Monday, September 17, 2007

Papal Reflections on Peace

These Catholic Resources for Discernment were introduced on this blog earlier. The latest part arrived late last week.

Papal Reflections on Peace

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Sixth Part in Iraq: Resources for Discernment

This is the sixth in a series of reflection pieces offered to assist Catholics with our discernment on the war in Iraq. (For more visit This installment invites us to reflect on the recent calls for peace from Pope Benedict XVI. These selections are more pastoral in tone than the previous installments discuss peace in more general terms.

- Pope Benedict's address at Assisi, on the 800th anniversary of Saint Fancis' conversion. June 17, 2007.

- Pope Benedict's address in Cadore, Italy, during his summer vacation. July 22, 2007.

When Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope he chose the name Benedict, in part, because of the previous Benedict's commitment to peace. In his very first general audience the Pope explained
that, "I wished to call myself Benedict XVI to be united ideally with the venerated Pontiff Benedict XV, who led the Church in a troubled time because of World War I. He was a courageous and authentic prophet of peace and he did his utmost with strenuous courage from the start to avoid the drama of the war and then to limit its inauspicious consequences. Following his footsteps, I wish to put my ministry at the service of reconciliation and harmony among men and nations, profoundly convinced that the great good of peace is, first of all, a gift of God, a fragile and precious gift to be invoked, defended and built day after day with the contribution of

In recent months, the Pope has increased calls for peace. He urges us not only to condemn war but to work for peace, and suggests that a "reasonable and sincere dialogue" is critical to an enduring peace.

Here are a few reflection questions you might consider:

What are the moral and ethical norms that underlie Pope Benedict's comments?

What do you think the Pope means by his call to work for peace? What does it mean to you?

Is there anything in particular that struck you when reading the pieces? What might the Lord be saying to you through this?

May the Prince of Peace guide our nation and world, and our participation in it.

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