Cherish peace, life and memory – Bishop Galea Curmi

On Remembrance Sunday, the message of the Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea Curmi was clear: Cherish peace, life and memory for these are essential components of our humanity.

Remembering the past, said Bishop Galea Curmi is not a way of getting stuck in history or to nurture resentment for hurts and failures. Memory helps people learn and move on, said the Bishop, adding “If we forget, we not only condemn ourselves with our ingratitude towards those who came before us and lived through so much suffering, but we risk repeating the errors of history”. Quoting Pope Francis, Bishop Galea Curmi said that memory “shows us that we are not alone, we are a people: a people who have history, a past, a life”

Treasuring life

Following the thread on the topic of life, Bishop Galea Curmi recalled the thousands of families torn asunder through the loss of dear ones in conflict. The two world wars, the fall of the Berlin wall as well as conflicts throughout the world were evidently foremost in the Bishop’s thoughts as he exhorted the faithful to ‘treasure life’. Strong words by Bishop Galea Curmi: “If we nurture this sensibility towards life, it will be reflected in our words and treatment of people. Every person is precious, even if not a co-national, or a member of our race, religion, or not of the same colour, or is different from us in some way or another. Every human life must be treasured”. He warned that no contempt must eve be shown to human life, rather, that contempt must be directed at those who seek to “instil resentment or that sow the seed of hatred, the words that disrespect every human life”. He stressed that for the Church in Malta the message is one and consistent: we are all created in the likeness of God.

Peace built on justice, integrity and truth

Respect of humanity said Bishop Galea Curmi, is the kernel of the seed of peace, and that seed must be rooted in the heart. In the words of Vatican Council II, Bishop Galea Curmi said that peace is not an absence of war or fear of mutually assured destruction but an enterprise of justice. “If we truly desire to live in peace, we must strive for the respect of the dignity of everyone and treat them as brothers and sisters. We must also together work for the common good” said Bishop Galea Curmi. He added “History shows us that peace must be built on justice, integrity and truth, or else all our endeavours will not be truly for peace but will serve as a smokescreen for evil and corrupt practices” warning that if this is not so, those who seek to call out evil would be neutralised.

Turning his eye to the social media, Bishop Galea Curmi said that this important element in daily life seems to have become “the preferred medium of those who harbour hatred in their hearts and to their detriment and ours, choose to disseminate hatred to the four winds”. All that separates humanity observed Bishop Galea Curmi, flows from the heart  “and in order to tear down the walls around us, we need to be fearless. If the heart is at peace, if the heart is full of love and cherishes the dignity and the life of others, it will help us to build bridges and not walls between us” concluded Bishop Galea Curmi.

(Additional reporting by Luisa Apap)