A better world can’t be built lying on the couch


A better world can happen but change for the better will materialise only when people are out in the world, “not lying on the couch” said Pope Francis.

The pope was talking to a group of Italian schoolchildren saying that each of them can help make peace grow.

The youngsters were all involved in the National Network of Schools of Peace.

Stay awake to create a better world

“This (peace) is a dream that requires being awake and not asleep.”

Francis suggested that the young people “listen carefully – this kind of dream is realised by praying, that is together with God, not by our strength alone”.

“Peace … is not only a silence of weapons and absence of war” the pope said.

He explained it is “a climate of benevolence, trust and love that can mature in a society based on caring relationships”.

In a better world, individualism, distraction and indifference give way.

They are replaced with the ability to pay attention to others, to listen to their needs, to heal their wounds, to be instruments of compassion and healing, the pope said.

Grow peace

Peace can spread and grow from “small seeds” the pope told the 6,000 children meeting at the Vatican Audience Hall on Friday.

These small seeds can be something such as including someone who is left out of an activity, showing concern for someone who is struggling, picking up some litter, and praying for God’s help, he suggested.

The pope also had a request: “At a time still marked by war, I ask you to be artisans of peace” he said.

The National Network of Schools of Peace is a civic education programme. It aims to teach children to care for themselves, their friends, their communities, the world and the environment.

The pope then led the children in a moment of silent prayer for their peers in Ukraine and in Gaza.

“In a society still prisoner of a throwaway culture, I ask you to be protagonists of inclusion; in a world torn by global crises, I ask you to be builders of the future, so that our common home may become a place of fraternity.”

U.N. Summit of the Future

The pope then spoke about the U.N. Summit of the Future.

The summit, scheduled for September 22-23 in New York, will draft a “Pact for the Future”.

The pact will focus on promoting international cooperation and partnerships.

It aims to ensure “a world that is safer, more peaceful, more just, more equal, more inclusive, more sustainable and more prosperous”.

While young people won’t be able to achieve these aims on their own, government leaders and experts in a variety of fields must help to make that hope a reality – they do have a role to play.

Pope Francis explained that without their input the pact will remain “just words on a page”.

It needs all people of goodwill to commit to taking concrete steps to help.

Everyone needs to help change harmful behaviour and build communities and societies where everyone feels they are cared for and belong, the pope said.



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