The four Advent candles represent, Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. Our world today is sadly lacking in these, and seems to be getting worse every day. Christians may be seen as naïve in believing that there will be a time when our world is at peace. It is only through faith, that we can possibly hold out such an outlandish hope. Faith is believing when there is evidence to the contrary. Certitude is not faith. If certitude was the basis of our faith, looking around at our world, we would despair. Faith allows us to have hope. Only by having hope, can we work for peace without giving up in despair. Only by having hope, can we find joy in life even under difficult circumstances. Only by having hope, can we be people of love in the midst of an angry, divided, hate filled world. The life of Christ, for whom we wait this Advent, is a life built on the bedrock of faith, covered with the nurturing soil of hope and bearing the fruits of peace, joy and above all, love.
CAN THERE EVER BE PEACE IN OUR VIOLENT WORLD? Peace comes when we no longer demonize “the other”…
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS
WORLD DAY OF PEACE
JANUARY 1, 2021
A CULTURE OF CARE AS A PATH TO PEACE
9. There can be no peace without a culture of care
The culture of care thus calls for a common, supportive and inclusive commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity and good of all, a willingness to show care and compassion, to work for reconciliation and healing, and to advance mutual respect and acceptance. As such, it represents a privileged path to peace. “In many parts of the world, there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter”.
Archbishop Francis Leo
On Friday July 28th, 2023, the Spiritans were blessed with a visit by Archbishop Francis Leo, fairly recently appointed as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The visit was warm and informal as we gathered for a social followed by dinner. During his time at the Laval House community where we gathered, he got to meet each of us personally and he spoke of the wonderful contributions the Spiritans have made to the Archdiocese over the years. He highlighted the importance of having both missionary and Religious life represented in the Archdiocese and the witness we give drawn from our mission experience. He expressed gratitude and hope for a growth of the Spiritans here and in Canada. We are very grateful to Archbishop Francis for taking time from what must be a hectic schedule to spend the evening with us. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the Archdiocese to bear witness to the Gospel. Our door is open and welcoming and we hope Archbishop Francis will visit us again and always feel at home.