Friday, June 3, 2011

Blog # 147 Shalom! Peace !

Blog # 147 SHALOM ! PEACE ! Shalom! Peace! This is the greeting of the Risen Lord to His disciples. We have heard it many times , Easter after Easter. It is very familiar. Perhaps so familiar we tend to take it for granted as part of the Easter celebration, with little power or effect in our lives. Sometimes we seem to appreciate a thing or a person more after they are gone or absent. I can remember back during World War II we prayed and worked and longed for peace to come. Then in the peaceful years we tend to take it for granted. Certainly our current moment of history is a time again when we experience so much violence enmity hatred and fear that we find ourselves tired of the way things are going and in deep need for peace. Peace is God's desire for us. 'Peace is my farewell to you. Peace my gift to you." (Jn 14:27). But like other gifts God wishes to give us personally, that they be our very own, peace comes in the form of a do-it-yourself kit. God will be with us, guiding, challenging,calling, supporting, but to be at peace we must create peace within ourselves. For this we must identify the component parts of peace, what it means to be at peace, what it entails for us. Like all God's gifts that come to us through Jesus peace comes to us as an expression of God's love, is based upon love, and leads to love. In the years I used to visit the ladies' prison over in Davisboro each week I was always impressed and inspired by how much the famous prayer of St. Francis for peace was helpful to the women in their quest for peace. It seems to be an especially appropriate response to the desire of Jesus for us as His disciples. Lord,make us instruments of Your peace. Where there is hatred let us sow love, where there is injury pardon, where there is doubt faith, where there is despair hope, where there is sadness joy. O Divine Master, Let us not so much desire to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love, for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Try finding applications for this prayer in your living room kitchen and dining room, in your classroom and work place, in your relationships with others, in your own mind and heart, and see how much and how great a sense of peace it brings. Shalom!

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