There is a small room in the UN building, devoted to silence, prayer and inner recollection. It was designed and supervised by the late UN secretary, Dag Hammarskjold. It is almost empty, the greatest simplicity reigns in it. Only two symbols attract attention : a ray of sunshine falling on a block of iron ore. It is meant to express unity, brotherhood, I prefer harmony and peace in between
all nations. Dag Hammarskjöld wrote this himself on the subject :
,,To, that the stone is an ore taken from the ground, leads our thought to the need to make a choice between destruction and reconstruction, between war and peace. Swords were made of iron, He also made plows of iron. He built war wagons of iron, but he also used iron to build people's dwellings. This block of iron ore is part of the wealth, that we have inherited on our land. How are we to use it ?”
We are faced with this question over and over again. Do you see the need for world peace ? Do you believe it, that it is possible to achieve world peace ? Or maybe you are, that the cause of peace belongs only to the heads of the great powers, to prominent politicians ?
In defense of peace
Contemporary nations find themselves on a crossroads - they have a choice or a war, which in the present conditions means the destruction of humanity and its achievements, or a room, which can ensure its further development.
The sources of danger are numerous. Perhaps, that you got to know some of them in class or in the press, from radio or television. These include the division of the world into various camps and systems that are sometimes hostile to each other, unfair distribution of earthly goods, various manifestations of injustice, rape and exploitation etc.. The principal and most frequent source of wars between nations, however, is elsewhere. It is hidden in people's hearts and minds. It is hatred, selfishness, envy and pride, that divide individual people, families, society, nations and states.
Usually it is like that, that when people are in a state of emergency, they are looking for remedies. Then a sense of solidarity grows between them. Hence, today almost all nations strive for a peaceful solution to various problems. For this purpose, various state communities are formed, various international organizations. The most serious of them, which brings together almost all the nations of the world, is the United Nations. It is worth remembering its main tasks here :
- maintaining peace and security among the peoples of the world,
- developing friendly relations between nations, promoting cooperation between them in the economic field, social, scientific and cultural,
- strengthening the principles of respect for human rights and ensuring human rights regardless of race, gender and religion.
- Also one of the most important resolutions of the United Nations was the affirmative resolution, that the use of nuclear weapons would be a crime against humanity.
The Church joins this action for peace. Here are just some of his actions for peace.
Jan XXIII w 1963 he published the encyclical "Peace on Earth" (Peace on Earth). This pope was granted v 1963 of the year. Balzana. Paul VI during the session of the United Nations Assembly in 1965 He spoke to the representatives of the peoples of the world on the matter of maintaining peace on earth. The same pope announced the day 1 January is the Day of Peace.
The church believes, that it is necessary and possible to achieve world peace. The basis of this faith is God. He, in the person of Jesus Christ, has reconciled us to himself, he overcame sin and hatred, he has formed one people of God and gives them the Holy Spirit, who brings love and brotherhood. Didn't Dag Hammarskjöld express a similar thought when writing about the iron ore boulder already mentioned? :
,,The stone in the center of the room is to tell us something even more. We can look at it as if it were an altar… dedicated to God, whom people worship in many names and in many forms. The stone in the center of the room reminds us too, which is constant and permanent in a world of movement and change. The iron ore block has the weight and constancy of it, every eternal. It is a reminder of the cornerstone of perseverance and faith, which must be the foundation of all human aspirations ".
International organizations and conferences are not enough !
Peace on earth is not a matter of state representatives alone, international organizations and conferences. The peaceful coexistence of nations depends on all people. Peace or war is born in the mind and heart of a person. The United Nations states : “Wars start in people's minds, you have to build the means of defending peace in people's minds " (from the UNESCO Constitutional Act). This organization strives to bring nations together through mutual cooperation in the field of science, culture, social institutions, childcare, etc.. Among other things, she studies school textbooks and removes it from them, which can educate you to hostility, war, and it brings it in, which can infuse young minds with a peaceful mindset. The Church shares the fear and anxiety of all people. He knows, that the efforts of the leaders of many nations to pursue peace will be in vain, if there is hostility among the people, contempt and distrust and racial hatred. That is why the Church calls all people to conversion, a variety of minds and hearts - that is, to purify the hidden source of all war and affliction (by. KDK 77 nn).
This is the job of especially those, who belong to the Church and are witnesses of Christ, who died and rose again, to "gather together the scattered children of God" (J 11, 52). We must root out hatred in our hearts and minds, selfishness, pride, manifestations of racial and national intolerance, harmful and unfair judgments against people of other nations and social groups. One has to fight the will to resolve conflicts and disagreements by force. We must heal ourselves from being insensitive to the sight of all sorts of atrocities, killing, beating…
This is the only way to perpetuate the threatened peace, one of the greatest treasures of mankind.
How will I answer God ?
The matter of peace on earth is also up to you. From your conviction, that room
it is necessary and possible. It also depends on this, how do you relate to other people.
Do you have contempt for other nations? ? Maybe you even see hatred and bitterness towards certain nationalities ? Changing the way you think and talk about other nations will be the best answer to God and your contribution to peace.
Your response to fights or intergroup fights is not without significance to the cause of peace, villages, districts. Are you trying to influence your colleagues and distract them from such? ,,small wars ?”
Or perhaps you are mindlessly taking on opinions that are detrimental to peace and fraternity ? Do you control their truthfulness ?
Prayer for peace :
"God, from which come holy desires, righteous intentions and virtuous deeds, grant your servants peace, what the world cannot give ; let our hearts be submitted to your will, and times, we live in, let them be at peace with Your grace " (From the Mass collection. for peace).
■ Think :
1. What the greatest danger is threatening humanity today ?
2. What are the sources of this danger ?
3. Which of them we can overcome on our own ?
4. How Nations Avoid War ?
5. What do you know of the most important international organizations aiming at making peace? ?
6. What efforts is the Church making to defend world peace ?
7. Where is the deepest source of all wars and what are the countermeasures ?
■ Remember :
53. In whom do Christians see the basis of world peace ?
Christians see the foundation of world peace in Jesus Christ, who through his Passion, death and resurrection overcame sin and hatred that divide people.
54. What a Christian Must Do for Peace ?
A Christian gifted with the Holy Spirit at baptism and confirmation is to live according to the new commandment of love and fight all manifestations of hatred in his environment.
■ Task :
1. Explain, what is the meaning of the chapel in the UN building founded by D.. Hammarskjolda.
2. Compose a prayer of the faithful for peace among nations.
3. How is it possible to reconcile the love of one's own people with respect for other peoples? ?