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Studies of Religion 12 - 2 Unit - Peace: Inner Peace

Muslim Inner Peace - Mr Portelli

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Inner Peace Quotes

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

“The best fighter is never angry.” 
― Laozi

“Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.” 
― Gautama Buddha

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” 
― Dalai Lama XIV

“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” 
― Thomas Jefferson

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.” 
― Gerald G. JampolskyLove Is Letting Go of Fear

“There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness and death.” 
― Frances Ann "Fran" Lebowitz

“Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward & learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.” 
― John Chrysostom


Inner peace to world peace

Christian Inner Peace - Mr Portelli - Waverley College

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Guidance for Christian to achieving inner peace

Guidance for Christians in achieving inner peace

  • New Testament literature reveals an important relationship between an individual's fidelity to the requirements of the gospel and their own sense of peace and wellbeing
  • Christians can expect to find inner peace in and through living out their vocation as disciples of Jesus Christ and directing their lives towards the following of his teaching.
  • Jesus is regarded as the bringer of peace and to live in close relationship to him and his teaching will allow the follower to experience this peace
  • Jesus' life is seen as a model of living in peace
  • Christians are encouraged to model their lives on his example in doing so they will be able to find peace

Integrity and Fidelity

  • Integrity and fidelity to one's vocation fundamental to finding inner peace
  • Not possible to achieve inner peace while experiencing turmoil and inner conflict due to compromising personal values
  • Jesus faced temptations to compromise his integrity
  • These temptations are about serving self or avoiding challenging situations
  • Jesus' example shows the importance of being true to the values of the gospel and not being prepared to accept compromise
  • Compromise would inevitably erode a sense of inner peace as it amounts to a lack of integrity and will result in inner conflict
  • By refusing to be tempted Jesus retains his integrity and is able to faithfully go about his ministry
  • Selflessness is a liberating quality which has a significant impact on the capacity to achieve inner peace

Prayer and Service

  • Ministry of Jesus highlights prayer and service being kept in balance
  • Jesus portrayed as a man of prayer who is frequently in communion with God Occasions of prayer are particularly evident leading up to significant moments in Jesus' ministry
  • Prayer is a vehicle through which Jesus is able to nurture and sustain the relationship with God which is the source of his wellbeing and inner peace
  • Prayer is something which followers of Jesus try to emulate in order achieve this sense of peace and serenity.
  • Prayer is not a withdrawal from the events of daily life
  • Prayer an opportunity to reflect on events and gain strength to face challenges Jesus' ministry conveys a sense of balance between prayer and contemplation on one hand and active service on the other
  • Two elements are seen as complementary, not in competition with one another Prayer is seen as an essential adjunct to the active ministry
  • Ministry is seen as a practical expression of the life of prayer
  • Prayer enables the Christian to sustain and nurture their relationship with God Through prayer Christians draw meaning and understanding concerning day to day life
  • Christians also gain strength and inspiration from prayer to enable them to meet daily challenges
  • Service flows out of the contemplative element of prayer
  • Understanding gained through prayer and reflection informs and guides the Christian to respond to the call to service
  • Strength and inspiration gained through prayer enables Christians to rise to the challenges they may face in serving others.
  • Christians are encouraged to find a balance between the contemplative and the active elements of life
  • Overemphasis on prayer and contemplation can lead to insularity
  • Overemphasis on active service can lead to burn out
  • Either of these excesses will undermine the search for an inner peace


  • Christian community is an important source of help and support
  • The unity exists in community assists in the search for inner peace
  • Jesus' community of followers shared a great deal of his experience, learned from him and supported him in his ministry
  • Elements of sharing, learning and supporting will assist individuals to find a harmony and sense of purpose in community which assists in the search for inner peace and wellbeing
  • The absence of community leads to isolation and separation
  • The breakdown or disintegration of a community through conflict, disunity etc will also have a negative effect on an individual's sense of wellbeing

