WE HAVE NO DESIRE TO CONQUER VIOLENCE WITH VIOLENCE.
OUR RESPONSE TO WAR IS FRATERNITY.
Pope Francis, in his speech during the WYD 2016 Prayer Vigil, asked us to pray for all the victims of war-torn areas and encouraged us not to return evil with evil violence with violence, hatred with hatred. Rather, we must respond with fraternity, communion, brotherhood, family.
Below is the excerpt of his speech. Caps mine to highlight his important ideas. For the full text, see: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/07/30/pope-francis-speech-world-youth-day-vigil-2016-do-not-confuse-happiness-with-comfort-jesus-is-calling-you-to-leave-your-mark-on-history/
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“Dear friends, I ask that we join in prayer for the sufferings of all the victims of war and for the many families of beloved Syria and other parts of our world. Once and for all, may we realize that nothing justifies shedding the blood of a brother or sister; that nothing is more precious than the person next to us. In asking you to pray for this, I would also like to thank Natalia and Miguel for sharing their own battles and inner conflicts. You told us about your struggles, and about how you succeeded in overcoming them. Both of you are a living sign of what God’s mercy wants to accomplish in us.
This is no time for denouncing anyone or fighting. We do not want to tear down. We have no desire to conquer hatred with more hatred, violence with more violence, terror with more terror. We are here today because the Lord has called us together. Our response to a world at war has a name: its name is fraternity, its name is brotherhood, its name is communion, its name is family.
We celebrate the fact that coming from different cultures, we have come together to pray. Let our best word, our best argument, be our unity in prayer.
Let us take a moment of silence and pray. Let us place before the Lord these testimonies of our friends, and let us identify with those for whom “the family is a meaningless concept, the home only a place to sleep and eat”, and with those who live with the fear that their mistakes and sins have made them outcasts.
Let us also place before the Lord your own “battles”, the interior struggles that each of your carries in his or her heart.”
ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: https://www.instagram.com/franciscus/