Sunday, October 30, 2011
Peace sought for the world by Pope Benedict XVI
I do not know if you have been following the Pope's journey to Assisi these past days; I have not really seen our newspapers covering it, but here is an excerpt from Benedict XVI's talk there that is good for us to reflect on today. Peace is so important in our world.
"As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true nature. The God in whom we Christians believe is the Creator and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family. For us the Cross of Christ is the sign of the God who put “suffering-with” (compassion) and “loving-with” in place of force. His name is “God of love and peace” (2 Cor 13:11). It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans.
If one basic type of violence today is religiously motivated and thus confronts religions with the question as to their true nature and obliges all of us to undergo purification, a second complex type of violence is motivated in precisely the opposite way: as a result of God’s absence, his denial and the loss of humanity which goes hand in hand with it. The enemies of religion – as we said earlier – see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion or any judge above himself, now having only himself to take as a criterion. The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence."
"It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans."
How am I helping to do this?
Yesterday, as I walked into Church I saw one of my favorite priests, a Franciscan, who used to say the Saturday evening Mass until he was recalled by his province to New York. I was so happy to see him and hear that he is staying for a few months on sabbatical. I am sure others are as happy as I am as he is such a simple, holy, humble priest and radiates goodness, joy and love. It did me good just to see him. I am grateful, too, to have him back and hope his Provincial knows how much he is appreciated here!
Have a Happy Hallowmeen tomorrow!