Pope: the most dangerous misery is "the presumption that we can do without God"
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - As he greeted the Pope John XXIII Community, an Italian association operating in 34 countries to free enslaved women from prostitution, Pope Francis said that "the most dangerous misery, which causes all the others," is "the distance from God, the presumption that we can do without him. The purpose of existence, according to such blind misery, is material wealth, the quest for power and pleasure, and the enslavement of others to achieve these goals."
In addition to greetings from the community's leader Giovanni Paolo Ramonda, the meeting also saw other participants talk about their own experiences. "Your stories," the pope told them, "speak of slavery and liberation; they speak of the selfishness of those who think they can build an existence exploiting others as well as of the generosity of those who help others recover from material and moral degradation. They are experiences that shed light on the many forms of poverty that are like wounds to the world. They reveal the most dangerous misery, which causes all the others, namely the distance from God, the presumption that we can do without him. The purpose of existence, according to such blind misery, is material wealth, the quest for power and pleasure, and the enslavement of others to achieve these goals."
"Yes, my friends, it is the presence of the Lord that marks the difference between the freedom of goodness and the slavery of evil, enabling us to do good works and draw an intimate joy that can radiate on those around us close. The presence of the Lord broadens horizons, heals thoughts and emotions, and gives us the strength to overcome difficulties and trials."
"Wherever the Lord Jesus is, there is resurrection; there is life, because He is resurrection and life. Faith can really move the mountains of indifference and apathy, disinterest and sterile inwardness. Faith can open the door of charity, making us want to imitate Jesus; it can encourage us to do good, and provide us with the courage to act, following the example of the Good Samaritan."
"Fr Oreste Benzi, founder of your Association, was well aware of this. His love for the young and the poor, the marginalised and the abandoned, was rooted in his love for Jesus Crucified, who became poor and last for us. His courageous determination to give life to many initiatives in various countries came from his confident abandonment to God's Providence. It came from faith in the Risen, living and active Christ, who was able to multiply limited strength and available resources, as he once multiplied loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes."