The contemporary world is increasingly marked by the crisis of relationships. First of all we need to work on them to stop the race towards an ever worse nihilism.
By Marco Invernizzi
“Today one can no longer be a Christian as a simple consequence of living in a society that has Christian roots. Even those who are born into a Christian family and are educated religiously must, every day, renew their choice to be Christian, giving God first place, in the face of the temptations that a secularized culture continually proposes to them, in the face of the critical judgment of many contemporaries.”
These words of the Pope Emeritus, pronounced by Benedict XVI in the Audience of Wednesday, February 26, 2013, seem to me the best way to offer Christmas greetings to those who follow the site and the activities of Alleanza Cattolica. Because they bring us face to face with the harsh and sad reality of advancing secularism, but they do not appear hopeless at all, on the contrary. They only tell us what we see every day: Christianity is no longer the common sense of our people. Therefore, it is useless to shout, protest, be scandalized and then close ourselves off quietly, in the conviction that we, the few left, are the only “good” ones, in the right: worse for the others!
This is not Christianity; this above all is not the teaching of Christ. Rather, it is the falsely aristocratic attitude of those who consider themselves superior, who enclose themselves in the “group” of the elect and look down on the unfolding of events. Benedict XVI condemned this mistaken way of being Christian in his encyclical Spe salvi, recalling that man is a social being, or a political animal as Aristotle would have said, who is not saved by himself, but through the relationships he establishes with others. Christ went to seek out sinners, the sick, those who needed a doctor.
Contemporary man, too, needs a special doctor who will cure his soul. We are the first. But if, by Grace received, the baptized person has some awareness of this dramatic situation of the “dying world,” then he or she has a duty to “go out” of himself or herself, to seek out the sick, to bend over a wounded society in order to do what is within his or her power to build a better world, starting with the small or large circles he or she frequents.
New battles await us in 2022. The possible referendums on drugs and murder of the consenting person, but above all the cultural battles, first the one to bring the attention of a distracted or ideologically indifferent ruling class to the issue of demographic suicide. Every year ISTAT (the Italian National Institute of Statistics) reminds us that the number of births is decreasing (and in the pandemic the number of deaths has instead increased), but after the usual façade reactions of intellectuals, journalists and politicians everything continues as before. No important policy to support the family and especially no cultural attention to the fundamental cell of society. Moreover, it is not surprising: marriages decrease drastically, especially religious ones, as ISTAT always reminds us, and I fear that it is not only a problem related to the spread of Covid-19; separations and divorces instead increase. All this leads many to consider the family as something unnecessary, perhaps surmountable.
Today, the relationships are sick and it is on those that we need to work. Certainly, relationships depend on people, but few people are truly aware of how important it is in a time of crisis to restart relationships, even the smallest ones, making every effort to make them stronger, more lasting and more capable of expanding and generating meaningful ambient.
As Pope Francis often repeats, complaining is not an attitude of a Christian. It takes trust in God, who has not turned his back on men, and it takes a great desire to go beyond one’s own self.
Christmas can be the occasion for each person to ask Child Jesus to obtain for himself this important Grace.
Wednesday, December 15, 2021