Quote: Jorge Bergoglio “Christmas as response and encounter”

Cathedral of Christ the Light (Oakland, CA)
Cathedral of Christ the Light (Oakland, CA)

The drama of the world today is the result not only of the absence of God but also and above all of the absence of humankind, of the loss of…human destiny and identity, and of a certain capacity to explain the fundamental needs that dwell in the human heart…

It is not possible to raise the question of God calmly, with a tranquil heart, because this would be to give an answer without a question…We need a total response that comprehends and saves the entire horizon of the self and our existence. We possess within us a yearning for the infinite, and infinite sadness, a nostalgia-the nostos algos (home sickness) of Odysseus-which is satisfied only by an equally infinite response. The human heart proves to be the sign of a Mystery, that is, of something or someone who is an infinite response. Outside the Mystery, the needs for happiness, love, and justice never meet a response that fully satisfies the human heart. Life would be an absurd desire if this response did not exist…

Only wonder leads to knowledge…Wonder comes before all categories; it is what leads me to seek, to open myself up; it is what makes the answer-not a verbal or conceptual answer-possible for me. If wonder opens me up as a question, the only response is the encounter, and only with the encounter is my thirst quenched. And with nothing else is it quenched more.

-Pope Francis (as Jorge Mario Bergoglio)