Franciscan Superior Proposes 5 Ways to Foster True Peace

Letter of Minister General of Friars Minor

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 18, 2003 ( The head of the Order of Friars Minor gave Christian guidelines to support people involved in the world movement against war and all forms of terrorism and violence.

In a letter written Sunday and entitled «Witnesses to and Announcers of Peace,» Father Giacomo Bini states: «We Franciscans cannot remain silent, on the fringes of this movement for life. St. Francis asks us to be peacemakers wherever we may live.»

The minister general of the Franciscans then describes the ways with which the religious order wishes to sustain all those who «dissociate themselves from the proposals of death that offend both God and man.»

First of all, through «constant and intensified prayer during this privileged time of Lent,» as the «hope of peace is reborn and strengthened precisely from this dialogue with God, who helps us to resituate our existence in the harmony of relationships.»

Second, through «our harmonious pacified life re-centered on God. We will be bearers of peace when we are pacified among ourselves.»

In the third place, the superior proposes a «dialoguing presence in the midst of men and women of good will, going out to meet all, friend and foe, accepting and appreciating all desires for communion.»

In the fourth place, he suggests «fasting and penance,» a «very important instrument of peace since it helps to purify us from the thirst for possession, from all that is superfluous, which is always a form of violence toward the poor. Fasting and penance support our prayer and confirm the truth of our word.»

Lastly, the Franciscan superior calls for «the explicit proclamation of peace done, in fraternity, with courage and creativity.»

«We cannot give ourselves over to a sterile resignation: The admirable example of the Holy Father, John Paul II, must spur us on to use all possible means to construct peace and reconciliation,» the Franciscan concludes.

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