05/01/2024, 12.52
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Pope sepaks out against terrible profit of today's arms factories

In the general audience Francis renewed his invitation to pray for peace. In the catechesis he reflected on the theological virtue of faith. "Its great enemy is not reason, but fear". A gift that "must be asked daily, so that it may be renewed in us".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Today, May 1st, with the whole Church we commemorate Saint Joseph the Worker and begin the Marian month. Therefore, to each of you I would like to re-propose the Holy Family of Nazareth as a model of domestic community: a community of life, work and love".

Pope Francis said this morning greeting the faithful at the end of the Wednesday general audience held in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. The meeting with the faithful was the occasion to renew once again the invitation to pray for peace: "Let us think of the tormented Ukraine that suffers so much. Let us think of the inhabitants of Palestine and Israel, who are at war. Let us think of the Rohingya, of Myanmar, and let us ask for peace, let us ask for true peace for these peoples and for the whole world'. On the day when everyone is looking at the world of work, the pontiff recalled that "today the investments that give the most income are the arms factories". "It is terrible to profit from death".

Earlier in his catechesis he had continued the cycle of reflections on the vices and virtues, dwelling today on faith, the first of the three theological virtues. Francis defined it as "the virtue that makes the Christian. Because to be Christian is not primarily to accept a culture, with the values that accompany it, but to welcome and cherish a bond: me and God; my person and the lovable face of Jesus'. In this regard, he quoted the Gospel passage in which the disciples, caught in the storm on the boat while Jesus was sleeping, are seized with fear because they cannot cope with it on their own.

"They do not realise," the pontiff commented, "that they have the solution before their eyes: Jesus is there with them in the boat, in the midst of the storm, and he is asleep". And when they finally wake Him up, "frightened and even angry because He let them die, Jesus rebukes them: 'Why are you afraid? Do you still not have faith?' (Mk 4:40)".

"Here, then, is the great enemy of faith," Francis added, "not intelligence, not reason, as, alas, some continue obsessively to repeat, but simply fear. This is why faith is the first gift to be received in Christian life: a gift that must be welcomed and asked for daily, so that it may be renewed in us'.

An essential gift, the gift that parents in the liturgy ask for their children when they take them to the baptismal font. By faith "a parent knows that, even in the midst of life's trials, his child will not drown in fear. He also knows that, when he ceases to have a parent on this earth, he will continue to have a God the Father in heaven, who will never abandon him.

But as St Paul reminds us, "faith does not belong to everyone" (cf. 2 Thess 3:2), often even we believers," the pope observed, "realise that we have only a small supply of it. Jesus can often reproach us, as he did with his disciples, for being 'men of little faith'. But it is the happiest gift, the only virtue we are allowed to envy. Because he who has faith is inhabited by a strength that is not only human; in fact, faith 'triggers' grace in us and opens the mind to the mystery of God. Therefore," the Pope concluded, "we too, like the disciples, repeat to him: 'Lord, increase our faith!' (cf. Lk 17:5)".

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