the Rosary as a Weapon of "Peace" Song: Pray the Rosary for Peace
Pope Stresses Need To Pray Rosary For Peace VATICAN CITY, FEB. 21, 2003 (Zenit.org) ( Excerpts)- John Paul II asked all Catholics worldwide to pray the rosary, a "privileged instrument for building peace." With this appeal, the Pope concluded his Message for World Mission Sunday Oct. 19, 2003.
"War and injustice have their origins in the 'divided' heart," he writes. "Anyone who assimilates the mystery of Christ -- and this is clearly the goal of the rosary -- learns the secret of peace and makes it his life's project."
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 29, 2002
October the month of the Rosary.
(Zenit.org ) Excerpts of an address given by Pope John Paul II * * Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. We are already at the threshold of the month of October, which, with the liturgical Memorial of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, moves us to rediscover this traditional prayer, which is so simple yet so profound.
The rosary is a contemplative view of the face of Christ carried out, so to speak, through Mary's eyes. Therefore, it is a prayer that is at the very heart of the Gospel, and is in full harmony with the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council and very much in keeping with the indication I gave in the apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte": It is necessary that the Church "go into the deep" of the new millennium beginning with the contemplation of the face of Christ.
Therefore, I wish to suggest the recitation of the rosary to individuals, to families and to Christian communities. To give force to this request, I am also preparing a document, which will help to rediscover the beauty and depth of this prayer.
2. I wish to entrust once again the great cause of peace to the prayer of the rosary. We are faced with an international situation full of tensions, of incandescent dimensions. In some parts of the world, where the confrontation is stronger -- I am thinking in particular of the martyred land of Christ -- we can see that, although always necessary, the political attempts are worth little if spirits remain exacerbated and there is no ability to demonstrate a heartfelt disposition to renew the line of dialogue.
But, who can infuse such sentiments, save God alone? It is more necessary than ever that prayers for peace be raised to him throughout the world. Precisely in this perspective, the rosary reveals itself as a particularly appropriate prayer. It constructs peace also because, while appealing to God's grace, it sows in the one reciting it the seed of good, from which fruits of justice and solidarity in personal and community life can be expected.
I am thinking of nations, but also of families: how much peace would be assured in family relations, if the holy rosary was prayed by the family!
I extend a warm greeting to the (English-speaking) pilgrims and visitors, and invite you to make the month of October a time of special attention to the recitation of the rosary, the great prayer of intercession to Mary. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord.
[Finally, the Pope said in Italian:]
4. The prayer we are about to recite, begins by recalling the Archangel Gabriel's declaration to the Virgin Mary. Indeed, today is the feast of the holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael: May these powerful ministers of God help us to correspond always with generous love to His will.
Message for the World Day of Peace - 2004
(Excerpts) MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD DAY OF PEACE AN EVER TIMELY COMMITMENT: TEACHING PEACE All of you, hear the humble appeal of the successor of Peter who cries out: today too, at the beginning of the New Year 2004 Peace remains possible And if If peace is possible, it is also a duty !
A Practical Initiative
1. My first Message for the World Day of Peace, in the beginning of January 1979, was centered on the theme: “To Reach Peace, Teach Peace"
We Christians see the commitment to educate ourselves and others to peace as something at the very heart of our religion. For Christians, in fact, to proclaim peace is to announce Christ who is “our peace” (Eph 2:14); it is to announce his Gospel, which is a “Gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15); it is to call all people to the beatitude of being “peacemakers” (cf. Mt 5:9).
4. In my Message for the World Day of Peace on 1 January 1979 I made this appeal: To Reach Peace appeal is more over, because men and women, in the face of the tragedies which continue to afflict humanity, are tempted to yield to fatalism, as if peace were an unattainable ideal.
The Church, on the other hand, has always taught and continues today to teach a very simple axiom: peace is possible. Indeed, the Church does not tire of repeating that peace is a duty. It must be built on the four pillars indicated by Blessed John XXIII in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris: truth, justice, love and freedom. A duty is thus imposed upon all those who love peace: that of teaching these ideals to new generations, in order to prepare a better future for all mankind.
The civilization of love
10. At the conclusion of these considerations, I feel it necessary to repeat that, for the establishment of true peace in the world, justice must find its fulfilment in charity. Certainly law is the first road leading to peace, and people need to be taught to respect that law. Yet one does not arrive at the end of this road unless justice is complemented by love. Justice and love sometimes appear to be opposing forces. In fact they are but two faces of a single reality, two dimensions of human life needing to be mutually integrated. Historical experience shows this to be true. It shows how justice is frequently unable to free itself from rancour, hatred and even cruelty. By itself, justice is not enough. Indeed, it can even betray itself, unless it is open to that deeper power which is love.
