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Pope Benedict XVI at 2008 Xmas mass

Pope Benedict XVI at 2008 Xmas mass with his Crucifix of Christ

The Christmas Mass at the Vatican was a stupendous affair and everything about it has the quality of gigantic splendor and profound importance. It is a pinnacle-spectacle worthy of the billions of Catholics who have lived during the thousands of years of this ceremony’s development. There is a feeling of profound respect and quiet responsibility permeating everything—the building, the sculpture, the decoration, the ceremony, the clergy, the pope and the people. Even the children were awed with the feeling of quiet profound responsibility and when they simply couldn’t sustain that attitude they simply fell asleep. In the hour and a half only one person of the hundreds present in this huge echoey basilica even coughed. Obedience to higher authority was absolute—to the limit of human ability. This huge room was filled with good people.

Yes, I believe, these are good people! And their religion has helped them to become better people. However, their founder Jesus had very little to do with the religion which was presented at this event. He is talked about, the emphasis has got to be on the about, about in the sense of all around. But there was never a mention of his actual message and even his prayer, known these days as “The Lord’s Prayer” was omitted. There wasn’t the slightest reference to the actual ideas which Jesus presented and the essence of his ideas was almost antithetical to what was being preached to, and at, these good people. They were being taught and compelled to be obedient but that isn’t Jesus’s message. What he said, “All things what so ever that men should do unto you do ye even so unto them.” The emphasis is on the word should! What should men do to you? They should do those things which will help you to attain perfection and enter into heaven. That is what they should do and that is what you should do. It is boiled down into “Do unto others as others should do unto you.” Most people think and are taught that this means to treat other people well because then they will treat you well. That isn’t the message at all. The real message is to help them into a better place closer to heaven and the pay back, the karma, for this behavior is that you will develop the habit which will become an internalized habit and you will treat your own inner self in this more respectful way which will help you move your own self to a higher plane. Closer to heaven. The series of higher planes is defined in the ladder of the Beatitudes where each of the steps is more difficult to attain but when you do attain them the more difficult ones to attain become more easily within one’s grasp and abilities. The topmost rung is where the practice of this method reaches the condition of heaven.

That is all a little bit esoteric and requires a considerable amount of personal watchfulness to move up these spiritual steps, to move up this spiritual ladder. It is much harder than simply being obedient to authority figures which is what the church was promulgating.

The pope holds out his crucifix with the image of Christ hanging dead upon it but the message is lost. If people follow the Pope’s teachings they will become better people in the sense that they are more obedient to authority but they will not become better people in the sense that Jesus was teaching and they will not come any closer to the Heaven which Jesus was pointing to. He gave a goal and a method for attaining that goal but the Pope never came remotely close to mentioning it or even remotely implying it. So profound was his not mentioning Jesus’s message it leaves one wondering if the church even understands the original message any longer.

“All things what so ever men should do to you to attain heaven do so even unto them, for this is the Law and the message of the Prophets.”