Let us pray for our World, Country, and Church Leaders!
March 21, 2019
God’s will is clear: to seek out, save humanity from evil, pope says, by Carol Glatz by Catholic News Service
Vatican City — Christians have faith in a God who wants to and is able to transform the world, conquering evil with good, Pope Francis said.
That is why “it makes sense to obey and abandon oneself” to God and his will, even during life’s most difficult moments, the pope said March 20 during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
Continuing a series of talks about the Lord’s Prayer, the pope focused on the line, “Thy will be done.” It is the third petition in the prayer right after, “hallowed be thy name” and “thy kingdom come.” God’s will — what he wants — is clearly illustrated throughout the Gospel, the pope said; it is “to seek out and save whoever is lost.”
“Have you ever thought about what that means, that God is looking for me, for each one of us” personally, “knocking on the door of our heart” with love, hoping to capture people’s attention and take them by the hand toward salvation, the pope said.
“God is not ambiguous,” Pope Francis said. “He does not hide behind riddles” or inscrutable plans; he wants everyone to know the truth and be saved.
The Our Father is a prayer asking that this desire be fulfilled and that each person and all of humanity be saved, he said.
When people pray, “Thy will be done,” they are praying not as subservient “slaves” but as children who understand and trust their father and his loving plan, the pope said.
“It is a courageous, even confrontational prayer because there are so many, too many things going on in the world that are not according to God’s plan,” he added.
In a world experiencing war, hatred and exploitation, he said, people of faith know that God wants what is best, which is why they pray his will be done and that swords be turned into plowshares, because “God wants peace.”
The Lord’s Prayer is meant to ignite the same deep love Jesus felt for his father, the same passion to “transform the world with love.”
Christians do not believe in random, unalterable or “inescapable fate,” the pope said. Rather, they truly believe “that God can and wants to transform reality, conquering evil with good,” and this, he said, is why people pray.
Even though Christ was being “crushed by the evil of the world,” he abandoned himself fully and confidently to God’s will, the pope said.
That path to salvation may be difficult, and people may experience suffering, pain or harm, but God “will never abandon us. He will always be with us, next to us, within us.”
“For a person of faith, this is more than a hope, it is a sure thing — God is with me.”
Present at the pope’s general audience was Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Setsuko Thurlow, 87, a Japanese-Canadian survivor of the United States’ atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. She received the prize in 2017 on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
She was part of a delegation of activists led by Earth Caravan, an interfaith group based in Japan and Canada. The group visiting the Vatican was made up of people from different countries and cultures, including four 13-year-old girls — girls the same age as Thurlow when the bomb dropped on her city and killed her family.
The group was to present Pope Francis with an oil lamp lit with a flame that was taken from the burning ashes of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The flame, the group said on its website, has been burning continuously since Aug. 6, 1945.
The group was going to ask the pope to blow out the flame they brought as a symbolic gesture of wishing for a world free of nuclear weapons and a brighter, more peaceful world.
Corruption is a devastating cancer harming society, pope says, by Carol Glatz by Catholic News Service
Vatican City — The constant temptation and cancer of corruption is one of the most devastating illnesses to befall society, Pope Francis said.
Corruption causes considerable damage both ethically and economically, he said in an audience March 18 with judges, administrators and staff from Italy’s court of audit, a kind of government accountability office with judicial powers.
The pope told his audience that corruption, with its “illusion of fast and easy gains, in reality impoverishes everyone, erasing trust, transparency and integrity from the entire system. Corruption disheartens individual dignity and shatters all good and beautiful ideals.”
Public assets, he said, must be safeguarded for the benefit of everyone, especially the poor.
Whenever such assets have been used irresponsibly, he added, “the state is called to carry out an indispensable function of vigilance, duly sanctioning illegal behavior.”
“The meticulous inspection of budgets puts the brakes on the temptation – recurrent in those holding political or administrative office – to manage resources with an eye on patronage or mere electoral consensus rather than with prudence,” he said.
The auditing office’s judicial powers play a very important role, he said, “particularly in the incessant fight against corruption,” which is “one of the most decimating plagues” in society.
But everyone, including individual administrators, is called to be responsible and operate with transparency and honesty, strengthening a sense of trust between citizens and the government – a trust whose unravelling “is one of the gravest signs of the crisis of democracy,” he said.
Christians believe Jesus himself “is urging us to openly face this evil and to go to the roots of problems,” the pope said. “He teaches us to personally pay the price in this fight, not out of pursuing an unrealistic heroism and undisguised attention-seeking, but with the humble tenacity of a person who does his or her job, often hidden, resisting the pressures of the world.”
Text from National Catholic Reporter