Peace: In a Nutshell
Peace: In a Nutshell
* For centuries understanding of peace has been incomplete and approaches to peace have been piece-meal.
* For many, peace is the absence of war and of physical violence.
* But there is a violence that is often silent and indirect, and needs to be addressed in the interest of meaningful peace.
* Peace is an indivisible whole.
* For most of us peace is something whose price we are unwilling to pay.
* Peace ‘out there’ and peace ‘in here’ are two sides of the same coin.
* It is imperative that while we seek peace ‘out there’, we seek it without compromise ‘in here’ as well.
* This requires wisdom and continual conversion, a dying to self.
* Peace is far more than a secular, political, sociological or economic notion. Peace has spiritual, religious and ethical dimensions which for the sake of peace must to be considered.
* The view that silently proclaims that ‘this world is all you have and this world is all you will get’ leads to an incomplete understanding of peace and its processes.
* Peace is in listening for and to God, transcendent and immanent, and in echoing, as societies and as individuals, its password, ‘Thy will be done!’, and in endeavouring to live out an unequivocal, uncompromised ‘Yes!’ to God in response. Ignore this and there will be no peace.
* The opposite of peace is sin, the outcome of the conscious or unwitting ‘No’ to God, and preferential ‘Yes’ to someone or something else.
* The search for peace requires a profound turn-around from the persistent clamour of self, in its pride, selfishness and wilfulness.
* There is no place for casuistry or the deliberate ambiguity that renders morally uncertain or gives the go-ahead to plans and actions that are contrary to the Christic spirit.
* This requires the rejection of strategies of any sort that put the designs of the personal or the collective self ahead of the trusting ‘Amen!’
* Ends and means must always be consonant with the spirit of ‘shalom’, which deplores revenge, retaliation and retaliatory intent.
*There can be no peace without compassion, love, mercy, justice, and forgiveness.
* There can be none of these without humility, prayer and trust in God. * Peace is more than a destination. It is a way of life.
* Whoever desires peace needs to sincerely try to discover what the will of God is for the individual and the collectivity.
* Peace on earth is a long-term project, a coming and a becoming, contingent upon the individual and society moving from ‘No’ towards ‘Yes’ to God.
* This is a matter that has to be addressed formally and non-formally, with ongoing reflection and instruction in support. None can afford to stand aloof, least of all those who speak in the name of religion or profess to be people of faith.