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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Retrospect & Prospect...

Retrospect and Prospect

October painted autumn’s awesome palette on the trees and hillsides of southern Ohio. For the past weeks the colors and the weather were spectacular. Gentle rains mixed with mild temperatures to bring about nature’s finest display. Certainly, it’s easy to find the transcendent in beauty, just as it is difficult to see God’s presence in powerful, destructive storms.

It is also difficult to find God manifest in the sufferings that currently plague civilization. October unleashed terrible threats. Ebola now frightens the world while the war against terrorism is bringing humanity to a new nadir. Beheadings and mass executions are primitive, insane forms of violence. Many believe these evils can only be stopped by unremitting, irresistible force. Sure, such action can change the world but usually it provokes more violence and plants the seeds of future wars and inhumanity.

It is important to keep faith alive in this time of cruelty and epidemic. But how do we go forward in this time of suffering? Some people have chosen to ignore the evil at loose in our world today. But it is impossible to ignore reality. It appears to be unchristian to bury our heads in the sand or to allow ourselves to be lured into the distractions that are so pervasive.

I am struck by the great realism in today’s reading from Ephesians (6:10).

“Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.”

To turn from violence, to love our enemies takes the great strength of character shown by Jesus as he endured his passion. Never forget, Jesus told Peter to put away his sword in the garden of Gethsemani (Jn 18:11). May God grace us with the strength to resist whatever evils come our way.

Photo Credit:  PhotoXpress

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."