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Since the inception of Share International magazine, Benjamin Creme's Master has provided articles to be published not only at the time they were written, but also whenever appropriate according to world circumstances. Indeed, many of these articles seem more relevant now than when they were first published. This article was written in 2002 and sets the tone for this issue of the magazine and, more importantly, indicates the possibilities for humanity as the new decade begins.
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
When men take stock of the world situation they see only the difficulties and traumas, the dangers and crises, and, paralysed by fear, do little to overcome the inertia their despair engenders. Thus it is that men miss the progress of their best efforts and seldom understand the sequence of events. They understand little of the laws which underlie all happenings, and cannot, therefore, control their outcome. Were they to live according to these unseen laws, their lives would develop in harmony and order.
Despite such ignorance and fear, men today have reached a point of new sensitivity to the forces which drive them ever forward on their path. They sense, albeit fleetingly, that there is much that they do not understand, much less control, but that slowly they can begin to visualize a greater meaning and purpose, a greater unity and beauty, in and around them.
As We, the Watchers, from Our vantage point, consider man’s efforts to control his changing world, We welcome the signs of greater sensitivity to the higher forces impinging on men’s lives. We await, gladly, an intensification of this response and a more beneficial use of these forces.
True it is that We see, also, an escalation of hatred and cruelty, brutality and war, but these, the reactions of fear, are nearing their end and will subside.
This, a period of transition, is indeed a difficult time. Many men are reaching for the future, longing for change and fresh answers to the problems. Others hold grimly to the old ways and seek to stem the onslaught of the new. We watch and wait, confident that men will find the way.
Maitreya, the Master of the Masters, is poised to begin His emergence, to work openly before men. This cannot mean that His work behind the scenes will cease entirely. Much that He does even now supports the efforts of some who otherwise would fail. His help and guidance directs the hand of more than one wise leader and protects them from harm.
Those who would assault the world to prove their strength attack Maitreya too. Behind all people of goodwill stand Maitreya and His Group; They form a shield on which all arrows beat in vain. Come quickly to His side when He emerges. Rally to His Banner of Peace, Justice and Freedom and aid Him in His mighty work. A new day in the lives of men is dawning, a day unlike aught known before.
[This article from Share International magazine, January / February 2020, is by a senior member of the Hierarchy of Masters of Wisdom. His name, well-known in esoteric circles, is not yet being revealed. Benjamin Creme, a principal spokesman about the emergence of Maitreya, was in constant telepathic contact with this Master who dictated his article to him.]
At every lecture he gave around the world, and virtually every day of his life, Benjamin Creme was asked numerous questions covering a vast range of topics. We draw on this large recorded resource and publish answers provided by BC and his Master over the years, none of which have yet appeared in Share International.
Q. Can I see Maitreya? (Benjamin Creme lecture, Japan, May 2008)
A. You have to be detached, even about Maitreya. I’m not allowed to go and see Maitreya, even if I know where He is – which I do. I never go near Him. Even if I know He is at a meeting I would never go to that meeting. It’s not necessary to shake the hand of someone who is real. Either He is real for you, in the heart, or He isn’t. And if He is in your heart you don’t need to see Him or shake His hand.
Q. Why do you and the Masters always say “soon” when you and They talk about the timing of the Reappearance?
A. The Masters always say “soon”, because from Their point of view it is soon, it is very, very soon. For Them 10 or 20 years is ‘soon’; for Them it’s like two weeks of our time. If the Masters said ‘It may happen in about 20 years, nobody would do anything. When I was informed in 1959 by Maitreya that He was coming very soon “sooner than anybody thought possible”, He said it would be in about 20 years. Actually, in the event it was 18 years . I thought ‘Twenty years! No hurry!’ Twenty years to me then was a tremendously long time ahead. So I did nothing. It wasn’t until my Master ‘pushed’ me to get out and speak that I did anything about it. I had no sense of urgency. One of the problems for certain esoteric groups is that they have no sense of urgency.
It has come to our notice that more and more people are receiving our information from the website alone, and thus forgoing the small cost of subscribing to Share International magazine.
Not everyone can, or does, use the internet, and it is essential to have an outer, physical expression, which can display with photographs, the events of which we speak. That means there has to be a magazine, which of course requires a lot of work from volunteers, and a lot of money to produce. There may be a notion that Hierarchy dishes out money for this work, but it is not the case. Subscriptions to Share International are an essential part of maintaining our work and reaching the public. The cost of the subscription is kept as low as possible, the magazine is not subsidised by advertisements and printing and postal charges are mounting all the time.
