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We and God

· At the General Audience the Pope puts the Father's eternal reason, his love and freedom at the origin of the human being ·

The world is not a property to be looted and exploited but a gift from the Creator

In the age of science and technology does speaking of creation still make sense?  Benedict XVI  put this disturbing question to the faithful at the General Audience this morning, Wednesday 6 February, in the Paul VI Audience Hall. Or perhaps it is a provocative question, if one thinks that it was addressed to human beings in the grip of the temptation to build by themselves the world in which they live, the Pope said, explaining the meaning of his question, since they are little inclined “to accept the limitations of being human creatures, the human creature, the limitations of good and of evil”, and look to their dependence on God's love “as to a burden from which to be freed”.

This is always the “core of temptation”: to consider the alliance with God as “a chain that binds, that deprives the person of freedom and of the most beautiful and precious things of life”. However, it is this very conviction, this “lie”, as the Pope calls it, which “falsifies the relationship with God” and induces man to put himself in God's place. This gives rise to the fact that after God had created everything good, “indeed”, the Pope specified, very good”, following man's free choice of falsehood as against the truth, “evil entered the world” complete with its sorrow and suffering. And citing Genesis once again, the Pope chose to highlight another teaching offered by the book of the creation narratives: “sin”, he said, “spawns sin, and all the sins of history are linked to each other”. He added, “everything derives from a reality that seems hard to understand, original sin. With the support of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI pointed out in this regard that man's first sin was, precisely, to have “chosen himself instead of God”.  He therefore destroyed the relationship that was established with the Father and wanted “to put himself in God's place”. Living by faith, the Pope added, means instead  “recognizing the greatness of God, accepting our smallness, our condition as creatures, letting the Lord fill it with his love”. Faith also sheds light on the mystery of evil and gives us the certainty of being able to be delivered from it; “the certainty”, Benedict XVI concluded finally, “that it is good to be a human being”.

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