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Pope Francis reflects on fear of the Lord, appeals for end to child labor

Catholic World News - June 11, 2014

Concluding his weekly catechesis on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis devoted his June 11 general audience to the gift of the fear of the Lord.

Fear of the Lord, the Pope began, does not signify worry or anxiety about God. Instead, it is a gift of the Spirit that allows us to see how little we are before God and to abandon ourselves with humility and trust into his hands.

The gift “makes us feel like children in the arms of our Father,” said Pope Francis. “The fear of God makes us aware that everything comes from grace and that our true strength lies only in following the Lord Jesus.” It leads us to follow the Lord with “humility, docility, and obedience”-- not with timidity, but with “courage and strength.”

The sight of those who are obstinate in sin, including the corrupt and those who foment wars, also evokes the fear of the Lord. “When a person lives in evil,” said Pope Francis, “when one blasphemes against God, when one exploits others, when one tyrannizes, when one lives only for money, vanity, power, pride-- the holy fear of God alerts us: be wary!”

Following his catechesis, Pope Francis appealed for an end to child labor.

“Tens of millions of children are forced to work in degrading conditions, exposed to forms of slavery and exploitation, as well as to abuse, ill-treatment and discrimination,” he said. “I sincerely hope that the international community can offer social protection to minors to defeat this plague.”

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  • Posted by: shrink - Jun. 11, 2014 9:20 AM ET USA

    The horrors of child labor are well known-Charles Dickens, among others, made sure that it was a practice in christian countries that would come to an end. But true virtue is in the mean. Children should work to some extent, perhaps mostly within the family where child labor at home contributes to the common good of the family. It can also instill a sense of identity, discipline, generosity, and gratitude. Children who contribute to the family with their labor mature faster.

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