Surely we would all agree that all those who seriously believe in this work would want to support the magazine, whether or not they read the information on the internet.
Thank you for your support.
The letters published here describe encounters and experiences some of which were confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master, while the more recent letters carry no such confirmation. It is the writers’ and the editors’ experience, based on familiarity with such occurrences, plus the writer’s own intuitive response, which gives them the confidence to judge these encounters to be significant and meaningful – both personally and generally. Some experiences seem specific to the individual concerned while others speak for themselves in providing hope and inspiration to all. We present them for your consideration.
On Monday 18 November 2019, I was discussing over the telephone with a co-worker wondering about the future of the group. And I felt quite shocked by this conversation. After we hung up, as I was sitting on my couch, I felt an overwhelming wave of energy coming over my head. It lasted more than 30 minutes, and was so strong I could not move.
Afterwards, I realized this was an encouragement to go on with the work, and a clear signal from the Masters, “We are here”.
Name withheld, France.
On 3 November 2019 one of our co-workers gave a talk at the Information Centre in Amsterdam; quite a few group members were present and an interesting and inspiring conversation developed. The next day, when six co-workers were in the Centre, conversation turned to the fact that people present had felt strong energies during this lecture as well as at the previous month’s lecture on 13 October – as often happens at talks given by co-workers around the world.
We talked about how important it is to be alert and alive to the energies and that group members can be used to transmit at such and other similar events. We read a letter which had just been published in the November issue of Share International (its title was ‘Working with the Masters, anytime, anywhere’). From the moment the conversation started the energies began and seemed to get stronger as we continued talking. We were saying the wonderful thing about this ‘story’ – the existence of Maitreya and the Masters and Their Emergence – is that it’s real, it’s true, and the events, experiences and energies daily prove it. We had just reminded ourselves of the phrase from the Bible, “Where two or three are gathered in my name…” when suddenly there at the front door was the young spokesman for the Master Jesus (confirmed many times over a number of years by Benjamin Creme’s Master). We haven’t seen him for months. He didn’t come in, but sat on his bicycle reading a poster on the door, then gave a big grin, waved with big gestures (we waved back), and gave us his usual thumbs up sign. He left as suddenly as he had come.
His appearance confirmed for us yet again that the Masters are omniscient, that They are aware of the groups, that They support, guide, inspire us all. This experience certainly confirmed for us Their presence and the need to be awake, aligned, and alert to ways in which we can be useful.
Co-workers, Share Netherlands Information Centre, the Netherlands.
On Sunday 8 December 2019 the Dutch group organized a ‘national’ day which is attended by group members from around the country. It was held in the Information Centre in Amsterdam and provided an opportunity to watch a video (a vintage video on ‘The nature of glamour’, 1988, in the Netherlands) from an early Conference with Benjamin Creme and also to participate in a ‘spiritual exercise’ and Blessing. The ‘exercise’ was a short clip we extracted from a conference video on “The overcoming of fear” in which BC leads the group in saying the Prayer for the New Age and asks them to ask themselves the question “Who am I?”
Just after the ‘exercise’ and the powerful Blessing we all experienced, we stood up, turned around to turn the lights on again near the front door of the Centre and there he was again – the very familiar spokesman for the Master Jesus (confirmed by BC’s Master) who has been visiting the Centre for at least seven years. We are grateful for this ‘gift’ from the Masters; it felt like yet another blessing. He only recently appeared on 4 November (see previous letter: “Where two or three are gathered….”).
The day was also a celebration of the brilliant contribution to the group work by, and a farewell to, a much-loved and respected co-worker, so we rounded off the occasion and the year with a very happy but bitter-sweet party.
Group members, The Netherlands.
At the Friends House lecture in London by Patricia Pitchon on 21 September 2019, a co-worker brought some beautiful deep rose-pink roses, Maitreya’s colour, to adorn the room. She had searched for that particular colour especially and finally spotted them in the corner of the flower shop. Earlier in the day she had prayed for a sign for unity.
Patricia’s talk was on ‘Maitreya’s teachings as lived experience’ with particular emphasis on divine love, and the audience were transfixed by her experiences of searching for Maitreya in the early days of Benjamin Creme’s work to make Maitreya’s emergence known.
