Pope Francis, pictured on on Oct. 8, 2014./ Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.
Pope Francis’ prayer intention in the month of July is for the world to leave behind polarization and enmity in favor of building up social friendship and dialogue.
“We must flee from social enmity which only destroys, and leave ‘polarization’ behind,” the pope said in his monthly prayer video, produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
“And this isn’t always easy, especially today when part of our politics, society, and media are bent on creating enemies so as to defeat them in a game of power,” he said.
The pope’s prayer video for July shows scenes of division, such as people rioting in a street, as well as scenes of social friendship, such as a police officer and a Black woman embracing.
The video also shows people helping other people, including giving food to the hungry, teaching orphans and immigrants, cleaning up litter, and rescuing migrants from the sea.
Pope Francis said in the video that “dialogue is the path to seeing reality in a new way, so we can live with passion the challenges we face in constructing the common good.”
“Let us pray that, in social, economic, and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship, men and women who always hold out a helping hand, and may no spaces of enmity and war remain,” he suggested.
“The Bible says that whoever finds a friend has found a treasure,” Francis noted. “I would like to invite everyone to go beyond their groups of friends and build social friendship, which is so necessary for living together well.”
He said that our world especially needs to have a renewed encounter with those on the peripheries of society, the most impoverished and vulnerable.
“And we need to distance ourselves from populisms that exploit the anguish of the people without providing solutions, proposing a mystique that solves nothing,” he said.
Pope Francis’ June prayer intention focused on the beauty of the sacrament of marriage.
“We pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: that they may grow in love, generosity, fidelity, and patience,” he said. “Because to love you need a lot of patience. However, it’s worth it, right?”