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The Evangelical Pope | Peace of Heart is the Heart of Peace
Living Words from John Paul II
Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen
Published Sunday, October 1, 2023
Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love
31 God saw all he had made, which was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
__ Genesis 1:31 (New International Version)
Wellington, New Zealand, 23 November 1986 | Peace and love are born from a new heart, a heart made new by God's gift of reconciliation. A new heart is the foundation of peace in the world. All truly human actions proceed from the heart, the innermost center of the human person, the dwelling place of our conscience and deepest convictions. This is why peace of heart is the heart of peace - peace inside families, peace within villages, towns, and cities, peace between nations, and International life. Peace anywhere in the world is possible only if there is, first of all, peace of heart.
But this inner peace is continually threatened in our modern world. It is disturbed by human passions: hatred, envy, lust for power, pride, prejudice, and an uncontrolled desire for wealth. Violence and war come from our blindness of spirit and the disorder in our hearts. These lead to injustice, which in turn causes tension and conflict. In addition, people's consciences are often confused today by an ideological manipulation of information.
It takes great courage to open ourselves to the conversion of heart and maintain this conversion in humility and freedom. The obstacles to peace are many. "They are grave. They present serious threats. But since they depend on the spirit, the will, and the human' heart', with the help of God, people can overcome them. They must refuse to give in to fatalism and discouragement. Positive signs are already piercing the darkness". And let us never forget that Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, has already won the final triumph over darkness.
Our hope for the victory of peace is rooted in our faith in God, the Creator of heaven and earth. From the very beginning, in the act of creation itself, God's goodness and providence are revealed. As the Book of Genesis says: "God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good."
The created world is not the result of mere chance. It springs from God's love; God's love sustains it, and all the events of human history are subject to God's loving providence.
APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE TO BANGLADESH, SINGAPORE, FIJI ISLANDS,
NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA AND SEYCHELLES
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II, Wellington (New Zealand), 23 November 1986
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