God is our peace. New Year’s meditation-prayer on peace

At the request of several people, at the beginning of this year 2024, we offer you this resource for a long time of reflection and prayer on peace, that “supreme aspiration of all humanitythroughout history”[1]. We believe that it can be used mainly on an individual basis, in a single dedicated day or over several days, in sections. But it can also be done in groups that usually share from the deep or, adapted, for other groups.

The scheme is:

1. We submerge ourselves in reality from silence.
2. We let God welcome us.
3. We welcome Him, we welcome His peace.
4. We beg for meekness.
5. We announce peace.
6. We end with this prayer, united with so many who yearn for peace.

In a convulsive time where crises and conflicts at all levels are happening, we believe that it is very necessary for us to delve into spirituality, so that, from the depths, it motivates and moves our way of living harmoniously, our action for peace. Prayer can help us because “Prayer is a solid and holy force to fight hatred” as Pope Francis said. And “peace cannot come about in human society if it does not first come about within each man, that is, if each one does not first keep within himself the order that God has established.” [2]

Some biblical sources, as well as some ecclesial and charismatic experiences and reflections[3] can enlighten us today with the wisdom of a profound knowledge of our human nature.

We can start by listening to this chant (6’34”):


1. Spirit of God in us,
tear down the old walls and build a new creation,
raises up the city of God.

2. Do not shake your bones,
I will be your strength,
I will make the barren fruitful, the crippled will dance.

3. Your strength shall abound in humble littleness,
from the root of a flower to the wise old heart.

4. Our elders will see visions and the young will have their dreams,
women will prophesy and the little ones will lead.

5. Wisdom incarnated in Jesus, grace that recreates anew,
fire that ignites in history, in the center and in the margins.

6. The whole Creation dances and sings a joyful song,
beauty of eternal days, praise of our loving God.

7. Root of the Log of Jesse, tree with such strong arms,
life that grows by dying and revealing the tenderness of God.

8. Blessed strong women like Ruth, Sarah and Esther,
linked generations in Spirit and in truth.

9. A call to the nations: “Women arise,
stand up, be born with new power. The meek shall possess the earth”.

10. We fight as one for freedom, one heartbeat, song of the Spirit.
Sisters in joy, in pain, ancient and strong is our dance.





1. We immerse ourselves in reality from silence.

We begin this time of reflection and prayer for peace with a few minutes to quiet the external noises and tasks, in order to better connect with ourselves and with the reality that, in spite of everything, is full of Love. Embraced by that concrete Love that some of us call God, who becomes flesh in our reality and in that of our Planet. We stop for a while contemplating him there. We become aware that we are always in his presence. We were so throughout this year 2023 that has ended, and also in this time of meditation that we began.

We can help ourselves with slow breathing, and a meditative chant such as “Da pacem cordium“. of Taizé (3’20”):


(Translation: Give us peace of heart).

2. We let God welcome us

God covers us with his wings, his Love – Himself – and under them we are safe, as the psalm beautifully says (Ps 91:4). When we welcome his presence in life, in reality, and let him welcome us, we jump for joy in the shadow of his wings and our soul falls in love, we embrace him in a strong embrace, his right hand holds us, he takes us by the hand. (Ps 63:7-8). The more we allow ourselves to be welcomed by his tenderness, the more all our fears are dispelled. “Where there is love there is no fear“John tells us in 1 John 4:18. For nothing and no one can separate us from his love (Rom 8:38). And that Love enables us to deepen our knowledge of ourselves and of others. Of all the reality that surrounds us, all of it full of God. Also that which we consider negative.

God engenders us to new life, he makes us enter into a different way of living that, with him, makes it possible for everything to have life in abundance, individuals, communities, groups, peoples, nature, history, all of creation.” [4] It breaks our good-bad, us-others, cultural and belief systems. It plucks us of those many meanings that we attribute to things, often biased by our prejudices and our affected experiences, clinging to our own, according to the experiences we have had throughout our lives. Knowing ourselves and knowing, with the wisdom of the deep, in the midst of our finitude, is the first step to contemplate reality more similar to what it really is and to broaden our perspective to the values of other people and groups different from us. Our way of living our daily lives is affected and our response can be more harmonious in the face of the challenges we face, including conflicts. With shalom which, in Hebrew, means the harmony of the person with himself, with God and with those around him.

