Aide Advises Finding God's Surprises in Christmas

Points to Beauty of Creation

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 24, 2008 ( The director of the Vatican press office is recommending to the faithful that they discover God’s surprises this Christmas.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi made this suggestion during the weekly edition of Vatican Television’s “Octava Dies.” He was considering the review of 2008 made by Benedict XVI on Monday during the Pope’s traditional exchange of Christmas greetings with prelates and the Roman Curia.

These days of celebration of the birth of Christ are a time of “rediscovering the great surprises of God for man,” Father Lombardi said.

He noted the Holy Father’s emphasis on the “surprising work of the Holy Spirit all around us,” particularly during July’s World Youth Day in Sydney.

The spokesman pointed to Benedict XVI’s analysis of Youth Day joy: “serene and profound, which the youth take with them when they return to their houses.”

“It is a joy distinct from that passing and excited joy of other mass events, and it is a sign of a presence that helps to generate new places for hope and living charity,” Father Lombardi affirmed.

He continued: “Surprise and awe are born looking at the world around us, discovering that matter is made with intelligence and that because of this, our mind is capable of reading in it its structure, giving rise to the exciting adventure of modern science.

“And the surprise continues at recognizing the beauty of the creation of the human being as man and woman.

“Adam’s exclamation of surprise and joy when God presents him with the woman resounds from the first pages of Scripture.”

The spokesman lamented that this joyous surprise today is being darkened by “anthropological confusion” that “runs the risk of blocking the source of this joy.”

Nevertheless, the “most extraordinary joy,” Father Lombardi affirmed, arises from “the coming of the Son of God to the world as one of us, to be with us, walk with us, speak with our language, make himself heard with our ears, seen with our eyes, felt with our hands, and also to stay with us in the living community of believers.”

“Christmas is, therefore, a time to rediscover the great surprises of God toward man,” he concluded. “The proclamation of the Church always looks toward this beautiful news, and not at polemics.”

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