While I was listening to her talk, I became mesmerised by the little vase of roses the co-worker had placed on the podium, as it seemed to me to glow with golden light. Later on I overheard another co-worker say how beautiful the aura around the roses had been. She described a very clear, bright golden light around and through the vase and flowers. She said the light had been so bright that she couldn’t look at it for long. I immediately realized that I had also seen it. When we compared notes, we were thrilled to find that we had separately witnessed the same thing. The whole day had been a great success and we were all left feeling that Maitreya Himself had blessed us with His presence.
I.L.G., London, UK.
We present here phenomena which, to the editors, are “signs of hope” and “signs of the time”. Fortunately, our current stock of phenomena confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master is fairly large. However, in future we will also present material which has not been confirmed by BC’s Master. We undertake to be as thorough as possible in our investigation of each ‘miracle’ or ‘sign’ and will present them for your consideration only, since we cannot now make use of confirmation and further information always provided by BC’s Master. Further and more detailed information will be given in the captions to the photographs.
NASA – On 6 November 2019, NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory photographed a huge angel-like object near the sun. (Source: sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov)
USA - On the night of 19 December 2019, a witness in Brooklyn, New York observed and photographed a lighted, multi-colored aerial object hovering at low altitude. “The colors were very bright,” the witness reported. (Source: mufon.com)
USA – On the night of 8 November 2019, a witness in San Marcos, California, observed and photographed a brilliant, star-like object that hovered at low altitude over the city. After being stationary for a while, the object, according to the witness, “…went up and over a hill so it was out of my view, popped back into view, turned bright white and then vanished.” (Source: mufon.com)
by Dominique Abdelnour
Spirituality is often associated with spiritual ideals detached from material reality while ecology is associated with a scientific study of the relationships between man and nature. Etymologically, spirituality comes from ‘spirit’ ‘pneuma’ (the Divine Breath creating the universe) and ecology from ‘ekois’ (house or environment), and ‘logos’ (study).
In this article, I will try to show that ecology is a spiritual discipline and that spirituality involves an ecological approach.
Two sentences by the Master Djwhal Khul writing through Alice A Bailey relate to spirituality:
“All activity which drives the human being forward towards some form of development – physical, emotional, mental, intuitional, social – if it is in advance of his present state is essentially spiritual in nature.”
“Everything is spiritual which tends towards understanding, towards kindness, towards that which is productive of beauty and which can lead man on to a fuller expression of his divine potentialities.”
This suggests that spirituality relates to all areas of life, including ecology, science, politics and economics.
The generally accepted mainstream scientific approach suggests that 13 billion years ago an original soup of protons, neutrons and photons agglomerated into stars to form atoms of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. Then, certain stars exploding into supernovae formed the heavier atoms such as copper, zinc, gold, lead etc – all of this at random. By lucky coincidence and the law of natural selection, life and intelligence emerged. Thought would therefore be seen as the product of the brain.
However, more and more scientists question this model and wonder whether consciousness could be a prerequisite for matter, thus approaching the doctrine of esotericists: “The One Life creates, vitalizes, animates the universe”. For esotericists, Spirit brings consciousness to matter and one of the goals of the divine plan is the evolution of consciousness and the elevation of the vibrations of matter.
Russian esotericist HP Blavatsky synthetically formulated these principles, “Nature is not a fortuitous concurrence of atoms”. “Life precedes the Form and survives the last atom”.
“The ‘Great Breath’ or rather the ‘Breath of Life’ … is in every animal, in every animated particle, in every mineral atom.”; “Spirit and Matter being One … Spirit is Matter on the seventh plane; Matter is Spirit at the lowest point of his cyclical activity…” So there would only be a vibratory difference between Spirit and matter.
The materialistic conception of an Earth made of dead matter leads to a feeling of separation and the over-exploitation of resources by humans who live like parasites by neglecting the consequences of their actions.
