International Day for Tolerance Novena: Day 4 | Peace
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Jesus’s words in Matthew 5:9 are very familiar to us. They are part of the Beatitudes, and so we hold up peace as an important value in our lives.
As we pray this novena leading to the International Day for Tolerance, it becomes evident that there can be no peace without tolerance. Peace, a fruit of the Spirit, is also a fruit of tolerance.
It is easy to feel small when thinking about peace. We might feel this even more starkly after a national election. We each have only one vote, and most of us do not have decision-making positions in the government. How can we possibly make peace in a world torn by war, hatred, and oppression?
The answer is hidden in our smallness. By making peace on a small scale—in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our local communities—we can start to create a culture of peace that will inevitably spill onto the national, and then global, stage. Accepting God’s peace and radiating that to everyone you know is the first step.
We ask God to grant us the fruit of the Spirit, peace, so that we may each embrace it, live it fully, and spread it to others. Together with Bishop Reed, we pray:
As we move forward as a nation, let us accept the peace of God. The world defines peace as the absence of war. But we know that God’s peace is in that new nature we receive at baptism. God’s peace is like a calm water. If we can accept that peace and carry it out to the world, all of the hatred, jealousy, anger, selfishness and violence that are so rampant will find it a little harder to hold their grip.