Ya know, the Pope being in town and all.
I thought his visit was extremely positive. I sure like that guy. I admit, I was sad to see him board his plane and leave the United States of America. I even got a little teary eyed. Which I thought strange, but nevertheless, true. I don't know why I got teary eyed. Maybe hormones? Or maybe it was the look on his face and the way he smiled at people. He seems so stone cold until he smiles and then there's such a light and joy and gentleness and humility.
Pope Benedict had a little something to say about illusion. I thought it relevant to our recent discussion and my recent thoughts. Here it is in his address to the U.S. Bishops:
"For an affluent society, a further obstacle to an encounter with the living God lies in the subtle influence of materialism, which can all too easily focus the attention on the hundredfold, which God promises now in this time, at the expense of the eternal life which he promises in the age to come (cf. Mk 10:30). People today need to be reminded of the ultimate purpose of their lives. They need to recognize that implanted within them is a deep thirst for God. They need to be given opportunities to drink from the wells of his infinite love. It is easy to be entranced by the almost unlimited possibilities that science and technology place before us; it is easy to make the mistake of thinking we can obtain by our own efforts the fulfillment of our deepest needs. This is an illusion. Without God, who alone bestows upon us what we by ourselves cannot attain (cf. Spe Salvi, 31), our lives are ultimately empty. People need to be constantly reminded to cultivate a relationship with him who came that we might have life in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10). The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work, the object of our preaching, and the focus of our sacramental ministry should be to help people establish and nurture that living relationship with “Christ Jesus, our hope” (1 Tim 1:1)."