Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Pope's words on the Immaculate Conception
"The mother of God teaches us to open ourselves to the action of God, to see others as he sees them -- starting from the heart. And to look upon them with mercy, with love (and) with infinite tenderness, especially those who are most alone, despised and exploited," the pope said.
Rome, like any big city, is filled with people who are invisible until some scandal lands them on the front page of the newspaper or the television news where they are "exploited to the very end, as long as the news and images attract attention," the pope said.
"It is a perverse mechanism, which unfortunately is hard to resist," he said. "The city first hides people, then exposes them to the public -- without piety, or with false piety."
But within each person, the pope said, there lies a strong desire "to be accepted as a person and considered a sacred reality because every human story is a sacred story and requires the utmost respect."
Pope Benedict said that with so many stories of evil and scandal filling the news, it's easy for people to think those things only happen to others. But the little good or little evil that everyone does has an influence on others and contributes to the overall tenor of society, he said.
"Often we lament the pollution of the air, which in certain parts of the city is impossible to breathe. It's true, the commitment of everyone is necessary to make the city cleaner," he said.
"But there is another kind of pollution, less perceptible to the senses, but just as dangerous. It is the pollution of the spirit; it makes our faces less smiling, darker, and stops us from greeting each other and looking each other in the eyes," Pope Benedict said.
The pope said that on the day dedicated to remembering how Mary was preserved from sin, he wanted to honor the many citizens "who have understood that it is useless to condemn, complain and recriminate, but better to respond to evil with good."
"This changes things; or better, it changes people and, consequently, improves society," he said.
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