|Jesus Falls 3rd Time- O'Connell|
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Let not your hearts be troubled, nor be afraid.
John 14: 27
As planes are falling out of the sky and disappearing off the radar (Malaysia), as troops from all of the world's nations stand on alert and our world leaders decide what to do or not to do about the situation in the Ukraine, we ponder these words of Jesus, which should give us hope for the Lenten season.
In the past century popes have issued warnings to world leaders, but their pleas always went unheeded. It is said that St. Pope Pius X died broken-hearted at the unfolding tragedy of WWI.
In the words of Pope Pius XII: "The calamity of a world war, with the economic and social ruin and the moral excesses and dissolution that accompany it, must not on any account be permitted to engulf the human race for a third time."
Bl. Pope John XIII gave us the beautiful encycical "Pacem in Terris". "Peace on Earth-which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after-can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order... It is generally accepted today that the common good is best safeguarded when personal rights and duties are guaranteed. The chief concern of civil authorities must therefore be to ensure that these rights are recognized, respected, co-ordinated, defended and promoted, and that each individual is enabled to perform his duties more easily. For "to safeguard the inviolable rights of the human person, and to facilitate the performance of his duties, is the principal duty of every public authority".
|Jesus Stripped of Garments- O'Connell|
Pope Benedict XV, appealed tirelessly for peace and Blessed John Paul II called the 20th Century, “the century of tears.”
In our present day, Pope Francis called for a World Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace as the agony of the Syrian people threatened to escalate into a regional or even global conflict. The Holy Father clearly saw that only a change of heart could hope to change the cycle of violence in which, "consciences fall asleep".
Recently Pope Francis said: “With a troubled heart I am following what is happening in Kiev. I assure the Ukrainian people of my closeness and I pray for the victims of the violence, for their families and for the injured..I call on all sides to stop every violent action and seek agreement and peace”.
"Our concern here has been with problems which are causing men extreme anxiety at the present time; problems which are intimately bound up with the progress of human society... peace is but an empty word, if it does not rest upon that order which our hope prevailed upon us to set forth in outline in this encyclical. It is an order that is founded on truth, built up on justice, nurtured and animated by charity, and brought into effect under the auspices of freedom". (Pacem in Terris)
|Jesus Nailed to the Cross- O'Connell|
It would pay world leaders, and all of us, to read this encyclical, written over 50 years ago,
in its entirety... as we continue our prayers for peace in our world.