Today is the 45th anniversary of Populorum Progression (On the Development of Peoples) the 5th encyclical of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. The 18,000 word letter deals with the socioeconomic issues of world sick building upon Blessed John XXIII’s Mater et Magistra.
The ultimate goal is a fullbodied humanism. And does this not mean the fulfillment of the whole man and every man? A narrow humanism, closed in on itself and not open to the values of the spirit and to God who is their source, could achieve apparent success, for man can set about organizing terrestrial realities without God. But “closed off from God, they will end up being direct against man. A humanism closed off from other realities becomes inhuman.”True humanism points the way toward God and acknowledges the task to which we are called, the task which offers us the real meaning of human life. man is not the ultimate measure of man. Man becomes truly man only by passing beyond himself. In the words of Pascal: “Man infinitely surpasses man.”