One of the early Christian desert fathers said: "I have spent twenty years fighting to see all human beings as one." We are indebted to him for reminding us just how difficult this spiritual practice can be. Mahatma Gandhi reminds us as well: "I believe in the essential unity of humanity and for that matter, of all lives. Therefore, I believe that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains with that person, and if one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent."
We now offer you these light-filled quotations on peace. May your own little light shine.
- "When people talk about war I vow with all beings to raise my voice in the chorus and speak of original peace."
— Robert Aitken
- "Be peace, don't just talk about it."
— Thich Nhat Hanh
- "The God of peace is never glorified by human violence."
— Thomas Merton
- "The earth is too small a star and we too brief a visitor upon it for anything to matter more than the struggle for peace."
— Colman McCarthy
- "No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present instant. Take peace. The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within reach, is joy. Take joy."
— Fra Giovanni
- "War will stop when we no longer praise it, or give it any attention at all. Peace will come wherever it is sincerely invited."
— Alice Walker
- "If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed — but hate these things in yourself, not in another."
— Mahatma Gandhi
- "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of all the world and to the community for which it stands: one people loved into existence by God, breathing an indivisible air, warmed by a sun that shines on good and bad alike, kept alive by rain that falls on the just and unjust. I commit myself to spend my life for this world for liberty and justice for all. Amen."
— Mary Evelyn Jegen
- "May we look upon our treasure, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try to discover whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions."
— John Woolman (1774)
- "Anyone can love peace, but Jesus didn't say, 'Blessed are the peace-lovers.' He says 'peacemakers.' He is referring to a life vocation, not a hobby on the sidelines of life."
— Jim Wallis
- "While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
— St. Francis of Assisi
- "I tell you one thing — if you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather learn to see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own."
— Sri Sarada Devi
- "My personal vocation is to be a pilgrim of peace . . . We, as Christians, are on the side of nonviolence and this is in no way an option for weakness and passivity. Opting for nonviolence means to believe more strongly in the power of truth, justice, and love than in the power of wars, weapons, and hatred."
— Dom Helder Camera
- "We can never obtain peace in the world if we neglect the inner world and don't make peace with ourselves. World Peace must develop out of inner peace."
— The Dalai Lama
- "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way."
— A. J. Muste
- "I'm a nonviolent soldier. In place of weapons of violence, you have to use your mind, your heart, your sense of humor, every faculty available to you because no one has the right to take the life of another human being."
— Joan Baez
- "Returning violence for violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "If we want to reap the harvest of peace and justice in the future, we will have to sow the seeds of nonviolence, here and now, in the present."
— Mairead Corrigan Maguire
- "The job of the peacemaker is to stop war, to purify the world, to get it saved from poverty and riches, to heal the sick, to comfort the sad, to wake up those who have not yet found God, to create joy and beauty wherever you go, and to find God in everything and in everyone."
— Muriel Lester
- "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
— Albert Einstein
- "We know that peace is only possible when it is the fruit of justice. True peace is the result of the profound transformation affected by nonviolence which is, indeed, the power of love."
— Perez Esquivel
- " Violence obliterates anybody who feels its touch."
— Simone Weil
- "As peacemakers we must resist resolutely all the powers of war and destruction and proclaim that peace is the divine gift offered to all who affirm life."
— Henri J. M. Nouwen
- "The life of 'peace' is both an inner journey toward a disarmed heart and a public journey toward a disarmed world. This difficult but beautiful journey gives infinite meaning and fulfillment to life itself because our lives become a gift for the whole human race. With peace as the beginning, middle, and end of life, life makes sense."
— John Dear
Explore more resources on peace (books, movies, teaching stories, spiritual exercises, articles) at our homepage for this spiritual practice.