Benedict On The Bailout

Some 200 bishops from around the world gathered in Rome for the Synod on the Word of God, which opened with a big mass Sunday evening. At Monday's session, the Pope gave the opening meditation, including these words, impromptu:
We now see in the collapse of the great banks: money disappears, turns to nothing, and all these things, which seem like the true reality on which we can count, are realities of a second order....One who builds his life on these realities, on objects, success, on everything that's visible, builds on sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of every reality, fixed as the heavens and more than the heavens, is the reality.

Lest you mistake his point (he's not denouncing "greed," here's the remark in context, about the reality of the Word of God:
It is solid, it is the true reality on which we must base our life. Let us remember the words of Jesus who continues the words of this Psalm: “Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. Humanly speaking, the word, my human word, is almost nothing in reality, but a breath. As soon as it is pronounced, it disappears. It seems like nothing. But already the human word has incredible force. It is words that create history, it is words that form thoughts, the thoughts that create the word. It is the word that forms history, reality.

Even more, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our notion that matter, solid things, things we can touch, is the most solid, the most certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. He who builds on sand only builds on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will vanish.

We can see this now with the fall of two large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. Who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is he who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is he who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent.