June 2017 - Pope's Prayer Intention


Pope's Prayer Intention

National Leaders: That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.

In his Farewell Address, President Eisenhower, said “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex.” Military arms, while part of legitimate defense, are also big business. “We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.” This reality has an “economic, political, even spiritual” influence on everyone.

Selling arms or giving them as aid has grown since 1961. The world’s arms trade went from $35 to $70 billion in 2011. It’s now approaching 100 billion and of this, the U.S. has 33% of the share while Russian has 25%. The U.S. provides arms to 96 countries. There also exists a huge black market that fuels terrorism, wars, and other violence.

Addressing the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis said we need “to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

He asked Italian children “why is it that so many powerful people don’t want peace? Because they live on war! The powerful, some of the powerful, profit from the production of arms and they sell arms to this country which is against that one, and then they sell them to the one that goes against this one. It is the industry of death! And they profit.”

Greed fuels the arms trade: “You know, greed does us so much harm. When we see that the economic system revolves around money and not around the person, but around money — so much is sacrificed and war is made to protect the money. And because of this, many people don’t want peace. There is more profit with war! Money is earned, but lives are lost, culture is lost, education is lost, so many things are lost.”

Discussion
Disarmament—laying aside military weapons— depends upon the disarmament of hearts. In what ways is my heart “armed” and ready to fight?

Scripture
Isaiah 2: 2-5 When God’s instruction is followed and his will is done, then weapons of destruction will be turned into farming implements. The inconceivable sums of money that are spent on weapons will be used to provide for the poor of the world.