I have been thinking about Pope Benedict’s announcement of his retirement.  A monk that was interviewed commented that before the College of Cardinals selects his successor, they should consider what meaning can be gleaned from his papacy.  In that vein, I read his Lenten message from 2012.

Pope Benedict warned that our hearts "can be hardened by a kind of spiritual anesthesia which numbs us to the suffering of others." That is the anesthesia of indifference. What can happen to our sense of compassion, our ability to have empathy for another?  Is it that we so familiar with suffering supplied by our media screens that we have compassion-fatigue?  Could it be that material wealth leads us to a false sense of independence and that the situation of other humans is irrelevant? Or is it an all too human tendency to put our own problems and concerns above everything and everyone.

Think of others, consider your role, and act. 


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