The Victory that Is the Deepest Hope of Every Human Heart - John Paul II

The Victory that Is the Deepest Hope of Every Human Heart

John Paul II Traces

12/31/2003 - Page One

Excerpts from John Paul II’s message for the World Day of Peace

We Christians see the commitment to educate ourselves and others to peace as something at the very heart of our religion. For Christians, in fact, to proclaim peace is to announce Christ who is “our peace” (Eph 2:14)....
It must be built on the four pillars indicated by Blessed John XXIII in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris: truth, justice, love, and freedom. A duty is thus imposed upon all those who love peace: that of educating new generations to these ideals, in order to prepare a better future for all mankind....
The Second World War with the horrors and the appalling violations of human dignity which it occasioned, led to a profound renewal of the international legal order. The task of watching over global peace and security and with encouraging the efforts of States to preserve and guarantee these fundamental goods of humanity was entrusted by Governments to an organization established for this purpose–the United Nations Organization–with a Security Council invested with broad discretionary power. Pivotal to the system was the prohibition of the use of force. This prohibition, according to the well-known Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, makes provision for only two exceptions. The first confirms the natural right to legitimate defense, to be exercised in specific ways and in the context of the United Nations.
The other exception is represented by the system of collective security, which gives the Security Council competence and responsibility for the preservation of peace, with power of decision and ample discretion....
In the decades which followed, however, the division of the international community into opposing blocs, the Cold War in one part of the world, the outbreak of violent conflicts in other areas, and the phenomenon of terrorism produced a growing break with the ideas and expectations of the immediate post-war period.
It must be acknowledged, however, that the United Nations Organization, even with limitations and delays due in great part to the failures of its members, has made a notable contribution to the promotion of respect for human dignity, the freedom of peoples, and the requirements of development, thus preparing the cultural and institutional soil for the building of peace.
The activity of national Governments will be greatly encouraged by the realization that the ideals of the United Nations have become widely diffused, particularly through the practical gestures of solidarity and peace made by the many individuals also involved in Non-Governmental Organizations and in Movements for human rights.
This represents a significant incentive for a reform which would enable the United Nations Organization to function effectively for the pursuit of its own stated ends, which remain valid.
Here I would repeat the words of encouragement which I spoke in 1995: “The United Nations Organization needs to rise more and more above the cold status of an administrative institution and to become a moral center where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a family of nations....”
The scourge of terrorism has become more virulent in recent years and has produced brutal massacres which have in turn put even greater obstacles in the way of dialogue and negotiation, increasing tensions and aggravating problems, especially in the Middle East.
Even so, if it is to be won, the fight against terrorism cannot be limited solely to repressive and punitive operations.
The fight against terrorism must be conducted also on the political and educational levels: on the one hand, by eliminating the underlying causes of situations of injustice which frequently drive people to more desperate and violent acts; and on the other hand, by insisting on an education inspired by respect for human life in every situation: the unity of the human race is a more powerful reality than any contingent divisions separating individuals and people....
In any event, democratic governments know well that the use of force against terrorists cannot justify a renunciation of the principles of the rule of law. Political decisions would be unacceptable were they to seek success without consideration for fundamental human rights, since the end never justifies the means....
At the conclusion of these considerations, I feel it necessary to repeat that, for the establishment of true peace in the world, justice must find its fulfillment in charity. Certainly law is the first road leading to peace, and people need to be taught to respect that law. Yet one does not arrive at the end of this road unless justice is complemented by love.
For this reason I have often reminded Christians and all persons of good will that forgiveness is needed for solving the problems of individuals and peoples. There is no peace without forgiveness! I say it again here, as my thoughts turn in particular to the continuing crisis in Palestine and the Middle East.
Christians know that love is the reason for God’s entering into relationship with man. And it is love which he awaits as man’s response. Consequently, love is also the loftiest and most noble form of relationship possible between human beings....
At the beginning of a New Year, I wish to repeat to women and men of every language, religion, and culture the ancient maxim: “Omnia vincit amor” (Love conquers all). Yes, dear Brothers and Sisters throughout the world, in the end love will be victorious! Let everyone be committed to hastening this victory. For it is the deepest hope of every human heart.

© Fraternità di Comunione e Liberazione. CF 97038000580 / Webmaster / Note legali / Credits