Happy New Year! As we celebrate the beginning of this new year, the Church calls us all to prayer.
First, we honor Our Lady on this Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, asking her to lead us ever closer to her Son this year that we may learn to become His true disciples by imitating her fidelity to grace.
Secondly, we unite in the 47th World Day of Peace with Pope Francis’ message for peace: “Fraternity: the Foundation and Pathway to Peace”. The Vatican website offers this message in Arabic, French, English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and German.
After addressing foundational questions about our relationship to one another and the essential role of Christ’s death and resurrection, the Holy Father turns his attention to his message about fraternity in the tradition of the social doctrine of the Church:
“This being said, it is easy to realize that fraternity is the foundation and pathway of peace. The social encyclicals written by my predecessors can be very helpful in this regard. It would be sufficient to draw on the definitions of peace found in the encyclicals Populorum Progressio by Pope Paul VI and Sollicitudo Rei Socialis by John Paul II. From the first we learn that the integral development of peoples is the new name of peace. From the second, we conclude that peace is an opus solidaritatis.”
In the New Year may we seek to promote peace by our prayers, our sacrifices, our personal conversion, as well as by educating ourselves in the rich teachings of the Church concerning the common good and our responsibilities towards one another in building the Civilization of Love and the Culture of Life.