Pope Francis: Do not waste God's gift of peace

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Pope Francis: Do not waste God's gift of peace

By Francesca Merlo/ vaticannews.va and preghieraperlapace.santegidio.org

Pope Francis has sent a message to participants of the 33rd Prayer for Peace Meeting: "Peace With No Borders", and urges unity and respect, for all peoples and for our common home.

“It is a source of joy to see that this pilgrimage of peace… has never been interrupted and continues to grow” said Pope Francis. His words came in a message addressed to Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, Archbishop of Madrid, and to the participants of the Prayer for Peace Meeting.

Organised by the Community of Sant’Egidio, the prayer for Peace Meeting was founded 33 years ago and this year takes place in Madrid, from 15-17 September, reflecting on the theme "Peace with no borders".

PEACE WITHOUT BORDERS

Pope Francis began his message recalling the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, when, he said, the “lacerating division of the European continent that had caused so much suffering ended”.

THE CONTRIBUTION OF A PRAYER FOR PEACE

That day brought “new peace and hope” throughout the world, said the Pope. We are convinced, he continued, that the “prayers for peace, of so many of God’s sons and daughters contributed to that fall”.

The Pontiff went on to refer to the biblical story of Jericho, which reminds us that “walls fall when they are "besieged" with prayer and not with weapons, with longings for peace and not conquest, when one dreams of a good future for all”.

For this reason, continued the Pope, “it is always necessary to pray and dialogue in the perspective of peace” as “the Lord listens to the prayer of his faithful people”.

WASTING GOD'S GIFT

In the first two decades of this century we have seen “God’s gift that is peace” being wasted, with wars and “with the construction of new walls and barriers”, said the Pope.
“It is foolish”, he continued, “to close spaces, to separate peoples”. It is foolish both for the good of the people, and for the good of the world he said. Our world, our common home, “demands love, care, respect… just as humanity demands peace and brotherhood”, said the Pope.

NO WALLS RATHER DOORS

Rather than “walls that separate”, continued Pope Francis, the common home “needs open doors that help to communicate, to meet, to cooperate in order to live together in peace, respecting diversity and tightening bonds of responsibility”.

CLOSENESS

Pope Francis went on to express his closeness to all those participating in the meeting, from different Christian Churches and different worldwide religions. This prayer, he said “unites us all, in a common feeling, without any confusion”, because, he explained, peace is a common desire in a variety of different religions and traditions.

DOCUMENT OF HUMAN FRATERNITY

Pope Francis recalled signing the “Document on Human Fraternity, for World Peace and Living Together” in Abu Dhabi in February. Along with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, he said, “we affirmed that ‘religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism, nor must they incite violence or the shedding of blood’.”

ONE VOICE FROM ONE HEART

Finally, Pope Francis urged all participants to unite shout, “with one heart and one voice”, that “peace has no borders”. With one heart and from the heart, concluded Pope Francis, as “it is in hearts that the feelings of peace and brotherhood must be sown.”

SANT'EGIDIO: DURING THREE DAYS, MADRID WILL BE THE CAPITAL OF PEACE

In the Spanish capital, the international meeting “Peace with No Borders” (September 15-17), promoted by the Community together with the Archdiocese of Madrid, was launched on Sunday, September 15, Cardinal Osoro “Disarm hearts with the culture of dialogue” – Impagliazzo (Sant’Egidio): “May Europe be a communal home of integration”.

“Madrid is a city without borders, a hospitable city, where it is not difficult to get together, a city made of different cultural identities, where peace becomes visible”, said cardinal Carlos Osoro, archbishop of Madrid, presenting the international meeting “Peace with no borders” promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Madrid, in the Spanish capital between 15th and 17th September. “It is possible to live with no borders. It is possible, actually urgent to make this world a home”, concluded the cardinal, inviting to “disarm one’s own heart and start a dialogue with others”.

The meeting stared, Sunday September 15, in Madrid with the title, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. “Thirty years ago the Berlin Wall has fallen” said Marco Impagliazzo “and freedom in Europe meant a lot for the world, which started to look at the future with hope. Then hope diminished caused by many wars, which still exist, and of terrorism. New walls arose, like the one that divides the two coasts of the Mediterranean”. “Words are the first instrument to overcome borders”, continued Impagliazzo, underlining that Madrid will become “the capital of peace” because it will not “simply host an international congress”, but a meeting which will involve, in a common reflection, well-known personalities from 80 countries of the world, of all religions and cultures.

Sunday afternoon in the Palacio Municipal de Congresos the Opening Session took place, with interventions, among others, made by the president of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadera, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, the U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs, the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio Andrea Riccardi, the head Rabbi of Tel Aviv Meir Lau, the metropolitan Russian Orthodox Hilarion and the Chancellor of Al Azhar University Mohammad Al-Mahrasawi.

To read text of Pope Francis' message to 'Peace Without Borders', please click:

http://en.abouna.org/en/content/text-pope-text-pope-francis-message-peac...

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:17
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