Happy New Year to All,
Pope Benedict XVI gave a homily at St. Peter’s Basilica on January 1, 2013 during the New Year’s Day Mass. The celebration marked the feast of Mary and the Church’s World Day of Peace. He spoke about finding our “peace in God” in spite of our living in a world that he described as at times being dark and uncertain. The following excerpt from the homily is worth noting:
““Blessed are the Peacemakers”. Although the world is sadly marked by “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism,” as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that “the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind. Man is made for the peace which is God’s gift.
I would like to thank the Most Holy Father of the Church for reiterating two point that I have often made:
1.) That inner peace in this life can only come from God. If we look for it anywhere else, either as individuals or as societies, we will never truly find it ultimately.
2.) Secondly, the political beliefs and platforms of many political “progressives” are often just as representative of Gospel Christianity, if not more so, than much that comes from the political right and conservatives.
What I respect and admire so greatly about this Pope is that he clearly sees the value of both some of the more left-wing positions and topics such as issues relating to wealth inequality and the need for regulations to curb the abuses of capitalism, while he simultaneously supports many of the key right-wing and conservative perspectives on issues such as pro-life and anti-abortion protections for the unborn and the defense of traditional and biblical moral and cultural values.
In our world where people all too often attempt to “pigeon-hole” each other into narrowly defined and excessively dogmatic litmus test based categories of “liberal” or “conservative” and/or “right-wing” and “left-wing,” it is good and wonderful to see the leader of the Church express himself as an independent minded free-thinker who stands for truths larger than politics and ideology.
The need for “peace in our world” and for an end to grossly unnecessary poverty and injustice are desires that fill all our hearts whether we think of ourselves as conservatives or liberals. If such desires do not fill our hearts we have far greater things wrong with us. But again, in the end, there is truly NO other route to inner peace in our lives, hearts, and societies, than the “Prince of Peace” Jesus Christ and the free gift of Grace we have of being able to contemplate Him. Hail Mary!
Below is a link to the full homily and a nice three minute audio report about the same:
God Bless you and yours in 2013,