(Taken from Holy Father’s remarks at The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Australia – WYD 2008)
On Material Possessions
“Material possessions, in themselves, are good. We would not survive for long without money, clothing and shelter. … Yet if we are greedy, if we refuse to share what we have with the hungry and the poor, then we make our possessions into a false god. How many voices in our materialist society tell us that happiness is to be found by acquiring as many possessions and luxuries as we can! But this is to make possessions into a false god. Instead of bringing life, they bring death”
On Possessive Love
“Authentic love is obviously something good. When we love, we become most fully ourselves, most fully human. But … people often think they are being loving when actually they are being possessive or manipulative. People sometimes treat others as objects to satisfy their own needs. … How easy it is to be deceived by the many voices in our society that advocate a permissive approach to sexuality, without regard for modesty, self-respect or the moral values that bring quality to human relationships!”
“The power God has given us to shape the world around us is obviously something good. Used properly and responsibly, it enables us to transform people’s lives. … Yet how tempting it can be to grasp at power for its own sake, to seek to dominate others or to exploit the natural environment for selfish purposes!”
“The cult of material possessions, the cult of possessive love and the cult of power often lead people to attempt to ‘play God’: to try to seize total control, with no regard for the wisdom or the commandments that God has made known to us. This is the path that leads towards death. By contrast, worship of the one true God means recognising in Him the source of all goodness, … that is the way to choose life”.