POPE’S MESSAGE | Behind hatred, violence is an unloved heart

In his general audience June 14 in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis focused on the certainty of hope that comes from feeling loved as children of God.

VATICAN CITY — Violence and hatred often are signs that a person is unhappy and feels unloved and unwanted, Pope Francis said.

In world today, people — especially children and youths — often feel that unless "we are strong, attractive and beautiful, no one will care about us," the pope said June 14 at his weekly general audience.

"When an adolescent is not or does not feel loved, violence can arise. Behind so many forms of social hate and hooliganism, there is often a heart that has not been recognized," he said.

MAN OF THE HOUSE | Praying for peace and love in an adversarial world

Mike Eisenbath

When I was a child, my parents never fought in front of me. But on those extremely rare nights when I heard their disagreements through my bedroom wall, I found myself overcome with fear that they were headed for a divorce. I couldn't sleep. I prayed a lot. My heart hurt.

As I got older, I grew uncomfortable with arguments, especially those involving antagonism and anger. I don't mind a genuinely healthy, constructive debate; I do find my mind shutting down and anxiety setting in as soon as any dispute sinks into name-calling and attacking.

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