Peace One Day


I get bouts of uhtceare.

A small sample of daily headlines

A 14 year old boy is shot and killed in Syria for an offhand remark about God.

A Catholic priest, Fr Francois Murad and another man is beheaded in Syria by jihadist rebels.

 In Egypt there is turmoil and rising tension on the streets as many thousands of opponents and supporters of the President rally in the capital, Cairo, ahead of a deadline set by a protest movement for him to leave power. The army gave President Morsi 48 hours to calm protests against his rule or face intervention. 

 Click here for the story of Brazil where thousands of protesters have taken to the streets.

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in Hong Kong to mark the 16th anniversary of the return of the former British colony to mainland #China. They're demanding full democracy and are protesting against the leadership of Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Chief Executive, CY Leung. 

 Turkey has been gripped by the biggest street protests since the Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power more than a decade ago.

 On Monday, July 8, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for refugees on the Italian island of Lampedusa, which is a prime transit point for immigrants from Africa, many of whom have lost their lives making the journey.




Some views on peace making in our troubled world.

Click here for a powerful reflection from Fr. John Predmore S.J. who has been working in Amman, Jordan and this post is based on a recent trip to Jerusalem.


 “There is only one true flight from the world; it is not an escape from conflict, anguish and suffering, but the flight from disunity and separation, to unity and peace in the love of other men.”

Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation 

"You cannot make this journey in your head—or even in the perfection of moral response. Full transformation is finally resolved in you, when you agree to bear the mystery of God: God’s suffering for the world and God’s ecstasy in the world at the same time. The joyous birth of three days ago is followed today by the story of a tragic killing of innocent children (Matthew 2:13). 

Agreeing to love and trust this history of absurdity, death, and contradictions is much harder, I’m afraid, than just trying to be “good.” ~Richard Rohr


The extract below is a starker description but describes something similar.
 
The people thrown into other cultures go through something of the anguish of the butterfly, whose body must disintegrate and reform more than once in its life cycle.

 In her novel Regeneration, Pat Barker writes of a doctor who “knew only too well how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration. Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay." 

But the butterfly is so fit an emblem of the human soul that its name in Greek is psyche, the word for soul. We have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning. Nor of the violence of the metamorphosis, which is often spoken of as though it were as graceful as a flower blooming.” 


—  from the essay “The Blue of Distance," A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit (via passade)


I wonder sometimes if all our wars and conflicts are a formidable and violent acting out on a large scale of  the human inability to acknowledge and come to terms with our incomplete and false selves.

"The spiritual journey is not a career or a success story. It is a series of humiliations of the false self. "Thomas Keating
  
The video below is from Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, who is involved in interreligious dialogue, and founder of The Elijah Interfaith Foundation. He shares his personal reflections on Peace Day, the theme of 'Who Will You Make Peace With?', and the transformative power of prayer to radiate peace.


Image source

Here and there the night is
pulling up its collar and walking away.
I can almost make out the faint odour of stars.
I don’t know whose shadow has taken the place of my own.
It is the bird with one wing that is singing my song.
Richard Jackson, from “Unauthorized Autobiography," in Heartwall (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000)

This website devoted to World Peace says:

"We are deeply aware of the tragic cycle of continuing violence around the world. As we each find our own way through the complex maze of inner feelings, it is useful to know that we are not alone in our struggles or in our hopes. Even as tragedy and suffering have occurred to so many people now and throughout history, there have also been passionate insightful voices calling for peace and healing."

PRAYERS

Click here for are a few special prayers which many have found inspiring."
and this one below from here.

 Dear God,
We pray for peace in our communities this day.
We commit to you all who work for peace and an end to tensions,
And those who work to uphold law and justice.
We pray for an end to fear,
For comfort and support to those who suffer.
For calm in our streets and cities,
That people may go about their lives in safety and peace.
In your mercy, hear our prayers,
now and always.

 Amen

From the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church:

Lord God of our Fathers: God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: Open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. 

Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal. 

 Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily sere the world in his name.

MUSIC

Lux Aeterna by Khalil Chahine
Click on arrow to listen

Lux Aeterna by Khalil Chahine on Grooveshark

FAITH HOPE  AND GRACE

“To be redeemed is not merely to be absolved of guilt before God, it is also to live in Christ, to be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, to be in Him a new creature, to live in the Spirit.” ~Thomas Merton































And yet, and yet ...
there is so much beauty in the world
  and we have to hold and treasure it in our hands
 even if it is a small step one precious day at a time.

I received this gift below from my inbox via Taize

 "To go forward in trust in God, it is a good idea to cling to a few Gospel realities and to return to them constantly: 

“In all things, peace of heart, joy, simplicity, mercy.”


BASKETS
From The Triumph of Achilles (1980)
1.
It is a good thing,
in the marketplace
the old woman trying to decide
among the lettuces,
impartial, weighing the heads,
examining
the outer leaves, even
sniffing them to catch
a scent of earth
of which, on one head,
some trace remains—not
the substance but
the residue—so
she prefers it to
the other, more
estranged heads, it
being freshest: nodding briskly at the vendor’s wife,
she makes this preference known,
an old woman, yet
vigorous in judgment.
2.
The circle of the world—
in its midst, a dog
sits at the edge of the fountain.
The children playing there,
coming and going from the village,
pause to greet him, the impulsive
loving interest in play,
in the little village of sticks
adorned with blue fragments of pottery;
they squat beside the dog
who stretches in the hot dust:
arrows of sunlight
dance around him.
Now, in the field beyond,
some great event is ending.
In twos and threes, boldly
swinging their shirts,
the athletes stroll away, scattering
red and blue, blue and dazzling purple
over the plain ground,
over the trivial surface.

Source

3.
Lord, who gave me
my solitude, I watch
the sun descending:
in the marketplace
the stalls empty, the remaining children
bicker at the fountain—
But even at night, when it can’t be seen,
the flame of the sun
still heats the pavements.
That’s why, on earth,
so much life’s sprung up,
because the sun maintains
steady warmth at its periphery.
Does this suggest your meaning:
that the game resumes,
in the dust beneath
the infant god of the fountain;
there is nothing fixed,
there is no assurance of death—

Image source
4.
I take my basket to the brazen market,
to the gathering place.
I ask you, how much beauty
can a person bear? It is
heavier than ugliness, even the burden
of emptiness is nothing beside it.
Crates of eggs, papaya, sacks of yellow lemons—
I am not a strong woman. It isn’t easy
to want so much, to walk
with such a heavy basket, either
bent reed, or willow.

By Louise Gluck
 
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Join the Movement in support of
Peace Day 21 September 2013.


 The Day After Peace
One man charts his efforts to create a global day of peace.

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