A group of U.S. airmen praying together in Baghdad, Iraq, November 2008. Pope Francis said peace starts in the heart and not at international conferences. Photo courtesy of US Air Force Public Affairs

Peace in the heart leads to peace in the world, Pope says

By  Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service
  • September 8, 2016

VATICAN CITY – Peace cannot be achieved by huge protests or international conferences unless it begins in people's hearts, Pope Francis said.

Men and women are called to build peace every day "in the little things" in life, the pope said Sept. 8 during morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

"You can speak of peace with splendid words, you can hold a great conference, but if in your little things, in your heart, there is no peace, if in your family there is no peace, if in your neighborhood there is no peace, if in your workplace there is no peace, there will be no peace in world," he said.

Celebrating the feast of the nativity of Mary, the pope reflected on the Mass' opening prayer which asked "that we may grow in unity and peace." He said that both saints and sinners are called "to take the gift of peace and make way for it in our lives."

"Peace is not made from one day to the next," the pope said. "Peace is a gift, but it is a gift that must be taken and worked on every day. For this reason, we can say that peace is a gift that is crafted in the hands of men and women."

While Christians must seek peace in the "little things of everyday life," Pope Francis said they also must do so focused on humanity, especially in this moment in which "we are living in war and everyone is asking for peace."

Before speaking about world peace, he added, Christians must ask themselves if they have peace in their hearts and in their daily lives.

"If you are not able to bring your family, your priesthood, your congregation forward in peace, words of peace will not be enough," he said.

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