For this reason I have often reminded Christians and all persons of good will that forgiveness is needed for solving the problems of individuals and peoples. There is no peace without forgiveness! I say it again here, as my thoughts turn in particular to the continuing crisis in Palestine and the Middle East: a solution to the grave problems which for too long have caused suffering for the peoples of those regions will not be found until a decision is made to transcend the logic of simple justice and to be open also to the logic of forgiveness.
Christians know that love is the reason for God's entering into relationship with man. And it is love which he awaits as man's response. Consequently, love is also the loftiest and most noble form of relationship possible between human beings. Love must thus enliven every sector of human life and extend to the international order. Only a humanity in which there reigns the “civilization of love” will be able to enjoy authentic and lasting peace.
At the beginning of a New Year I wish to repeat to women and men of every language, religion and culture the ancient maxim: “Omnia vincit amor” (Love conquers all). Yes, dear Brothers and Sisters throughout the world, in the end love will be victorious! Let everyone be committed to hastening this victory. For it is the deepest hope
From the Vatican, 8 December 2003.
Complete document can be viewed: www.vaticn.va
Catechism of the Catholic Church Peace C.C.C. # 2302 By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill,"94 our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.
Anger is a desire for revenge. "To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit," but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice."95 If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, "Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."96
2303 Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is "the tranquility of order."98 Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.99
2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the messianic "Prince of Peace."100 By the blood of his Cross, "in his own person he killed the hostility,"101 he reconciled men with God and made his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union with God. "He is our peace."102 He has declared: "Blessed are the peacemakers."103
2306 Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death.104 More articles can be viewed: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism
MESSAGE OF HIS
HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD DAY OF PEACE : JANUARY 1 - 2003 PACEM IN TERRIS: (excerpts) complete document available on www.vatican.va
A PERMANENT COMMITMENT
1. Almost forty years ago, on Holy Thursday, 11 April 1963, Pope John XXIII published his epic Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris. Addressing himself to “all men of good will”, my venerable predecessor, who would die just two months later, summed up his message of “peace on earth” in the first sentence of the Encyclical: “Peace on earth, which all men of every era have most eagerly yearned for, can be firmly established and sustained only if the order laid down by God be dutifully observed” (Introduction: AAS, 55 , 257).
SPEAKING PEACE TO A DIVIDED WORLD
2. The world to which John XXIII wrote was then in a profound state of disorder. The twentieth century had begun with great expectations for progress. Yet within sixty years, that same century had produced two World Wars, devastating totalitarian systems, untold human suffering, and the greatest persecution of the Church in history.
Only two years before Pacem in Terris, in 1961, the Berlin Wall had been erected in order to divide and set against each other not only two parts of that City but two ways of understanding and building the earthly city. On one side and the other of the Wall, life was to follow different patterns, dictated by antithetical rules, in a climate of mutual suspicion and mistrust. Both as a world-view and in real life, that Wall traversed the whole of humanity and penetrated people's hearts and minds, creating divisions that seemed destined to last indefinitely.
Moreover, just six months before the Encyclical, and just as the Second Vatican Council was opening in Rome, the world had come to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The road to a world of peace, justice and freedom seemed blocked. Humanity, many believed, was condemned to live indefinitely in that precarious condition of “cold war”, hoping against hope that neither an act of aggression nor an accident would trigger the worst war in human history. Available atomic arsenals meant that such a war would have imperiled the very future of the human race.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF
3. Pope John XXIII did not agree with those who claimed that peace was impossible. With his Encyclical, peace – in all its demanding truth – came knocking on both sides of the Wall and of all the other dividing walls. The Encyclical spoke to everyone of their belonging to the one human family, and shone a light on the shared aspiration of people everywhere to live in security, justice and hope for the future.
With the profound intuition that characterized him, John XXIII identified the essential conditions for peace in four precise requirements of the human spirit: truth, justice, love and freedom (cf. ibid., I: l.c., 265-266).
TRUTH will build peace if every individual sincerely acknowledges not only his rights, but also his own duties towards others.
JUSTICE will build peace if in practice everyone respects the rights of others and actually fulfils his duties towards them.
LOVE will build peace if people feel the needs of others as their own and share what they have with others, especially the values of mind and spirit which they possess.
FREEDOM will build peace and make it thrive if, in the choice of the means to that end, people act according to reason and assume responsibility for their own actions.
Looking at the present and into the future with the eyes of
faith and reason, Blessed John XXIII discerned deeper historical currents at
work. Things were not always what they seemed on the surface. Despite
wars and rumors of wars, something more was at work in human affairs,
something that to the Pope looked like the promising beginning of a
Complete document can be viewed: www.vatican.va