Benedict XVI’s Homily at the Vigil for All Nascent Human Life

On the Vigil for the First Sunday of Advent last night in Rome, the Holy Father called the Church to pray for all the unborn.  His homily was beautiful.   Read the full text translated by Vatican Radio.

The part that jumped out at me was :

“Man has an unmistakable originality compared to all other living beings that inhabit the earth. He presents himself as a unique and singular entity, endowed with intelligence and free will, as well as being composed of a material reality. He lives simultaneously and inseparably in the spiritual dimension and the corporal dimension. This is also suggested in the text of the First letter to the Thessalonians which was just proclaimed: “May the God of peace himself – St. Paul writes – make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ “(5:23). Therefore, we are spirit, soul and body. We are part of this world, tied to the possibilities and limits of our material condition, at the same time we are open to an infinite horizon, able to converse with God and to welcome Him in us. We operate in earthly realities and through them we can perceive the presence of God and seek Him, truth, goodness and absolute beauty. We savour fragments of life and happiness and we long for total fulfillment.”

Many of our problems stem from the fact that we often focus on one part of our human reality and neglect the other.  Often we live either so in the world that we forget that we have a spiritual dimension, or we live so in the spiritual dimension that we neglect the corporal reality.  On the one hand we have those who in their effort to perform the corporal works of mercy, they forget God and that solving all the worlds problems doesn’t depend on us.  We are merely asked to cooperate with God and love our neighbor.  On the other extreme we have those who are so spiritual that they are able to ignore their neighbor in need without lifting a finger to ease their burden.

Let us pray that in this year of our spiritual work, this new Liturgical Year which starts today, that we may integrate the spiritual and the corporal, that we may truly become holy and whole, fully human in Christ our Lord.

Happy Advent.

 

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