Friday, 18 July 2008

Some thought out of the opening speech of WYD 2008

Just being back from my short visit to the Netherlands, I was reflecting on what it is to be a Catholic. I became only a Catholic very recent, and this makes me want to share this joy with others. But then some of my friends mentioned in conversation more or less that they don't mind people who believe, but they don't want to be disturbed by them...

This morning I had a quick read through the Popes opening address at the World Youth Day in Sydney. He said: "There are many today who claim that God should be left on the sidelines, and that religion and faith, while fine for individuals, should either be excluded from the public forum altogether or included only in the pursuit of limited pragmatic goals". This really hit a cord with me.

He continues to say something about a society where God is amiss: "When God is eclipsed, our ability to recognize the natural order, purpose, and the “good” begins to wane. What was ostensibly promoted as human ingenuity soon manifests itself as folly, greed and selfish exploitation". I think that we can also see this in our societies!

We live in a agnostic world so it seems, and in the Netherlands possibly a bit more than in Ireland. People do not care or do not want to know about God. They want to live their individual/own lives and not be bothered. The problem is however that society starts to fall apart if we start to loose or focus as the pope points out!

Pope Benedict XVI then said: "Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises. Our hearts and minds are yearning for a vision of life where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion".

I do belief every human being is getting weary of this way of live, and are all yearning for love, for everything that is "true, good and beautiful" as the pope says it. But how to let them find it if they don't want to be bothered by the message? That is where I think we have to take a leafe out of the books of the early Christians. People saw the joy and love in the Christian community and wanted to join in. We have to become holy, we have to become one with Christ, and have His love and joy in our hearts, in our souls. Then this light will shine out of us and others will see it! They will see the joy and they will yearn for it themselves... then it is time to take the next step of actually helping them to find it!

(Quotes from the pope are coming from the vatican website)

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