According to the Dalai Lama, “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”  Peacemaking is an integral part of Catholic Social Teaching, inviting people to be informed and act in conscience when demands are made of them that challenge the Gospel of peace.
Pope John Paul II emphasized the importance of resolving conflict by means of nonviolent action which includes inter-personal relationships, relationships between communities and states. Violence is never a proper response. With the conviction of her faith in Christ and with the awareness of her mission, the church proclaims “that violence is evil, that violence is unacceptable as a solution to problems, and violence isn’t worthy of man.” 
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Matt 5:8 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Matt 5:39, 44 But I say to you, offer no resistance. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
The Hebrew word for peace is shalom, but shalom can also be translated in English as fullness or completeness. In many ways this explains the theme of peace much better because it isn’t just an absence of war or conflict that constitutes peace in the eyes of Catholic Social Teaching, but a complete trust and fraternity between people.
In the past year, many of our brothers and sisters have continued to endure the destructive experience of war, which constitutes a grave and deep wound inflicted on fraternity. Many conflicts are taking place amid general indifference. To all those who live in lands where weapons impose terror and destruction, I assure you of my personal closeness and that of the whole Church, whose mission is to bring Christ’s love to the defenseless victims of forgotten wars through her prayers for peace, her service to the wounded, the starving, refugees, the displaced and all those who live in fear. The Church also speaks out in order to make leaders hear the cry of pain of the suffering and to put an end to every form of hostility, abuse and the violation of fundamental human rights.”   Pope Francis
Excerpts from Faith Meets World, Barry Hudock
Some questions to ask ourselves:
  • How will I educate myself about bringing peace into the world?
  • What can I do to make my family, community and world more peaceful?