Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Holy Father's Missionary Intention for September

“That by opening our hearts to love we may put an end to the numerous wars and conflicts which continue to bloody our world.”

Vatican City – Created in harmony with God and with the rest of humanity, man has abused the freedom that he had received from God. This disobedience to God the Creator has caused an interior division within man that is the cause and origin of all clashes between peoples. Carried away by selfishness and a lack of respect for the rights and needs of others, man has built a world full of conflicts and wars, at times among children of the same nation.

In the Old Testament, the Messiah is presented as the "Prince of Peace" (cf. Is 9:5), and peace is regarded as one of the messianic gifts, one of the fruits that shows the world the presence of God in history. Unifying is part of Christ's mission “to gather the lost sheep of Israel,” breaking the wall of hatred that has been cause for separation. Paul assures us that "Christ is our peace" (Eph 2:14). This peace starts with one's own reconciliation with God in the depths of our conscience, listening to the words of Christ spoken by his ministers: "Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace."

This interior reconstruction of each man is what will bring peace to everyone. Pope Benedict XVI asks us to open our heart to stop conflicts and wars. We must be open above all to the love God has for us, in order to love others. We must receive the gift of the grace of the Holy Spirit - “the love of God has been poured into our hearts” (Rom 5:5) - to be able to love our brothers. The Holy Father, in his encyclical on love (Deus Caritas Est), reminds us that God can request mutual love, for he himself first "so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" (Jn 3:15).

Only the love of God allows us to discover others as our neighbors, not as enemies or adversaries. Each one of us, Benedict XVI says, should not ask who is his neighbor, but should himself become a “neighbor” to others. Certainly, the fact that the fatherhood of God is ignored in a world that is increasingly indifferent to religion impedes the awareness of a true brotherhood and common destiny among men.

Mary, the Mother of all mankind, intercedes for us to obtain from God the gift of peace. May we unite ourselves to the words of the Pope at the Angelus on Sunday, August 22, 2010: “Today, however, let us as children of the Church above all renew our devotion to the One whom Jesus bequeathed to us as Mother and Queen. Let us entrust to her intercession the daily prayer for peace, especially in places where the senseless logic of violence is most ferocious; so that all people may be convinced that in this world we must help each other, as brothers and sisters, to build the civilization of love. Maria, Regina pacis, ora pro nobis!”

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