"...He is our All, our greatest hope." -- Pope Benedict XVI

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, we begin the Conclusion to the encyclical, “Charity in Truth” and God willing tomorrow I’ll post the final paragraphs. It has been a blessing to read and ponder the wisdom God gave this Pope for the Church and the world.

CONCLUSION

  1. Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find solace in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5) and then encourages us: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). As we contemplate the vast amount of work to be done, we are sustained by our faith that God is present alongside those who come together in his name to work for justice. Paul VI recalled in Populorum Progressio that man cannot bring about his own progress unaided, because by himself he cannot establish an authentic humanism. Only if we are aware of our calling, as individuals and as a community, to be part of God’s family as his sons and daughters, will we be able to generate a new vision and muster new energy in the service of a truly integral humanism. The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters … On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute f obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life …without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment. Awareness of God’s undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs. God’s love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve… is always less than we might wish. God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because He is our All, our greatest hope.

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May Our Lady intercede for all her children that we may close this Church year with gratitude for God’s Patience with all of us. By His Grace, may we begin Advent and the new Church Year asking more earnestly to grow in holiness. Jesus told us to let our light shine that we may glorify our Father. Mary as Mother and Model for the Church gives us her example and her prayers. All her apparitions are intended to help us draw closer to Him, and like her to receive all from Him Who is The Way, The Truth and The Life!

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