“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children…This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
US President Dwight Eisenhower
The true meaning of peace reflects on the importance of the partnership of peace and justice where to livesimply demands that everyone strives for the right relationship with one another.
Bai Liza Saway a member of Mothers for Peace, Mindanao, Timor Leste, reflects on teaching children the true values and skills in life by living in peace and harmony with others.
The existence of peace demands more than just the absence of war. Deacon Pat Taylor explains that there is a Christian calling to build a culture of peace that searches for ways to resolve disputes short of rushing to war.
Ross Langmead outlines why justice is essential to the Gospels which highlight the importance of reconciliation, forgiveness and fairness.
This prayer gives thanks to God for the gift of life and the world we share, to ask for courage to challenge the powerful by the values of the gospel, and to commit to non violent ways of resolving conflict at personal, local, national and international levels.
These prayers asks for God to teach us to speak out for those who are victims of injustice, to resolve the conflict and hurt of others, praying for a world of peace, free from conflict and injustice.
The Dalai Lama reminds us to work for peace in the world and in our hearts no matter what and it is compassion which is vital for achieving this goal.
Pax Christi and The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions have worked to rebuild Palestinian houses, such as those of Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh which has been destroyed three times in the last fourteen years by the Israeli army. The last rebuild of the couple’s house has remained standing since 2003, the effect of demolition on Palestinian families is also explained.
“I won’t wait for justice…I’ll go and find it” shows how women are making strides towards gender equality and empowerment in the Gasaro village, Eastern Rwanda. This has been enabled by the work of CAFOD in supporting a paralegal scheme to equip women with the knowledge and expertise of court proceedings to get justice for the genocide crimes committed in 1994.
Barry and Margaret Mizen recall the murder of their son Jimmy last year and convey their determination that good things must come out of his death. They talk about how faith has been the only thing that has made sense of his death, they describe their close relationship with God at this point and how they have understood the true meaning of forgiveness as not wanting any revenge or any kind of vendetta.
Progressio has been working with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Lilongwe Diocese to spread awareness of what is involved in organising free, fair and non-violent elections. Development Worker Mandlekosi Mpofu from Zimbabwe has been helping CCJP organise training throughout three areas in the diocese to spread the word about how ordinary people can contribute.
The terrors in Northern Ireland lasted for years and many were injured and even more lost their lives. Mairead Corrigan who like so many had lost loved ones, led the way for Irish women in the struggle for peace. “If we want to reap the harvest of peace and justice in the future,” Mairead said, “we will have to sow seeds of nonviolence, here and now, in the present.”
Four British women took matters into their own hands when they broke into the British Aerospace Factory in Lancashire in 1996 and destroyed a plane intended to be sold to the cruel Indonesian regime. The four women made this deliberate decision to oppose the injustice of the regime.
“Turning swords into ploughshares is creative work that demands new approaches and insights in an ever changing world.” Pax Christi explain how they amongst other Catholic organisations have worked to expose the ethics around the arms trade in Catholic Social Teaching. This is done in the hope of exposing how military technology fuels wars and conflict.
Sarah Hipperson moved to Greenham Common in Berkshire to confront the threat posed by American nuclear missions there. Inspired by her faith, she felt it was not right for UK to hold nuclear weapons stronger than the Hiroshima Bomb as self defence. Today she still works on peace issues, continuing activism despite now being in her 80′s.
Mairead Corrigan has worked for the peace movement born out of the troubles in Northern Ireland in order to reap the harvest of justice in the future, by sowing the seeds of non violence here today. She has worked continuously on peacemaking and non violence guided by Christ’s example.
Marie Fatayi-Williams’ son Anthony was killed in the July 2005 terrorist bombs in London. Marie made an appeal on the day he was murdered to terrorists around the world – that anyone can be mislead and terrorism is most certainly not the answer, peace can’t be delivered by terrorism and hatred only begets hatred.
When Jagerstatter was sentenced to death in Berlin 1943 he spoke of how nothing could separate him from the love of God. He was recognised as a martyr, encouraged to stand up for peace, justice and human dignity.
Back to: Catholic Social Teaching