We need to turn our hearts in prayer, and receive God’s gift of peace that we can then share with all of humanity and creation itself.
By John Dear
“Perhaps more than anything, our world needs peace. We all need it, within our own broken hearts and broken families…On all sides we are surrounded by violence…In such a world, my friends and I cling to a vision of non-violence. In the spirit of interfaith prayer, we proclaim the possibility of a new world without war or violence, what Martin Luther King, Jr., called ‘the beloved community,’ or what Jesus called ‘the reign of God at hand.’
But as the great pioneers knew, we must seek peace at every level of life, beginning with ourselves. Their example summons us to turn to God, allowing God to disarm our own hearts so that we can become instruments of God’s disarming love in the world. They have called us to become the peace we seek.
If we simply live in the spirit of peace, we contribute to the peace of the entire world. This is an ancient spiritual truth. If we want to participate in this transformation, we have to begin right now, this very moment, to root out the violence within us, to forgive those who have hurt us, to let go of bitterness and resentment, to reconcile with one another, and open a way for the spirit of God to move freely among us. We need to…turn our hearts in prayer, and receive God’s gift of peace that we can then share with all of humanity and creation itself.”
(Extracted from “Living Peace: A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action”, by John Dear, a Jesuit priest, who was for many years executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, one of the largest and oldest interfaith peace organisations in the USA. He is the author of several books).