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Pope: To fight evil, Jesus uses humility and love, not armies

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Free Syrian Army fighters stand in front of buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the old city of Aleppo Sept. 2. During the Sept. 1 Angelus, Pope Francis announced he would lead a world wide day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria Sept. 7. (CNS/Molhem Barakai, Reuters)

Free Syrian Army fighters stand in front of buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the old city of Aleppo Sept. 2. During the Sept. 1 Angelus, Pope Francis announced he would lead a world wide day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria Sept. 7. (CNS/Molhem Barakai, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Jesus does not need an army to fight evil in the world; he uses the victorious weapons of love and humility, Pope Francis said.

And Christians, likewise, should be known for bringing forth the light of Christ, not darkness, to fight the world’s demons, he said Sept. 3 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

The pope recommenced his early morning Masses for Vatican employees and guests Sept. 2 after a two-month-long summer hiatus.

Sept. 3 he reflected on St. Paul’s words to the Thessalonians when the apostle said, “For all of you are children of the light” and not children “of the night or of darkness.”

Pope to lead Vatican prayer vigil for peace in Syria 

But, there is a false light that shines in the world, too, the pope said, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

Many people think scientific discoveries or human ingenuity can provide the light needed to save the world, he said. This man-made light is bright, but it is blinding and artificial “like a firecracker or camera flash.”

“Instead, the light of Jesus is meek, it’s a tranquil light, a light of peace,” Pope Francis said.

Worse yet, the devil easily disguises himself as “an angel of light,” the pope said, tricking people with a quiet, soothing voice like he used with Jesus fasting in the desert. That’s why so many people can believe they’re living in God’s light and not realize they’re really living in darkness, he said.

How are people to tell whether it’s Jesus or the devil talking to them, the pope asked.

First, people need to pray to God for “the wisdom to discern” the difference, “to recognize when it is Jesus who’s giving us light and when it’s really the devil.”

Jesus’ light is “humble, it’s not imposing,” he said. It has “the strength of meekness,” speaks to the heart and offers the cross to follow.

If the light in people’s lives causes them to become proud, scornful and “look down on others,” then it’s “the light of the devil disguised as Jesus” guiding them, he said.

However, if the light makes people meek, humble and loving, and gives them courage before the cross, then it’s the light of Jesus shining in their lives.

While reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Luke when Jesus commands a demon to leave a possessed man, the pope said, “Jesus doesn’t need an army to chase away the demons, he doesn’t need arrogance, force or pride.” He rids the world of evil with his “humble, meek” and loving word.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Does no one on the internet tire of taking every Pontiff’s words and turning them around to stab the Church he rules with them? With the world in the state it is today I wonder if it would not be best if the Pontiff never spoke unless he completely reaffirmed a doctrinal or dogmatic principle of the Church.

    Since this article is obviously attempting to use the Pontiff’s words as a slanted jab at the Syrian Conflict, I’ll outright say I am firmly entrenched on the side that thinks the US has no business allying themselves with Islamic Extremists to bring down a legal government. Assad’s not good and I wouldn’t necessarily lose sleep if he tripped and fell off a really tall balcony to his death, but it’s disgraceful that the US would ever aid or abet Islamic Extremism (even though they’ve been doing it since the Cold War). It’s one of several reasons I have no love for the country and the only “Red, White, and Blue” I salute are the Stars and Bars.

    But back on point: the exact quote from his daily homily was that Jesus does not need armies to cast out demons, not evil. If armies are completely incapable of doing any sort of good in any situation I suppose we should take all the noble Catholic Soldiers at Tours, Malta, Vienna, Lepanto, the Vendee, Antioch, Jerusalem, Muhlberg, Breadfield, Covadonga, Breda, Ethandune, Rocroi, Pavia, and countless others who’s bravery and valor in battle was not only a direct result of their Catholicism but all of whom were either fighting by or for the principles of the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Under this logic we ought to remove men from the rolls of the Saints like Saint John Capistrano from the rolls as well, right? Saint Louis IX as well, yes? Saint Olaf of Norway, too.

    How many times must the Holy Father by word and deed show the Church and the world he is a staunch traditionalist before they accept it? I can guarantee you that if any nation existed on the face of this earth that still swore its fealty and love to the Holy Catholic Church we would’ve seen its armies called up to fight for truth and justice more than once in the last two or three hundred years in which we have sorely lacked just such a power.

    Do you think merely because he swears off of the traditionally opulent trappings of the papacy is because he is somehow a modernist? No! He is a Jesuit; the Jesuits have the strictest vow of poverty in all of the Holy Orders. They’re not even meant to be bishops – heaven forbid cardinals! They can only be made one if the hierarchy asks it of them, and even then they’re reluctant to accept it due to the honors that come with such a station that would normally conflict with a vow of poverty. He’s the first Jesuit pope in history; is he allowed to wear the more opulent papal garb? Is he allowed to enjoy the comforts of previous pontiffs according to his own religious rule? The only reason he was even made Pope is because the Conclave chose him and by his vow of obedience to the Church he was bound to take hold of the Helm of St. Peter.

    If you’re going to quote the pontiff, either quote him right or don’t quote him at all. Even the Bible and God are not pacifistic; what makes you think Christ’s Church would be either? A quick glance at history would show you they weren’t.

    God doesn’t need armies to drive out demons – really, now? This isn’t shocking to anyone with catechizing in the slightest. Our Lord says that some demons, “… can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.” We sadly lack the power and influence of ages past, but we still have something the powers of the world cannot take away: the power of God. This is why a day of prayer and fasting has been called; we’d do far better supporting his decision than going about trying to turn the Pope into a hippie.

  2. Thank you for your thorough response, Kaiser L-P. having just endured a horrific century of slaughter in which the American military sacrificed so much to bring European wars to an end, and facing an uncertain future with so many rogue states, one would be hard pressed to justify turning peacenik all of a sudden. That’s why I had to see what Pope Francis actually said, which was not that standing armies are founded on sin but to trust in the power of humility. It appears that the chance word “army” was gravely manipulated.

  3. An excellent analysis, Kaiser L-PV, of more drivel by the deceptively named Catholic News Service, which has long had an agenda of weakening and neutralizing the Holy Catholic Church. Very disheartening is the reliance of the Catholic Sun on this organization for filler material when there are so many true Catholic news services putting out the truth.

    I would also like to refer those at the Catholic News Service, who think they can portray what the Pope believes better than the Pope himself, to John 2: 13 – 17. Jesus entered the temple on the eve of Passover to find vendors and money-changers. In humility and love, He went out, fashioned a whip of cords, went in and lovingly applied it to the heads of the evil ones inside the temple and drove them out. He then applied the whip lovingly to the livestock to drive them out, loosed the doves, and overturned the money changers’ tables, throwing their baskets of coins out onto the ground. Jesus never said, never implied nor does he have any desire that his Church should tolerate or accept evil. Those implications are all from the pens of the writers such as Catholic News Service and from the mouths of those persons and groups they support.

    PS: Interesting that the Catholic News Service would use a publicity photo put out by the same group that recently gassed innocent civilians in order to frame the current government, and that has undertaken a campaign of killing Christians and burning their churches and homes, while they work with the Catholic News Service. Where are those photos? Interesting

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