Did you know that January 1st is the World Day of Peace? This Catholic feast day, which is 50 years old, helps us to focus on building universal peace through active and creative nonviolence. Pope Francis says we all can be artisans of peace. Here are some of his words for this special day.
“Violence is not the cure for our broken world. Countering violence with violence leads at best to forced migrations and enormous suffering, because vast amounts of resources are diverted to military ends and away from the everyday needs of young people, families experiencing hardship, the elderly, the infirm and the great majority of people in our world.”
“Jesus himself lived in violent times. Yet he taught that the true battlefield, where violence and peace meet, is the human heart: for ‘it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come’ (Mk 7:21). But Christ’s message in this regard offers a radically positive approach. He unfailingly preached God’s unconditional love, which welcomes and forgives. He taught his disciples to love their enemies (cf. Mt 5:44) and to turn the other cheek (cf. Mt 5:39). To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.”
“All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers”.
“In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace.”
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE FIFTIETH WORLD DAY OF PEACE
1 JANUARY 2017