Monday, August 18, 2008


Pope Benedict XVI meets with South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (R) after delivering an address at the United Nations headquarters in New York April 18, 2008.

Precisely from this comes the great responsibility of the ecclesial community which is called on to be a house hospitable to everyone, both sign and instrument of communion for the entire human family.

How important it is, especially in our time, that every Christian community should always deepen its awareness of this in order to help civilian society and overcome every possible temptation to racism, intolerance and exclusion, and to organize itself with choices that are respectful of every human being!

One of the great conquests of humanity is in fact overcoming racism. Unfortunately, however, new manifestations of it are taking place in different nations, often linked to social and problems which nonetheless can never justify racial scorn and discrimination.

Let us pray so that respect for every person may grow everywhere, along with responsible awareness that only with the reciprocal acceptance of everyone is it possible to construct a world of authentic justice and true peace. (Pope Benedict Angelus message 8/17/08)

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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."