VATICAN CITY, AUG. 23, 2011 (Zenit.org).- It is possible to look to the future with confidence -- because Christ has wrenched man's destiny from darkness.
This is the affirmation Benedict XVI is sharing with the Meeting of Friendship Among Peoples, which is under way this week in Rimini, Italy.
In a papal message of Aug. 10, sent by the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy Father stated that "man cannot live without the certainty of his destiny."
The message was a reflection on existence and certainty, as the theme of this 32nd Rimini Meeting is "And existence becomes an immense certainty."
"On what certainty can man reasonably found his existence?" the message asked. "What is, at bottom, the hope that does not deceive? With the advent of Christ the promise that nourished the hope of the people of Israel attains its fulfillment, it assumes a personal face. In Christ Jesus, man's destiny was wrenched definitively from the nebulosity that surrounded him. Through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Father unveiled to us definitively the positive future that awaits us."
Cardinal Bertone said that the Risen Christ is the "ultimate and definitive foundation of existence, the certainty of our hope."
"Only the certainty that is born of faith enables man to live the present intensely and, at the same time, to transcend it, perceiving in it the reflection of the eternal to which time is ordered," he stated. "Only the recognized presence of Christ, source of life and destiny of man, is capable of reawakening in us the nostalgia of Paradise and thus to project the future with confidence, without fear and false illusions."
The papal message asserted that Christians today are more than ever called to give "reason for the hope that is in us."
"The Church, rendering present in time the mystery of God's eternity, is the appropriate subject of this certainty," the cardinal explained. "In the ecclesial community the pro-existence of the Son of God is reached; in it eternal life, to which all existence is destined, can already be experienced."
Heaven, he continued, is the "definitive fulfillment of friendship with Christ and among ourselves."
Citing a French religious, Cardinal Bertone said that "heaven is, in truth, where Christ is. Thus the heart that loves desires no other joy than to live always close to the beloved."
"Thus," he stated, "existence, is not a blind proceeding, but it is a going to the one we love. Hence, we know where we are going, toward whom we are directed, and this orients the whole of our existence."
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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-33273?l=english