A World Thirsting for Peace

With respect to the human condition in the past century, St. Josemaría Escrivá maintained that “these world crises are crises of saints.” What is your view of that? Is it still true now that we have entered a new century?

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Yes, very much so. And I would add that every day we can see ever more clearly the truth of those words. It’s enough to consider how our times are marked by violence, corruption, and injustice. I don’t mean only wars and international terrorism. I refer also to things that come close to every one of us, that we read every day in local newspapers. We see over and over that aggressiveness knows no bounds when people forget God, the moral law, respect for life and human dignity. These evils cannot be overcome only by threats of punishment. It is necessary to proclaim the goodness and truth of small and large deeds of charity and justice. We all do that right where we are, even if we have to swim against the current.

For peace to abound in the world, it must first grow in our hearts, as St. Josemaría also said. And that interior peace cannot be present in a life dominated by self-worship. It requires sacrifice and self-renunciation. A saint is precisely one who follows Jesus Christ as a model and offers his life to God in the service of others. Paradoxically, it means declaring “war” on oneself, on the “old man,” if one is to have a serene conscience, interior peace, and then pass it on to those around us.

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