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2017-09-24 16:46
By Aeran Kim



In the principal house of our congregation in Seoul, the whole community of sisters is divided into seven small groups. Each group consists of twelve to fifteen sisters and has its own nickname such as joy, love, docility and peace among others.

I belong to the peace group. One day during the community gathering, the presider of recreation asked us to ponder one possible way to remain peaceful in the community.

Each of us in our group replied to that question. Among them, the most recommended way to remain in peace was to smile wholeheartedly even showing our teeth. Several sisters suggested concretely to “smile loudly” from the bottom of our hearts as often as we can. Smiles were recommended strongly. Whatever the situation is, trying to smile is certainly the best way to peace.

Another sister suggested keeping silent to be peaceful. Still another recommended praying further and expressing ourselves properly. Other ways were to be positive, to be grateful, to be simple, to love as it is, just to accept, to walk on and on, and to exercise.

Peace is a virtue that we are yearning sincerely without end. “Peace on earth!” was also a catchphrase of the angels to announce people the good news.

One of the titles of God is also peace. We pray to God of peace, Jesus, the so-called King of peace, and Mary the queen of peace.

When we ask people, “Why do you want to go to the church?” most of them reply shortly, “to have peace in my heart.” To be peaceful in one’s heart has become the goal of our life.

Living in peace and with peace is the motto that St. Paul also urges in the first letter to Thessalonians (5, 13).

“Peace be with you!” Every day during the Mass, we greet one another with the wish for “peace”.

Truly, peace is such a great dream for which we are looking constantly. We need peace more than ever. Especially living in a most challenging and dangerous country where the North and the South are confronting each other in much tension, we are desperately praying for the peace of the world.

The war causes another war, and the violence brings more serious violence. We still remember most clearly the disastrous and miserable situations caused by the Japanese colonization, 5.18 democratic uprising, and the Korean War.

Since the Korean War in 1950, the North and the South are continually struggling within a heartbreaking line of division. We develop and enlarge the military forces more and more; having more nuclear weapons has become a hot issue. However, if the third world war ever happens, all of us in the world would be destroyed together in the fatal hurricanes of bombs.

Even though it is emotionally difficult and painful, it would be much wiser to look for some way to reconciliation, forgiveness, collaboration, and sharing. The inward hurts always last long. Sometimes the hurts seem inactive, but the suffering and sadness caused by those hurts endure a long time.

Jesus advises us to forgive “not up to seven times but up to seventy times seven” (Mt 18, 22). How can we forgive again and again, and forget everything when many of us are eager to remember even the last bit of wrong behavior. Being narrow-minded in some ways, we close our hearts against wrongdoing.

One of the things that I don’t like much is to keep remembering the past wrongdoings and talking about them again and again in a negative way with stiff-necked prejudice. I found out there are usually one or two persons at least in each group, who are prone to complain, criticize, and point out the defects of others.

Peace comes from forgiveness. We might not forget everything at one time, but we can pray for the healing of wrongdoing and keep silent to reconcile and begin again more in a constructive way.



The author is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul (Figlie di San Paolo) living and giving the good news to the world by means of social communications. Learn more about the congregation at fsp.pauline.or.kr.

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