6 September 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
During the Angelus on September 1, Pope Francis declared September 7 as a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria and throughout the Middle East.
In his address to the United Nations in 1965, Pope Paul VI told world leaders, “No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and of all mankind.” Today, Pope Francis adds his voice “to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! War never again! Never again war!”
Blessed John XXIII, wrote in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris, “Peace on earth, which all men of every era have most eagerly yearned for, can be firmly established and sustained only if the order laid down by God be dutifully observed.”
Peace is God’s gift to humanity. Peace is rooted in the very heart of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. And God so loved the world He sent His only Son, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:5) In His final greeting to His disciples Jesus said, “peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27) Let us not live under the illusion that peace can result simply from the acts of politicians and much less that it be achieved through acts of violence.
My sisters and brothers we are called in a new way to embrace peace in our own lives, peace with God and peace with our neighbor. Let us work together in the everyday events of life to build a culture of peace through a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue with each person we meet. Today, let us join with the whole church through prayer and fasting to be peacemakers so that our world and the world that we leave to future generations will be a world ruled by peace. May God bless you and may peace reign in each of your hearts and in each of your homes.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD
Bishop of Corpus Christi