Pope Francis: “It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God. But the converse is also true: It is not possible to establish true links with God while ignoring other people.”
After reflecting on the above quote, consider the following:
Let There Be Peace on Earth
Can you change the world? Not all by yourself you can’t. Remember, we have only one Messiah—and you’re not Him. But by working with others—in your fraternity, in your parish, in your community (and with plenty of unmerited but freely supplied grace)—you can make a difference! Below you’ll see just a few ways. It would be surprising if you couldn’t think of a lot more. [*Create an apostolate around any of those below.]
Tutor a disadvantaged or special needs young person.
Do something good for someone who can do nothing for you in return.
Show compassion and helpfulness to those who have gotten their lives into a total mess.
Be willing to draw on the compassion and helpfulness of others when your life seems to be becoming a total mess.
Don’t let bad feelings be the end result of disagreement.
Persons in other faith traditions and cultural groups are children of God. Do something to prove that you actually believe this. Then join a group that actually believes this.
Make the Gospel, rather than the current social and political situation, the starting point of your thought and action.
See if empowering others doesn’t also empower you.
You don’t volunteer for peace-building activities because you “don’t have time”? Ask yourself some hard questions about how you use time.
Tell others how much they matter. Then show others how much they matter.
You don’t love others by imposing your reality on them. On the other hand, power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the power gained through threat of punishment or exclusion.
Think of all the ways the word “community” could be used. Then accept personal responsibility for helping to create all sorts of better communities.
Where’s God in all of this? In your thoughts, words, and actions, hopefully. This is one of the most important ways that God’s Presence comes into the world.
* Editor’s addition
pax et bonum
Mike DePue ofs
JPIC Animator / St. Clare Region
NAFRA JPIC Commission Member