Peace by Peace

May-June 2013

The Veil of Veronica, El Greco, 1580-82 (Web Gallery of Art)
For the Lord is righteous; he loves justice. The upright will see his face.
~ Psalm11:7 (Christian Community Bible) ~


Pope Benedict XVI, 16 January 2013

The poverty that Jesus means – that the prophets mean – presupposes above all inner freedom from the greed for possession and the mania for power. This is a greater reality than merely a different distribution of possessions, which would still be in the material domain and thereby make hearts even harder. It is first and foremost a matter of purification of heart, through which one recognizes possession as responsibility, as a duty towards others, placing oneself under God's gaze and letting oneself be guided by Christ, who from being rich became poor for our sake (cf. 2 Cor 8: 9). Inner freedom is the prerequisite for overcoming the corruption and greed that devastate the world today. This freedom can only be found if God becomes our richness; it can only be found in the patience of daily sacrifices, in which, as it were, true freedom develops. It is the King who points out to us the way to this goal: Jesus, whom we acclaim on Palm Sunday, whom we ask to take us with him on his way.

~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily on Palm Sunday, 9 April 2006, St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, 21st World Youth Day.




For Christ is our peace, he who has made the two peoples one, destroying in his own flesh the wall – the hatred – which separated us. He abolished the Law with its commands and precepts. He made peace in uniting the two peoples in him, creating out of the two one New Man. He destroyed hatred and reconciled us both to God through the cross, making the two one body.

~ Ephesians 2:14-16 (Christian Community Bible) ~
Apostle St Paul, El Greco, 1610-14 (Web Gallery of Art)


From a letter Sister Thérèse carried on her heart on the day of her profession, 8 September 1890:

Basilica of St Thérèse in Lisieux
May I never seek nor find anything but Yourself alone. May creatures be nothing for me and may I be nothing for them, but may You, Jesus, be everything! May the things of earth never be able to trouble my soul, and may nothing disturb my peace. Jesus, I ask You for nothing but peace, and also love, infinite love without any limits other than Yourself; love which is no longer I but You, my Jesus.

~ St Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of a Soul (translated by John Clarke OCD, p275) ~

The First Movement of the Dance with God

Let me be your dance master for a while! The first movement is forgiveness. It’s a very difficult movement. But, then, all beginnings are difficult, and there is so much forgiving to do. We have to forgive our parents for not being able to give us unconditional love, our brothers and sisters for not giving us the support we dreamt about, our friends for not being there for us when we expected them. We have to forgive our church and civil leaders for their ambitions and manipulations. Beyond all that, we have to forgive all those who torture, kill, rape, destroy – who make this world such a dark place. And we, ourselves, also have to beg forgiveness. The older we become, the more clearly we see that we, too, have wounded others deeply, and are part of a society of violence and destruction. It is very difficult to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. But, without this, we remain fettered to our past – unable to dance... Forgiveness enables us to take the first step of the dance.

~ Henri J. M. Nouwen, The only necessary thing: living a prayerful life, compiled and edited by Wendy Wilson Greer ~

Fr Henri J.M. Nouwen (1932 – 1996) ending a talk on The Life of the Beloved.


May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace in the faith, so that your hope may increase by the power of the Holy Spirit (Christian Community Bible).

~ Romans 15:13 ~


Now, a new creature, I in Christ am born,
The old man stripped away; -- I am new-made;
And mounting in me, like the sun at morn,
Love breaks my heart, even as a broken blade:
Christ, First and Only Fair, from me hath shorn
My will, my wits, and all that in me stayed,
I in His arms am laid,
I cry and call –
‘O Thou my All,
O let me die of Love!’

~ Blessed Jacopone of Todi, Franciscan poet (1230 – 1306) ~

November – December 2012


May the God of Peace make you holy and bring you to perfection. May you be completely blameless, in spirit, soul and body, till the coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23 ~

The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return.

