Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Peace on Earth

Today, April 11th 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of the ground-breaking encyclical "Pacem in Terris" (Peace on Earth) by Blessed Pope John XXIII.  It was his last encyclical letter, drafted two months before he died. It is unique in that it was the first time a Pope wrote not just to all Catholics but to "All men of good will." It was written at a time of international tension. The Berlin Wall had been erected in 1961 and because of the Cuban Missile Crisis there was fresh fears of war breaking out on a huge scale.

In the encyclical, the Pope examines the situation the world finds itself in in the 1960's. He outlines the importance of order in life, in society, between people and this leads to right relationships and prosperity. He speaks about conscience and reconciliation which gives rise to harmony.

He is critical of the arms race; "We are deeply distressed to see the enormous stocks of armaments that have been, and continue to be, manufactured in the economically more developed countries. "Because of this; "People are in the grip of constant fear. They are afraid that at any moment the impending storm may break upon them with horrific violence. " My mother remembers she and her friends going the church around that time and there was prayers for peace. Pope John calls for disarmament and calls for nuclear weapons to be banned.
 
Pope John outlines motives for peace; "Here, then, we have an objective dictated first of all by reason. There is general agreement—or at least there should be—that relations between States, as between individuals, must be regulated not by armed force, but in accordance with the principles of right reason: the principles, that is, of truth, justice and vigorous and sincere co-operation.  Secondly, it is an objective which We maintain is more earnestly to be desired. For who is there who does not feel the craving to be rid of the threat of war, and to see peace preserved and made daily more secure? And finally it is an objective which is rich with possibilities for good. Its advantages will be felt everywhere, by individuals, by families, by nations, by the whole human race. The warning of Pope Pius XII still rings in our ears: "Nothing is lost by peace; everything may be lost by war." (60)

He mentions the establishment of the United Nations in June 1945 and supports its aims and objectives and its 'farsightedness' in developing its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He says that education is also integral to the cause of peace as it supports the people listening to each other.
The Pope offers a compass in the quest for peace and it is Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace;

"Let us, then, pray with all fervour for this peace which our divine Redeemer came to bring us. May He banish from the souls of men whatever might endanger peace. May He transform all men into witnesses of truth, justice and brotherly love. May He illumine with His light the minds of rulers, so that, besides caring for the proper material welfare of their peoples, they may also guarantee them the fairest gift of peace."

"Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all men to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through His power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them."
 

 

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