Pax Christi is like a tree whose branches reach into many countries and cultures. But where do these branches get their nourishment?
What keeps us going as peacemakers?
Like a tree whose roots reach deep into the earth to draw life for its growth, so the roots of Pax Christi reach back in time. We draw inspiration from the desire for reconciliation which arose in France and Germany after the Second World War and which brought the Pax Christi movement into being.
We are nurtured by the spiritual roots of our faith, shared with men and women, past and present, who believe that peace, justice and human rights are goals that can be attained.
And each branch, or section, of Pax Christi is nourished by its own unique story, drawn from the people and their struggles, their cultural references, and the complexion of their religious traditions.
Peacemaking is driven by vision and ideal; it is a spiritual quest. Because it is a pathway, a process, Pax Christi has grown in scope and thinking. From a desire for reconciliation between nations, the pathway has led to all aspects of life: the economics of the arms trade, the theology of inter-religious dialogue, the ethics of globalisation, and the practice of nonviolence.
As groups formed over the years in different continents and contexts, they engaged in action which reflected their most immediate concerns. Yet a common spirituality and motivation unites them as branches of the same tree.
Sometimes words are inadequate to express these things: a symbol or image can say far more. The face of the suffering Christ etched in the cross that was carried to Aachen in Germany, across the border from France, is a visible sign of people’s pain. A painting from New Zealand telling the story of a Maori community whose peaceful resistance was crushed in violence by white settlers, speaks for itself.
We hope that this selection of images will convey something of the spirituality, the cultures and colours that flow through Pax Christi, and that the peace of God which inspires us will inspire you too.
Please note: Information about the Illustrations used here has been provided by national sections of Pax Christi. Please let Pax Christi International know if an artist (or author) has not been properly credited so that this can be put right.