~ PORTA FIDEI, Apostolic Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI for the Indiction of the Year of Faith ~
German stamp in honor of Pope Benedict XVI 2007


It is an error to isolate oneself from men . . . If God does not call one to solitude, one must live with God in the multitude, make him known there and make him loved.
~ Raissa Maritain, Poet and Contemplative (1883 – 1960) ~

Video on Jacques and Raissa Maritain


St Teresa of Avila (28 March 1515 – 4/15 October 1582)
This is the one portrait of Teresa that is probably the most true to her appearance. It is a copy of an original painting of her in 1576 at the age of 61.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante
Quien a Dios tiene,
nada te falta
Nada te turbe,
nada te espante
Solo Dios basta.

~ Sta Teresa de Avila, Mystic, Doctor of the Church (1515 – 1582) ~

Trivia about St Teresa
. She died during the night of Thursday 4 October 1582 which was followed by Friday 15 October 1582 when the Julian Calendar was replaced by the calendar now followed universally and known as the Gregorian Calendar, after Pope Gregory XIII who had decreed the change. The saints’ feast day is 15 October.

J. Berthier’s setting of St Teresa’s word as sung in Taizé. This version is in Korean. For the Spanish version click here. For a different musical setting in Spanish click here.

Over the years, indeed over the centuries, there have been many changes in Society and in what we consider to be important. But one thing that has not changed is our need to belong. This is true in all walks of life, indeed even among the most hardened criminals! At times in our lives we may 'go it alone', but nearly always we end up experiencing the need to share our achievements, our sufferings, our difficulties, our joys, to share whatever is happening in our lives with others: especially with those who are important to us in our journey through life. This sense of belonging is part of human nature, as God created us. It is a very basic and fundamental need.

~ Bishop Derek Byrne of Guiratinga, Brazil, at the International Eucharistic Congress ~

The full text of Bishop Byrne’s Morning Prayer on Friday 15 June at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland, is here. Bishop Byrne is a native of Dublin and is a member of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society, (Kiltegan Fathers).

Until I am one with God I can never have true rest nor peace.

~ Julian of Norwich (c.1342 – c.1416) ~
Julian is venerated as a saint by Anglicans and Lutherans.

Statue of Julian to the left of the main door to Norwich Cathedral (Anglican) and of St Benedict to the right.


Where does true education in peace and justice take place? First of all, in the family, since parents are the first educators. The family is the primary cell of society; “it is in the family that children learn the human and Christian values which enable them to have a constructive and peaceful coexistence. It is in the family that they learn solidarity between the generations, respect for rules, forgiveness and how to welcome others.” (1) The family is the first school in which we are trained in justice and peace. Pope Benedict XVI, Message for World Day of Peace 2012.

‘Wisdom,’ the Master said, ‘is simply the ability to recognize.’ “’recognize what?’ the disciple asked. ‘Spiritual wisdom,’ the Master said, ‘is the ability to recognize the butterfly in a caterpillar, the eagle in an egg, the saint in a sinner.”’

~ Sufi Tale ~

Only a great venture of faith, humility, and love can solve the problem of the fate of Christendom.

~ Max Josef Metzger, Priest and Martyr (1887 – 1944) ~


Here is one paragraph from the Pope’s message.

Pope BenedictOnly in relation to God does man come to understand also the meaning of human freedom. It is the task of education to form people in authentic freedom. This is not the absence of constraint or the supremacy of free will, it is not the absolutism of the self. When man believes himself to be absolute, to depend on nothing and no one, to be able to do anything he wants, he ends up contradicting the truth of his own being and forfeiting his freedom. On the contrary, man is a relational being, who lives in relationship with others and especially with God. Authentic freedom can never be attained independently of God.

Full Message here.


I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present. I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us. I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts. I would like myself to be a rent-payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me. I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven's family drinking it through all eternity.

St Brigid of Ireland, Abbess of Kildare (c. 450 – 525). Feast Day, 1 February.

St Columbanus Window of the crypt of the Abbey of Bobbio

Look after the peace of the church, stand between your sheep and the wolves.