This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Personal development

We are warned never to lose sight of the interdependence of man and his fellows. “The human person may never be thought of only as an absolute individual being, built up by himself and on himself.”[1] If we are to consider personal growth and realization in its fullness, we must be able to acknowledge the role of personal responsibility in the development of the individual, while at the same time taking into account our profound need for community. Pope Benedict XVI elaborated on the paradox:

“The human person by nature is actively involved in his own development…since as everybody knows, we are all capable of making free and responsible choices. Nor is it merely at the mercy of our caprice, since we all know that we are a gift, not something self-generated. Our freedom is profoundly shaped by our being, and by its limits. No one shapes his own conscience arbitrarily, but we all build our own ‘I’ on the basis of a ‘self’ which is given to us. Not only are other persons outside our control, but each one of us is outside his or her own control. A person’s development is compromised, if he claims to be solely responsible for producing what he becomes.”[2]

[1] CSDC, 125.

[2] CV, 68.

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