We condemn every recourse to violence

We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion, and, as we condemn every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or of religion, we commit ourselves to doing everything possible to eliminate the root causes of terrorism.

~ Decalogue of Assisi for Peace (2002 Day of Prayer for Peace)

Built up day after day

To wage war on misery and to struggle against injustice is to promote, along with improved conditions, the human and spiritual progress of all men, and therefore the common good of humanity. Peace cannot be limited to a mere absence of war, the result of an ever precarious balance of forces. No, peace is something that is built up day after day, in the pursuit of an order intended by God, which implies a more perfect form of justice among men.

~ Pope Paul VI, On the Development of Peoples (Populorum Progressio), #76

Trivialities and illusions

I know from my own experience that in the last twenty years, the world has moved a very long way towards conformism and passivity. So long a way that the distance is, to me, both frightening and disconcerting. America… not that the people do not complain and criticize, but their complaints and criticisms, indeed their most serious concerns, seem to be involved in trivialities and illusions.

~Thomas Merton via Haunted by Thomas Merton – Aleteia

Your life will bear fruit

You have to hunger and thirst for righteousness. You have to have faith, you have to have hope that if you live your life by the blueprint of the Gospel, God will take care of the rest. He says Don’t worry what you’re going to eat or what you’re going to wear. But by take care of I don’t mean protect from all harm. He himself was hardly protected from all harm. I mean take care of in the sense that your enemies may kill you but your life will bear fruit. Your life will go toward the building of the Kingdom. That’s the goal for the authentic follower of Christ. To go toward the building of God. He who saves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake will find it. Your goal can’t be power, property, prestige, security. That’s the goal of our government and we are all witnessing where that leads.

~ Heather King, PEACE IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES

Heal the wounds

I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up.

~ Pope Francis, A Big Heart Open to God | America Magazine, HT to a minor friar blog

A defeat for humanity

The twentieth century bequeaths to us above all else a warning: wars are often the cause of further wars because they fuel deep hatreds, create situations of injustice and trample upon people’s dignity and rights… War is a defeat for humanity. Only in peace and through peace can respect for human dignity and its inalienable rights be guaranteed.

~ Pope John Paul II via PAX CHRISTI USA

Despite myself, my prayers were answered…

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve –
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for help, that I might do greater things –
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy –
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life –
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for –
But everything that I had hoped for.
Despite myself, my prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

~Prayer/poem written by an anonymous Confederate soldier during the Civil War via Michael Wade blog Execupundit