Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Deaf to God....

While in Munich last month Pope Benedict said that there is a "hardness of hearing" these days in Western societies when it comes to God. He explained: "Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God -- there are too many different frequencies filling our ears... What is said about God strikes us as pre-scientific, no longer suited to our age." He said that bishops of African and Baltic countries tell him that people in the West are very open to social projects, but conversely, are reserved when it comes to spreading the Gospel. The Holy Father observed: " "The people of Africa and Asia admire our scientific and technical prowess but at the same time they are frightened by a form of rationality which totally excludes God from man's vision, as if this were the highest form of reason, and one to be imposed on their cultures too... They do not see the real threat to their identity in the Christian faith, but in the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom and that holds up utility as the supreme moral criterion for the future of scientific research."

He continued to explain that the world needs God, and not just any concept of God, but the true God as seen in Jesus Christ. But, we cannot impose this upon others. That would be contrary to the Christian faith. We, however, should want to proclaim our faith. He said: "Faith can develop only in freedom. But we do appeal to the freedom of men and women to be open to God, to seek him, to hear his voice."

Pope Benedict gives a fair appraisal of the situation in the West. Rationalism and materialism replace faith. There, however, exists strong faith in Africa, Asia, many places in Central and South America, and more countries. As one becomes more mesmerized by technology, wealth and possessions, one's ears deafen to the One who really matters, God. Jesus said that "You cannot be the slave both of God and money." (Mt. 6:24)

We can become so wrapped up in all kinds of worldly pleasures. Yet, often as a person gets older, he or she asks what is the meaning of all this. Is there nothing more? The only One who can satisfy us is God. The reason is that we come from Him; He made us. Every human being has a longing, suppressed or not, for Him.

Out of true Christian charity, we want to share the faith whenever the chance presents itself. Cheerfully living the Gospel is probably the best means of teaching it. By doing so, we are gently giving others the opportunity to open their ears to God who loves everyone.

Fr. Stanley