Modern esotericists (Alice A. Bailey and Benjamin Creme) confirmed the existence of an evolution parallel to human evolution, that of devas. They are in charge of the form aspect and works through feeling. “Devas evolve through the evolution of feeling, of sensory awareness. We evolve through the development of mind. We are the sons of mind, they are the daughters of feeling. Their evolution proceeds through the ever-growing awareness of what is, here and now, what exists in life, in matter, in vibration, in everything that you could think of as creation. That is their experience; moment to moment they are sensing life and matter and growing in awareness of what they are like. We are doing the same thing through our sensory apparatus, but we go further than that. The devas, at least up to the human level, do not think about it, they do not ‘mentate’. Mentation is not part of their activity. But sensory awareness, a heightened, extreme sensitivity to the slightest alteration of vibration, becomes theirs as they evolve. Gradually they evolve to finer and finer perception of what is, now.” [BC, SI Jan-Feb 1993]
The existence of a parallel line of evolution is common knowledge amongst most traditions including shamanism. We can cite the experiment of the Findhorn Gardens in Findhorn, Scotland: how working with the subtle intelligences of nature (devas) made fertile a barren land and led it to produce abundant flowers, beautiful vegetables and fruit. Many gardeners also interact with their plants; their positive effect is taken for granted to such an extent that having ‘green fingers’ is a common saying. It shows that an energetic exchange with the plant world allows plants to grow and become more beautiful.
Benjamin Creme goes further by evoking the negative role of human imbalance on the work of devas, for example on the Earth’s climate: “When we are greedy and selfish and competitive, trying to get ahead of everybody, then inevitably we create disequilibrium. Then the devas who control the weather, the oceans, rain, and so on, go out of equilibrium, and we have the most extraordinary weather patterns, like now, around the planet. It is the result, to an extent, of our own imbalance.” 4
On Christmas Eve 2019, listeners to BBC Radio 4 were treated to an extraordinary and moving interview with a father who had been unable to save his daughter’s life. The interview was with Nadim Ednan-Laperouse about the life and death of his 15-year old daughter Natasha who died of a severe allergic reaction to food which was not properly labelled. Nadim and his wife Tanya have since become well-known for their campaign and successful efforts to change food labelling laws in Britain. There is now a new law, known as Natasha’s Law. Nadim feels it could not have been possible without the inspiration and drive resulting from his life changing experience.
Although Natasha died three years ago, this is the first time Nadim has told his remarkable story. “I’m compelled to tell what has happened to me in the most truthful way without embellishment so that others can hear it and I think that’s what I’m called to do.”
From infancy it was clear that Natasha suffered from various food allergies and as a consequence the family had learned to be hyper-vigilant, as was Natasha, always checking carefully all ingredients. On a flight to Nice with her father and a school friend she rapidly became very ill after eating a shop-bought sandwich. Two doses of anti-histamine medication, plus several shots from an epi-pen failed to stop the allergic reaction and Natasha became unable to breathe, then unconscious and finally went into cardiac arrest. As the plane landed in Nice a team of paramedics were on hand and did all they could to resuscitate her.
Nadim describes what happened next: “I was looking at Natasha, I’d never taken my eyes off her. And these five angels just appeared. There was a strong soft yellow light – rather like candlelight. It was really intense but not so that your eyes would squint. And then [I could see] in great detail these five figures, like thin people, in perfect proportion with wings on their backs, just appeared. They were about 20 cms tall, and thin, not chubby like children or like in a Renaissance painting with feathery wings added on, like you might see in the Vatican. Actually like human beings – but there was so much micro-detail there on their wings, their bodies and face. They were all looking at me. [They were] all moving around Natasha; I was so taken aback by that. I’d never ever seen anything like that in my life. And I never expected to ever see something like that. I just lifted my arm up and I tried to shoo them away because it dawned on me that it meant she might die. I waved them away and I shouted, ‘It’s not her time!’ And with that they were gone and Natasha died. She was gone.”
Asked to describe the angels in more detail – were they like any angels he had ever seen in paintings or were they a complete surprise?
“These angels, the five of them, they were a complete surprise in their look.” Nadim had studied art early in his life and the angels he saw around Natasha were nothing at all like angels depicted in art. “What I saw very clearly were much more like you and me, like human beings in the same proportion. [They were] long and thin with added wings on their backs. And their wings were not made of feathers, they were actually much more like butterfly-shaped wings and with great detail and [there were] segments in the wings as opposed to being made up of feathers. The entirety of the vision was made up of yellow light, very bright, but actually not hard on the eyes, so you didn’t need to squint in any way. It was almost like a warm welcoming light – possibly the most soothing light, the most amazing light I have ever seen. It doesn’t really exist in the physical world. I’ve never seen anything that I could say “It’s exactly like that”. They were literally glowing and made in incredible detail. It would be like seeing a photograph where there would be so much detail, so you could say ‘high definition’, but even that doesn’t aptly describe what I saw. They’re made of one colour, so they’re monochromatic yellow and they were about 20 cms or so in size [length] in front of me. None of them were particularly male or female. They were all rather the same in that way.”
