No one should pray for the end of the world as if to wish its annihilation. However, we should pray for the end of the world of corruption, for the end of the world of using people for personal gain, for the end of the world of sinfulness. In consideration of the depths of evil in the world today, Pope Benedict said that we essentially should pray for conversions—for conversions from selfishness to selflessness, from hate to love.
While commenting on St. Paul's prayer "Marana" ("Come, Lord Jesus), the Holy Father said this about this prayer:
Can we also pray like this? It seems to me that for us today, in our lives, in our world, it is difficult to sincerely pray so that this world perishes, so that the New Jerusalem comes, so that the final judgment and Christ the judge come.... Certainly, we don't want the end of the world to come now,... But, on the other hand, we want this unjust world to end. We also want the world to be deeply changed, the civilization of love to begin, [we want] a world of justice and peace, without violence, without hunger, to arrive. We all want this—and how can it happen without the presence of Christ? Without the presence of Christ, a just and renewed world will never really arrive.
...though in another way, totally and deeply, we too can and should say, with great urgency and in the circumstances of our time, Come, Lord! Come to your world, in the way that you know. Come where there is injustice and violence. Come to the refugee camps, in Darfur and in North Kivu, in so many places in the world. Come where drugs dominate. Come, too, among those rich people who have forgotten you and who live only for themselves. Come where you are not known.
Come to your world and renew the world of today. (General Audience, Nov. 12, 2008)
Jesus Christ came to reconcile the world with God. That is what salvation is; it means saving us from evil so that we will have God within each of us. But, each person in the world has to cooperate with Him.
Let us never give up on praying for the whole world—that it be a world of goodness rather than of evil.