Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pope: Set the Example When You Drive

Something to think about this Sunday, from Asia News Italy:

In his reflection before the Angelus, he commented on the liturgy of the 20th Sunday in ordinary time, in which "the universality of salvation" is emphasized in various ways: "The Word of God thus offers us the opportunity to reflect on the universality of the mission of the Church, made up of peoples of every race and culture. This is the origin of the great responsibility of the ecclesial community, which is called to be a house of welcome for all, the sign and instrument of communion for the entire human family".

The pope said that "it is important, above all in our time, that every Christian community deepen this awareness more and more, in part for the sake of helping civil society to overcome any temptation of racism, intolerance, and exclusion, and to organize itself with decisions respectful of the dignity of every human being! One of the great achievements of humanity is, in fact, precisely the overcoming of racism. Unfortunately, however, there are worrying new signs of this in various countries, often connected to social and economic problems, which nonetheless can never justify disrespect and racial discrimination. Let us pray that respect for every person may increase everywhere, together with the responsible awareness that only in the reciprocal welcome of all is it possible to build a world marked by authentic justice and true peace".

Benedict XVI then dedicated a thought - and a prayer intention - to all the victims of vehicles or accidents in recent days (especially in Italy). "We must not", the pontiff said, "grow accustomed to this sad reality! Human life is too valuable, and it is unfit for man to die or be crippled by causes that, in most cases, could be avoided. A greater sense of responsibility is certainly necessary. Above all on the part of drivers, because accidents are often due to excessive speed and imprudent behavior. Driving a vehicle on the public roads requires a moral sense and a civic sense. In promoting the latter of these, a constant effort of prevention is indispensable, the vigilance and deterrence on the part of the competent authorities. As the Church, in fact, we feel ourselves directly involved on the ethical level: Christians first of all must make a personal examination of conscience of their own conduct as drivers; the communities should moreover educate all to consider driving as an area in which to defend life and concretely exercise love of neighbor".

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