Up in the wee hours of Boxing Day with a bug and not being Roman Catholic, it is an odd thing to consider parsing the words of Pope Benny's first Christmas gig but the first words of this passage caught my ear:
"In the millennium just past, and especially in the last centuries, immense progress was made in the areas of technology and science," Pope Benedict said. "Today we can dispose of vast material resources. But the men and women in our technological age risk becoming victims of their own intellectual and technical achievements, ending up in spiritual barrenness and emptiness of heart. That is why it is so important for us to open our minds and hearts to the Birth of Christ, this event of salvation which can give new hope to the life of each human being," he said. "The modern age is often seen as an awakening of reason from its slumbers, humanity's enlightenment after an age of darkness. Yet without the light of Christ, the light of reason is not sufficient to enlighten humanity and the world," the Pope concluded.In addition to the vast span to time being discussed, it is interesting in a shakey-heady way that the characterization of modernity is not that different from the current set of 247 or 2,347 badly-drawn fourth-rate James Bond whack-job villains who are planning the next attack on western culture. Thankfully their respective treatment suggestions for the particular diagnosis differ.
As I see it from my high and mighty throne, things were pretty much...umm...not better for any of our ancestors before the last few centuries and definitely were not before the last millenium. Sure, Mike and I can think about the pagan holiday past that makes up a part of our Christmas season but I am not exactly longing for a past when a wee infected scratch could take your life. Sometimes it makes me wonder when folks suggest that God can't cope somehow with us living in this example of the present or that somehow a computer is a different class of distraction than the village's cheese rolling in 1532.