The New Year 2016: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: Reflection for New Year's Day
STUDY: World Day of Peace message
ACT: Take the Vow of Nonviolence
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Resources for the New Year, 2016
"It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. But now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that he speaks; with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers, and children that he gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers, and suburban housewives that he gives. It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that he walks, and with the heart of anyone in need that he longs for shelter. And giving shelter or food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving it to Christ."   
~ Dorothy Day


The new year presents us with a time to take stock of where we have been, where we are going, and what we long to become as people of peace. Many Pax Christi local groups and individual members renew or take for the first time the Vow of Nonviolence (see the "Act" section below). We hope that the resources in this Pray-Study-Act e-bulletin will help you as you orient yourself for a new year, for new opportunities for peace-making, for a deeper and more transformative commitment to seek justice. We thank you for your witness to the peace of Christ over the past year, and we are excited to walk with you into the new. 
  For additional resources from throughout Advent and Christmas, including links to all previous PSA e-bulletins and reflections, we hope you'll visit our Advent and Christmas webpage. Happy New Year! 

In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
 PRAY: Jan. 1 - New Year's Day,
World Day of Peace, Solemnity of Mary
By Jim Dinn 

At first glance the shepherds seem to be intruders who fill the frame of the gospel proclaimed on this feast of Mary, Mother of God. We encounter them in full stride, breathless, rushing through the dark countryside at the angel's bidding to see the newborn infant. They have listened and believed. They have accepted the angel's invitation and are hurrying to see what was promised. There they testify to all they have seen and heard so that others are enriched by their faith-sharing. Finally, they return to their work drastically changed, praising and glorifying God.
    Mary, on the other hand, is the still point at the center of this reading. Her silent response is summarized with a single admiring sentence: "Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart." She may seem to be a very different faith model than the shepherds. ...
STUDY: World Day of Peace message
from Pope Francis 
by Pope Francis 
1. God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us! At the beginning of the New Year, I would like to share not only this profound conviction but also my cordial good wishes for prosperity, peace and the fulfilment of the hopes of every man and every woman, every family, people and nation throughout the world, including all Heads of State and Government and all religious leaders. We continue to trust that 2016 will see us all firmly and confidently engaged, on different levels, in the pursuit of justice and peace. Peace is both God's gift and a human achievement. As a gift of God, it is entrusted to all men and women, who are called to attain it.

Maintaining our reasons for hope

2. Sadly, war and terrorism, accompanied by kidnapping, ethnic or religious persecution and the misuse of power, marked the past year from start to finish. In many parts of the world, these have became so common as to constitute a real "third world war fought piecemeal". Yet some events of the year now ending inspire me, in looking ahead to the new year, to encourage everyone not to lose hope in our human ability to conquer evil and to combat resignation and indifference. They demonstrate our capacity to show solidarity and to rise above self-interest, apathy and indifference in the face of critical situations...

ACT: Take the Vow of Nonviolence
The Vow of Nonviolence was composed by Eileen Egan and Rev. John Dear, S.J. Tens of thousands of people have taken the Vow. The Vow of Nonviolence can be pronounced privately, with a local peace community, as part of a parish liturgy, or any other way that suits you. Many profess the Vow each year as part of their New Year observance.