Peace, Prayer, and Vigilance

Source: A Goodwill Reflection taken from the book “Jesus e a Cidadania do Espírito” [Jesus and the Citizenship of the Spirit] (2019).
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Martin Luther King Jr.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), the distinguished social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States, delivered a speech on April 10, 1957, in Saint Louis, Missouri, in which he accurately declared: “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

This intrepid leader of the cause of the philosophy of nonviolence was right, because Peace is one of God’s most powerful talents and is synonymous with Love and Justice based on Truth. Everything must converge on Peace and expand from it. It has nothing to do with cowardice, but with common sense and efficient fraternal action. “Watch and pray” (The Gospel according to Mark 14:38) is a valuable teaching from the Ecumenical Jesus, the Divine Statesman, for achieving Peace with strong determination and great patience.

God’s Christ warned: “Be on guard! Watch and pray! You do not know when  the time of the Final Judgment will come.” (The Gospel according to Mark 13:33)

Tela: Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne (1631-1681)


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Alziro Zarur  

Alziro Zarur (1914-1979) also understood watching as working. So he used to say: “Pray and watch; that is, pray and work.” St. Benedict (480-547) made “Ora et labora” [“Pray and work”] the fundamental principle of his Order.


The young German Jewish writer Anne Frank (1929-1945) recorded her peaceful ideals in her diary, even though she was suffering the anguish caused by World War II (1939-1945). This is her courageous testimony and a warning to those who still delight in pessimism, which only increases the social and physical ills of people: “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”