11/02/2011, 00.00
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Pope: death not followed by abyss of nothingness, for us Jesus opened the gates of eternity

Appeal of Pope to G20: help to overcome the difficulties which, worldwide, hinder the promotion of an authentically human and integral development. In his general audience "some reflections on the reality of death," thoughts about which modern culture tends to remove. The belief that every reality serves an experimental knowledge, leads to forms of spiritualism. The "fears" related to death. But those who believe know that God “abandoned his distance", to meet and conquer death for us.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Behind the present, beyond death there is not just nothing and "faith in eternal life gives the Christian Christian courage, the courage to love our earth more intensively and to work to build a future for it, to give it a true and certain hope. "On the day dedicated to the commemoration of the "brothers and sisters who have ended their earthly journey," Benedict XVI proposed to eight thousand people present in the Paul VI audience hall for the general audience some "reflections on the reality of death, which for us is illuminated by the resurrection of Christ. "

During the audience, the Pope also appealed to the "Heads of State and Government of the G20" who will gather in Cannes the day after tomorrow, "to examine the main problems connected with the global economy. I hope - said - that the meeting will help to overcome the difficulties that, worldwide, hinder the promotion of authentic human and integral development”.

Earlier in his weekly catechesis, Benedict XVI noted that "despite the fact that death is often an almost forbidden theme in our society, and the continuous effort to remove thoughts of death from our minds, it affects each one of us, people of every age and every place". This attitude, the Pope noted, is the result of today's culture which "has spread the belief that every reality should be faced with an experimental, empirical knowledge". "Without realising that this has led to falling into forms of spiritualism, to make contact with a reality that somehow takes the form of that of the present."

But in history there has always been the cult of the dead and "in these days we go to the cemetery to pray for the loved ones who have left us, a visiting them, as it were, to express, once again, our love, to feel them close to us again, remembering, in this way, an article of the Creed: in the Communion of Saints is a close link between us who still walk on this earth and our many brothers and sisters who have already reached eternity. "

"The road of death, in fact, is a path of hope and by walking through our cemeteries, as well as reading the epitaphs on the graves we travel on a path marked by the hope of eternity. But we wonder: why do we feel fear death? ". "I would say that the answers are numerous: we fear death because we are afraid of nothingness, of heading towards something we do not know, which is unknown. And then there is in us a sense of rejection because we can not accept that all that is beautiful and great realised throughout an entire lifetime, is suddenly cancelled, falls into the abyss of nothingness. Above all, we feel that love calls for and demands eternity and we can not accept that it is destroyed by death in the matter of a moment. Still, we fear death, because when we are near the end of our existence, there is the perception that there will be a judgement of our actions, how we conducted our lives, especially on those shadowy areas which, with skill, we often remove or try to remove from our consciousness. "

The solemnity of All Saints and All Souls' tell us that only those who can recognize a great hope in death can also live a life that flows from hope. If only we reduce man to his horizontal dimension, to what can be perceived empirically, life itself loses its deeper meaning. Man needs eternity, and every other hope is too short, too narrow for him. Man is explicable only if there is a love that overcomes all isolation, even that of death, even in a totality that transcends space and time. Man is explicable, finds his deepest meaning, only if there is God and we know that God has left His distance and He came close to us, he came into our lives "and" in the supreme act of love on the Cross, plunging into the abyss of death, He won, He rose and opened the gates of eternity to us. Christ sustains us through the night of death which He himself has gone through, He is the Good Shepherd, on whose guidance you can rely without any fear, because He knows the way, even through the darkness. "
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