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The greed of possession leads to violence, exploitation and death. – Pope Benedict XVI ｜ 貪戀財富引致暴力、剝削和死亡。 – 教宗本篤十六世刊登日期: 2013.03.03
作者: Grace Tse
The above quotation was taken from Pope Benedict XVI’s Lenten Message in 2011. Pope Benedict XVI resigned on 28 February and became the first pope to step down in 600 years. As the leader of the Catholic Church, he pointed out that people of today are often tempted to accumulate wealth and love materialistic goods. He warned that greed causes selfishness, fighting, and even death. Do you know the Chinese idiom that carries a similar meaning? That is “men will die for wealth, as birds for food” （人為財死，鳥為食亡）.
Pope Benedict XVI was deeply concerned that children and young people today are growing up in an atmosphere which is filled with false models of happiness. They risk losing hope, meaning and joy in life because they are deceived by money-minded adults who lie to them and draw them into the dead-end streets of consumerism.
For example, over the years, big companies have shifted the focus of advertisements towards children. Do you know why? As children are easily influenced by advertisements, they think that they must wear certain brands or possess a certain number of trendy things in order to gain popularity among friends. Eventually, children forget that being a good person and being a true friend are more important than wealth.
Thus, the Pope told young people, “Do not be fooled by those who see you as just another consumer.” Materialism and consumerism not only separate us from others but also leave us empty and unhappy. During this period of Lent, let us turn our attention towards others in need and share with them our love and hope.
Lenten Message: 四旬期文告
Accumulate wealth: 積聚財富
Materialistic goods: 消費物品
False models of happiness: 虛假的幸福典範
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