“I actually wrote down what I saw that day. In all my past, whether looking at books or talking to people about what angels might look like or what we might suppose them to look like, they would certainly be chubbier, bigger and stronger because that in itself to us exudes power and strength. But now you reflect on it, it makes sense in our world, but in another world, another place, or time, like heaven, the rules of the game here don’t mean anything. So in some ways seeing them at that small size doesn’t mean they’re always that size. But the whole supernatural part of this is that they could possibly be anything that is appropriate to that time; I don’t presuppose we have to label them as that shape and size for ever but I can tell you that’s exactly what I saw.”
“They were not naked and yet they were not wearing full clothes that you and I would look at each other and recognize that we are wearing a jumper, for example. They were made up of lots of pieces. Certainly with limbs such as we have and we would recognize but then they had these incredible wings on their back. But I can’t say more than that because I was [looking at] at five different angels all moving and looking at me but not smiling – just, I would say, relatively expressionless. But what’s so powerful is, I can still see them and I should really draw them.”
“In their movement they were not flapping their wings, like a bird; actually their wings were, interestingly enough, motionless and all in a similar position, i.e. you could call it like a standing position rather than one kneeling down, or lying down in a reclining position. They were all, effectively, floating in front of me and all moving up and around, all differently, across Natasha’s body from head to toe. A sort of round and round movement, apparently randomly all with their own beat to it, or sense of movement. But they were calm; there was a complete calmness about them all. There was no fluttering, nothing manic. It’s like they had come to do a job, they knew what they were going to do: they were waiting and then they did their work which was to take Natasha away to heaven.”
by Chantal Piganeau
“Talking with Angels”, an extraordinary book by Gitta Mallasz, is the testimony of an encounter experienced by four Hungarian friends during the Second World War with Beings of Light whom they called “Angels”.
It is also the story of Hanna Dallos, who conveyed to her friends the thoughts, inspiration and teachings given to her by the “Angels” at a dangerous and terrible period in Europe, the 1940s. Every week, for eighteen months, these “Angels” spoke through Hanna. They answered questions and provided instruction, initiating an intense process of transformation in those who received it and put it into practice.
Benjamin Creme indicated that the “Angels” were in fact the Masters Jesus, Morya and Koot Hoomi, ‘disguised’ as angels.
One day, Gitta shows Hanna what she has written. Apparently, the text produced by Gitta is a string of platitudes, far below her true capacity. Hanna, suddenly feeling animated by divine anger, has just enough time to say to her friend, “It is not I who will speak to you”. She then transmits ‘words of fire’. This is how the dialogues begin.
Every week, on Friday at 3pm, from June 1943 to November 1944, those they call the Angels express themselves through Hanna. Lili joins her friends. Lili and Gitta are the transcribers, absolutely scrupulous in their note-taking. Later, Joseph, who initially preferred to stay away from the experience, decided to join in.
This is not a theoretical body of teaching, because the messages come in response to the questions asked by Gitta and Lili. Each of the companions receives answers to their questions. Their content is directly related to the way in which the four friends integrate or internalize the teaching and put into practice the impulse they receive on a daily basis.
This teaching is universal; it is addressed to the human being who aspires to become the inspired actor of his life. No dogmas, beliefs or rituals, but an invitation to live the daily experience with the intensity allowed by sustained attention. Take a close interest in all aspects of your life and place them under the light of consciousness. “Every one of your cells must awaken.”
“Each step to the Divine is an awakening. Every existence, not only yours, is but a dream. Becoming lighter …. ever more enlightened…Yet still a dream. The only awakening is in the divine.” And the Master continues: “I proclaim to you: When the One Light penetrates into deepest gloom, then there will be deliverance.
We all serve it with joy and gratitude. With thanks.
You will be transformed from ‘dreamers’ to ‘awakeners’.
Your goal is to attain the level where anyone who looks at you…awakens.”
A little later after Gitta asks the Angel/Master a question the answer is stern: “Avoid the word ‘Why’ and fulfil your task; Always without a ‘Why’!”
by Elisa Graf
The world is burning. Huge wildfires are blazing across wide swaths of the Australian bush. As of January 2020, the fire season has yet to reach its peak, yet more than 12 million acres have already burned, while 100 active fires are still blazing…. But Naomi Klein’s new book On Fire: The burning case for a Green New Deal urges us to shake off the sense of inevitability that we’re ultimately doomed.
