World Day of Peace
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. The biblical vision of peace (Shalom) is that of one community embracing all creation. Peace is not merely the absence of conflict. 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?
Pope Francis has designated “Fraternity, the foundation and pathway to peace” as the theme of the 2014 World Peace Day.
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.
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 trying to expose these falsehoods and to work toward true peace.
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.
In the face of the many tragedies that afflict the family of nations – poverty, hunger, underdevelopment, conflicts, migrations, pollution, inequalities, injustice, organized crime, fundamentalisms – fraternity is the foundation and the pathway to 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.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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.
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