The Best Answers to the Biggest Questions


“Development needs Christians with their arms raised toward God in prayer.”


In a book called How Do You Spell God, the authors say one gift of religion is that is offers the best answers to life’s biggest questions. Today, Pope Benedict XVI is calling on the world to consider how theology can help shape the best answers to some of the world’s most pressing challenges and the questions that come with them; globalization, the growing divide between the rich and poor, care of the environment; protection of freedoms.


The Teaching Mission of the Church


The encyclical letter is a great example of the teaching mission of the Church. In Caritas in Veritate( Charity in Truth), Pope Benedict writes “Development needs Christians with their arms raised toward God in prayer.” He goes on to say that development requires attention to the spiritual life because it involves the individual and society. As pope, it is Pope Benedict’s responsibility to bring the light of the Gospel to the issues of the day. This encyclical looks at the changes that globalization is bringing to the way the world does business and asking what impact are they having on society and on people. You might be asking what authority the church has in the field of economics and global development. The area of expertise is people! In this field the Church has expertise unlike any other organization or government!


Pope Benedict boldly preaches that the world has lost a sense that the meaning of charity is at the core of one’s personal relationships and the core of societal life. He thinks that the world is losing sight of the fact that charity is the driving force behind authentic development (Caritas in Veritate, #1). The reason he gives for losing the meaning of charity is the devaluing of the existence of truth and the meaning of truth and so the title, Charity in Truth refers to his desire to remind the world that “truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity.” (CV, 2)


Learn More


More will be shared about this encyclical in this space, I want to encourage you to follow the news stories and pick up the document. In the Catholic Standard, you’ll find background, summaries and reflections on the letter. The Gospel and the intellectual tradition of the Church can help Catholics and all people think deeply about the most serious challenges facing our world and about the big picture. The big picture, as the authors of How Do You Spell God point out, is one of the great gifts of religion—it keeps the big picture in mind—to look at the present through the wisdom of experience and with an eye to the future and the ultimate meaning of life.

4 Replies to “The Best Answers to the Biggest Questions”

  1. Alms are given on demand by anybody, may he be a begger or somebody . But charity is what one gives to somebody without even thier asking for that .It is voluntary and spontaneouslygiven. sensing others needs. Charity need not always be in the form of money. even it may take the shape of good intentions ,good spee,ch. giving laughter, happiness eicMost charities are given only at ones old age for they do not know how to distribute their fabulous wealth. they give a part to charitable purposes. Some do it for taxpurposes GOD knows peoples intentions A good christian must give like the woman of Saribath and like the one who put two drakmas , what all she had , Let that mentality develop in all of us.

  2. Christianity is known for the charitable activities all over the world .Did not th U.S. distribute free wheat products and milkpowder to the suffering in India for more than two decades when I was10 years old ( some 50 years ago ) Charity begins at home. We may speak of theology to the astronomical hieghts . But when it come s to a question of charity or alms. we lag behind Let us be very very broad minded in thinking and doing HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR 2010 TO EVERYBODY

  3. Christmas is a celebration of giving .God has sent his only begotten son to redeem us. Today’s readings also insist it. Those who have two cloths must share with others, the tax collector must not collect than what is required of him, let not the soldiers accept bribe nor betray others.Similarly we are expected to share what god has given to us . God gives to us so that we share with ohters. As we earn some profit from the society , we also owe to the socity say 5% or 10% even much more. Give ,it will be given, than, ask, youwill get. Giving must be our regular habit way of life . Just test it . you will get immmense blessings. I have experienced and experiencing also . Give a try

  4. Charity, oh, thy name is christy in another form. charity does not necessarily mean giving money. It is givng ones heart in words, deeds, thoughts, helps, This is what Mary did, when the Archangel Gabriel conveyed the message of our Lord’s birth. that is total surrender It isnot what could be but what it should be.
    Let us be doers of charity to our neighbours, need not to far off places cutting across geographical borders.
    We shall take a pledge that we start charitable activity from today onwards
    May the new year be full of charity Happy new year 2010

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