VATICAN, Pamela Fabiano •
Peace be with you: the Holy Father’s trips on the road to peace in the world. Where do we, as Schoenstatters, begin to foster a culture of peace? —
Pope Francis’ 28th international trip on Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31, is to Morocco. This papal trip to Africa is “in continuity” with the one Pope Francis took to the United Arab Emirates in February, a few months after the adoption in Marrakesh of the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, to meet with the local Catholic community, which numbers 25,000, particularly in the field of social activities towards immigrants, in a society composed almost entirely of Muslims.
This trip to Morocco has three objectives. The first is interreligious dialogue, in particular with the Muslim community. It will also focus on the suffering of migrants and, finally, a meeting with the tiny Catholic community in Morocco.
These two trips, to the United Arab Emirates and to Morocco, to a certain extent, fall under the theme of interreligious dialogue, the coexistence among people of different cultures, and the important efforts to promote peace. The trip to Morocco, moreover, comes on the back of the signing of the joint declaration on Human Fraternity for World Peace with the Great Imam Al-Tayyeb and this also gives it a very particular meaning: it is an opportunity to see how this statement can be put in practice, in the very favorable context of the Maghrebi society.
The right of every human being to migrate, have freedom of religion, dialogue between cultures to favor peace, and reconciliation among peoples.
Pope Francis’ commitment to peace is a constant and regular commitment of our Catholic Church, we could say, because it has been expressed on several official occasions for many years, such as the publication of the message on the occasion of the World Day of Peace, the speech to the diplomats of the Holy See, and apostolic trips such as these. All these actions are so important at a time of great crisis where we no longer have the tools to interpret the changes that are taking place in the world: the right of all human beings to migrate, have freedom of religion, dialogue between cultures to promote peace and reconciliation among peoples. Christians should be able to enact these values by following everything the Pope tells us. However, we are not able to do it.
Perfect peace is always sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Joseph Kentenich can help us, as Schoenstatters, to contribute to the ongoing discussion, by offering us means and a method to address, in our pastoral activities, the question of welcome, education to peace among peoples, cultures, religions. In the book Send Your Spirit (Editorial Patris) Father Kentenich tells us: “Perfect peace cannot be achieved merely by human effort. There is no perfect peace if it is not sustained by an impulse of the Holy Spirit.” And more: “Whenever we hear or read the word “peace,” let us remember that for us [Schoenstatters] it means effort, desire and love for perfect peace”. Therefore, if this peace is achieved, then it is perfect, that is, it is the result of effort, human commitment, but is always supported by the action of the Spirit, which, as we well know, acts by using us as instruments.
We are invited, then, to follow what Pope Francis tells us in his travels and meetings to promote peace, always keeping alive and present what Fr. Kentenich teaches us. Perfect peace is always sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Original: Italian, 29/03/2019. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa