Pope Benedict's New Year's message is, as so much of what he writes and says, eminently personalistic. Lamenting the way bad news and evil acts "make more noise" than love and truth and sacrifice, he calls on us to deepen our interior lives.
“We can’t just stop at the news if we want to understand the world and life, we have to be capable of standing in silence, in meditation, in calm and prolonged reflection, we have to know how to stop and think,” he said.
One of the mottoes of the Personalist Project is "bringing philosophy to life." We mean to capture two things with the phrase: that the focus of our interest is the mystery of life, and that we want to help bring the habit of reflection back into a society that is desperately in want of it.
To be human, to be properly a person, entails not just reacting, but understanding, receiving, reflecting, pondering.
Modern life militates against these things. It everywhere presses us to run and do—don't stop, don't think, just go, go, go. I think the Pope wants to say that we won't be ready to meet the challenges we're facing—to confront the evil we find—unless we learn to "stop and think."
Let's make sure we put that on our list of New Year's resolutions.