“The Triune God impels us into the heart of the world to be women of peace, hope, and love. In the spirit of Blessed M. Theresa and Mother M. Caroline, we, the members of the Shalom International Network, guided by You Are Sent, Love Gives Everything, and Catholic Social Teaching, commit to…
- …promote our centers of prayer for peace and find ways to broaden participation in prayer for peace…
- …work for human rights, especially among migrants, refugees, and all who are discriminated against in our societies…” (Shalom Focus and Commitments 2018-20)
Each day in some of our countries, we hear of gun violence in public gathering places and feel frightened and helpless; in other countries, dictators use military attacks against their own people. Racism and white supremacy seem to be growing stronger and more dangerous as their manifestations in street violence appall us. Prisons are cruelly overcrowded, while large numbers of children are confined in detention centers separated from parents and families in the USA. To our horror, military budgets focus on weapons of mass destruction in several countries. We read stories of domestic violence in every newspaper, even those in our own neighborhoods. We realize that no place is immune from the coarseness and palpable lowering of standards of conduct. In the midst of all this, how do we educate, advocate and act in light of these situations in our world?
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis alerts us with these words.
“… we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.” (53)
“Peace, justice and the preservation of creation are three absolutely interconnected themes, which cannot be separated and treated individually . . .” (92)
Response: “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me”
Our Constitution, You Are Sent, tells us:
“We are attentive to God’s call, ready to do whatever he tells us. He reveals his will to us in his word; through persons: through persons, through the situations of life, the church and the world; and by his movements in our hearts.” (Constitution 19)
“We recognize that, as individuals and as congregation, we participate in social sin. We are called to acknowledge our contribution to injustices in the world, particularly those stemming from the unrestrained desire for power, prestige, and possessions. God’s grace enables us to counteract these tendencies and to foster within ourselves and in society an attitude of humility and sharing in order to bring about a more just and humane world.” (General Directory 22)
Response: “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me”.
- As you reflect on the need for peace and non-violence in our world, to what do you hear You Are Sent calling us?
- How can we foster a non-violent atmosphere in our communities, in our neighborhoods, cities, or nations?
- What would help you to be more engaged in your desire to work for a world of non-violence and peace?
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is error, truth;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, your light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
grant that I may seek not so much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in self-forgetting that we find,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Prepared by Sister Ethel Howley, SSND,Atlantic-Midwest Province, USA, for the International Shalom Office, Rome, Italy
Graphic on front is from the Directional Statement, 24th General Chapter. Design: Congregational Communications Office.