Peace and justice are inextricably linked. Pope Paul VI explained that the source of true peace can be found only through sincere care expressed for others and that the sincerest form of care is an act of justice. If we want peace in the world, we must work for justice.
The difficult reality we must all come to realize is that global peace and justice will not come about through passivity—we must take immediate and tangible action.
When we do not care for or love one another, we are not allowing justice to prevail. Injustice brings about discord, which prevents peace from flourishing. The world needs global justice to achieve global peace.
Many around the world are battling severe injustices resulting from poverty, inequality, corruption and health crises. The scope of injustice may seem overwhelming, but there are many ways to achieve peace in the world and each of us can start with something simple today.
Simple Ways to Promote Peace in the World and Work Toward Justice
As the world faces food shortages, social and racial tensions and a pandemic, many individuals, families and communities are searching for tangible steps they can take to help establish peace and justice in the world. Here are five practical ways to begin working toward peace and justice in the world—starting with your own community:
1. Use your voice.
Sometimes all it takes to begin building a more peaceful and inclusive society is for one person to take a stand for what is right. You can start by speaking up when you see someone being mistreated, advocating for the dignity of others in your community or joining an organization fighting for global justice.
By speaking out when you see injustices, you are helping raise awareness and creating greater opportunities for those who are suffering.
2. Learn the signs of human trafficking.
More than 600,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. While being transported, victims often encounter other people in public places. These encounters provide opportunities for rescue. But, if you don’t know what to look for, you won’t be able to help.
By learning to recognize the signs of trafficking, you may be able to save a life and help stop a human trafficker. Consider taking a course online and learn how to spot and stop human trafficking.
3. Volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen.
With the current state of the world, there are more people than ever who lack access to food and other basic necessities. Find your local food bank or soup kitchen and volunteer to help make, package or distribute food to those in need. You can also ask your parish, or other local parishes, if they have a food pantry that helps those in need. Call the parish office and ask what items are low in stock or what their greatest needs are at the moment.
By extending a helping hand to those in your community, you are sharing the peace of Christ with your neighbor.
4. Support the work of missionaries serving vulnerable populations.
Many injustices around the world stem from poverty and inequality that leave certain populations more vulnerable than others. Organizations such as Divine Word Missionaries serve in these communities to advance the cause of the marginalized and defenseless. They spread peace by bringing the healing and hope of the Gospel to those in need.
By supporting the work of Divine Word Missionaries—through prayer, advocacy or financial gifts—you work alongside us to bring peace to the world through the joy of the Gospel.
5. Pray for peace and justice.
Prayer is the most powerful tool we have. It can change the hearts of people all over the world and bring them greater peace. It allows God to enter our heart and fill us with his love so that we can focus on doing his will. By joining with the voices of millions around the world, prayer connects us in the most sincere form of love of neighbor.
Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World
As we work toward greater harmony, consider adding the following prayer for world peace to your daily reflections:
Lord Jesus Christ, who are called the Prince of Peace, who are yourself our peace and reconciliation, who so often said, "Peace to you," grant us peace. Make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice and brotherly love. Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our leaders that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace. May all peoples of the earth become as brothers and sisters. May longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all. —Saint John XXIII
How Divine Word Missionaries Are Working for Peace and Justice:
Catholics and Catholic religious have a special responsibility to act for peace and justice in the world. Fighting for peace and justice remains a key priority for Divine Word Missionaries, a priority that we live out in our daily work in countries around the world.
Divine Word Missionaries promote peace and justice through their work in three main areas:
Schools and Orphanages
Children often suffer the greatest harm as victims of violence and injustice. We work with local churches and local authorities in violent areas of the world to offer education to children who are impoverished or abandoned. We have established and now staff and provide food, lodging and education for orphanages around the world. Many of our orphanages are dedicated to caring for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS or who are diagnosed with leprosy.
Human trafficking and slavery of all forms is abhorrent to all people of good will. Divine Word Missionaries condemn human trafficking whenever we encounter it and offer support and resources to help victims escape lives of slavery or prostitution. This is especially true in our mission in the Philippines.
Migrants and Refugees
The refugee and migrant crisis is one of today’s greatest global emergencies. Because our priests and Brothers are serving in many countries, they are constantly faced with the reality of this crisis and forced to figure out ways to help the people in need who arrive at the doors of their churches, centers and ministries. In Europe, Central America and throughout Northern Africa, Divine Word Missionaries have established temporary shelters and centers that take in refugees. Our missionaries have also gone out to minister in refugee camps.
Stay Updated through Stories—Join Us in Prayer
Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing is that you pray and take tangible action to help bring about peace and justice in our world. The road to global peace is not simple, but the path forward can start simply. It starts with each one of us loving our neighbor as Christ loves us and taking actions that reinforce this belief.
We invite you to learn more about our efforts in the mission field by signing up for Impact Update—our monthly newsletter that shares stories from the mission field, updates from our widespread communities and resources to guide your prayers for those in need.
Together, and through the mercy of Jesus Christ, we can bring about worldwide peace and justice in our lifetime.
Divine Word Missionaries are fostering peace in the world through our dedication to the pursuit of justice. Learn how and receive monthly updates by subscribing to our newsletter—Impact Update.