On the first day of the New Year, Peace is the message from Pope Francis on behalf of the Church.
Peace is a central component of the Franciscan charism. “Pax et Bonum” – Peace and All Good – is the traditional Franciscan welcome and goodbye. St. Francis of Assisi favored its use, and often began and ended his sermons and letters with the phrase.
Pope Francis emphasized peace in his January 1 message – urging people to work “so that the world becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other in one’s diversity, and takes care of one another.”
Hearing “the cry of peace from peoples who are oppressed by war and by violence,” Pope Francis prayed that, “the courage of dialogue and reconciliation prevail over the temptation for vendetta, arrogance, corruption.”
Regarding the year past the Pope has this to say:
“The Biblical and Christian vision of time and history is not cyclical, but linear: it is a path that leads towards a conclusion. A year that has passed, therefore, does not lead us to a reality that ends and to a reality that is accomplished. It is a further step toward the goal that lies ahead of us: a place of hope and happiness because we will meet God, the reason for our hope and source of our joy. As the year 2013 comes to an end, we gather – as if in a basket – the days, the weeks, the months that we have lived, to offer everything to the Lord. And let us ask ourselves: how have we lived the time that He has given us? Have we used it mainly for ourselves, for our interests, or were we able to spend it for others? And God? How much did we set aside to “be with him…in prayer, in silence?”
As we continue the Christmas season, the Conventual Friars of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation wish you a Happy New Year!
Pax et Bonum!