Towards Inner Peace

  • Following the example of Jesus is a fruitful and worthwhile path to find inner peace
  • Various groups within the Christian tradition will have established methods of following this example
  • These include the use of prayer, ritual and the reading of scripture, the service of others and the participation in community with those of similar beliefs
  • A basic orientation in life which supports the quest for integrity and fidelity to the gospel is an important foundational element
  • Not be possible to achieve inner peace while values are seriously compromised.
  • Maintaining a balance between prayer and service is also fundamental to the quest for a sense of peace and wellbeing
  • Both prayer and service are essential and each should support and draw from the other
  • Engaging with a local community is also an important element
  • Communities provide important occasions of interaction for sharing, for learning and for support
  • The absence of meaningful community undermines the possibility of achieving inner peace

Contribution of Christianity to World Peace

  • The Christian tradition makes significant contributions to world peace at a number of different levels
  • These contributions include public statements by Church leaders, programs of action at local and international levels, organisations dedicated to bringing about peace, courses of study, commemorative days etc.

Public Statements

  • Church leaders have frequently made statements in support of peace
  • Some have been specific appeals for peace in particular circumstances however,
  • Some have also published more comprehensive statements on the need for peace and the means of achieving it.
  • In the Catholic community, one of the more well known statements was the 1963 statement of Pope John XXIII "Pacem in Terris" (Peace on Earth)
  • In Pacem in Terris John XXIII discusses an issue of critical importance to the establishment of peace
  • Other organisations such as the World Council of Churches and individual denominations such as the Society of Friends (Quakers) have also released many public statements relating to peacemaking
  • In the months before the beginning of the 2003 Gulf War, Christian Churches in the United States made frequent public appeals to avoid the conflict
  • The Society of Friends website contains excerpts from over forty statements from US Churches, many of them representing the views of groups of Church leaders from a particular State or region
  • Similar statements were made throughout Europe and the UK
  • In Australia statements were made by leaders of most major Christian denominations together with representative statement issued by the National Council of Churches of Australia (NCCA)

Programs and Organisations

  • There has always been a tradition of opposition to warfare in Church communities
  • Francis of Assisi is a famous example of opposition to war. Another interesting example
  • The Society of Friends (Quakers), a Christian group with a pacifist stance.
  • The modern peace movement has a strong link to Christian peace groups in its infancy.
  • Movements such as the Catholic Worker movement led by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin have been prominent in the quest for world peace
  • The Catholic worker movement developed an approach of active non-violence and often used civil disobedience as a means of protest.
  • Another well known organisation is the international group Pax Christi who have pioneered peacemaking at an international level for decades
  • In preparation for the coming of the third millennium, Pax Christi published a manifesto for a culture of peace and non violence.
  • This manifesto came in support of the United Nations declaring a decade for a culture of peace and non violence beginning in the year 2000.
  • Pax Christi's declaration contained 6 principles which it invited people to take up
  • respect the life and dignity of every person without discrimination or prejudice
  • practise active non-violence, rejecting violence in all its forms: physical, sexual, psychological economic and social, in particular towards the most deprived and vulnerable such as children and adolescents
  • share my time and material resources in a spirit of generosity to put an end to exclusion, injustice and political and economic oppression
  • defend freedom of expression and cultural diversity, giving preference always to dialogue and listening rather than fanaticism, defamation and the rejection of others
  • promote consumer behaviour that is responsible and development practices that respect all forms of life and preserve the balance of nature on the planet
  • contribute to the development of my community, with the full participation of women and respect for democratic principles, in order to create together new forms of solidarity
  • The World Council of Churches in launched a campaign of a "Decade to Overcome Violence"
  • This campaign provides an ecumenical dimension to the search for peace and highlights the commonalities held among Christian Churches in this area
  • The campaign of the Decade to Overcome Violence has also highlighted the statistic that domestic violence is responsible for the deaths of more women worldwide than any other single cause
  • Other important organisations include the Church and Peace alliances in Europe and the UK as well as the Kairos organisation in Canada and the USA .
  • In Australia major Christian denominations have organisations which have responsibility in working towards peace
  • These include the Uniting Church Board of Social Responsibility and the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
  • These organisations, together with the National Council of Churches of Australia have peacemaking as an important part of their mandate
  • The element of working towards peace is carried out alongside other social concerns such as justice and ecology
  • This highlights the close relationship between the search for a more just society and the search for peace
  • Church organisations have frequently stated that the achievement of lasting peace will only be possible with a renewed social order where there poverty is substantially overcome and there is justice among people and between nations