Aufgerufen Friedensstifter zu sein

„Ehrwürdige Brüder und geliebte Söhne, es wird euch aufgefallen sein, wie oft Wir über den Frieden sprechen. Wir tun es nicht um einer rasch erworbenen Gewohnheit nachzugeben (…) Wir tun es, weil Wir sehen, wie ernst der Friede bedroht ist. (…) Wir tun es , weil in den letzten Jahren der Geschichte (…) sehr klar die Tatsache zutage getreten ist, dass der Friede der einzige, wahre Weg des menschlichen Fortschritts ist (…) Wir tun es, weil der Friede zum Geist der christlichen Religion gehört, weil für den Christen den Frieden verkünden Jesus Christus verkünden heißt. „Er ist unser Friede“ (Eph 2,14). Sein Evangelium ist, „das Evangelium des Friedens“ (Eph 6,15). Durch sein Opfer am Kreuz hat er die Aussöhnung aller Menschen vollzogen, und wir, seine Jünger sind aufgerufen, „Friedensstifter“ (Mt 5,9) zu sein.“

In fine, it is only from the Gospel that there can spring forth true Peace, not in order to make men dull and soft, but to replace the impulses to violence and bullying in their minds, by the manly virtues of reasoning and heart characteristic of true humanism. We do so, finally, because We would not wish ever to be rebuked by God and by history for having kept silence in the face of the danger of a new conflagration between peoples, which, as all know, could take on sudden forms of apocalyptic awfulness.
Men must always speak of Peace. The world must be educated to love Peace, to build it up and defend it. Against the resurgent preludes to war (nationalistic competition, armaments, revolutionary provocations, racial hatred, the spirit of revenge, etc.), and also against the snares of tactical pacifism, intended to drug the enemy one must overcome, to smother in men’s minds the meaning of justice, of duty and of sacrifice – we must arouse in the men of our time and of future generations the sense and love of Peace founded upon truth, justice, freedom and love (cf. Pope John XXIII: „Pacem in terris„).
Let, then, the grand idea of Peace, particularly for us, the disciples of Christ, have its solemn Day, the beginning of the new year 1968.
We who believe in the Gospel can pour into this observance a wonderful treasury of original and powerful ideas, such as that of the intangible world-wide brotherhood of all men, derived from the one, sovereign, most lovable Fatherhood of God, and arising from the communion which, whether really or hopefully, unites all of us with Christ, as well as from the prophetic vocation which, in the Holy Spirit, calls the human race to unity, not only in conscience, but in works and in final destiny. From the Gospel’s precept to pardon and to have mercy, we can draw forces which will regenerate society. And above all. Venerable Brothers and beloved sons, we can possess a singular weapon for Peace, that is, prayer, with all its marvellous energies to raise moral tone and to invoke transcendent divine forces of spiritual and political renewal, and also the opportunity offered to each and every one to question himself interiorly and sincerely concerning the roots of rancour and violence which may lurk deep in his heart.
Let us strive, then, to inaugurate the year of grace nineteen hundred and sixty-eight (the year of the faith which is transformed into hope) by praying for Peace; praying all together, in our churches and in our homes-that is what We ask of you for now. Let no voice be missing from the great chorus of the Church and of the world, beseeching Christ Who was immolated for us to „Grant us peace!“.

May Our Apostolic Blessing descend upon you and remain always.
From the Vatican, 8 December 1967.

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