CAMPAIGN AGAINST HUNGER AND DISEASE
(Approved English version of Message No. CP/757/2009, written originally in Konkani)
PEACE AND HARMONY
Violence abounds in our society today - crime, abuse of human rights, cheating, wars and fights for various reasons. Harmony seems to stay far away. And politicians take great advantage of this situation, even aggravating it by adding communal colours to the least manifestations of disunity and thus provoking human conflict. Human beings have been endowed with reasoning power and are capable of discerning good from evil. When humankind rejects peace and takes to evil ways, it goes against its own nature. For violence causes one to warp one’s power to think and to plan. Far from buying peace, violence and war actually purchase death and destruction.
Peace is not just the non-existence of war; it is the fruit of justice. We shall experience peace when we work for justice, whether individually or in our social or institutional life. The way of peace eliminates all the faces of violence. Peace signals the existence of goodness, earned when one lives in harmony with self and others.
Harmony among people can be achieved only when each one accepts that, like self, others too have their own opinions. It is always useful to check where we stand in relationship with others. It is often advantageous to analyse situations taking the views of others into consideration. An excessive attachment to one’s own views on matters of religion and political relationships renders a person less capable of pursuing peace and harmony. It is possible to see the truth clearly only when everyone’s views are openly stated.
Again, it is very difficult to forget the hurts inflicted by others. Forgiveness is a very important part in the process of achieving harmony.
People come together in prayer and fasting. Through such practices, they can get a glimpse of the victory over conflict, leading to peace. Persons who practise prayer and fasting, therefore, are the first to experience peace, which then spreads to their families, communities and the country at large.
There is a great deal to be done in our Parishes, Educational and Religious Institutions, to foster peace and harmony. We have always drawn attention to this point during our Pastoral Visits. We now call for a special effort to work with followers of other faiths in order to achieve this goal. Let us work unitedly to bring about peace and harmony!
The ‘collection’ of the 5th Sunday of Lent will go towards the cause of promoting peace and harmony. It may please be sent to Caritas-Goa by the 6th May, 2009. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the Holy Trinity is the most perfect abode of peace and harmony. We firmly believe that the strength and the courage of the Holy Trinity will always accompany us as we go on working for peace and harmony.
Archbishop’s House, Panjim, Goa, March 20, 2009.
+ Filipe Neri Ferrão
Archbishop of Goa and Daman