Blessed Pope John Paul II and his love and trust in Mary
Our Lady of Fatima insisted that we pray for peace.   The famous Rosary priest, Father Patrick Peyton, coined immortal one-liners.  Most of us have heard and even repeated:  “The family that prays together stays together.” So true! Families let us start today!  Set a time a place and be faithful!

Another less known one-liner of Father Patrick Peyton, but all so pertinent today, is: “A world at prayer is a world at peace.”  Our Lady of Fatima warned us that if people kept sinning, a worse war would break out.  Of course it happened about two decades after World War I; Hitler marched into Poland and the Second and worse world war was underway.

The proliferation of sin, violence, hatred, and wars are all too clear signs that prayer is absent. Prayer communicates the “Gift of Gifts” (The Holy Spirit). One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is peace.

St. Augustine offers us an excellent definition for peace: “Peace is the tranquility of order.”  Related to this concise and to the point definition are the words of St. Ignatius telling us the purpose of the Spiritual Exercises:  “To order the disordered in one’s life and to seek God’s will.”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen in his dynamic preaching
Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, known for his depth in spirituality as well as his eloquence, explains the origin and genesis of World Wars.  Sheen says that when wars are raging in individual hearts due to sin, they spill over into families, and families into cities, and cities into countries, and countries into continents and boom, the bomb explodes! In sum, deep prayer in individual hearts eliminates sin and brings forth peace.

After these introductory remarks on peace, let us offer the acronym for the word P.E.A.C.E.

Every one of the individual letters will express a concrete idea and practice that we will be challenged to live so that all of us can contribute to inner peace, peace in our homes, peace in our communities, peace in our country, and finally for world peace.   May we all strive to live out the famous prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me a channel of your peace.”

Jesus praying fervently in the Garden of Olives
P-RAYER…  Pope Francis exhorted the whole world to pray for world peace on Saturday, September 7.   With prayer he invited us to practice fasting.  Jesus constantly prayed, taught the importance of prayer and died praying to His Heavenly Father. Jesus also said that some devils can be expelled only by prayer and fasting. To soar in the spiritual life, like an eagle, we need two wings: the wing of prayer and the wing of penance!

E-UCHARIST….   If at all possible make it a habit to receive the most Holy Eucharist as often as possible with deep faith and the fiery passion of love. Among the many intentions in your heart should be that of attaining world peace.  If we only knew the power of Holy Mass and fervent Holy Communions the churches would be packed to overflowing every day!
Pope Francis blessing with the Eucharist

A-DORATION….  Either before or after the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass spend time with the Eucharistic Lord. Praise Jesus, thank Him, beg pardon for the many sins of the world and finally beg the “Prince of Peace” to attain for the hearts of men and women of good will a desire for peace.  May the world strive to live out Jesus’ last and greatest commandment:  “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Our Sacramental life should be supplemented by personal prayer and spending time before the “Lord of Lord’s and King of Kings.”

Mother Teresa helping Jesus in the poor
C-HARITY… Our prayer, our reception of the Eucharist, our time spent in adoration should transform us--- like Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Peter Claver, and Saint Peter Chanel—to be fiery and passionate missionaries of His love and peace.  Our Lady, Queen of Peace, is also our example for this in the two first Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary—the Annunciation and the Visitation.  In the Annunciation, Our Lady was rapt and deeply absorbed in prayer. Immediately following the Annunciation Mary is moved by the Holy Spirit to serve in charity her cousin Saint Elizabeth.   The normal greeting among Jewish people is the word “Shalom”—meaning, “Peace be with you.”   Authentic charity produces harmony and peace.

E-MMANUEL….    This Hebrew word used by the Prophet Isaiah and repeated in the antiphons of Advent means “God with us”.  Saint Paul reiterates this idea, saying:  “If God is with us who can be against us?”  We should be keenly aware of the all-abiding presence of God within us starting from Baptism and living in the state of sanctifying grace.   Blessed Pope John Paul II constantly taught of the innate dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God and elevated to divine-sonship through Baptism.  If all were aware of God’s presence, if all were aware of the “Emmanuel” God with us and within us, if all were aware of the dignity and destiny of one’s neighbor, then wars would not explode into realities!

Conclusion.  In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the “Sign of Peace” is introduced by the priest with these words:  “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give to you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of the church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will, Who live and reign forever and ever.”   Then the priest addressing the people says, “Peace be with you….” “Let us offer each other the sign of peace.”

Jesus is the Lamb of God who gives us true peace
These words come shortly before the Rite of Holy Communion.  Jesus, “the Prince of Peace”, who greeted His friends with the typical Jewish greeting “Shalom” invites all of us to leave aside grudges, past hurts, and resentments and to be at peace with God, to be at peace in our own hearts and to be at peace with all of our brothers and sisters in the world family. 

May Our Lady, Queen of Peace, attain for us the precious gift of World Peace. Amen! 

Our Lady is the Queen of peace