Today, people around the world are responding to the call of Pope Francis and uniting in the cause for peace through fasting and prayer. We do so with the hope that these offerings may place us in solidarity with those who suffer the tragedies of violence and aggression, especially in Syria. We do so in order to contribute to bringing about a just and harmonious peace across nations, cultures, and differences in a world that too often cares only for division and resorts to brutality as a viable option.
Let us therefore dare to go about the cause of peace. Let us do so simply, in our own place, in our own neighbourhoods, beginning with those around us; that the ripples of our love and fraternity for one another may radiate outwards and extend to the whole human family, uniting us in bonds of cooperation, dialogue, compassion, and understanding. The goal of peace may seem lofty, but it is within our grasp. We ourselves are capable of bringing about a change for the better, towards a more peaceful tomorrow and a more peaceful today. In the words of Mother Teresa, "Peace begins with a smile"--it begins with you and me.
As we commemorate this day called for by our Holy Father, Francis, let us take to heart the words of the great Francis, that we also may be instruments of the peace we seek:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
For events taking place in your region, visit your diocesan website or contact your local parish. Let us unite in the cause for peace! It begins with you and me.