Peace and Justice
Oldenburg Franciscan description
We strive to reflect in our lives and in our service our belief that our individual response to God’s initiative is best experienced and fostered in our sharing of ourselves, our gifts, and our talents. We desire to be concretely responsive to the ever-present issues of peace and justice. In this stance, and together with church, religious, and civic communities, we dare to challenge contemporary values and practices which are contrary to the Gospel’s wherever they occur. We likewise challenge one another to venture into new creative responses to ever-changing needs among and together with a diversity of God’s people.
Francis and Clare celebrated the Judeo-Christian God, a God of justice who is a respecter of persons, especially the lowly, the weak, the abandoned, the oppressed, those who have sinned, and the poor. Francis and Clare pursued the God of Justice by doing what they saw God doing, making a preferential option for the poor. The Franciscan tradition is a tradition of human justice transformed by divine justice. For Francis and Clare, justice was a pre-condition for peace. Francis experienced war firsthand and sought peace thereafter. Clare also lived through war and sieges as a child and later endured her convent being attacked by the Saracens. She too became a champion of peace. Both were sensitive to human hurt and disruption and actively promoted healing and reconciliation. Their concerns ranged from interpersonal harmony in their respective communities to a just order and balance in society. Through their lives and their words to others, they proclaimed Gospel values and stood opposed to violence.
Words by and about Francis and Clare
- “Blessed are those who endure in peace.” (The Canticle of Brother Sun)
- “Pax et Bonum” (Peace and all good things) was Francis’ greeting.
- “‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matthew 5:9). The true peacemakers are those who preserve peace of mind and body for love of our Lord Jesus Christ, despite what they suffer in this world.” (Admonition XV)
- “You are justice; You are moderation.” (The Praises of God)
- “Who alone is holy, just, and true...” (The Earlier Rule, XXIII, 9)
- “and let them seek first of all the kingdom of God and God’s justice. (Matthew 6:33),” (Rule for Hermitages)
- “for the Lord says: ‘Blessed are they who suffer persecutions for just