EACH HUMAN STORY IS SACRED AND DEMANDS RESPECT
[Emphasis added by blogger]
VATICAN CITY, 8 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Today at 4.15 p.m. Benedict XVI travelled by car to Rome's Piazza di Spagna to place the traditional floral wreath at the foot of the statue of Mary in celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Before arriving in the square, the Holy Father stopped briefly at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity to greet the Dominican Friars and the members of the Via Condotti Storeowners Association. Once in the square, in the presence of thousands of faithful, he blessed a basket of roses which was placed at the foot of the column bearing Mary's statue.
"What does Mary say to the city" What does her presence call to mind?" the Pope asked. "She reminds that 'where sin increased, grace abounded all the more'. ... She is the Immaculate Mother who tells the men and women of our time: do not be afraid".
"What need we have of this beautiful piece of news!" the Holy Father exclaimed. "Every day, through newspapers, television and radio, evil is recounted, repeated, amplified, making us accustomed to the most terrible things, making us insensitive and, in some way, intoxicating us, because the negative is never fully purged and accumulates day after day. The heart becomes harder and thoughts become darker. For this reason, the city needs Mary who ... brings us hope even in the most difficult situations".
The Pope went on to recall how our cities are inhabited by "invisible men and women", people who "now and again appear on the front pages or on television screens, and are exploited to the last drop for as long as their news and image attract attention. This is a perverse mechanism which unfortunately we find difficult to resist. The city first hides people them exposes to the public, without pity or with false pity", when the truth is that "each human story is a sacred story and calls for the greatest respect.
"The city is made up of us all", Benedict XVI added. "Each of us contributes to its life and its moral climate, for good or for evil. The confine between good and evil passes through each of our hearts". Yet, "the mass media tend to make us feel as if we are spectators, as if evil only concerned others, and that certain things could never happen to us. Whereas we are all 'actors' and, in evil as in good, our behaviour has an effect on others".
After then asking Mary Immaculate to help us "rediscover and defend the profundity of human beings", the Pope paid homage to all those people who, "in silence, ... strive to practice the evangelical law of love, which moves the world". They are "men and women of all ages who have understood that condemnation, complaint and recrimination serve no purpose, and that it is more worthwhile to respond to evil with good. This changes things; or rather, it changes people and, as a consequence, improves society".
Instead of merely agonizing over the problem of evil (something which the Bible itself has eloquently and definitively done already in the book of Job composed centuries and centuries ago), what do I do, what do you do to give the only response that is really needed? Do good.