I know I’m a little late to the game here, but I’ve just had the chance over the last few days to sit down and dig in to Pope Francis’s “The Joy of the Gospel.” It is deeply, deeply moving, and for the most part equally applicable to all churches, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike. I’ve found a really useful Kindle download of the text available via David Rummelhoff’s blog, Spiro Laus. It is also available in .epub, PDF, .docx, and .txt formats. Many thanks to Rummelhoff for bringing these great downloads to our attention.

My favorite quote from the apostolic exhortation so far:

“Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society—whether local, national, or global—is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the base of hope for a better future. We are far from the so-called ‘end of history,’ since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.”

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