► In trusting silence WE MEDITATE before God who welcomes us as we are, who lives in us: How is our heart? What movements, what feelings nestle in him? It does not matter which ones, we only contemplate and name them, in the loving presence of God who welcomes them as they are. We also look at how we perceive our relationships, our reality and the broader reality that comes to us through people, the media, etc. We look at how we live and how we long for peace. Do we perceive ourselves in harmony with our personal, family, social and world reality? Perhaps we feel bewilderment, helplessness, disappointment at our lack of peace and at so many cruel acts of war in the world, or at the apparent inaction of those responsible for world order. We contemplate the suffering of so many people who live in fear and anguish: in the midst of conflicts and in the midst of hunger, forced migration and climatic phenomena, all of which are exacerbated by our human actions that violate the order of Creation. And we also contemplate those whom we might somehow demonize or exclude, as human and humane as ourselves. We see the relationship between social violence and our own small violences in our words, actions or inactions.

After a few minutes of silence, we can LISTEN AND/OR SING THE SONG: “God can only give us his love (Dieu ne peut que donner)” ( 3’57”).


Bless the Lord, my soul,
From the depths of my being, His Holy Name.
Bless the Lord, my soul,
Don’t forget its benefits.

He who forgives all your sins,
And that heals all your ailments.
Rescue your life from the pit.
It crowns you with love and tenderness.

The Lord does justice,
And it defends the oppressed.

Manifested its ways
And his wonders to his people.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Patient and merciful.
He does not treat us according to our sins,
Nor do we get paid according to our faults.


3. We welcome you, we welcome your peace

Scripture – and our experience – testifies that only in God do we find peace, that Christ is our peace. He is the Lord of peace[5], not confusion (1Co 14:33). His Spirit bears fruits of love, joy and peace (Galatians 5:22). The prophet Isaiah announces through the mouth of God himself: I will cause peace to come like an overflowing torrent, overflowing, and it will nourish you, carry you in its arms and caress you on its knees (Is 66:12). He brings peace (Micah 5:4-5):”I leave you in peace. My peace I give to you, but not as those who are of the world give it. Do not be anxious and do not be afraid..” (Jn 14:27). His is a peace that allows him to denounce abuses of power. And it is up to us to welcome this peace, which is given to us at all times and on all occasions (2Thess 3:16), even in the midst of tribulations. We can abandon ourselves with trust in his hands so that he can give us his peace, to the degree that our human condition can accept it. Because “we are asked to turn our eyes and hearts to contemplate other perspectives of the Mystery of God and to open together paths to justice and peace” [6]. How? Seeing him, welcoming him and embracing him with those who suffer violence and with those who struggle for peace. God identifies with them.

► AND WE CONTEMPLATE now all those simple moments of harmony lived that remain in our memory. We observe that which immerses us in the peace of God, in His being, without ignoring the suffering and violence around us. On the contrary, we realize that the more we catch a glimpse of the God who dwells within us, the more we actively participate in the harmony of creation. It is a sister to all creatures without exception.

To conclude this point, we recognize the source of the movements that give rise to these moments of peace in us. We see where they lead us if we let them flow, if we nurture them, welcoming and spreading the peace that God brings us. And we THANK YOU for everything.

After this moment of silence WE MAY LISTEN/SING (4’08”)

Mon âme se repose en paix
sur Dieu seul:
de lui vient mon salut.
Oui, sur Dieu seul
mon âme se repose,
se repose en paix.

Spanish version:
En ti, Señor reposa
my whole being.
I have been
loved by you.
Yes, only in you
hope is illuminated.
In you alone, Lord.

4. We beg for meekness

The third beatitude of Matthew enlightens us as to what is the seat of peace. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the land which God has promised them.” (Mt 5:5), also translated by “Happy the humble“evokes a basic experience: the joy, the happiness of those who have left their power, their trust, in God’s hands. Thus, docile to their will, in what they live even in extreme situations, in daily conflicts or when they are ignored, offended or attacked, they can channel their energy for the good of all and of the Planet. They do not take ownership of anything on earth, they only know that they are Earth. We are all of us, there is no “them” anymore. And they do not need to spend their energy on defending anything or defending themselves; nor do they need to try to bring others down or take advantage of anyone or anything, but they walk firmly so that no one is really left behind[7].

This is the style of Jesus’ whole life, which is made clear in his love to the extreme in his Passion. “Learn from me, for I am meek[8] and humble of heart, and you will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt 11:29). For meek people, their meekness is strength that they know they have received from God. Their power resides in knowing themselves to be daughters and sons of God and, therefore, sisters of all creatures in a community of life where nothing is perceived as hostile but as a breath of life[9]. Where everything is appreciated and everything that surrounds us is integrated, involved in our life experience and in our rhythm and way of living.

