That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.



We live in a world of much violence—wars around the world, in our communities, and even in our homes. Seeing and experiencing this violence provokes fear and anger within us, often tempting us to respond with more violence. But this isn’t God’s answer to violence. We find God’s answer on the cross. Jesus didn’t allow Peter to defend him from an arrest by use of the sword. Nor did he call down legions of angels to save him from the Romans who tortured and executed him. Instead he submitted to death on the cross. In some mysterious way, the Father used the death and resurrection of his Son for far greater purposes than any of his followers could have imagined. As Pope Francis eloquently stated, “In the silence of the cross, the uproar of weapons ceases and the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue, and peace is spoken.”


The words we use matter, and can move us towards greater peace, or towards more conflict. Our words are an expression of who we are, just as Jesus Himself, the Word made flesh, is the incarnate expression of who the Father is. When our words are hostile and aim to put others down, we aren’t imitating Jesus, and reconciliation becomes impossible. When instead we use the language of love and peace, this enables us to enter into dialogue with others, even with those who are very different from us. Through that dialogue we begin to better understand one another, enabling us to follow Jesus in building a more peaceful world.




Lord, God of peace, hear our prayer!


We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried. But our efforts have been in vain.


Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us, and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.


Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of Peace. Amen.



– Invocation for Peace by Pope Francis



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