VATICAN - “Non violence for Christians does not mean resigning oneself to evil, but rather responding to evil with good, this breaks the chain of injustice” Pope Benedict XVI recalls during his Angelus meditation; an appeal for dialogue to end Guinean crisis

Monday, 19 February 2007

Vatican City (Fides Service) - On Sunday 18 February in his meditation before the midday Angelus prayer Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the Sunday Gospel passage “one of the most typical and powerful statements of Jesus’ preaching: ‘love your enemies (Lk 6, 27)”, explaining the profound meaning of this teaching. “What is the meaning of these words? Why does Jesus ask us to love our enemies, to love beyond human capacities?” the Holy Father asked. “Christ’s proposal is realistic - the Pope said -, since it takes into account that in the world there is too much violence, too much injustice and that the only way to counter this situation is with more love, more goodness. This ‘more’ comes from God: only His loving mercy, incarnate in Jesus, can ‘pull’ the world away from evil and towards good, starting with that small but decisive world, the human heart.”
The Holy Father then explained the significance of “Christian non-violence”, which “consists not in being resigned to evil - a mistaken interpretation of ‘turning the other cheek (cfr LK 6, 29) - but rather in responding to evil with good (cfr Rom 12, 17-21), this breaks the chain of injustice. We see then that Christian non violence is not just a matter of tactical behaviour it is a way of being for the person, an attitude of a person so convinced of God’s love and power that the person is ready to face evil solely with the weapons of love and truth”. The "Christian revolution" is based not on strategies of economic, political or media power, but on love for my enemy. “The revolution of love - the Pope continued -, love… which is a gift of God and is obtained by trusting solely and unreservedly in his loving mercy. This is the newness of the Gospel which changes the world without making a sound. This is the heroism of the "little ones", who believe in God’s love and defend it even at the cost of life.”
Before reciting the Angelus, the Pope recalled that Lent which starts in a few days time “is the opportune time for Christians to convert themselves ever more deeply to the love of Christ”.
After the Angelus Pope Benedict XVI wished “happiness and prosperity” to Asian peoples celebrating Lunar New Year and to the peoples of Africa he said: “I wish to express my closeness to one African country living a particularly difficult moment: Guinea. The Bishops of Guinea tell me they are concerned for the situation of social paralysis, general strikes and violent reaction causing numerous deaths. While calling for respect for human and civil rights, I assure my prayers that the crisis may be overcome with common commitment to undertake the path of dialogue”. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 19/2/2007; righe 33, parole 484)


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