Pope Francis’ prayer intention reinforces his consistent theme of the need to eliminate corruption: “Say ‘No” to Corruption”. The theme is promoted throughout the world by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
In the video promoting the theme, released February 1, 2018, the Holy Father stressed that “corruption is not countered with silence”.
Text of the video:
“What is at the root of slavery, unemployment, and disregard for nature and goods held in common? Corruption, a process of death that feeds the culture of death.
Because the thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.
Corruption is not countered with silence.
We must speak about it, denounce its evils, and try to understand it so as to show our resolve to make mercy reign over meanness, beauty over nothingness.
Let us pray that those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.”
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network addresses the challenges facing humanity and assists the mission of the Church. We pray and work to meet the challenges of the world identified by the Pope in his monthly intentions while walking a spiritual path called the “Way of the Heart.”
“The abuse of power for personal benefit, corruption, is a problem across all human history. Bribery is often involved. One hears sadly of corrupt narcotics officers working for the mob, or of favors granted at various places of employment for a kickback, or at high levels of government for a public works contract. The Holy Father has taken a firm stand against such immoral and illegal activity, asking us to pray that those tempted to corruption may be delivered from illicit enticements, wrote Fr. William Blazek, SJ – National Director (Regional Coordinator for USA and Canada) of the network, in a reflection supporting the pope’s intention. He continued:
“This is also a very Ignatian intention: the founder of the Jesuits knew that riches, power, and pride were all closely interrelated. The enemy of our human nature leads us to think our gifts and abilities are our own or that having some power might bring us material, social or spiritual wealth. Sadly, in this progression many of us fall prey to the sin of pride, thinking ourselves better than others, or even placing our will above the Lord’s in fashions small and large.
“The struggle against corruption is a priority for Pope Francis. On a visit to the Italian city of Cesena last October he characterized corruption as the ‘termite of politics’ and contrary to the common good. In that pastoral visitation listeners applauded his challenge to reject ‘even the most minimal form of corruption’.
“Later that same year the Holy Father called corruption a ‘smog’ that ‘pollutes”’society. Pope Francis invites Catholics to be ‘crafty,’ having a ‘healthy lack of trust’ for those promising easy riches. Such craftiness, he enjoined, calls for careful self-examination in the face of temptation, and a healthy prayer life.”
Fr. Blazek offered the following prayer in solidarity with the Holy Father’s intention:
Have I been tempted by the lure of riches, be they material, financial or social? Am I in business relationships or friendships with individuals who are abusing power and influence? How might I challenge them, or extricate myself from these webs?