If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Blessed Mother Teresa
These words spoken by Mother Teresa have been near to my heart and in my prayers during these last few days. Today I am once again heartbroken as I watch the streets of Yemen fill with anger and fire – while a barren airplane hangar becomes sacred space as America brings home the remains of 4 men who died while seeking peace in Libya. Our airwaves are filled with sound bites–angry and compassionate, uncaring and in solidarity, disrespectful and filled with honor, unjust and seeking justice. The messages are mixed and self-serving.
What will it take for us to belong to one another? I have lived my life trying to share the good news of peace. There have been moments when doing so has required risk. And as I watch the brief, compassionate ceremony for those four men who knew the risk of spreading peace to their death, I question our ability to negotiate respect and teach ‘belonging’. There is no simple resolution for the conflict that permeates our world.
This is not a comfortable place for me. Questioning our ability to bring peace is not something I want to consider. I have lived believing in the promise of peace and the healing of hope. This has been part of my walk in faith – a walk that has allowed me the honor to meet amazing people along the path. And as we have met, we have known what it means to belong to one another.
This has been my walk of faith. Yet on a day like today I am reminded that faith does not exclude doubt. Even though I wonder whether peace can be obtained, I still carry that promise of hope and healing. It may be better to reflect on Mother Teresa’s words remembering that part of belonging to one another means at times we struggle (which doesn’t always feel peaceful). The work is hard and today I grieve for the loss of life in the explosion of anger witnessed this week.
But the work goes on. And I am reminded of a passage from the Gospel of John, Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As “God” has sent me, so I send you.’
4 thoughts on “what then must we do…”
At the heart of the question of massive evil overcoming peace is the understanding contained in the Christian belief. All humans, created in the image of God, are God’s children. Then enters the age old mystery of God’s will.
I found these excerpts helpful from the Ignatius Insights website —
The Will and Providence of God — Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen
“There is indeed much done against God’s will by evil men,” Augustine writes, “but his wisdom and power are so great that everything seemingly contrary to it, in reality, works toward the good outcome or end that he has preordained.” In other words: “God accomplishes his good will through the evil will of others. In this way the Father’s loving plan was realized … and Jesus suffered death for our sake.”
Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) writes to Sister Marie-Henriette de Bousmard: “Be profoundly persuaded that nothing takes place in this world either spiritually or physically, that God does not will, or at least, permit; therefore we ought no less to submit to the permissions of God in things that do not depend on us, than to His absolute will.”
We must pray for peace as opposed to the reflex of war.
God bless you Carrie
I always appreiciate your reflection and insight. Thank you for joining the conversation. Peace be with you…
Thank you Carrie.
I can quote theologians and mystics.
But your insights come from inspiration within you. You are profound.
You words are kind. I am grateful for your own reflections. May you know peace and belonging.