The Passion and Sacrifice of Being Human

POPE BENEDICT XVI

It is only by enduring himself, by freeing himself through suffering from the tyranny of egoism, that man finds himself, that he finds his truth, his joy, his happiness.

He will be all the happier the more ready he is to take upon himself the abysses of existence with all their misery.  The measure of one's capacity for happiness depends on the measure of the premiums one has paid, on the measure of one's readiness to accept the full passion of being human.

The crisis of our age is made very real by the fact that we would like to flee from it;  that people mislead us into thinking that one can be human without overcoming oneself, without the suffering of renunciation and the hardship of self-control;  that people mislead us by claiming that there is no need for the difficulty of remaining true to what one has undertaken and the patient endurance of the tension between what one ought to be and what one actually is.

An individual who has been freed from all effort and led into the fool's paradise of his dreams loses what is most essential, himself.  There is, in fact, no other way in which one can be saved than by the cross.  All offers that promise a less costly way will founder, will prove to be false.  The hope of Christianity, the outlook of faith, ultimately rest quite simply on the fact that faith tells the truth.  The outlook of faith is the outlook of the truth that may be obscured and trampled upon, but can never perish.

 

 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Pope Benedict XVI. "The Passion and Sacrifice of Being Human." from Co-Workers of the Truth (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1992).

Reprinted with permission of Ignatius Press.

This excerpt appeared in Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI.

THE AUTHOR

Pope Benedict XVI is the author of Jesus of Nazareth, Vol II, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol I, Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth, Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi, God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est, The End of Time?: The Provocation of Talking about God, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, Salt of the Earth: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church at the End of the Millennium, God and the World: Believing and Living in Our Time, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, The Spirit of the Liturgy, The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church, Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Introduction to Christianity, Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, Behold the Pierced One, and God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life.

Copyright © 1992 Ignatius Press




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