Change your heart
change the world
MCC invites you to pray for peace as the people of southern Sudan prepare for the Jan. 9 referendum that will determine if the south will secede. As the referendum approaches, the potential for violence is very real. The following daily reflections on peace and on prayer are adapted with permission from Catholic Relief Services’ 101 Days of Prayer for a Peaceful Referendum in Sudan.
Tuesday, September 21
May Peace Prevail On Earth!
Wednesday, September 22
Peacemaking is not an optional commitment. It is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers, not by some movement of the moment, but by our Lord Jesus.
The Challenge of Peace #56
Thursday, September 23
Before we can make peace, we must find peace. Before we can find peace with God, we must stop fighting with God and start working with God.
Friday, September 24
The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
Saturday, September 25
A person who never recognizes his mistakes will never know peace.
Sunday, September 26
…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
1 Timothy 6:11
Monday, September 27
Unless we are truly and constantly free to give and receive love as the Scripture says, “Love one another as I have loved you,” in thought, feeling, word and action, we can truly say we still need healing.
Tuesday, September 28
As we open in repentance… Jesus’ love transforms our negative repressed energy into positive energy with the corresponding feelings of relief, joy, peace and creativity.
Wednesday, September 29
O living God, send down the Spirit of your son, Jesus Christ; heal our wounded hearts; make peace in the place of conflict; grant love in the face of revenge; build hope where fear prevailed.
Bishop Peter Lee
Thursday, September 30
Issue a blanket pardon. Forgive everyone who has hurt you in any way. Forgiveness is a perfectly selfish act. It sets you free from the past.
Friday, October 1
The Church in Africa, both as family of God and as faithful individuals, has the duty to be instruments of peace and reconciliation.
Message of the African Synod to the People of God
Saturday, October 2
Pray for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation for Sudan.
Sunday, October 3
If you had faith, the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Monday, October 4
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…
St. Francis Prayer
Tuesday, October 5
The regenerated do not go to war, nor engage in strife. They are children of peace who have beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning forks, and know no war.
Wednesday, October 6
We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God’s peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world.
Mennonite Confession of Faith
Thursday, October 7
What’s done to children, they will do to society.
Friday, October 8
Let us dedicate this day to all those working for learning with integrity, education with dignity and peaceful resolution of conflict.
Saturday, October 9
The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by soft falling.
Sunday, October 10
Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?
Monday, October 11
We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. We know more about war than we do about peace, more about killing than we do about living.
Tuesday, October 12
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Wednesday, October 13
Spears and swords of iron we leave to those who, alas, consider human blood and swine’s blood of well nigh equal value.
Thursday, October 14
Love is God’s greatest gift to humanity.
It is God’s promise and our hope.
Caritas in Veritale
Friday, October 15
To be a peacemaker, one must possess peace interiorly. Peace in the world passes through personal conversion.
Lineamenta #81 African Synod
Saturday, October 16
World Food Day
There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
Sunday, October 17
And will God not grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? …. I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.
Luke. 18:7, 8a
Monday, October 18
A commitment to development comes from a change of heart, and a change of heart comes from conversion to the Gospel.
Message of the Bishops of Africa to the People of God
Tuesday, October 19
Our Father who art in heaven…
Wednesday, October 20
Only this does Yahweh ask of you; to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.
Thursday, October 21
We are challenged and encouraged by the African proverb which says that an army of ants can bring down an elephant.
Friday, October 22
Jesus, bring us your peace.
Saturday, October 23
Without peace there is no development and without development there is no peace.
Pope Paul VI
Sunday, October 24
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom.
2 Timothy 4:18
Monday, October 25
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.
Tuesday, October 26
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Wednesday, October 27
If you give yourself totally to the nonviolent struggle for peace and justice you also find that people give you their hearts and you will never go hungry and never be alone.
Thursday, October 28
Our children are not born to hate, they are raised to hate.
Thomas della Perut
Friday, October 29
The most important question in the world is, Why is the child crying?
Saturday, October 30
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Sunday, October 31
Pursue peace with everyone…
Monday, November 1
Feast of All Saints
Today, remember all the saints who were peacemakers.
Tuesday, November 2
If your enemies are hungry, feed them, if they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
Wednesday, November 3
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace...
Thursday, November 4
Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Do not claim to be wiser than you are.
