Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Transforming Walls and Bridges into Love

Wall over Bridge

Palestinians and international activists use make-shift bridges to cross the separation wall between Qalandiya and Jerusalem, November 14, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

There’s a lot of talk about walls lately. They seem to be going up everywhere.

In Hungry, refugees are cutting through and climbing over the 4-meter high barbed wire fence that extends along the Serbian border for 110 miles. British Prime Minister Cameron has recently received EU approval to control Britain’s own borders. And Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu announced this month his intention to “surround all of Israel with a fence” to protect the country from infiltration by both Palestinians, whom he described as “wild beasts.”

Perhaps the best known wall-builder today is the U.S. political candidate Donald Trump. On numerous occasions, he has boasted about building a wall along the Texas-Mexican border and “getting the Mexicans to pay for it.” Recently, however, he was firmly, but indirectly, admonished by Pope Francis during his visit to Mexico. The Pope said:

“Anyone who thinks about building walls … and not building bridges, is not a Christian.”

popeWhat struck me is that Pope Francis seemed to say that a Christian builds bridges AND walls. He did not denounce the walls, but simply added the bridges.

But this simple addition actually requires us to perform an extremely difficult, but necessary act of love and will.

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When Spider Webs Combine

Faith in the Future Conference. Photo by ARC

Faith leaders representing 24 world religions gathered at Bristol, England, this month and committed to helping the world’s poorest people. Photo by ARC.

One of my favorite Assagioli quotes, which I actually have printed on my business card, is as follows:

“When spiritual light is focused on the most complex of individual or collective problems, it produces solutions…and spares us much suffering.”

These words resonate with the news that the UN is now actively inviting spiritual leaders to become involved in 17 sustainability commitments for the next 15 years. On 25 September, world leaders will gather at the United Nations in New York to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These commitments include a worldwide end to poverty and hunger, full employment across the globe, and gender equality in every country.

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