by Fr. Daniel Regent, SJ
In January 2020, Pope Francis invites Catholics to pray “so that Jesus’ disciples, believers and persons of good will may foster together peace and justice in the world.”
Here is a translation of Father Daniel Regent’s editorial on the subject.
Together, Let’s Restore Peace!
“Let us pray so that Jesus’ disciples, believers and persons of good will may foster together peace and justice in the world.”
To celebrate the New Year is not to add another weight to the previous ones; it’s to come to drink at the source of Life and receive in depth a creative energy that changes one’s outlook. Moreover, to pray for justice and peace is not to dream about a better world, while amassing arms to preserve one’s tranquillity and private preserve. War is already lodged there. Justice and peace are in need of being built every day. It is necessary for us to work every day to come out of war, which interferes in us and between us. Attention, this work is not done with any weapon. The word given by the Pope for his intention is “together.” Jesus’ disciples, believers and persons of good will. Each person is called to come out of himself and his own interests and go to encounter the other. This work begins with oneself.
Humanly, this might seem pure folly. It’s the folly of Jesus’ Gospel, in part of Gandhi or of Lanza del Vasto, disciple of Jesus. Therefore, prayer begins by asking for oneself the grace go let oneself be taken by this movement that can lead to the cross.
Can religions, businesses, States engage on such a path? A unilateral disarmament doesn’t honor the invitation to work together. To hold out for balance out of fear is already to consent to defeat. It’s necessary to go further and that passes by men. Saint Francis went to encounter the Sultan at the height of the crusade. Gandhi was a man of State. The Franco-German reconciliation happened thanks to the courage of a few. Those that take up the path of justice and peace are the first to be transformed.
In this month of January, we can take up the prayer of Saint Francis: Lord, make us instruments of your peace, that it may give a new light to our whole year. Happy New Year to each one!