CNA reports that Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the crisis of the West as a “crisis of truth” in his holiy at a Mass in the pilgrimage shrine of Mariazell, in Austri on 8th Septmber 2007. The Holy Father began his homily by speaking about the purpose of pilgrimage and its history at Mariazell, “For 850 years, pilgrims from different peoples and nations have been traveling here; they come to pray for the intentions of their hearts and their homelands. … Making a pilgrimage means setting out in a particular direction, traveling towards a destination. This gives a beauty of its own even to the journey and to the effort involved.
Recalling the great figures of salvation history, the Pope said, “[a]gain and again, though, the Lord called forth people whose longing for the goal drove them forward, people who directed their whole lives towards it.”
“The awakening of the Christian faith,” he added, “the dawning of the Church of Jesus Christ was made possible, because there were people in Israel whose hearts were searching, people who did not rest content with custom, but who looked further ahead, in search of something greater. … Because their hearts were expectant, they were able to recognize in Jesus the One Whom God had sent.”
“We too need an open and restless heart like theirs. This is what pilgrimage is all about. Today as in the past, it is not enough to be more or less like everyone else and to think like everyone else. Our lives have a deeper purpose. We need God, the God who has shown us His face and opened His heart to us: Jesus Christ. … Certainly, there are many great figures in history who have had beautiful and moving experiences of God. Yet these are still human experiences, and therefore finite. Only He is God and therefore only He is the bridge that brings God and man together.”
If we call Jesus “the one universal Mediator of salvation,” said the Pope, “this does not mean that we despise other religions, nor that we are arrogantly proposing the absolutism of our own ideas; on the contrary, it means that we are gripped by Him Who has touched our hearts and lavished gifts upon us, so that we, in turn, can offer gifts to others.