WORLD PEACE - A FAMILY RECIPE!
A. Opening greeting from moderator:
The moderator extends a few words of welcome to those gathered, summarizing the objectives of the workshop.
B. Invocation of the Holy Spirit:
The moderator invites those gathered to join in the following, well known, prayer:
Come Holy Spirit
All: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Moderator: Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
All: And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Moderator: Let us pray.
All: O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
C. Reading from the Word of God:
John 14: 15-29
D. Small groups discussion:
The moderator breaks the gathering into small groups — ideally including no more than six individuals. Each group is assigned a limited number of questions and nominates a spokesperson/secretary who will report to the larger group at the completion of the exercise (45 minutes). The questions can be found at the end of this guide or at www.colf.ca.
E. Sharing with large group:
A spokesperson from each of the small groups is invited to report the insights of his or her group relative to each question. Contributions to the larger group should be limited to one main insight per question considered (45 minutes).
F. Closing thanks and optional prayer:
The moderator thanks the participants for their presence and their insights and — optionally —closes by inviting all gathered to join in praying the Lord’s Prayer.
G. Parish bulletin:
A summary of the main insights emerging from the workshop can be published in the parish bulletin.
Suggested supplementary reading:
World Day of Peace Messages from the Holy Fathers (see especially Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the 2012 World Day of Peace, Educating Young People in Justice and Peace)
Peace on Earth (Pacem in Terris)
(encyclical of Pope John XXIII which lead to the creation of the World Day of Peace)
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (see especially chapter eleven, “The Promotion of Peace”)
Catechism of the Catholic Church (see especially paragraphs 736, 1829, 1832, 1909, 2304-2305 and 2317)
For personal prayer and meditation:
- Leviticus 26:6
- Job 22:21
- Isaiah 9; 26:12; 48:18; 52:7; 57:2
- John 14:27; 16:33
- Numbers 6:26
- Proverbs 12:20
- 2 Thessalonians 3:16
- Acts 10:36
- Colossians 3:15
- Luke 1:79
- Matthew 5: 9
1. What is the difference between peace as the world sees it and the peace that Christ offers?
2. Today’s children will be tomorrow’s leaders – in politics and society, the media, and in the economic and religious spheres. By raising our children well, we can transform the world! Which virtues can we strive to develop in ourselves and in our children to make the world a more peaceful place? Specifically, how do we go about developing this or that virtue?
3. Peace is built on truth, freedom, justice, love and respect. From the moment of conception to natural death, every human person deserves respect. If we fail to respect others because their needs interfere with our plans and dreams we can never hope to have peace. What steps can we take to create homes where the respect due to every human person is acknowledged and celebrated? What challenges will we meet and how can we overcome them?
4. Children learn in the home that true happiness is found in giving one’s life in service to others. What can I do to help my family live selflessly, conscious that the way we live now will impact not only our own family members but the whole world?
5. The English writer and Christian apologist G. K. Chesterton was once asked, “What’s wrong with the world?” He responded with one word: “Me!” Peace is only possible where forgiveness abounds – forgiving myself and forgiving others. But in order to forgive, it is necessary to have experienced forgiveness: “He who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47). Do I forgive those who have wronged me? Do I seek the forgiveness of those with whom I live? When have my children seen me extending and seeking forgiveness? Do I seek God’s forgiveness regularly in the sacrament of reconciliation and encourage my children to do the same?
6. Peace takes work! How can we give our children the skills to engage in successful conflict resolution?
7. Young people are often searching for an ideal. How can we teach them that God desires to build peace with and through them? Are there youth groups or other organizations that might help them to grow in that certitude and to take concrete steps to help others? To whose example can we point today to prove to them that it is worth working to build peace even in difficult situations?
8. The Christian believer is called to imitate Jesus in “going beyond justice”. Does peace have anything to do with justice? What exactly is justice? Might it entail being “ad-justed” to God’s plan and will? What is God’s plan?
9. Solidarity is the new name for peace. How might a more just distribution of the world’s riches advance the cause of peace? What can I do to inform myself and my family about the needs of those in our community and in foreign countries? How can we help them? What can I do in my own community to seek justice by sharing bread, knowledge and truth?
10. To seek peace is to seek the welfare of others. In the mass, we have access to the infinite self-giving love of Jesus. United to Jesus, our hearts and wills are turned to those around us. In the context of today’s fast-paced existence, how can I find opportunities to seek this transforming union with Jesus more regularly?