Monday, December 26, 2005

Urbi et Orbi

Unfortunately, a quick search via Google failed to turn up the text of the Pope's "Ubi et Orbi" homily on Christmas Day, so I have to rely on news reports. The fact is, while we might disagree as to what constitutes "spiritual barenness and emptiness of heart," I don't think he's at all wrong here:

Pope Benedict XVI, standing on the spot where he appeared as the newly elected pontiff last spring, delivered his first Christmas message to a large crowd in St. Peter's Square and warned of dangers of technological advance made in the absence of religious belief.

"Today we can marshal vast material resources," he said from a balcony to thousands of people below as rain poured down from gray skies. "But the men and women in our technological age risk becoming victims of their own intellectual and technical achievements, ending up in spiritual barrenness and emptiness of heart.

"The modern age is often seen as an awakening of reason from its slumbers, humanity's enlightenment after an age of darkness," he said. "Yet without the light of Christ, the light of reason is not sufficient to enlighten humanity and the world."
Though maybe it just sounds better coming from a poet:

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
Forgetful, you neglect your shrines and churhces;
The men you are in thiese times deride
What has been done of good, you find explanations
To satisfy the rational and enlightened mind.
Second, you neglect and belittle the desert.
The desert is not remote in southern tropics,
The desert is not only around the corner,
The desert is squeezed in the tube-train next to you,
The desert is in the heart of your brother.

--T.S. Eliot

Update: full text, thanks to Rick, available here. Perhaps later it will be subjected to parsing and closer examination.

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