Pastoral Letter of July 2011
Pastoral letter of July 2011:
The way to create the true stable peace
(See Summary of Catholic Teaching on Social issues, n. 498-520)
Dear priests, religious, and lay faithful in our Archdiocese family,
1. The true peace
History shows that human beings always crave for peace. God is source of peace and loves human beings so much to send His only Son Jesus Christ who has harmoniously lived the life of human family and given peace to every person and nation. (see Lk 7:10-14)
Thus, the true peace is the one built on the foundation of the intimate relation of love and trust between human being and God who is Merciful Father, and on the foundation of brotherhood among human beings who are brothers and sisters in the same family. In other words, the true peace does not simply mean having no war, but living with God in a full love and trust, and living with the others in harmonious brotherhood with full mutual help, respect and concession among individuals as well as nations in all over the world today.
2. The stable peace
For the faithful who believe in God as Merciful Father, the endeavor to build the peace closely connects with the duty of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The reason is that Jesus is the full Truth about God and human being as well as universe; He is the full life for human family, the unlimited love for human race, and the true way leading every individual and nation to the source of truth, life and love.
Therefore, the stable peace is the one built on the strong rock which is Jesus Christ. In other words, the true stable peace is built on the rock of truth - the truth about God, about human being with true dignity and right; the true stable peace is also built on the rock of love - the love that is called by Vietnamese culture as the world community’s brotherhood - everybody seen as brother and sister in the same family.
3. The way of building peace
The peace is in danger when human right and dignity are disrespected, and when the life and the development of nations are stifled. The peace is also in danger when violence is used to solve the dissimilar views or conflicts. Violence, war and terrorism are manifestations of death’s culture. History verifies that using death’s culture to bully, suppress the others in order to force them to follow our own intention does only create the hostile and unsafe situation, the pain and death, and finally the unsettled silence of a prison or cemetery.
Therefore, Catholic Church suggests every individual and nation to keep firmly on the way of dialogue in the light of truth and cooperation in serving the common good, in order to solve every problem, dissimilar views or conflicts on every field of human life today.
Justice is the common sense which asks everybody to join forces to wipe out injustice in society, abolish obstacles for the life and human right as well as for the nation’s development. Thus, justice only asks for the exclusion of dangers for peace, while the faith and brotherhood are the motivation and strength to create true stable peace.
4. Motivation and strength to create peace
Trust and mercy:
- open the visibility to see the globalized world as a village or a common house where nations become the neighbors living together in a beautiful feeling of neighborhood;
- open the way to access to fellow-citizens and fellow-creatures as brothers and sisters of the same family.
- offer the capacity to change and renew the life of individuals, families and societies to be a life full of humanity and love. A sweet brotherhood connects together all the members of societies and nations to join hearts and forces to create a true stable peace for their common house.
5. Creating peace as the duty of every individual and nation
It is the duty of every individual and nation to create a true stable peace. Catholics has the responsibility to follow the way of dialogue in the light of truth and cooperation in serving the common good, join the forces with all the persons having good will to create the culture of life and the civilization of love for the nation and the world of today. This is the way to use light of truth and strength of love abolishing day by day the injustice in society, the trace of death’s culture, and the dangers for peace in the life of human world’s family today.
6. Praying as the way to create peace
A way to create peace, which is available for every catholic individual, family and community, is to pray.
Praying helps us to open the trust, piety, love and concern:
- to respect human right and dignity,
- to be sympathetic, merciful to all fellow-citizens and fellow-creatures,
- to be modest in serving the life and development of human being and nation.
Praying helps us to open our heart to receive source of love, and in the same time to lead our heart and head to the summit of loving peace.
7. Calling the Faithfull’s communities to pray for peace
So, let’s unceasingly pray for the peace in current situation of the nation and the world, with the hope that every individual and nation could turn challenges into opportunities to receive the gift of peace, to create the peace that God wills and all the nations crave for.
John the Baptist Pham Minh Man Peter Nguyen Van Kham
Cardinal, Archbishop Auxiliary Bishop
Prayer of St Francis
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;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.