God Is in Luck

Are Sociologists Correct When They Say This Is His Century?

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MADRID, Spain, JULY 11, 2011 (Zenit.org).- As the registration number for World Youth Day in Madrid this August broke records, it seemed to confirm a trend some sociologists are reporting: God is of interest to this generation of young people.

Why? And why do they seek Him at a meeting with a reflective 84-year-old Pope such as Benedict XVI, or a more active one such as John Paul II?

Rafael Navarro-Valls, professor of law at Madrid’s Complutense University, and secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation of Spain, writes for ZENIT that young people at World Youth Day confirm those sociologists who say that in this 21st century, «God is in luck» and what is more, that it is probably «his century.»

«It will be so, understand me well, to the degree that his spokesmen, who ordinarily will act in the context of democracies, … are able to awaken the somnolent sensibilities that lie in their background,» Navarro-Valls proposed.

The lawyer noted that participants in Youth Days have reported that no one has ever spoken to them with the clarity and demand of the Popes. «Whether or not I do what he says, ‘that man’ (the Pope) is right,» they’ve said.

«Young people — and those not so young — who in August will invade the streets of Madrid want something other than the monotonous message of ideologues of the moment, who say there is no good or evil: only a dense fog that envelops actions and persons in moral relativism,» the lawyer said. «The Pope, perhaps, will say exactly the opposite: in the face of ethical subjectivism, he will speak of objective truths; in the face of hedonist consumerism, he will insist on solidarity and temperance; in the face of a cultural horizon colored with pessimism, he will stress the beauty of truth.»

The youth who will hear this message make Benedict XVI’s trip to Madrid especially important, Navarro-Valls suggested. They are «an especially avid earth to absorb the affable but energetic calls to awaken those sleeping values. From the courage not to sacrifice everything on the altar of a profession — including ethics and the collapse of their families, to initiating a silent religious revolution, which will show the global dimension of the iceberg of spiritual misery hidden in a society bereft of moral stimuli.»

We can hope from Benedict XVI’s visit «that it will dissipate that fog of ‘malaise’ that is hidden in the ‘welfare’ society,» Navarro-Valls concluded. «In a word, that it will help to fashion new eyes and hearts that will surpass the simply biological human event.»

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