Last week I started reading Light of the World by Pope Benedict and Peter Seewald. Pretty quick read so far. It's all Q&A, which provides a lot of insight into how Pope Benedict thinks. I think I've got big issues to deal with...they are like grains of sand compared to issues the size of the world that Benedict faces. The book has helped me to put things in right perspective. I will take a little time over the next couple of weeks to comment on a few of the many notable points.
"That Christianity gives joy and breadth is also a thread that runs through my whole life. Ultimately someone who is always only in opposition could probably not endure life at all" (Light of the World, Pt. 1).
Pope Benedict provides a keen insight in these two sentences. These lines came to mind during a conversation I was having with a couple of teens the other night. We were discussing conscience, objective truth and relativism. Eventually it came up that when presented with an opposing view during a recent conversation, this teen became defensive (as many of us have in those situations).
How crippling would this emotion be if it dominated all of our lives - which for some, it does. If we approach every situation in a spirit of opposition (to use the Pope's word), it becomes quite difficult to endure. Life, the conversation you are having, the secularism around us, becomes too much a burden...because you and I are incapable of shouldering it alone.
Christianity, the fact of the victory of the cross, of a God who takes on our flesh and conquers evil, allows us to face every circumstance in life with grace, peace and courage. We need not hide or fight everyone all of the time. We need not face the world afraid and with our hands covering our eyes so as to not see reality.
Christ is present and Christ has already won. In this Fact we take confidence.