Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love.

Peace, as well as love, is born from a new heart, a heart made new by God’s gift of reconciliation. A new heart is the foundation of peace in the world. All truly human actions proceed from the heart, the innermost center of the human person, the dwelling-place of our conscience, and our deepest convictions. 

This is why peace of heart is the heart of peace: peace inside families, peace within villages, towns, and cities; peace between nations and in international life. Peace anywhere in the world is possible only if there is first of all peace of heart. 

But this inner peace is continually threatened in our modern world. It is disturbed by human passions: hatred, envy, lust for power, pride, prejudice, and an uncontrolled desire for wealth. Violence and war come from our blindness of spirit and the disorder in our hearts. These lead to injustice, which in turn causes tension and conflict. Besides, people’s consciences are often confused today by an ideological manipulation of information.  

It takes great courage to open ourselves to the conversion of heart and to maintain this conversion in humility and freedom. The obstacles to peace are many. 

“They are grave. They present serious threats. But since they depend on the spirit, the will, the human ‘heart,’ with the help of God, people can overcome them. They must refuse to give in to fatalism and discouragement. Positive signs are already piercing the darkness”. 

And let us never forget that the final triumph over darkness has already been won by Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.  

Our hope for the victory of peace is rooted in our faith in God, the Creator of heaven and earth. From the very beginning, in the act of creation itself, God’s goodness and providence are revealed. As the Book of Genesis says: “God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1: 31) 

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Wellington (New Zealand), 23 November 1986