God Alone Can Satisfy Human Heart, Says Pope
Presents Mary as Example to Be Followed
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 16, 2006 (www.zenit.org
) - Mary knew that God alone can satisfy the individual's thirst for truth and happiness, says Benedict XVI.
The Holy Father said this today during his general audience, here in the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo. He spoke to the several thousand people on hand about the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, observed a day earlier.
The Pope said this feast "has always been greatly cherished by the Christian people since the first centuries of Christianity." It celebrates "the glorification, including corporal, of that creature whom God chose as his mother and that Jesus on the cross gave as mother to the whole of humanity."
Quoting the Second Vatican Council, the Pontiff said that "the Assumption evokes a mystery" that affects all believers: "Mary 'precedes with her light the people of God as a sign of hope and consolation.'"
"We are so immersed in everyday struggles that at times we forget this consoling spiritual reality, which is an important truth of faith," the Bishop of Rome said. "How is it possible to make this luminous sign of hope be increasingly perceived by present-day society?
"Today there are those who live as if they should never die or as if all ends with death. Some behave as if man is the sole author of his destiny, as if God did not exist, at times even denying that there is a place for him in our world."
Key to happiness
The Holy Father continued: "The great successes of technology and science, which have notably improved humanity's conditions of life, do not give solutions to the most profound questions of the human spirit.
"Only by openness to the mystery of God, who is love, can our hearts' thirst for truth and happiness be satisfied; only the perspective of eternity can give authentic value to historical events and above all to the mystery of human frailty, suffering and death."
Contemplation of Mary, Benedict XVI said, helps to "understand that the earth is not our definitive homeland and that, if we live constantly oriented to eternal goods, one day we will share in her same glory."
He continued: "For this reason, despite the many daily difficulties, we must not lose serenity or peace. The luminous sign of the Assumption to heaven shines even more when it seems that sad shadows of grief and violence loom over the horizon.
"We are sure that, from on high, Mary follows our steps with gentle trepidation, gives us serenity in the hour of darkness and storm, gives us security with her maternal hand. Supported by this conviction, we continue with confidence on our way of Christian commitment where providence leads us."