Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pope Benedict's intentions for August


VATICAN CITY, JULY 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will be praying this August that all may be more aware of the gift of creation.

The Apostleship of Prayer announced the general intention chosen by the Pope, "That the human family may know how to respect God's design for the world and thus become ever more aware of the great gift of God which Creation represents for us."

The Holy Father also chooses a missionary intention for each month. In August he will pray, "That the answer of the entire people of God to the common vocation to sanctity and mission may be promoted and fostered, with careful discernment of the charisms and a constant commitment to spiritual and cultural formation."

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."