THE POPE'S MONTHLY PRAYER INTENTIONS
Universal: Say “No” to Corruption
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
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.
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.
Points for Meditation
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?
Ephesians 4:20-24 That is not how you learned Christ…as truth is in
Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of
your mind and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness
and holiness of truth.
(Courtesy of Apostleship of Prayer)