Ten Things to Do to Become a Peacemaker

by Sister Julie Ann on September 30, 2009

061809fscccampfranciscan055-copy.jpgAugust 2009 the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity began their community-wide Peace Study with a look at Scriptural foundations of peace and research from the Center of Nonviolent Communication.

Recently Network, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, published a back to back fact sheet encouraging distribution of Becoming a Peacemaker-Where to Begin. Here is a healthy list of ten things created by CNVC and Gary Baran that contribute to internal, interpersonal and organizational peace:

  1. Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.
  2. Remember that all human beings have the same needs.
  3. Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.
  4. When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.
  5. Instead of saying what we DON”T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.
  6. Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we’d like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.
  7. Before agreeing and disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
  8. Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”
  9. If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what’s wrong with others or ourselves.
  10. Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.

franciscloseuped2.jpgSt. Francis of Assisi prayed: “While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.” Any comments as we prepare for the October 4 feast of the founder of the Franciscan Order?

Photos: Jaslyn Gilbert and Mark Kolter

11 thoughts on “Ten Things to Do to Become a Peacemaker”

  1. Nhut Ho Vietnam says:

    I like “Ten Commandments for Peacemakers”.
    we have to follow and practice these 10 things to become peacemakers. God bless you.

  2. Sister Sue Ann Hall says:

    These suggestions certainly have a more positive side to them which is much more encouraging and, re-directs self to respond in a healthy way.

  3. These 10 points place the focus of peace in the heart of each of us. “Let peace begin with me” takes on a deeper meaning. I’m going to use them for prayer and pondering on the vigil and feast of St. Francis. Thank you for sharing them.

  4. Gretchen says:

    This list leaves me speechless. That’s huge for a girl that lived a life with a checkmark on her report card: “Talks too much.”

    I’m finding this list – so far on just a quick read-through – totally in line with my thinking. I just didn’t know it. Some of these things I’ve worked on, some I’ve considered, some I aspire to.

    I could write a book based on these ten thoughts. And I just might!

    What a wonderful guidebook for life!

  5. Ernesto DeSantiago says:

    These 10 thing are not that hard to live by. But I can agree, If everyone followed this peacemaker list. Everyone would be at peace. I am going to try and follow these 10 things. Honestly, I am pretty sure it’s will be a better lifestyle then the one I have now. God bless and take.

  6. al eisma says:

    I believe this 10 things to do can be summarize as follows: If we can empty ourselves of ourselves, we can fill it with Christ and be more “Christ-centerd” rather than self-centerd.

  7. Wow, if the ten guidelines to becoming a peacemaker are worthy of imitation, your comments are truly worthy of reading more than once as well. Thanks all!

  8. Linda McCullough says:

    Excellent list. I’m going to carry it with me and try to listen to it and act on it.

    How about developing the capacity to suffer?

    I think there is a strong poverty/peace connection, too. I recall Francis telling the friars that one reason not to own property was that we then need guns to defend it. A life where you do not need to hang onto stuff goes a long way–letting go of material things for sure, but also the idea that you’re right, or your cause is just. Becoming defense-less rather than success-full.

  9. Meaningful action is often linked with an awareness to another’s need. St. Francis is quoted: “Happy will they be who will persevere in the things they have begun.”

  10. Kevin Konkol says:

    I like this list, it shows that we always need to be thinking of others and their needs first. This is why I think so highly of the Franciscan Sisters and the work that they do, thank you for everything that you have done for me and our community. God bless.

  11. Kevin, glad you found this list. Don’t forget us when you meet with your students. Peace and all good.

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