peace

A Meditation on Peace

22/02/2018 5:31 pm

Pope Francis in prayer

Pope Francis gave this address in Assisi on 20 September 2016. This excerpt can help us focus on what it means to work together for peace:

Peace, a thread of hope that unites earth to heaven, a word so simple and difficult at the same time. Peace means Forgiveness, the fruit of conversion and prayer, that is born from within and that, in God’s name, makes it possible to heal old wounds. Peace means Welcome, openness to dialogue, the overcoming of closed-mindedness, which is not a strategy for safety, but rather a bridge over an empty space.

Peace means Cooperation, a concrete and active exchange with another, who is a gift and not a problem, a brother or sister with whom to build a better world. Peace denotes Education, a call to learn every day the challenging art of communion, to acquire a culture of encounter, purifying the conscience of every temptation to violence and stubbornness which are contrary to the name of God and human dignity.

We who are here together and in peace believe and hope in a fraternal world. We desire that men and women of different religions may everywhere gather and promote harmony, especially where there is conflict. Our future consists in living together. For this reason we are called to free ourselves from the heavy burdens of distrust, fundamentalism and hate.

Believers should be artisans of peace in their prayers to God and in their actions for humanity! As religious leaders, we are duty bound to be strong bridges of dialogue, creative mediators of peace.

We turn to those who hold the greatest responsibility in the service of peoples, to the leaders of nations, so that they may not tire of seeking and promoting ways of peace, looking beyond self-serving interests and those of the moment: may they not remain deaf to God’s appeal to their consciences, to the cry of the poor for peace and to the healthy expectations of younger generations. Here, thirty years ago, Pope John Paul II said:

"Peace is a workshop, open to all and not just to specialists, savants and strategists. Peace is a universal responsibility".
Address, Lower Piazza of the Basilica of Saint Francis, 27 October 1986

Sisters and brothers, let us assume this responsibility, reaffirming today our 'yes' to being, together, builders of the peace that God wishes for us and for which humanity thirsts.

Prayer

Here's a prayer you can pray with us on 23 February keeping in mind, particularly, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

A Prayer for World Peace (1978)

Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle; the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right.

May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred.

We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.

Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfil the destiny for which we and all men were created.

Amen

Find more prayers here.

Meditation

Pope Francis gave an address in Assisi on 20 September 2016. This excerpt can help us focus on what it means to work together for peace. Read more.

Fasting

The Liturgy Office for England and Wales has a useful PDF, available for download, on prayerful fasting.

Prayerful Fasting 69.08 kB

Links

paxchristi.org.uk
Pax Christi, the Church's international Catholic movement for peace, supports communities in their peacemaking efforts and shines a light on the things that deny peace and fuel conflict: the global arms trade, the manufacture of fear and mistrust, the scapegoating of the ‘other’.

cafod.org.uk
CAFOD, the Church's agency for overseas aid and development has a program in South Sudan.

cafod.org.uk
CAFOD also works in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Download

Prayerful Fasting

fasting-liturgy-office.pdf 69.08 kB

The Liturgy Office for England and Wales has a useful PDF, available for download, on prayerful fasting.