The calendar year now launches with a World Day of Prayer for Peace. Cardinal Tagle, in his homily on New Year’s Eve, spoke about how to achieve peace.
His proposed recipe: live a life of love and caring. In this way you will achieve justice AND peace.
“We want peace? Let us learn to care for one another, let us learn how to care for society, let us learn how to care for creation. Without caring, we will be sowing seeds of violence.”
This strikes me as excellent advice, insofar as it applies to an individual’s pursuit of peace, and a society’s.
If I find myself getting cranky and irritable, I need to love and care for myself by trying to get an extra hour of sleep or some time alone to refresh myself. Otherwise, I am of no use to others, and in fact I risk contaminating them with my bad attitude and demeanor.
Likewise, if a community finds itself more and more more and more closed off in indifference toward the weak, or occupied with endless arguments, the seeds for peace are not there and in fact is headed in the direction of harshness in its policies and even violence.
What we need is at once the perspective of love which overlooks faults, and an active practice of caring for others (as well as ourselves). And a whole lot of prudence and common sense, beside!
May God grant us peace as we live and work for the good of others and for His glory.