'This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being'
We have a great theologian in the Chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. He led a global prayer vigil for all human life in the womb. It is worth prayerfully reflecting upon as we enter into Advent and the mission of the Church to defend human life. In speaking of the embryonic person, he stated, 'This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being.'
Pope Benedict XVI leading a Global Prayer Vigil for all Nascent Human Life
ROME, Italy (Catholic Online) - The Vigil of Advent 2010 began in St. Peter's Basilica with Pope Benedict XVI leading what was called a "Vigil of Prayer for All Nascent Human Life." Catholics throughout the world gathered in their local Churches, as well as in homes, monasteries and religious houses all over the world. The global Vigil was requested by Pope Benedict XVI. It underscores the unqualified and unequivocal commitment of the Catholic Church to the defense of every human life, from conception, throughout every age and stage, up to and including a natural death.
In his homily, Pope Benedict called the faithful to defend all human life, including embryonic human life. In fact,a human embryo is a human being, in development as we all are. The Pope noted that "there are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with misleading motivations. With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being."
He cautioned against the growing "darkening of consciences" and proclaimed with clarity and conviction to the whole world that the child in the first home of the whole human race, his or her mothers womb, "has the right not to be treated as an object of possession or something to manipulate at will, not to be reduced to a mere instrument for the benefit of others and their interests. The human person is a good in and of himself and his integral development should always be sought."
The fathers of the Church referred to the Christian faith, and the sacraments of the church, as "the mysteries." They are beyond words, inexhaustible in their depth of meaning, like a rich feast that never ends and a deep ocean of wonder into which we are invited to wade. We can never touch the bottom. The Incarnation is the very heart of the Mystery of the entire Christian Faith. The God, who made the whole universe and created man out of the dust of the earth, took on our humanity. He lived in the first home of every human person, His mother's womb.
Those first nine months of His life made every human pregnancy even more profoundly a "mystery." There was a Redeemer in the womb of Mary! God was an embryonic human person, a "fetus," and a child in the womb. In the light of this "mystery" every human pregnancy, every womb, every child in the womb, was forever elevated beyond the dignity it already possessed. Also, the extreme evil of abortion is made even more obvious and profane. This Redeemer in the womb, Jesus, began His saving work "in utero" and He identifies with every child in the womb.
We have a great theologian and man of deep faith in the Chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. We offer his entire homily for our global readers as we begin the first full week of Advent, preparing for the Nativity of the Lord. It is well worth prayerfully reflecting upon so that we can enter more fully into the mission of the Church, the defender of every human life.
Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Vigil of Prayer for Nascent Human Life, Advent 2010
Dear brothers and sisters,
With this evening's celebration, the Lord gives us the grace and joy of opening the new liturgical year beginning with its first stage: Advent, the period that commemorates the coming of God among us. Every beginning brings a special grace, because it is blessed by the Lord. In this Advent period we will once again experience the closeness of the One who created the world, who guides history and cared for us to the point of becoming a man.
This great and fascinating mystery of God with us, moreover of God who becomes one of us, is what we celebrate in the coming weeks journeying towards holy Christmas. During the season of Advent we feel the Church that takes us by the hand and - in the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary - expresses her motherhood allowing us to experience the joyful expectation of the coming of the Lord, who embraces us all in his love that saves and consoles.
While our hearts reach out towards the annual celebration of the birth of Christ, the Church's liturgy directs our gaze to the final goal: our encounter with the Lord in the splendour of glory. This is why we, in every Eucharist, "announce his death, proclaim his resurrection until he comes again" we hold vigil in prayer. The liturgy does not cease to encourage and support us, putting on our lips, in the days of Advent, the cry with which the whole Bible concludes, the last page of the Revelation of Saint John: "Come, Lord Jesus "(22:20).
Dear brothers and sisters, our coming together this evening to begin ...
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