The Pope and Roman Curia started hearing some challenging questions on December 15, 2017, with the start of the Advent reflections by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Papal Household Preacher.
In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Father Cantalamessa said the theme of this year’s sermons is “Everything was made through Him and in view of Him” (Colossians 1:16). And the fundamental question to be asked and reflected upon: “How much room does Jesus have today in the life of a Christian and of men?”
Father Cantalamessa chose the theme in the hope of bringing to light the relevance that faith has in fields that might at first glance appear to be “independent” of faith, he said in the interview. Examples include the environment and ecology.
He pointed out that no one (at least not people of faith) believe today that there is real conflict between faith and science. But he warned, “that Christ is absent in the dialogue of faith with science.”
“One must take note that, despite the constant talk there is of Christ in Theology – and in the secular culture, in films, and in novels – He is absent in the three most challenging dialogues of the moment,” Father Cantalamessa explained. “I have noted that there is no talk of Him in the dialogue with science, but there is not even talk of Him in the dialogue with Philosophy, which is concerned with metaphysical concepts and not with historical personalities, and least of all, for obvious reasons, in the dialogue between religions.”
He went on to advise that making Christ central in life requires a true definition of “neighbors.” They aren’t just the people living next door, that are in a “space” near us, but who will come after us, who are neighbors in “time.”
St. Francis will play a role in the discussion, he noted. He believed he should not take more from than the earth that he needed.
“We must decide not to be thieves of earthly resources – energy, food, water, trees, paper – using them more than necessary, or wasting them, because this means taking them away from those coming after us,” Father Cantalamessa told the newspaper.