January 1

World Day of Peace

 

O Eternal One, You who live outside of time and reside in the imperishable moment, we ask Your blessing on this new year. Help us to experience each second of life, help us not to miss that which is important.

Reflection

Peace is not merely the absence of conflict. The biblical vision of peace (Shalom) is that of one community embracing all creation. To be God’s instrument of peace is to be empty of all obstacles to peace, to relate to all others without prejudice, anger, jealousy, greed or violence. It is to meet others, human and non-human, with goodwill, care, concern and a desire to heal the wounds and differences of the past. It requires us to surrender our own selfishness. What would our world be like if as individuals and as a nation we sought to be instruments of this peace?
Today, on the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis calls us to reflect on the theme, Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters. More than twenty million of our brothers and sisters are victims of human trafficking.

Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Action

Reflect on the meaning of peace and be aware of all the false actions and statements made in the name of peace. Join the efforts of those who try to expose these falsehoods and work toward true peace. Visit Human Trafficking.org

Suggested Reading

I am leaving you at peace. I am giving you my own peace. I am not giving it to you as the world gives. So don’t let your hearts be troubled, and don’t be afraid.
John 14:27

I urgently appeal to all men and women of good will, and all those near or far, including the highest levels of civil institutions, who witness the scourge of contemporary slavery, not to become accomplices to this evil, not to turn away from the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, our fellow human beings, who are deprived of their freedom and dignity.
Pope Francis

Slavery is a terrible open wound on the contemporary social body, a fatal running sore on the flesh of Christ. Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past. In fact, this social plague remains all too real in today’s world. Slavery deals a murderous blow to fraternity, and so to peace as well. Peace can only exist when each human being recognizes every other person as a brother or sister with the same dignity.
Statement of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism. In addition to the varied forms of terrorism and international crime, peace is also endangered by those forms of fundamentalism and fanaticism which distort the true nature of religion, which is called to foster fellowship and reconciliation among people.
Pope Benedict XVI

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
Nelson Mandela

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
Jimi Hendrix

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.
Henri Nouwen

We must face problems which do not lend themselves to easy or quick or permanent solutions. And we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, that we are only six percent of the world population, that we cannot impose our will upon the other ninety-four percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.
John F. Kennedy

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.

The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.
Black Elk- Oglala Sioux

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