He who hopes in the Lord shall possess the earth. […] the humble they will possess the earth, they will enjoy great peace (Ps 37,9b.11). To them, God promises the land by inheritance, they will inherit, they will be owners of the Land of Promise, the work of his hands (Is 60:21). That good, prosperous and peaceful land… which flows with milk and honey, is beautiful and gives sustenance to all. It is the new earth in which God himself will live with us as our God and wipe away tears, and there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying, nor crying, nor pain […] for he makes all things new (Rev 21:1-8). It is the Kingdom of God that Jesus tells us has come with Him[10]. And he teaches us to ask for it: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10). Because “to achieve Peace, it takes courage, much more than to wage war, it takes courage to say yes to encounter and no to confrontation; yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiation and no to hostility; yes to respect for pacts and no to provocations.“[11].

► And we stop now to CONTEMPLATE so many gestures, minutes, hours, days… of so many thousands, millions of people, for peace. Humble gestures of meekness: with their gaze without prejudice before the other person or different groups, without making differences. Her pondering of the reactions of those who exercise violence or of those who remain silent, limited people, human like us, sometimes mistaken, or moved by spurious interests or simply living in ignorance. We contemplate those who, with their honest dialogue, listen to the reasons of the other, of the others, understanding their reality, without demonizing any of them, contributing their word. We contemplate those others who refuse to collaborate with violence and conflict: neither with murmurings that add fuel to the fire, nor with violent actions, nor with their omission. We also contemplate those who choose to defend peace with weapons, with violence, even if they provoke more violence. We contemplate those who are disappointed in the face of so much conflict and violence and it seems to them that they are more protected if they look the other way, if they do not look beyond their needs and those of their environment. And finally we contemplate those who keep hope and fight for peace with small actions, even if they sometimes seem illusory.

We apply this to our own reactions in our close environment of family, work, neighborhood… and before the world reality that reaches us. And we express to God that which springs from this meditation.

After a long time of silence, WE CAN LISTEN/SING.

Canto “Beati” (4’13”):


5. We announce peace

Blessed are those who work for peace, as Jesus proclaims in the seventh beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for God will call them his children” (Mt 5:9). (Mt 5:9). He himself is a witness of what he announces, he has spent his life in it. A few weeks ago, if we have followed the beautiful readings of Advent, we have just listened to the prophets: “Look! Already coming over the mountains is the messenger who brings tidings of peace! (Nah 1:15), How beautiful it is to see him coming over the hills who brings good news, news of peace […] for the Lord has had compassion on his people, he has delivered us! (Is 52:7,9). That is the experience of Jesus: Christ has come to bring good news of peace to all from God, both to you who were far from God and to those who were near. He has come to announce to us that we are brothers and sisters, beloved daughters and daughters of the Father God, one family, one people and united with it. This is how he has made peace. He gave his life on the cross (Mk 1:14; cf. Eph 2:14-16). It was not easy for him: for not all accepted the good news (Rom 10:16).

Anyone who builds peace resembles Jesus and, like Him, is recognized as a child of God. Paul encourages us to follow Jesus in this way: Always be ready to go out and proclaim the message of peace (Eph 6:15). The way of peace is necessarily peaceful and of a meek heart. Peace and justice spring from a life of peace: “those who seek peace sow in peace, that they may reap the fruit of righteousness” (James 3:18). For this reason we want to live a spirituality that cultivates interiority, silence and non-violent and proactive indignation in the face of injustice, violence or indifference. A nonviolent indignation by which we take into account the needs of those who provoke evil, because they are our brother, our sister, as human as we are, even if their actions are not humanizing. God empowers us for this nonviolence that puts compassion and mercy at the center and transforms the energy of our indignation, rage and anger into lucidity that analyzes the situation and creativity that proposes actions and channels to curb evil. [12]

Because world disarmament is not possible without eliminating the fear and anguish of war from people’s hearts […] nor it can rely on the balance of military forces, of powers, but must be based on mutual trust“.[13]The purpose of the project is to “be moved by love in such a way that they feel the needs of their neighbor as their own and make others sharers in their goods, and to procure a universal exchange of the most excellent values of the human spirit“.[14]. This assertion is true at the personal, family, neighborhood, social, national, etc. level, for conflicts at each of the various levels. It is the disarmament of weapons, the disarmament of consciences and hearts and an active solidarity, as John XXIII said. It affects daily life, the concrete: “leave your offering right there before the altar and go first to make peace with your brother” (Mt 5:24).

As Vedruna Family we are committed to “Participate in actions in favor of peace, justice, defense of Human Rights and care of the earth“.[15] and, “united with other faiths, to manifest ourselves in denouncing that which causes human suffering or aggressions against justice, peace and care for creation, based on the common understanding of compassion, which is nuclear to all religions“.[16]. “The Ruah is pushing us again…. It is the hour!… of interculturality, of integral ecology, of interiority, of identity, of non-violence…” [17] To “promote caring relationships and nonviolent attitudes, standing firmly in the face of mistreatment and abuse in all its expressions, within and outside the community.” [18] Only together can we build peace.

