CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS): The seemingly invincible ideologies of consumerism and hedonism and the reign of violence and terror will all be defeated by God’s love, Pope Benedict XVI said.
“It still seems impossible today to think that God … is the true ruler of the world,” the Pope said during his homily on August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
But, in the end, “love wins, not selfishness”, material power and hatred, he said to an audience of several hundred local parishioners.
The Pope’s comments came while he celebrated Mass at St Thomas Church in Castel Gandolfo, where the papal summer residence is located, south of Rome.
Giving his homily without using a text or notes, the Pope said that according to St Augustine, human history has been driven by a struggle between two kinds of love: love for God in which one “loses oneself and gives oneself” totally to him and loving oneself to “the point of disparaging God and hating others”.
Pope Benedict said this selfish love versus true love can be seen in the two images present in the feast day’s first reading from the Book of Revelation, an account of the encounter between the powerful dragon and the defenceless woman.
The dragon, he said, represents “power without mercy, without love, of absolute selfishness, terror, violence” as well as all “materialistic dictatorships” throughout history, including the Nazi and Stalinist regimes.
“Even today the dragon exists in new and different ways,” he said.
It is present in the form of materialistic ideologies that consider God as something expendable or pointless and that maintain life is all about “consumption, selfishness, amusement” and “taking all there is to get in this brief lifetime”, the Pope said.
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