constant need for intellectual striving – not for novelty, of course, just a deeper personal understanding of what has been revealed – clambering onto the shoulders of the Church’s giants.

    So, a little digging with a Jerusalem Bible and an N.I.V. concordance (typical!) yields the following:

    * The Decalogue in Exodus 20 does not demand love of God, though it is implied.
    * In Deuteronomy 6, having recited the Decalogue again, Moses states “You must love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength”.
    * In 2 Kings 23, Josiah is approved of because he turned to God with “all his heart, all his soul and all his strength”

    But it would appear that by the time of Christ the phrase “all your mind” has been added to Moses’ summary – and not necessarily by Christ himself. For while in Mk 12:29, Jesus uses the phrase in answer to the scribe’s question, in Luke 10:27 it is the lawyer answering Christ who includes the phrase and received Christ’s approval.

    It might all be a matter of shifting definitions of what the “soul” entails as opposed to “mind”. I’m sure there are commentators who have all this sorted out, and I’d be interested to read more from those better informed.

    All this merely to affirm that we need to love the Lord our God with all our minds!

  29. golden chersonnese says:

    Manus descries: Wow, fantastic, a Fatima connection too! Just perfect …

    Yes, and the connection with Miriam too should not displease you either.

    In fact, the Qur’an (if I’m not mistaken) thinks that Miriam (Mariam, Mary), the mother of Jesus, also had brothers called Moses and Aaron, just like the Miriam of the Pentateuch. So you have a connection now too to Our Lady of Fatima!

    I once pointed out this seeming error in the Qur’an to a big bunch of muslims on a local internet forum here. As you know muslims believe that the Qur’an is the verbatim word of God and thus cannot have any error at all.

    Well, as you would guess, I wasn’t exactly thanked and the local muslims responded that this was just further proof that the Bible had been corrupted by monks or that how did I know Mary (Mariam) the mother of Jesus (Isa) did not have brothers called Moses (Musa) and Aaron (Harun) too?

  30. Brother Burrito says:

    “saints, simians and assorted amphibian and avians”

    You forgot the donkeys!

    But I forgive you.

  31. Brother Burrito says:

    I find it a great help to think of God as the “God who sees me”.

    No matter where I am or what I am thinking, saying or doing, God sees it all, which of course He does.

  32. Brother Burrito says:

    Manus,

    We live in a world where the mind is a theatre with an ever changing panoply passing through it, thanks to the media.

    This was not always the human condition.

    Our soul is what observes the world, and reacts to it morally, sometimes.

    God is He who observes our soul, and who tries to make it worthy of eternal life, despite our efforts.

  33. manus2 says:

    Big Brother Burritto,

    I stand corrected: “saints, simians, assorted amphibians, asses and avians”. Much better.

    I concur entirely with the notion of the God who sees all – an even bigger (but also much kinder) brother.

    Are you suggesting that the mind is a problem these days? Surely the answer is to fight back for its proper use, in the contemplation and understanding of creation and its maker, rather than surrendering it to the modern buzz. Will God be satisfied with anything less than the fullest worship from the whole person (well, he’ll have to be in my case, of course)?

  34. manus2 says:

    GC,

    Thanks for telling me more about Fatima and Miriam – very interesting stuff.

  35. Brother Burrito says:

    It is a sincere belief of mine that the world is engineered increasingly to tempt the mind into inanities, obscenities and mundanities, from it’s first waking thought to the last one of the day. I am never happier than when I drop off the net and retire from the world for a few days. God is easier seen with curtains drawn and noise abated, at least at first.

    Whole person worship, yes! but no liturgical dancing puhleeze. There’s plenty of time to jive between Masses.

    The human body is designed to dance. I tell that to all my pain patients. (They look at me, the lummox, and think “you hypocrite”)

  36. Gertrude says:

    Bless you Burro – dancing for patients with pain? Think I’m tempted to stick with my tramadol!!!

  37. Brother Burrito says:

    Gertie,

    I advise them to dance through/past the pain.

    Pain wins when it immobilises you. You have to stay a moving target!

    In the meantime, pain makes a wonderful gift to offer up.

    After all, what did Our Lord offer up?

  38. manus2 says:

    Ah, BB, you offer such a rich swirl of imagery, all tinged with purple crimpolene, that I shall be tempted to think of it all day. Still, I’ll offer it up.

    Seriously, though, I think we are turning a corner on rationality. As you suggest (and as indeed did Screwtape), the world would rather use rationality to justify appetite than to pursue truth. Rationality is actually on our side for those prepared to follow it through (like Anthony Flew, for example). I find it fascinating that my 16 year old studying philosophy finds the anti-religious arguments of his peers so ill-informed and feeble that he finds himself (most reluctantly) on the theist side, merely for the sake of coherency.

  39. Gertrude says:

    Manus – Less of the purple crimpolene!!! Happy New Year.

  40. manus2 says:

    Gertrude,

    Purple, surely! And God bless us all in the New Year.

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