“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”
87. This Beatitude makes us think of the many endless situations of war in our world.
These brutal situations are reported daily, but Pope Francis has more in mind on this topic. Something closer to home and more personal:
Yet we ourselves are often a cause of conflict or at least of misunderstanding. For example, I may hear something about someone and I go off and repeat it. I may even embellish it the second time around and keep spreading it… And the more harm it does, the more satisfaction I seem to derive from it. The world of gossip, inhabited by negative and destructive people, does not bring peace. Such people are really the enemies of peace; in no way are they “blessed”.*
* Detraction and calumny are acts of terrorism: a bomb is thrown, it explodes and the attacker walks away calm and contented. This is completely different from the nobility of those who speak to others face to face, serenely and frankly, out of genuine concern for their good.
Commentators may wonder about this footnote, a personal comment. While Pope Francis has no doubt experienced this in his current assignment (as has every pope), it is a feature of nearly any ministry, be it pope, priest, layperson, or volunteer.
You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.