Meditation From Pope Benedict XVI

WHERE DOES [JOY] COME FROM?

The crucial [factor] is … based on faith:  I am wanted; I have a task in history; I am accepted, I am loved….

Man can only accept himself if he is accepted by another. He needs the other’s presence, saying to him, with more than words:  It is good that you exist. Only from the You can the I come into itself.  Only if it is accepted, can it accept itself.

Those who are unloved cannot even love themselves.

This sense of being accepted comes in the first instance from other human beings. But all human acceptance is fragile. Ultimately we need a sense of being accepted unconditionally.

Only if God accepts me, and I become convinced of this, do I know definitively:  It is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being.

If ever man’s sense of being accepted and loved by God is lost, then there is no longer any answer to the question whether to be a human being is good at all. Doubt concerning human existence becomes more and more insurmountable. Where doubt over God becomes prevalent, then doubt over humanity follows inevitably.

We see today how widely this doubt is spreading. We see it in the joylessness, in the inner sadness, that can be read on so many human faces today. Only faith gives me the  conviction: It is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being, even in hard times.

– Pope Benedict XVI

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