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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Pope Francis I: "The Spirit Of War Has Taken Control Of Us"

Pope Francis I
Last Tuesday Francis spoke about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, lamenting the enormous suffering and the millions of lost lives lost in that senseless conflict. His text was from the fourth chapter of the book of James.

Here are some excerpts:

“Think of the starving children in the refugee camps. Just think of them: this is fruit of war! And if you want think of the great dining halls, of the parties thrown by the bosses of the weapons industry that makes the arms that wind up (in those camps). A sick child, starving, in a refugee camp — and the great parties, the fine life for those who manufacture weapons.”
 
“Every day, in the newspapers, we find wars, and the deaths seem to be part of a normal day’s tally. We are accustomed to reading these things. It seems as though the spirit of war has taken control of us.”

“Everyone then was horrified, but today it is the same! Yet rather than one great war, we have small wars everywhere. … This great war is happening everywhere on a smaller scale, a bit under the radar, and we are not shocked! So many die for a piece of land, for some ambition, out of hatred, or racial animus.”

“Who among us has cried when they read the newspaper, when they see these images on the television? So many dead.”

“(T)his spirit of war, which distances us from God, is not just something distant from ourselves but is also in our homes. The wars in families, the wars in communities, the wars everywhere.”

* * * * * * * * *

Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
- James 4:1-3 (the Message) 

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