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Violence and wars lead to tremendous suffering
Violence and wars lead to tremendous suffering

Bishop Peter: What can you personally do about World Peace?

We all know that violence is never the solution for our troubled world. There certainly are lots of problems around but starting wars in not the answer.

Violence and wars lead to forced migrations, tremendous suffering, a waste of resources, hardships and usually leads to death and destruction.

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Yet, non-violence in the opinion of some people, is seen as a sign of weakness, surrender and is even seen by some as risking everything we cherish and possess.

Still there have been some outstanding examples of very impressive results of non-violent methods of bringing change to the world. Look at the example of Gandhi, Martin Luther King. What about the fall of the Soviet regime in Eastern Europe. Ukraine would be a good example of this. St John Paul 11 said that we can change the world by “only using the weapons of truth and justice.” Pope Francis said. “Violence has its source in the human heart then it is fundamental that non-violence be practiced before all else within families.”

The family lives in and re-enforces values which we expect from our society and leaders.

People find it difficult to imagine that peace in the world begins, first of all, within each person’s heart and in the heart of the family. They say that its strong leaders, governments, business leaders who start wars. Ultimately, they do, but these leaders “on top”, represent the people who elect them to allow them to have power.

A country’s soul is found in its smallest form of relationship- the family. A good strong nation has as its base a solid foundation of God fearing and loving individuals and families.

The church has always taught us that the family is the indispensable unit or seed in which families learn to communicate, show concern for one another, and create an atmosphere in which differences, conflicts and misunderstanding are not resolved by force but by dialogue, respect, concern for the good of the other and by showing mercy and forgiveness.

Domestic violence, family breakdown or even the total lack of family life, although they are increasingly common, are not the way God has created us.

The family lives in and re-enforces values which we expect from our society and leaders.

Domestic violence, family breakdown or even the total lack of family life, although they are increasingly common, are not the way God has created us. As Pope Francis says, “Peace alone is Holy.”

Jesus has spoken to us very clearly on this topic. He gave us the Beatitudes, (Mt 5. 3-10)

They, first of all, stress that peace, love and wellbeing rests with each person practising these Beatitudes.

Obviously, the Sermon on the mount is also intended for leaders as well. Governments must be mindful that true peace and harmony in the world, and that they govern in a manner which reflects these basic principles.

All non-violent movements draw their inspiration and strength through prayer.

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM

This article was published in The Church and Life Newspaper, January 2019

This post is also available in: Ukrainian