Pope to Church, World: Only God saves

On Christmas Day the Holy Father reminds us of the nonnegotiable need for God's grace

"[God] alone, he alone can save us. Only God’s mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst. The grace of God can convert hearts and offer mankind a way out of humanly insoluble situations." + Pope Francis

The Holy Father's annual Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi address (to the Church and the World) illuminated growing terror around the globe with the twin lights of Christmas and the newly opened Jubilee of Mercy. While not specifically mentioning climate or ecology, he was clear that all the great issues of our age are interrelated and rooted in sin—his grand theme in Laudato Si'.

Some of his address was especially meaningful in light of the recent (and mostly successful) COP21 international climate talks.

"On this festal day may the Lord grant renewed hope to all those who lack employment; may he sustain the commitment of those with public responsibilities in political and economic life, that they may work to pursue the common good and to protect the dignity of every human life."

Amen, amen. Only God's mercy and grace can change us where change is needed the most. Our laws and programs certainly are needed. And we who discharge such duties must keep ever before us the goal of the common good. Yet we must remain mindful that salvation from former ways comes only from Christ.

And so we continue to cheer His presence among us this Christmas Day and at every Mass and every time we receive any of the seven sacraments.

Merry Christmas, all!

Photo: Pope Francis, after his Christmas Day address. (Vatican Television)

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Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.