There is also the fact that people no longer seem to believe in a happy future; they no longer have blind trust in a better tomorrow based on the present state of the world and our technical abilities. There is a growing awareness that scientific and technological progress cannot be equated with the progress of humanity and history, a growing sense that the way to a better future lies elsewhere. (113)As the variously attributed quote goes, 'God is dead, Marx is dead, and I don't feel so well myself.'
The Holy Father says a lot regarding the aimlessness of our modern culture. In days past it threw off the eschatology of Christianity and replaced it with other, more worldly eschatologies: communism, eugenics, technocracy, better living through chemistry.
The twentieth century is the age of the crumbling of these human ideas of progress, each of which come to nothing after they had given birth to their rotten fruit for the world. (Although we have to say that abortion, as a child of the eugenics movement, is still with us.)
Thus the current 'post-modern' moment represents an opportunity that the Holy Father recommends to us, a moment to make friends again with ourselves and with our own dignity, to learn to love chastely our sister mother earth, to believe in something better that is beyond the hubris of our own ideas of progress, but is hidden in the little mustard seeds of chaste love that are the Kingdom of God planted among us.
A better future does lie 'beyond ourselves' as the Pope says, but it is a 'beyond ourselves' who has identified himself with our joy and struggles in Jesus Christ. His divine humanity is the Kingdom of God, and it is ours to find our own humanity in it.