Next Sunday 16 January is in England a Day of Prayer for Peace.
This year Pope Francis asks us to think about ‘Education, work and dialogue between generations: tools for building lasting peace’. In his message, he outlined three “paths for building a lasting peace”: promoting dialogue between generations, investing in education, and improving labour conditions. He called for a new alliance between the young and elderly to address the problems of isolation and self-absorption heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.
The US Bishop’s Conference offer a simple three-step response that we can all make. They suggest we:
- pray for all those in need of peace in our community and around the world;
- learn, seeking to understand the political and social issues that lead to poverty and conflict which threatens the lives of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Learn about these issues and read stories of hope to learn how faith communities are answering the call to work for peace and justice; and
- act, by joining tens of thousands of Catholics to advocate for the poor and vulnerable to our elected leaders that they enact policies that seek justice and peace at home and abroad..
The need for peace in the world is obvious. People are struggling against violence and conflict, growing inequalities, the effects of climate change and the Covid pandemic.
In this country we have an active Catholic peace movement in Pax Christi, which does a much work to promote peace and nonviolence through parishes, schools and social media. They have produced some helpful resources for the day.
Their website suggests many ways we can all become better peacemakers. There are activities for families to do at home, including a peace liturgy for young children.