Benedict XVI: Man Is Made for Great ThingsSends Message to 31st Rimini MeetingBy Antonio Gaspari
RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 22, 2010 (www.Zenit.org
).- Benedict XVI has sent a message to the 31st Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples, in which he reflects on the ultimate goal of man's heart.
The papal message was sent by the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, for the opening Mass of the weeklong conference, which began today in Rimini.
The theme of this year's meeting, which is sponsored annually by the Catholic lay Communion and Liberation movement, is "That Nature Which Pushes Us to Desire Great Things Is the Heart."
The Pope explained that "man is often tempted to stop at the little things, those that give a 'cheap' satisfaction and pleasure, those things that instantly gratify, things that are as easy to obtain as they are ultimately illusory."
But, he continued, man "does not live by bread alone." Recalling the answer Jesus gave when tempted by the devil, the Holy Father affirmed that only God "satiates man's deep hunger."
"Finite things," he added, "can give glimmers of satisfaction or joy, but only the infinite can completely fill man's heart."
"God," Benedict XVI said, "came into the world to reawaken the thirst for great things in us."
Augustine and Aquinas
The Pope then pointed out the meaning and importance of prayer. Citing St. Augustine, he explained that "we can ask everything of God, everything that is good."
"In dialogue with him," he continued, "bringing our whole life before his eyes, we learn to desire the good things, to desire, at bottom, God himself."
In this context he told of how St. Thomas Aquinas, in one of his moments of prayer, heard the Lord say to him: "You have written well of me Thomas. What do you desire?" Thomas replied, "Nothing other than you."
Benedict XV then affirmed: "Learning to pray is learning to desire, and thus, learning to live."
The Holy Father remembered Monsignor Luigi Giussani, the founder of Communion and Liberation, who died in 2005, and pledged his spiritual unity "with the participants in the Communion and Liberation movement."
He Rome recalled that, during an audience in St. Peter's Square on March 24, 2007, he had said that "Don Giussani committed himself […] to reawakening in young people the love of Christ, […] repeating that he alone is the road to the realization of the deepest desires of man's heart."
The Pontiff's message to the Meeting concluded with the apostolic blessing and hopes that those participating in the meeting will know that "the great things that the human heart longs for are found in God."