Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
Pope Francis said recently that the world is essentially involved in a piecemeal World War III. This is an illuminating statement.
There is no way to argue that the world is at war. There are no unified fronts but an anarchy of madness and violence fills the map of the world.
Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a "piecemeal" Third World War, condemning the arms trade and "plotters of terrorism" sowing death and destruction. "Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep," Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy's largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.
The pope began his brief visit to northern Italy by first praying in a nearby, separate cemetery for some 15,000 soldiers from five nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire which were on the losing side of the Great War that broke out 100 years ago.
"War is madness," he said in his homily before the massive, sloping granite memorial, made of 22 steps on the side of hill with three crosses at the top. "Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction," he said
The world is desperately in need of prayer. In the world today, acts of love are shocking. Forgiveness is stunning. Perhaps the world has always been like this but it's too easy to say that the world has always been a mess when because of such great advances in weapons technology, people are so much better at making a really awful mess....with big body counts. Governments R&D terrible weapons which they turn on their own people. Rebels (sometimes funded by other destabilizing interests) are supplied with the latest in insta-death technology and whammo you got yourself another front in a world at war. At any one moment you have awful devastation occurring in multiple parts of the world.
It's often said that the 20th century was the bloodiest in the history of the world. Can anyone guess which century might give it a run for its money? It's telling that in this world of technological marvels, love seems to be the forgotten element. Special interests lobby for their interests. Rebels fight for their cause. Governments impose their will. The Catholic Church essentially reminds us to remember love and embrace forgiveness. No battalions. No K-street lobbyists. The Church does not impose, the Church proposes.
We should pray often because war, as Pope Francis said, is madness. And madness is contagious. But so is love. So love unceasingly and pray all the time. It is our only hope to a world at war.