Be Channels of Peace, Says Preacher

Father Cantalamessa Comments on Beatitude

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Peace is not invented or created, it is transmitted, says the preacher of the Pontifical Household in an Advent sermon.



Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said this today in his second Advent meditation in the presence of Benedict XVI and his aides in the Roman Curia in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Apostolic Palace.

In today's meditation he focused on the beatitude: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

Quoting Benedict XVI's message for the 2007 World Day of Peace, the papal preacher said that "peace is both gift and task.... Peace is an aspect of God's activity, made manifest both in the creation of an orderly and harmonious universe and also in the redemption of humanity that needs to be rescued from the disorder of sin."

The preacher added: "Peace does not mean only what God does or gives, but also what God is. Peace is precisely what reigns in God.

"It is for this reason that those who work for peace are called 'sons of God.' They resemble God, imitate him, they do what he does."

Working toward peace, he said, "is not about inventing or creating peace but of transmitting it, letting in the peace of God and of Christ."

Love is peace

"On Christ's lips the beatitude of the peacemakers is derived from the new commandment of fraternal love, it is a way in which love of neighbor expresses itself," said the preacher.

He added: "In this sense we would say that this is the beatitude par excellence of the Church of Rome and of her bishop."

Father Cantalamessa said that "the condition to be able to be channels of peace is to remain united to the source that is the will of God."

Regarding dialogue with other religions, the preacher said that "subjectively we have different ideas about God.... But objectively we know well that God can only be one."

The papal household preacher added: "Our faith in the Holy Spirit is also a theological foundation for dialogue.

"As the Spirit of the redemption, the Spirit of Christ and of grace, he is the bond of peace among the baptized and of the different Christian confessions; as the Spirit of creation, 'Spiritus creator,' he is the bond of peace among the believers of all religions and indeed among all men of good will."

Father Cantalamessa said that "in this sense the recent trip of the Holy Father to Turkey was on behalf of religious peace, which has shown itself to have produced rich fruit, as do all things that are born from the womb of the cross: peace between the Eastern and Western Christian Church, between Christianity and Islam."

He added: "Alongside dialogue and peace between religions, there is another aim of peacemakers: that of peace between believers and non-believers, between religious persons and the secular world that is hostile to religion."