for the international community to provide help

New appeal in the audience: ‘Let there be a definitive peace: war is always a defeat.’ He remembered the “martyred Ukraine”, as well as Palestine, Israel and Myanmar. A special thought for “the people who suffer.” Catechism on charity: “It is love for what no one would love; even for the enemy.”

Vatican City () – “All together, with a big heart, let us pray for definitive peace.” Pope Francis never tires of calling for peace in the world, plagued by numerous conflicts. The last time was this morning from St. Peter’s Square, during the greeting to the Italian-speaking pilgrims when the general audience on Wednesday ended. “Let us pray for peace. Let us not forget the martyred Ukraine; Let us not forget Palestine, Israel and Myanmar.”

He immediately called for a second time to pray for peace “for all the peoples who suffer from war.” After these words, a loud applause arose from the numerous faithful gathered for the occasion. “No wars, nothing. Because war is always a defeat. Always,” he added, reiterating concepts shared and repeated many times on these occasions. The Pontiff also dedicated a thought to the populations of Afghanistan affected by the tragic floods that in recent days occurred mainly in the central and eastern areas of the country, and which “continue to destroy numerous homes.” These calamities have caused more than 300 victims, according to the latest reports, including 51 children. “I pray for the victims, particularly the children and their families, and call on the international community to immediately provide the necessary help and support to protect the most vulnerable,” Bergoglio said.

The in-depth reflection on the theme “Vices and Virtues” that he has developed in recent weeks during the Wednesday audiences, reached its “culmination” today with the theological virtue of charity, which he referred to after faith. and the hope. At the beginning of the audience, taking as a starting point Saint Paul’s “hymn to charity” from the First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13, 4-7), Pope Francis explained that the Apostle’s words are addressed “ to a community that was far from perfect in fraternal love: the Christians of Corinth were rather quarrelsome, there were internal divisions.” Saint Paul uses harsh words with them, criticizing the way they live the “Eucharistic celebration.” “There are divisions there, and there are those who take advantage to eat and drink, excluding those who have nothing,” added the Holy Father. These facts lead us to reflect on the meaning of love, often considered, but which almost never corresponds to actions. “Even today, love is on the lips of many; in the mouths of many “influencers” and in the choruses of many songs. There is a lot of talk about love, but what is love?” Bergoglio asked.

The love that Saint Paul speaks of is not “that which ascends, but that which descends; not that which takes away, but that which gives; not that which appears, but that which is hidden.” It is the love that comes from God, the most difficult to know and put into practice. What the ancient Christians called agape. Like all people, Christians too “are capable of all the loves in the world”, but the love that comes from God is the greatest of all. “It pushes us where humanly we would not go: it is love for the poor, for those who are not kind, for those who do not love us and are not grateful. It is love that no one would love for; even by the enemy”, explained Pope Francis, and added that precisely in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Mt 5,1-7, 29) this love “takes the name of charity”; a love that goes beyond the criteria of human nature. “A love so bold that it seems almost impossible, and yet it is the only thing that will remain of us,” continued the Pontiff. “Theological” love, because it comes from God, is the “narrow door.” which must be passed to enter the Kingdom of heaven. In fact, “at the evening of life we ​​will not be judged by generic love, but precisely by charity, by the love that we have concretely given.”

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