Pope: "Share the journey" of those who moved by hope leave their homeland
Francis invites people to join the campaign launched today by Caritas Internationalis in favor of migrants. "It is not true that 'as long as there is life there is hope,' as we used to say. The opposite is true: it is hope that sustains life, which protects, preserve and nourishes it. " "Sometimes, having everything from life is a misfortune. Just think of a young man who "does not have to sweat for anything" and at just twenty years of age "is destined to the worst punishment: that of no longer wanting anything."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Pope is inviting people to join the campaign, 'Share the Journey' launched today by Caritas Internazionalis, in support of families forced to migrate. Francis spoke about it at the general audience today.
In greetings in English he addressed the invitation " to support this praiseworthy initiative as an expression of our solidarity with our many brothers and sisters in need" and, at the end of the hearing, in Italian said: "I am pleased to welcome the representatives of Caritas, here to kick off the official 'We Share the Journey' campaign, which I wanted to coincide with this audience. I welcome migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who, along with Caritas Italiana and other Catholic organizations, are a sign of a Church that seeks to be open, inclusive and welcoming. Thanks to all of you for your tireless service. They all really deserve a great applause! "
"With your daily commitment - he added - you remind us that Christ himself asks us to welcome our migrant brothers and sisters and refugees with open arms. Just like that, with arms wide open, ready to embrace sincere, affectionate and enveloping, a bit like this colonnade of St. Peter's Square, representing the Mother Church that embraces everyone in sharing the common journey. I also welcome the representatives of many civil society organizations involved in assistance to migrants and refugees who, together with Caritas, have given their support to the collection of signatures for a new immigration law more relevant to the current context " .
Previously, to the 20,000 people on St. Peter's Square, Francis spoke of the "enemies of hope". "Because hope, like every good in this world, has enemies."
"It is not true that 'as long as there is life there is hope,' as we used to say. The opposite is true: it is hope that sustains life, which protects, preserve and nourishes it. If men had not cultivated hope, if they had not been supported by this virtue, they would never have left the caves, and they would not leave traces in the history of the world. It is the most divine thing that can exist in the heart of man. "
"Hope - he said - is what propels the hearts of those who leave their home, their land, sometimes their family and relatives, to seek a better life, more worthy of themselves and loved ones. And it is also what propels the hearts of those who welcome: the desire to meet, to know, to dialogue ... Hope is what propels us to 'share the journey' of life, as the Caritas Campaign that we are inaugurating today reminds us. Brothers, let us not be afraid to share the journey! Let us not be afraid to share the hope! "
"Hope is not the virtue of people with a full stomach. That is why, ever since the beginning, the poor have been the first bearers of hope. To enter the world, God needed them: Joseph and Mary, shepherds of Bethlehem. On the night of Christmas, there was a sleeping world, resting in so many secrets. But the humble were preparing to conceal the revolution of goodness. They were all poor, some floating just above the threshold of survival, but they were rich in the most precious good that exists in the world, that is the desire for change. "
"Sometimes, having everything from life is a misfortune. Think of a young man who has not been taught the virtue of expectation and patience, who did not have to sweat at all, who burned through life’s stages, and at twenty already knows how the world is; he is destined to the worst punishment: that of not wanting anything. He looks like a young man, but autumn has already fallen on his heart. Having an empty soul is the worst hindrance to hope. It is a risk from which no one can be excluded; because being tempted against hope can also happen when you walk the path of Christian life. The monks of antiquity had denounced this as one of the worst enemies of fervor: the "noon time daemon" that exhausts a life of effort, just as the sun burns high. This temptation surprises us when we are less expecting it: the days become dull and boring, no more value worthy of hard work. It is the acedia - as the Fathers called it - that erodes life from the inside to leave it like an empty shell. When this happens, the Christian knows that that condition must be fought, never supinely accepted. God has created us for joy and happiness, and not to crucify us with melancholy thoughts. That is why it is important to keep our hearts in opposition to the temptations of unhappiness, which certainly do not come from God. And as our forces appear to be ebbing and the battle against anguish particularly tough, we can always resort to the name of Jesus. We can repeat that simple prayer, which we also find in the Gospels, and which have become the cornerstone of many Christian spiritual traditions: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!' ".
"We are not alone in fighting desperation. If Jesus has won the world, he is able to defeat all that opposes good in us. If God is with us, no one will steal that virtue we absolutely need to live. No one will steal our hope. "
In greetings in Spanish, finally, the Pope recalled the populations recently scourged by the devastating passage of Irma: God "bless" Puerto Rico and all the Caribbean "affected in recent days by the hurricane.