Pope Benedict XVI held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday morning at the Paul VI hall, during which he continued his catechetical reflections on the Year of Faith. Below, is a translation of some of his remarks:
"In our continuing catechesis for the Year of Faith, we now consider the reasonableness of faith as an encounter with the splendor of God’s truth. Through faith we come to true knowledge of God and ourselves, and learn to live wisely in this world as we await the fullness of life and happiness in the next. Faith and reason are meant to work together in opening the human mind to God’s truth. By its nature, faith seeks understanding, while the mind’s search for truth finds inspiration, guidance and fulfillment in the encounter with God’s revealed word. Far from being in conflict, faith and science go hand in hand in the service of man’s moral advancement and his wise stewardship of creation. The Gospel message of our salvation in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offers us a true humanism, a “grammar” by which we come to understand the mystery of man and the universe. In this Year of Faith, may we open our minds more fully to the light of God’s truth, which reveals the grandeur of our human dignity and vocation."
Pope Benedict XVI also called during the general audience for a halt to violence between Israeli military forces and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. He said: "I am following with great concern the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Along with my prayerful recollection of the victims and for all those who are suffering, I feel the duty to reiterate once again that hatred and violence are not the solution to problems. I also encourage the initiatives and efforts of those who are trying to obtain a ceasefire and to promote negotiations. I also urge the authorities of both Parties to take courageous decisions in favor of peace and put an end to a conflict with negative repercussions throughout the entire Middle East region, which is troubled by too many conflicts and is in need of peace and reconciliation."
Finally the Pope offered his traditional greetings: "I offer a cordial greeting to the participants in the conference on Catholic and Muslim cooperation in promoting justice in the contemporary world. I also greet the group from CAFOD, with gratitude for the agency’s fifty years of charitable activity on behalf of the Church in England and Wales. Upon all present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Sri Lanka and the United States, I invoke God’s blessings!"