A collection of essays written over 10 years from the front lines of the evolving crisis, On Fire paints Klein’s own efforts to understand how we got here, along the way dismissing the traditional narratives – theories like: politicians are trapped by short-term electoral cycles, or climate change seems too far off or too expensive to fix. Instead, she finds answers in weaving “seemingly disparate crises (economic, social, ecological and democratic) into a common story of civilizational transformation.” At the same time, On Fire is a rallying cry for a Green New Deal, as the bold transformative approach we urgently need to solve these related crises, as well as a vision for how we can live while respecting the limits of what the planet can take.
It was only a year ago that Swedish schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg began her protests in Stockholm, igniting a movement that saw unprecedented numbers of young people take to the streets this past year, impelling us to urgent action. Klein reminds us that these young activists didn’t learn about this crisis by reading about it - many of them have experienced first-hand the severe droughts, hurricanes, flooding, the health impacts of the polluted air from industry, and the billowing black smoke of rampant wildfires. She writes, “Wherever in the world they live, this generation has something in common: they are the first for whom climate disruption on a planetary scale is not a future threat, but a lived reality. And not in a few unlucky spots but on every single continent with pretty much everything unravelling significantly faster than most scientific models had predicted.”
Pope Francis became the first Pontiff to visit Japan in 38 years, following St John Paul II in 1981. In November 2019, he visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two cities which were utterly destroyed by atomic bombs dropped by the US forces at the end of the Second World War in 1945. In those cities he gave the people all over the world powerful messages about the need to relinquish weapons and build peace in truth and justice. …
When young, the pope wanted to work in Japan, partly because he belonged to the Society of Jesus, which brought Christianity to Japan in the person of Francis Xavier. But at the age of 21, the young Jesuit contracted pneumonia. He had to endure surgery to remove part of his right lung. This forced him to give up being sent as a missionary to Japan.
However, he did not forget the devastation and pain that Japanese people suffered from the atomic bombing, and he made an effort to convey the importance of peace in the following way: In 2018, he distributed to reporters and church workers copies of a photograph taken in Nagasaki just after the bombing. It showed a boy waiting in line to have his dead little brother on his back cremated. “Fruits of war” was on the back of each copy. The next year, the Pope’s hope to visit Japan was realized when he felt obliged to go there, among other reasons, “to recall the innocent victims of such violence”. The theme that he chose for his visit to Japan was “Protect all Life.”
In his speech in Nagasaki, where more than 74,000 were killed by the massive blast of heat and radiation 75 years ago, Pope Francis told us what is necessary for international peace. “Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation. They can be achieved only on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and co-operation in the service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the whole human family of today and tomorrow.” He made the people’s voice heard by saying, “A world of peace, free from nuclear weapons, is the aspiration of millions of men and women everywhere.” And being conscious of the conflicts among superpowers and of the trend to neglect nuclear treaties, he warned us: “We must never grow weary of working to support the principal international legal instruments of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”
Pope Francis told us that money and precious resources should be used to help millions of people living “in inhumane conditions” and that we should deal with environmental issues instead of wasting resources on the arms race. He made us aware once again: “No one can be indifferent to the pain of millions of men and women whose sufferings trouble our consciences today. No one can turn a deaf ear to the plea of our brothers and sisters in need.”
In the evening on the same day, Pope Francis moved on to Hiroshima. In that city, where at least 140,000 were killed by the nuclear attack in 1945, he met several survivors. Yoshiko Kajimoto was 14 years old when the bomb was dropped. “When I went outside, all the surrounding buildings were destroyed. It was as dark as evening and smelled like rotten fish,” she told the Pope sitting near her at the Peace Memorial Park. She described people “walking side by side like ghosts, people whose whole body was so burned that I could not tell the difference between men and women.” She added that no one in this world could imagine such a scene of hell.
In a speech he delivered there, the Pope paid homage to all the victims and to those survivors who lived through with “strength and dignity.” He expressed his “humble desire to be the voice of the voiceless, who witness with concern and anguish the growing tensions of our own time.” He stressed the criminality and immorality of nuclear weapons: “With deep conviction I wish once more to declare that the use of atomic energy for the purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home. The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral.”
Near the end of his speech, he urged us to cry out: “Never again war, never again the clash of arms, never again so much suffering!” And he concluded his speech with a call to Christ: “Come, Lord, Prince of Peace! Make us instruments and reflections of your peace!”