Rorate Caeli

"Our faith can respond to these expectations: may you become its heralds!"

This desire for communication and friendship is rooted in our very nature as human beings and cannot be adequately understood as a response to technical innovations. In the light of the biblical message, it should be seen primarily as a reflection of our participation in the communicative and unifying Love of God, who desires to make of all humanity one family. When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call - a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion.

The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others. In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human. Loving is, in fact, what we are designed for by our Creator. Naturally, I am not talking about fleeting, shallow relationships, I am talking about the real love that is at the very heart of Jesus’ moral teaching: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" and "You must love your neighbour as yourself" (cf. Mk 12:30-31)...

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The new technologies have also opened the way for dialogue between people from different countries, cultures and religions. The new digital arena, the so-called cyberspace, allows them to encounter and to know each other’s traditions and values. Such encounters, if they are to be fruitful, require honest and appropriate forms of expression together with attentive and respectful listening. The dialogue must be rooted in a genuine and mutual searching for truth if it is to realize its potential to promote growth in understanding and tolerance. Life is not just a succession of events or experiences: it is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by those who see us merely as consumers in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters, I ask you to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives. In the early life of the Church, the great Apostles and their disciples brought the Good News of Jesus to the Greek and Roman world. Just as, at that time, a fruitful evangelization required that careful attention be given to understanding the culture and customs of those pagan peoples so that the truth of the gospel would touch their hearts and minds, so also today, the proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies requires a profound knowledge of this world if the technologies are to serve our mission adequately. It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this "digital continent". Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with enthusiasm. You know their fears and their hopes, their aspirations and their disappointments: the greatest gift you can give to them is to share with them the "Good News" of a God who became man, who suffered, died and rose again to save all people. Human hearts are yearning for a world where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. Our faith can respond to these expectations: may you become its heralds!

Benedict XVI
May 24, 2009

Image sourced from this webpage.

12 comments:

M.A. said...

"When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call -"

Urrgh! I mostly wish people would leave me alone to some peace and quite. Get! Go away! Shoo! ;-)

Godly friendships will only find their fulfillment in heaven because here on earth living saints are busy exhausting themselves for the salvation of souls.

beng said...

Thank God for the internet!


How do you say that in Latin?


If it's not for the internet, where would we be? But one got to admit that in the beginning internet is use mostly used for porn (now it's probably still the top browsed subject but way less so than it was).

Another interesting phenomenon that many have observed is that in the internet the presence of the faithful Catholics is more widespread compare to "spirit of Vatican II" Catholics. An opposite of what happened in the mainstream media.

Tho surely liking the trend, sometime I wonder why is that..... someone could make a buck writing a book about it.

bedwere said...

Deo gratias pro interrete vel Deo gratias propter interrete

isabelle said...

"The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others."

Sigh. No, I can't agree. More empty, flower phrases aimed at making people feel good. I belive that this "desire for connectedness" in contemporary culture is a manifestation of a pathetic search for something to fill the void in their lives... the void left by an absence of God. The internet is their god now.

Iakavos said...

Isabelle: How right you are! I believe it was Mark Twain when he heard of the first telephone call from New York to Florida said, 'But what if they have to say'?

Jordanes said...

Isabelle, how do your true words contradict the pope's true words? You're not contradicting him, but addressing another aspect of human nature.

Chris said...

What does any of this mean?

Is anyone else frustrated at the vague general addresses of the recent Popes?

I find myself reading this addresses and not getting anything out of them. They seem completely generic to me and devoid of any real usefulness.

Jordanes said...

I've found Pope Benedict's general audiences on the Church Fathers and Doctors to be solid, substantial stuff, a welcome and urgently needed rediscovery of some of the Church's pillars.

Anonymous said...

Chris I second that...simply more vague feel theology. These world day this and that are amusing as well. It is good to see preV2 documents posted on RC. Big difference in delivery, substance, clarity. As usual Jordans will say the opposite to support all things Pope.

Jordanes said...

As usual Jordans will say the opposite to support all things Pope. *** Yep, that's me. Why, I even use the same brand of toilet paper as the Holy Father.

Not sure what "vague feel theology" is, though.

Chris said...

I expound on this feeling further in my blog for all who are interested. It may be too long to post here.

http://crisisinthechurch.blogspot.com/

Isabelle said...

Chris: You are not alone! The addresses of the post-VII popes are, by and large, flowery puff-pieces. I believe that the Vatican must have a sort of Babelfish translator, into which the Pope's basic text is fed and out comes the charmingly worded document which appeals to the dumbed-down masses.