My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
During my time of service to my religious order, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), I had the privilege of traveling to more than 70 different countries in very diverse parts of the world. In spite of the many differences that I observed in places where there were distinct cultures, languages, political structures and religions, I discovered that one thing everyone has in common is the desire for peace.
Peace has once again been shattered in the land that is considered to be holy ground by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. God’s children are once again at war with one another, making their common hope for peace seem unattainable. As Pope Francis has said, “The plea for peace cannot be suppressed: it rises from the hearts of mothers; it is deeply etched on the faces of refugees, displaced families, the wounded and the dying.”
Peace is such a simple, universal concept. Why is it so hard to achieve—in our personal lives, our families, our neighborhoods and our world?