► And now we dedicate the time we deem convenient to CONTEMPLATE Jesus.His way of announcing peace. We ask him to know his peace. We imagine him traveling through Galilee, Judea… And then we imagine him traveling through our reality of neighborhood, town, country, Planet. We contemplate how his inner peace is contagious, he communicates peace wherever he goes and with his actions he makes harmony grow. We stop somewhere and among the people that Jesus visits and who need peace. How he visits the assaulted and the aggressors, without fear, misgivings or prejudices. And we see how he looks at them, what he says to them, what he does, how he puts himself in their shoes, and what he says to us. We also see how Jesus visits those groups that are working for peace in different ways, how he looks at them, what he does. And we also see the comfort that Jesus brings to those who suffer and to those who build peace. And seeing all this we ask ourselves, do I feel some inner movement? We see if we feel called to disarm ourselves and to announce peace in a more committed way than now, in our life and environment, and collaborating for peace in other places, with other people?Can we devote our thoughts, concerns and energies to procure this universal common good of peace so that human society and the entire planet may be as perfect a reflection as possible of the Kingdom of God? (cf. PT167-168). And we discussed it with the Lord.

After remaining in silence for a while WE CAN LISTEN/SING (4’50”):


(Solo verses interspersed:)
Everything passes away, God does not move,
Patience achieves everything.

In Christ my trust, and from Him alone my hold;
in their weariness my breath, and in their imitation my ease.

Here lies my firmness, here my security,
the proof of my truth, the token of my steadfastness.

Sleep no more, sleep no more, for there is no peace on earth.
Let there be no coward, let’s adventure life.
There is no need to fear, do not sleep, let’s adventure life.

6. We end with this prayer, united with so many people who yearn for peace

Lord, God of Peace, God of Love.
You know that all people long for peace,
although not all of us understand it in the same way
nor do we believe that we will get there by the same means.

We are moved by the reality
of so many people who suffer violence,
or are depressed by the conflicts and by the many beings of the Planet
that are being exploited and extinguished.

Sustain the hope of all those who live in fear and anguish.
and those who seek justice and peace.
Make the bewilderment in the face of so much violence
not paralyze or frighten us.

Fill our hearts with your Peace,
May your Ruah inspire us all,
to the leaders of nations
and to all peoples
to come out of indifference and to walk
the most appropriate paths
to bring peace, to accept it
and to live harmoniously as a planetary community,
of sisters and brothers with all Creation.
May Your Holy Ruah infuse us
the courage needed to achieve Peace on the Planet and Hope
not to stop dreaming of another possible, peaceful world.

JPIC Axis Team


[1] John XXIII, Encyclical Pacem in Terris, April 11, 1963, cf. n. 1.
[2] Cf. op. cit. Pacem in Terris, n.165.
[3] Fruit of the Vedruna charism lived by many generations since 1826, the year in which Joaquina de Vedruna founded the congregation.
[4] General Chapter XXVIII Carmelites of Charity Vedruna, 2023: Born anew (NdN), n. 2.
[5] Cf. Ps 62:5; Is 9:6; Eph 2:14-15; Judg 6:24.
[6] Cf. Chapter Document XXVII 2017: Familia Vedruna Casa de Puertas Abiertas” (FVCPA), n. 27. [7] Although “no one left behind” is such a politically repeated phrase that it is wearing out.
[8] According to the translations: meek, benevolent, patient. ….
[9] Cf. Davi KOPENAWA-Bruce ALBERT, A queda do céu. Palavras de um xamán yanomami, 2015, especially chapter 23: The spirit of the forest (pp. 467-487) where she relates how the life breath of the forest is very long and intense while the breath of humans is very short. In the language of a shamanic philosopher, Kopenawa explains the life experience of his people and the difficulties they face in the face of mining, disease and violence in the region.
[10] Mt 12:28: the kingdom of God has already come upon you; Lk 11:20: if I cast out demons by the power of God the kingdom of God has already come upon you and Lk 17:21: the kingdom of God is already among you. And also: Turn to God, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt 4:17; Mk 1:15) and Lk 10:11: Know that the kingdom of God is at hand.
[11] Pope Francis, Prayer for peace in Israel (8.VI.2014), quoted in FVCPA Chapter Document, n.27.
[12] Cf. op. cit. Born Again (NdN), cf. nn. 4 y 6
[13] Cf. op. cit. Pacem in Terris, n.113.
[14] Cf. op. cit. Pacem in Terris, cf. n.35.
[15] Cf. op. Cit. FVCPA, n. 29.
[16] Cf. op. cit. FVCPA, n. 28.
[17] Vedruna Enlarged General Council 2021: Another Way of Looking (OMM), n. 20.
[18] Cf. op. cit. Born Again, section Pruning and Flowering 2.5, p. 34.