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God is no warlord claiming victory, pope says

Real hope 'never comes cheap — it always comes through defeat'

Published: May 25, 2017 05:19 AM GMT
God is no warlord claiming victory, pope says

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump during a private audience at the Vatican on May 24. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AFP)

If it seems hard to find God in this world, it is because he chooses to be with the defeated and dejected and in places where most people are loath to go, Pope Francis said.

"God does not like to be loved the way a warlord would like, dragging his people to victory, debasing them in the blood of his enemies," Catholic News Service reported the pope as saying May 24 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

The audience began just after Pope Francis had met U.S. President Donald Trump.

"Our God is a dim flame that burns on a cold and windy day, and, for as fragile as his presence seems in this world, he has chosen the place everyone disdains," Pope Francis told the crowd in the square.

"Jesus walks with all those who are discouraged, who walk with their head down," so he can offer them renewed hope, he said.

But he does so discreetly, the pope said. "Our God is not an intrusive God."

Whoever reads the Bible will not find stories of "easy heroism, blazing campaigns of conquest. True hope never comes cheap — it always comes through defeat."

In fact, he added, the hope felt by those who have never suffered may not even be hope at all.

The church needs to be just like Jesus, not staying in a "fortified fortress," but out where everything is alive and happening — on the road.

"It is there [the church] meets people, with their hopes and disappointments," listens patiently to what emerges from their "treasure chest of personal conscience" and offers the life-giving Word and witness to God's love, he said.

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This is how people's hearts are rekindled with real hope, the pope said.

Full story: God is no warlord claiming victory with enemies' blood, pope says

Source: Catholic News Service

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