Economic crisis can reveal true meaning of Christmas, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — This year’s economic crisis could help people rediscover the true meaning of Christmas and the values of life, love and charity, Pope Benedict XVI said. After the “consumerist and materialistic scales have been shed, Christmas can then become an occasion to accept as a personal gift the message of hope that comes from the mystery of Christ’s birth,” he said at his general audience Dec. 17. The pope dedicated the talk at his last general audience of the year to the importance and meaning of the Advent and Christmas seasons. Christmas celebrates the gift of life, which is sometimes fragile or in danger, he said. As Christians contemplate the birth of Christ in a lowly grotto, “how can we not think about the many children who, still today, are born into enormous poverty in many parts of the world?” asked the pope.

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