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Father Muench Says...

Joining in the pope's campaign for peace

Sept. 18, 2013

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would like to join together with all those who have already written and spoken out in recognition of Pope Francis’ strong call for peace – especially a peaceful settlement of the crisis over Syria. 

I am totally impressed with the responses that have been made to our Holy Father’s call for prayer and fasting.
Pope Francis has spoken out forcefully concerning the injustices suffered by the people of Syria.  However, his consistent call is that violence is not the answer. 

He spoke out very strongly concerning this in his homily on the evening of the peace vigil in St. Peter’s Square.
He said this: “War always marks the failure of peace – it is a defeat for humanity.”  “This evening I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions, and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: violence and war are never the way to peace.”

So, today, I join with all of those who have spoken out – our bishop, the bishops throughout the country, and so many others who have written and spoken out concerning this – there must be a better way. 

I was so impressed that many parishes in our diocese demonstrated a response to the Pope’s call for peace – for prayer and fasting – with special services and prayer vigils. This moment must not be forgotten.  Since we have joined in this campaign of prayer for peace – now we must live it. 

As people of peace, our lives must demonstrate our hopes and dreams for peace.  We, Catholic Christians, must show this world what a person of peace looks like – especially by the way we treat others.  This must begin with our own families. Each family must be the most peaceful family on the face of the earth – nothing less.  Only then can we challenge the rest of the world to be a more peaceful place.

We must also make our community, the most peaceful community on the face of the earth.  The challenge begins right here at home.  Then we can demand the rest of the world to join us in this path to peace. Our campaign for peace begins with prayer.  This prayer must be lived out in our daily lives.  It begins with the little things.  Doing the little things of life well is so fundamentally important in this program. 

I am certain that this path to peace does begin with how we deal with the little things of life.  Often, these little things can be annoying and can interfere with our efforts to finding complete peace. Doing the little things of life well – “What does that require?” I am certain that it begins with patience.  Being that steady, patient person is never easy.  Yet, nothing demonstrates our peacefulness more than patience. It also demonstrates our faith in God – our love of God – our love of our neighbor. 

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not the most patient person.  I must work harder at this spirit of patience.  And now is the time – I have been challenged by my Holy Father, Pope Francis – I want to join more fully in this campaign of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his call for peace.

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