» 06/11/2014, 00.00
Pope: The corrupt, exploiters and arms traders "will have to answer to God"
At the general audience Francis speaks of "fear of God", a gift of the Holy Spirit. Appeals against child labor where "millions of children are forced to work in degrading conditions, exposed to forms of slavery and exploitation, as well as abuse, mistreatment and discrimination."
Vatican City (AsiaNews)
- Those who have "responsibility to others and allow themselves to be
corrupted" or "live off the proceeds of human trafficking and slave labor" or
"manufacture weapons to foment wars" will not be able to bring their "money,
power nor pride" into the afterlife.
Instead they will have to "answer to God", for the evil they have done.
was Pope Francis' warning during his general audience catechesis today,
dedicated to "fear of God", the last of the seven gifts of the Holy
Spirit, outlined over the past few Wednesdays.
This warning of
having to answer to God for our sins, was added to an appeal delivered before his
greeting in Italian, against the exploitation of child labor, which is marked
tomorrow on the World Day against Child Labor. "Millions
of children - he said - millions of children - he repeated - are forced to work
in degrading conditions, exposed to forms of slavery and exploitation, as well
as abuse, mistreatment and discrimination." "I
fervently hope - he continued showing a red flyer that says 'All together
against child labor' - that the international community can extend social
protection of minors to eradicate this scourge. We must all renew our
commitment, especially families, to ensure every child dignity and a healthy
growth. A serene childhood allows children to look with confidence at life and the
The Pope, who refreshed
following a slight indisposition over the past few days, was already in the
Nervi Hall this morning before 9am to greet the sick who were brought there to
avoid the heat. The
Pope himself said: "We thought it was better that you were here, do not
worry ... it is a bit 'cooler, No? It's really boiling under that sun!".
Francis then immersed himself in the heat of the day as he toured, as usual
with his open topped jeep, among the 40 thousand people in St Peter's Square.
The gift of fear
of God, he said to them, "does not mean being afraid of God, no, not that!
We know well that God is a Father who loves us and wants our salvation, and
always forgives forever! So there is no reason to be afraid of him! Fear of
God, however, is the gift of the Spirit who reminds us how small we are before
God and His love, and that our wellbeing rests in our abandoning ourselves with
humility, respect and confidence
into His hands. This is the fear of God: this abandonment to the goodness of our
Father who loves us so much".
The Holy Spirit
"leads us to feel as we are, that is small, with that attitude - recommended
by Jesus in the Gospel - of those who place all their concerns and expectations
in God and feel embraced and supported by His warmth and protection,
just as a child with its father". This
enables us to "understand how the fear of God takes on the form of
docility in us, of gratitude and praise, by filling our hearts with hope. Often
we are unable to grasp God's plan, and we realize
that we cannot assure our own happiness or eternal life. It is by experiencing our
limitations and our poverty, though, that the Holy Spirit comforts us and makes
us feel like the only important thing is to be led by
Jesus to the arms of His Father".
Fear of God
"opens hearts", "makes us aware that everything comes from grace
and that our true strength lies only in following the Lord Jesus and letting
the Father bestow upon us His kindness and mercy. We must open our heart for
the goodness and mercy of God to come to us. "
following the Lord "with humility, docility and obedience" because
pervaded by Fear of God does not mean having a "passive and resigned, even
whiny behavior, but one of wonder and joy, the joy of a child who recognizes
that it is served and loved by Father.
Fear of God, therefore, does not make us shy, submissive Christians, but it
generates courage and strength in us! It is a gift that makes us convinced,
enthusiastic, Christians who are not submissive to the Lord out of fear, but
are moved and seduced by His love. "
gift of fear of God is also an 'alarm' in front of obstinacy in sin. When a
person lives in evil, when he or she blasphemes against God, exploits others, tyrannize,
when he or she lives only for the money, for vanity
or power or pride, then the holy fear of God alerts us: 'Be careful, with all
this power, with all this money, with all your pride, and with all your vanity,
you will not be happy! No one can take with them to the
other side, neither the money nor the
power nor the vanity or pride: nothing! We can only bring the love that God the
Father gives us, the caresses of God accepted and received by us with love. And
we can take what we have done for others".
for example, of people who have responsibility for others and allow themselves
to be corrupted, but do you think that a corrupt person will be happy, the
other side? No, but all the fruits of his corruption has corrupted his heart,
and it will be difficult to go before
the Lord. I think of those who live off human trafficking and slave labor: do you
think that these people have the love of God in their hearts, those who deal in
people, who take advantage of people with slave labor? No! They
have no fear of God, they are not happy: they are not. " "I
think of those who manufacture weapons for fomenting wars ... But just think,
what kind of job is this?" "I'm
sure if I asked the question: how many of you are arms manufacturers? Nobody,
nobody, because they do not come to hear the Word of God. These people
manufacture death, they are merchants of death, they make death a merchandise. May
Fear of God make them understand that one day it all ends and that they will
have to answer to God".
"Let us ask
the Lord - concluded the Pope - for the grace to add our voice to that of the
poor, to receive the gift of the Fear of God and that we can recognize how we,
along with them, are vested in the mercy and love of God, who is our Father, our Father".
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