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Meditation/Reflections

Pax Christi Metro New York
371 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014

212.420.0250 | fax 212.420.1628 

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What We Do

Prayer, Study, Action

In accordance with Pax Christi's three-fold approach to peacemaking that fully involves prayer, study, and action, Pax Christi Metro New York facilitates a number of programs and events throughout the year. These events are meant to engage our members, our Church, and our world in the struggle for peace.

In addition, we are pleased to offer you a monthly prayer and action to do in solidarity with each other.

Reflection

Theme:  Ash Wednesday, a wake-up call to reflect on our sins.

During February (a month that celebrates Presidents best known for their leadership of national violence we call war) we must face the conflict between God's call and the world's call.

We look to Blessed Franz Jägerstätter as a model of resistance to State values that conflict with Christian beliefs. As an Austrian citizen, Franz Jägerstätter was the only member of his community to openly oppose the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. In February 1943, he received his third summons to report to military service. The first two times he was drafted, he managed to avoid combat duty without openly resisting. He was convinced, however, that participating in the war was a serious sin. When the third summons arrived, he reported to the induction center and announced that he refused to fight. He was arrested at once and executed in August 1943.
Lent offers us an opportunity to focus on our failure to be true to our beliefs. Like Franz Jägerstätter we must be willing to avoid the path of least resistance. Franz Jägerstätter chose to risk his life rather than submit to the demands of evil. We too must avoid silence in the face of violence and follow his example of active and even dangerous dedication to peace. Like Franz Jägerstätter we should recognize and confront the truth underlying facades of patriotism.
Prayer
Oh God of peace, give us steadfast hearts to continue our transformation into women and men for peace, for others, for justice. During our American month of patriotism let us continue to insist that true love for country rests on truth and the aspiration of a global human solidarity. Let us remember that authentic nonviolence requires more heroism than war, and give us the grace to be brave and to guard against the sin of self-righteousness. Make us more efficacious witnesses to your truth that there are no good wars.
Suggested Actions
(1) Read a book on nonviolence (see Sources, below).
(2) Give the book to a friend, neighbor, acquaintance, co-worker, or relative.
(3) Afterwards, ask her or him what she thought, and then invite that person to your next Pax Christi event. Promise them dinner afterwards.
(4) Next time, probably tomorrow, when you, in your efforts at personal nonviolence, stifle an angry retort to a critic or a boss or a family member, take the occasion to add a prayer that you may better makes links between interior and world peace.
(5) Write a brief comment for the parish bulletin on the book on nonviolence that you read.
(6) Ask your parish priest or liturgical committee, when they pray for the dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, to include all the dead, civilians as well as military.
(7) For the church bulletin, give the number of civilians killed in all the wars of the 20th century.
(8) Ask a parish priest to give a homily on the teachings of Jesus: “Blessed are the peacemakers” and “Love thy enemies.”

 

Sources:

    

     Non-Violence: The History of a Dangerous Idea, by Mark Kurlansky (The Modern Library, 2006)
     In Solitary Witness. The Life and Death of Franz Jägerstätter, by Gordon Zahn, (Springfield, Illinois: Templegate 1964)

                                                                                                  Pax Christi Downtown Brooklyn

Prayer

As people of faith, we understand peace as a gift from God which we must constantly accept. In prayer, we receive strength and support to sustain us as we make peace in our hearts, which must happen before we can follow the Spirit to peace in our Church and world.  The community of Pax Christi Metro NY strengthens itself in the Spirit by offering:

  • Good Friday Way of the Cross, in which nearly 1,000 Christians gather to pray a contemporary Stations of the Cross, witnessing to the Body of Christ as it is crucified today.
  • An annual weekend retreat that challenges and nurtures participants in their commitment to Christian nonviolence.
  • An annual 40-day fast for the truth of Christian nonviolence, beginning and ending with a prayer service for peace.
  • Holy Innocents Prayer Service to remember the victims of violence, especially the children.
  • Additional Liturgies for solidarity with those who labor for peace, inspired by the events of the day.
  • Prayer as an integral part of each local group gathering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Study

Waging peace demands an understanding of the complex world in which we live. We are committed to educating ourselves and our community in a variety of ways, including:
  • First Steps, A Christian Conflict Resolution Process.  Rooted in Scripture, First Steps helps participants develop nonviolent conflict resolution skills.
  • From Conflict to Common Ground, a program similar to First Steps, for students in Catholic high schools.
  • Just War/Just Peace, a program for high school students that explores faith-based teachings on war and peace and then applies them to the federal budget, patriotism, citizenship, and service.
  • Seventy Times Seven, a one- to two-hour interactive workshop on forgiveness, based on the book by Doris Donnelly.
  • Living the Letters, a study series exploring the American Bishops' letters on peace and economic justice. 
  • An annual Fall Assembly, an opportunity for members to meet and learn through speakers, workshops, and dialogue.
  • A book and video lending library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action

As Christians, we must act concretely and deliberately toward the Reign of Peace by advocating for the protection of human dignity through economic and political justice, and an end to all forms of violence.  Individual members, local groups, and the Metro New York region act in more ways than we can name here, but some of our activities include:

  • Ash Wednesday leafletting to educate Catholics about violence in our world and what they can do about it.
  • A Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial not only to remember the tragic use of nuclear weapons in 1945, but also to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons now and in the future.
  • An action alert network for members who want to be notified when their voice is needed for urgent appeals in our nation and around the world. 
  • Collaboration with PCUSA in its various campaigns to promote peace and social justice.
  • Participation in the Metro New York Religious Campaign against Torture for a complete end to the practice of torture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pax Christi Metro New York © 2005
371 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014 | (212)420-0250 | fax (212)420-1628 | nypaxchristi@igc.org

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

Prayer Service for Immigrants

 "War destroys. And we must cry out for peace.
Peace sometimes gives the idea of stillness, but it is never stillness.
It is always an active peace.
I think that everyone must be committed in the matter of peace,
to do everything that they can,
what I can do from here.
Peace is the language we must speak."
Pope Francis

 

 

 
                                            ~Pope FRANCIS