Despite setbacks, St. John Paul II believed that peace will prevail and will have the last word.
Peace has always been elusive in human history. When society appears to be getting closer to establishing peace, a setback will occur and violence interrupts any progress.However, St. John Paul II was a firm believer in peace and prayed daily that God would intervene.
He wrote in his first message for the World Day of Peace in 1978, “On almost every page of the Gospel and of the history of the Church we find a spirit, that of brotherly love, powerfully teaching peace. We find, in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and in the sacraments, a strength drawn from the divine source. We find, in Christ, a hope. Setbacks cannot render vain the work of peace, even if the immediate results prove to be fragile, even if we are persecuted for our witness in favour of peace. Christ the Saviour associates with his destiny all those who work with love for peace.”
John Paul II then encouraged Christians to pray for peace on a daily basis, concluding his message with a powerful prayer, asking Christians to choose peace and to spread it to every part of the world.
Peace is our work: it calls for our courageous and united action. But it is inseparably and above all a gift of God: it requires our prayer. Christians must be in the first rank of those who pray daily for peace. They must also teach others to pray for peace. It will be their joy to pray with Mary, the Queen of Peace.
To everyone, Christians, believers, and men and women of good will, I say: Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace. The aspiration for peace will not be disappointed for ever. Work for peace, inspired by charity which does not pass away, will produce its fruits. Peace will be the last word of History.