Praying and Working for Peace takes Courage

Praying and Working for Peace takes Courage October 22, 2023

We cannot see what is happening in the world as a comic book, with one side being all virtue, and the other side all vice.  If we would be peace makers, we must seek something better than what either side thinks the other side deserves.  We must aspire to treating all involved as fully human.    We must pray and fast for peace.

We must give to those charities that provide aid to the refugees.

Here is the latest if you want to catch up: Live Updates.  It feels like we are headed to an endless cycle of rage.

The cliche is, the first casuallty of war is truth.  I would say the second, is kindness.   The aid being brought to those forced to flee is not enough to assage all the suffering caused by this war rekindled to hotter levels fourteen days ago, nor does it bring back the dead or repair the damage done by those firing missles.  It does however remind us that we must work for something better than an eye for an eye.  That the only way we bring about a world that is more peaceful, is by willing ourselves to be just that, more peaceful than situations warrant, offering mercy for injustice, kindness for rage, healing for wounds inflicted, repairs for all damage done.

It sounds beautiful. These words are as hard as nails.  They are part of the reality of the cross.

We only get Easter through This.

If we want a world that reflects the promise of our resurrected Lord, we must begin to live that reality.

People will hate us.
People will block us.
People will demand sides and fealty.
People will refuse.
People will tell us we are blind.
People will tell us we are stupid.
People will tell us we’re niave.
All these things will happen.
Peace is worth more than all of our pride, and all our prayers.
Free Old arched Catholic church corridor with white walls and with stained glass window in daylight Stock Photo

Photo by Maria Orlova

It will feel like we are falling and failing.

The logic of God’s thinking is not our thinking.  God’s generousity and kindness are not measured by whether it is deserved.  We are all of us, in need of salvation, and none of our acts merit us Heaven.  We cannot bring about peace, but we can help pave the way for God’s grace to touch more lives.

Catholic Relief Services is providing support to those in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.    

If all of us give a mustard seed, God tells us, our faith can move a mountain –and this crisis between two peoples, three faiths and one land, is a mountain of troubles we need moved.   The world would exhale and breathe deep if peace were to become the norm.   It is a hope we must all have, and a task each of us in this time in the history of the world, have been asked to shoulder.

In the time of Jonah, the men of Nineveh heard his preaching and God’s voice through him.  They proclaimed a fast and were spared the alternative of being destroyed.  We know Christ is with us.  We know God is offering us again, an opportunity to be vessels of grace despite ourselves.   Let us offer our broken selves to the Lord, as instruments of His peace.  Proclaim in your own lives a little fast.

Try not to break it.

Photo by @seb

And if you do, begin again.   The Church here, like the world, is always in a state of needing to be restored.  It’s why we so very desperately need our savior, Christ.

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