Friday, November 5
What you see and the way you love makes a difference. You can either increase the world’s happiness or add to its sorrow.
Saturday, November 6
What I fear is being in the presence of evil and doing nothing. I fear that more than death.
Otilia de Koster, Panamanian Human Rights Worker
Sunday, November 7
But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
Monday, November 8
And God saw all that had been created and said, “It is good.”
Tuesday, November 9
World peace is threatened by a lack of due respect for nature, by the plundering of natural resources and by a progressive decline in the quality of life.
Pope John Paul II in the World Day of Peace Message, 1990
Wednesday, November 10
While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.
Thursday, November 11
The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it.
Friday, November 12
Protecting the natural environment in order to build a world of peace is thus a duty incumbent upon each and all.
Pope Benedict in the World Day of Peace Message 2010
Saturday, November 13
Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each other, and to take care of the rest of creation.
Mennonite Confession of Faith
Sunday, November 14
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…
Monday, November 15
The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes and inspires the listener with the wish to teach himself/herself.
Tuesday, November 16
International Day of Tolerance
Unity implies that no group can feel superior to another.
Limeamenta 79 African Synod
Wednesday, November 17
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Thursday, November 18
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
John Quincy Adams
Friday, November 19
If you cannot obey, you cannot be a good leader.
Saturday, November 20
International Day of the Child
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of us.
Sunday, November 21
For in Him were created all things in heaven and on Earth, the visible and the invisible.
Monday, November 22
Peace is not something you wish for, it is something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.
Tuesday, November 23
Peace is costly but it is worth the price.
Wednesday, November 24
Let us forgive each other, only then will we live in peace.
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
Thursday, November 25
All we are saying is give peace a chance.
Friday, November 26
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Saturday, November 27
You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless she/he has freedom.
Sunday, November 28
First Sunday of Advent
They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Monday, November 29
Allow your wounds of long years to be healed. This is not only for the past but also for the present and the future.
Tuesday, November 30
Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation; the old order is gone and a new being is there to see.
2 Cor. 5:17
Wednesday, December 1
We believe that the image of God in all its fullness has been revealed and restored in Jesus Christ, in whom we find our true humanity.
Mennonite Confession of Faith
Thursday, December 2
Do not allow yourself to be an eternal prisoner of the victimization of others.
Friday, December 3
I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark but will have the light of life.
Saturday, December 4
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Sunday, December 5
Second Sunday of Advent
There shall be no harm or ruin on my holy mountain; for Earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea.
Monday, December 6
Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side.
Pope Paul VI World Peace Day Message, 1974
Tuesday, December 7
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you know that your brother or sister has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister and then come and offer your gift.
Wednesday, December 8
Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
Thursday, December 9
To engage in conflict, one does not bring a knife that cuts, but a needle that saws.
Lifelines, the Black Book of Proverbs
Friday, December 10
International Day of Human Rights
Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.
14th Dalai Lama
Saturday, December 11
There is more wickedness in refusing to reconcile than in fighting.
Sunday, December 12
Third Sunday of Advent
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear. Here is your God…. He will come and save you.
Monday, December 13
The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.
Tuesday, December 14
faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it, it binds up that which is wounded, it has become all things to all people.
Wednesday, December 15
The joy and the hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way affected, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.
Gaudium et Spes
Thursday, December 16
Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Friday, December 17
You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you of yourself that you truly give.
Saturday, December 18
Without forgiveness there can be no future for a relationship between individuals or within and between nations.
Bishop Desmond Tutu
Sunday, December 19
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.
Monday, December 20
A smile is the beginning of peace.
Tuesday, December 21
Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves.
Wednesday, December 22
Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel.
Justice in the World, 6
Thursday, December 23
True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Friday, December 24
Corn can’t expect justice from a court composed of chickens.
Saturday, December 25
Birth of Christ
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Sunday, December 26
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.
Monday, December 27
A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has a place.
Tuesday, December 28
When you stand with the blessings of your mother and God, it matters not who stands against you.
Wednesday, December 29
It takes a whole village to raise a child.
Thursday, December 30
The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.
Friday, December 31
What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn.
Saturday, January 1
We give our ultimate loyalty to the God of grace and peace, who guides the church daily in overcoming evil with good, who empowers us to do justice, and who sustains us in the glorious hope of the peaceable reign of God.
Mennonite Confession of Faith