Spirituality for Today – January 2008 – Volume 12, Issue 6

Editorial – Quality Of Peace

By Rev. Mark Connolly

Photo of paper cutout people holding hands and surrounding the globeAll of us wish the world leaders of different countries could develop a universal peace that would prevail all throughout the world. All of us would love to see peace in Iraq, peace in Iran, peace in our own country. And we look at all of these meetings that have taken place over the years, some with the best of intentions, and still there is a tremendous shortage of world peace. In our own time when you consider the efforts that President Clinton made, President Carter made, that Ronald Regan made and even this President for peace in the Middle East, all the accords, all the peace treaties were ceremonially signed and a short time later the ugly signs of war were negating many of the wonderful thoughts of peace.

It is very easy to be discouraged at all these efforts at peace. Leaders try and peace never comes. What all of us can learn from all of this is that each one has the capacity to be a peace maker, no matter if you are rich or poor, Jewish or Catholic. Each one of us has to, in our own way, spread the positive teachings of our religious leaders into the places where we live. The Muslim has to bring the peace of the Koran, the Christian has to bring the peace of the Gospel and the Jewish person the peace of the Torah. On a world scale it might not have any great impact, but on a smaller scale it has a positive impact. Can you imagine each one of the Muslim faith or the Christian faith or the Jewish faith trying to be an instrument of peace to his neighbor? Whether it is Jewish charity or Christian charity, as long as it is charity geared toward bringing peace it is a positive step in the direction of peace. Over the years we have sat back and waited for our world leaders to come up with all of these plans, to come up with all of these agreements concerning peace throughout the Middle East and throughout the world. And they generally fall very short of the mark. The only alternative left is to remember everyone who performs an act of charity, everyone who performs an act of compassion is contributing to the peace of the community of that person.

Everyone who defends our four freedoms, everyone recognizes that our country, with all its faults, is still one of the greatest countries God has ever put on this earth. All of us have to keep in mind we have a lot to lose if we don't individually work for peace, no matter how small our efforts might be in the eyes of others. If the family lacks peace because someone does not try, if a community lacks peace because some one does not make an effort, then a country will eventually feel the impact of these people who are not trying as hard as they should to bring peace into the lives of others. Each one of us no matter whether we are Protestant, Catholic or Jewish has an obligation to save our country. This we do, even though it might be in a little way, by being an instrument of peace to those with whom we live and work. As you know as well as I do over the years sincere efforts for peace have been made by the various leaders of various countries and they have failed. That obligation for peace falls on our shoulders. We have a legacy to hand down to our children and grandchildren. We not only have four wonderful freedoms, we have a declaration of independence and a constitution that is the envy of the world. All of these qualities have to be handed down to the generations that follow. Being an instrument of peace does not mean you have to get into a war. Being an instrument of peace means you try to bring the simple things of St. Francis, "Lord, where there is hatred, let me bring love; where there is darkness, let me bring light; where there is sorrow, let me bring joy". When we do that we become an instrument of peace in a world that is so desperately in need of this quality of peace.