Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre Uniya
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Location : Education : Peace : Of War and Peace

Of War and Peace

Let us not forget the incredible cost of war: the deaths, the maiming, the loss of livelihood, the destruction of priceless cultural heritage, the scarring of the land, and the irrevocable damage done to personal and international relationships.

War costs and so does peace. Perhaps conflict is an easier option for it takes effort – sustained effort – to work for peace. It takes time, courage and patience. We have seen how those who marched for peace in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq were summarily dismissed as naïve do-gooders whose actions gave succour to Saddham Hussein. Not so. We who follow the gospel of Jesus Christ know that it is our call, as it is our blessing, to be peacemakers.

We must find ways of working in our families, communities, neighbourhoods and workplaces in ways that eschew conflict and the subtle forms of violence to which we are prone. The song is correct – peace begins with me. The American Jesuit John Dear said, “The life of peace is both an inner journey toward a disarmed heart and a public journey toward a disarmed world.” We work for peace when we strive to end the violence in our own hearts. We work for peace in the way we talk about others – especially those who disagree with us. We work for peace when we address the complexities of issues in a spirit of dialogue, rather than by any adversarial scapegoating. We work for peace in our hearts and peace in our world through persistent reconciliation, forgiving love, and steadfast nonviolence.

And so we pray:

May the God of Peace disarm our hearts so that we might disarm our world.
May God make us instruments of peace and lead us on the road to peace.
We make our prayer in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Patty Fawkner SGS June, 2003

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