Early indications are that "truth" is going to be a theme for Pope Benedict XVI. I'm looking forward to challenging encyclicals and homilies from such an intellectually gifted man. Yet, some truths challenge, not because of their complexity, but because of their simplicity and authority with which they are told and lived. "Pope: God sees embryos as ‘complete’ humans" was the headline of MSNBC and many papers and blogs. The shock! The nerve! How can the pope say this? By the way, the quotations marks around complete are not the pope's. I have been thinking about this since yesterday. Why is this news?
The Church has voiced that we must protect the sanctity and dignity of life from conception through natural death. There is nothing new in his message. “The loving eyes of God look on the human being, considered full and complete at its beginning,” Benedict said in his weekly address to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square. In Psalm 139, the psalmist says to God: “Thou didst see my limbs unformed in the womb, and in thy book they are all recorded.” “It is extremely powerful, the idea in this psalm, that in this ’unformed’ embryo God already sees the whole future,” Benedict said."
Perhaps what we think is obvious and the way we must live our life, the world considers optional. All life is sacred. Simple, but full of difficult implications. Our task is to know this truth in our heads and in our hearts, to speak this truth, and to live this truth, with all its difficult implications. Always.
In his Christmas message, the pope finished the "Ubi et orbi" by saying, "With the shepherds let us enter the stable of Bethlehem beneath the loving gaze of Mary, the silent witness of his miraculous birth. May she help us to experience the happiness of Christmas, may she teach us how to treasure in our hearts the mystery of God who for our sake became man; and may she help us to bear witness in our world to his truth, his love and his peace." I pray for the same...
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