Munich (Photo: Daniel Sesslet/Unsplash)

Munich: "Our commitment (not alone) to peace"

Public moments of prayer, together with other movements, the local church and other friends. Munich also responds to the Pope’s invitation from October 15.

Twice in the past two months we have decided to organize public moments of prayer for peace. These moments, organized on other occasions by the diocese or other movements, were an opportunity for us to respond to the invitation made to us by the Pope on October 15. We wanted to organize them as simple gestures (three songs, the rosary followed by reading of the CL flyer on peace, two final songs) and public (a church in the center Munich, inviting all the other movements and realities in the Church, and our friends). It has been a novelty for us, a chance to say who we are and above all who we follow. Several friends have been involved, some preparing the songs (and finding a guitarist when everyone got sick or could not come), others talking to the church and diocese, others preparing and printing the booklets.

All those who attended, and many others, were able to understand better the Pope's words and invitation, and the flyer itself: "We are committed to promoting gestures of prayer […] that can foster a deepening and greater understanding of the value contained within Pope Francis’ judgement on what is happening." In these months, through dialogue and follow-up, we have learned that the prophecy of peace is first and foremost a judgment on what is happening, and on what can save man today. We reiterated this before our second meeting: we meet to pray in order to say what we are starting from, to make a judgment on the current situation.

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These moments of prayer were also an opportunity to meet many new friends. A man, after our first meeting, asked where he could find us and if he could come with us again, and then shared his struggles and his desire to help others, he even welcomed a homeless man into his house. Other Christians in Munich, who were organizing several moments of prayer for peace at the World Security Conference, helped us with the organization and asked if they could light the candles with us that followed this moment of prayer throughout the city. After the gestures, they thanked us for the beauty of the songs and the simplicity of the proposal. And lastly and as a great gift, Bishop Willybard Lagho from Kenya briefly told us about his experience of peace building in his diocese. He reiterated to us, in his own words, what our flyer said, "Is there a possible path to peace under the current conditions? Yes, dialogue." The simplicity of our dialogue with him over dinner – where he explained how unity among Christians and with other religions is of vital importance to his people – showed how we are not alone in this endeavor. By following the Pope, and together with other Christians, we can make a new judgment in this world, and help build peace. It sounds simple, it starts with gestures of prayer that respond to a proposal made to us.

Carlo, Munich, Germany