Saturday, January 16, 2010

Peace on Earth to People of Good Will*

*Some reflections from some comments and several discussions.

Peace is the first gift offered man by the angels at Christ's birth, and the first gift offered by Christ upon his Resurrection. Peace is that warm sense of community that comes from knowing that all of us long for the hearth in our homes, that all of us hope to be part of the 5000 fed. Genuine Peace is freedom from sin, not freedom from want or need. We need only look at the lives of celebrities to see that theirs are lives full of everything, except peace or conversely at the women who join the Missionaries of Charity. Their lives intentionally have very little, yet they hold an abundance of peace.

Peace does not come simply from having a military that can take down opposition with force (power); that is the mistake of order for peace; or having a full belly and all physical needs accounted for; the error of satiation for peace, or from the knowledge that no one is better off than one's self; the error of equality for peace. Security, Order and Equality and peace are not synonymous, the three are reflective of peace, but not its equivalent.

Respect for others is insufficient as a means of deterrence when faced with real evil, real wrong; polite regard and courtesy are reflective of refinement, but they are dangerous if manners and good appearances prevent one from acknowledging truth, good from bad behavior. A person can smile and smile and still be a villain; so can a country or a government. Peace is not something we can manufacture with arms or austerity or government programs or extensive systemic charity. It is something we must seek with our whole hearts to receive. If we want peace on Earth, pray earnestly and do good to bring others peace for true peace can only come from the Holy Spirit.

Peace begins in each of our hearts, responding to the slights, insults, irritations and annoyances of others not with anger or hurt, but with humor, gentleness, listening, truth and generosity of spirit. It must be practiced fresh daily and with everyone, even our worst enemies, but most often, it's hardest when required with those we love most. It is easier to love in the abstract where nothing is required than to love in the actual, where sublimation must be practiced; or at least it is for me. Peace means becoming light to and for others.

Peace comes from knowing that our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, and that God loves us despite our incapacity to hold onto this gift He freely offers us, absent our cooperation with His grace. Confident of this, His Peace comes from going about our lives trying to live out some fraction, some snatch of the Gospels, what Jesus taught and urged and still asks us to do.

If you long for peace within and beyond your homes, pray the Rosary. If you want that peace in your hearts and in the world; practice the beatitudes, wash the feet, serve in the Calcutta that surrounds you, that you see. Poverty is everywhere, and not just in the form of physical dire need, but in the closed hearts, the darkened spirits of our family, friends, classmates, aquaintances and neighbors. Christ in disguise for one, is obvious to another; that is why we all are the body of Christ. And we should work tirelessly hoping that everyone we see, we will meet again in Heaven and greet as the true friends Christ intended us to be.

Wishing all of you His Peace.


Anonymous said...

Peace on Earth???

Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan:

Also see Gary Yourofsky:

Sherry said...

Yes, we are quite capable of wrong, error, evil and sin. But we are also capable of chosing otherwise.

And despair at the global actions of others because everyone does not do as we do, is another way we reject the gift of peace.

Karen said...

"If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another."

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

MightyMom said...

Good post Sherry.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!