The company in search of peace

When peace is also a footprint in and of the company

That peace does not shine on this Earth, which was created and given to man for his care and development, is so evident that it can unfortunately obscure hope.

But we Christians find words of relief in the Word: “I leave you peace, I give you my peace” (Jn 14:27). The peace that comes from the Lord is shown in the heart of every person as a gift destined to be given. As St John Paul II taught, ‘peace is born from a new heart’. For the heart represents the deepest part of the human being, the place where the good and the beautiful are born. But the heart, in turn, needs to be renewed, because it is also from the heart that what is perverse and sinful is born.

As we are about to begin a new liturgical year, with Advent, hope takes on special importance. We hope for “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1). We hope to dwell eternally in the depths of divine life. But we also hope that faith in the Lord, incarnated in our humanity, and made history, will enlighten us in the transformation of this world into the Kingdom of God.

Probably the great task of all enterprises today is to serve as instruments of peace. Pope Francis, in his message for the celebration of Peace Day on 1 January 2017, invited entrepreneurs and companies to be builders of peace.

Reading (or re-reading) the encyclical letter Populorum Progressio, written by Pope Paul VI for all people of goodwill, can be an incentive to stimulate the creativity of Christian entrepreneurs and managers.

To the extent that a business stimulates with its activity the development of all persons and all dimensions of the person; to the extent that a business is committed to the common good and social justice; to the extent that a business is a meeting place and a promoter of development; to this extent it is building peace, because, as Paul VI reminds us, “Development is the new name for peace” (PP 76).

This is why development should be in the DNA of the vision, mission and values of every economic activity. Because, paradoxically, without peace and justice it is also impossible to achieve economic development in the sense suggested by the Church’s social doctrine.

May our companies not only work to reduce their carbon footprint, but also to increase their peace footprint! May the vision of the prophet Isaiah, when he thought of the neighbouring peoples, become reality!

“From swords shall be ploughshares, from spears pruning hooks. No more shall sword be raised against people, no more shall war be trained” (Is 2:4).

Dionisio Blasco España is territorial delegate of the diocese of Malaga and member of the Executive Committee of Acción Social Empresarial.