Tuesday, January 1, 2013

World Day of Peace Message 2013

Each year at this time we prepare for the New Year and in the Church also for World  Peace Day. The Holy Father greets all Catholics with his message of peace, asking us all to be messengers of the culture of life and peace, as does the recent editorial in the Catholic Times.

In the Pope's peace message, entitled "Blessed  are the Peacemakers," he notes that because we all have a desire for peace we have both a right to its blessings and a duty to work for its attainment, despite the continual threat of bloody conflicts and war.

"It is alarming to see," he says, "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 that distort the true nature of religion, which aims to foster fellowship and reconciliation among people.... In effect, our times--marked by globalization, with its positive and negative aspects, as well as the continuation of violent conflicts and threats of war--demand a new, shared commitment in pursuit of the common good and the development of all men, and of the whole man." 

The pope sees our universal desire for peace as being part of God's plans for the world. Having been created with this desire, it's only natural for us to make efforts to achieve it; peace is the fruit of the gift of life we have received. Peace allows us to live with others in fruitfulness, in fellowship and sharing. A necessary condition for its reception is to breakdown the dogmatic acceptance of relativism.

In order to be a worker for peace, according to the editorial, we have to be in  continuous communication with God.  We are then able to bring light into the darkness that engulfs peace, overcoming evil in its many guises: egotism, violence, greed, hate, injustice, to name only a few. Those who are working for their eradication are the protectors of peace. 

In the world today, as the pope has mentioned, with its injustice and violence, abortion and euthanasia, and the like, we are violating the dignity of the person. And the clearest example of this occurs when we accept the culture of death. It is the task of Christians to work for the undoing of this culture of death.  When we act against human dignity, we cannot  foster happiness and peace. Let us in the new year be workers for peace. 

Happy New Year


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