Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
I am profoundly grateful to you for accepting my invitation ... to join in imploring from God the gift of peace. It is my hope that this meeting will be a path to seeking the things that unite , so as to overcome the things that divide.
It is a meeting which responds to the fervent desire of all who long for peace and dream of a world in which men and women can live as brothers and sisters and no longer as adversaries and enemies.
... Our world is a legacy bequeathed to us from past generations, but is also on loan to us from our children: our children who are weary, worn out by conflicts, and yearning for the dawn of peace, our children who plead with us to tear down the walls of enmity and to set out on the path of dialogue and peace, so that love and friendship will prevail.
Many, all too many, of those children have been innocent victims of war and violence, saplings cut down at the height of their promise. It is our duty to insure that their sacrifice is not in vain.
The memory of those children instills in us the courage of peace, the strength to persevere undaunted in dialogue, the patience to weave, day by day, an ever more robust fabric of respectful and peaceful coexistence, for the glory of God and the good of all.
Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare. It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict; yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity. All this takes courage, it takes strength and tenacity.
History teaches that our own powers do not suffice. More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it. That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God.
... Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: "Never again war!"; "With war every thing is lost." ... Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace. ... Give us strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister... Keep alive in us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words "division," "hatred," and "war" be banished from the heart of every man and woman.
(Source: Prayer Meeting with presidents Shimon Peres of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, June 8, 2014, in Vatican City.)
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