Benedict XVI Urges Struggle Against Evil
Says This Is the Secret to Christ's Peace
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 19, 2007 (www.Zenit.org) - The peace of Christ is not "the absence of conflict" but the "struggle against evil," Benedict XVI says.
The Pope said this today to those gathered at the pontifical residence at Castel Gandolfo to pray the Angelus. He added that being instruments of Christ's peace means "defeating evil with good."
Speaking about the words of Jesus from today's Gospel -- "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division" -- the Holy Father clarified that this saying "means the peace that he came to bring is not synonymous with the simple absence of conflict."
"On the contrary, the peace of Jesus is the fruit of a constant struggle against evil. The battle that Jesus has decided to fight is not against men or human powers but against the enemy of God and man, Satan," the Pontiff emphasized.
He continued: "Those who desire to resist this enemy, remaining faithful to God and the good, must necessarily deal with misunderstandings and sometimes very real persecution.
"Thus, those who intend to follow Jesus and commit themselves without compromises to the truth must know that they will face opposition and will become, despite themselves, a sign of division among persons, even within their own families."
Benedict XVI said that love for one's parents is "indeed a sacred commandment," but added that it "cannot be set in opposition to the love of God and Christ."
"In such a way, in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus, Christians must become 'instruments of his peace,' according to the celebrated expression of St. Francis of Assisi," the Pope said. "This is not an inconsistent and superficial peace but a real one, pursued with courage and tenacity in the daily commitment to defeat evil with good, paying in person the price that this carries with it."
Speaking in German, he added, "Christ is not looking for tired conformists, but witnesses of courageous faith, those who burn in the fire of his love."