Spirituality for Today – February 2008 – Volume 12, Issue 7

Editorial – Reality Of Peace

By Rev. Mark Connolly

A color photo of Carl JungIf you study the writings of the famous psychiatrist, Carl Jung, there is a favorite line that is always spoken about concerning the importance of the spiritual. Carl Jung once said, "I have been a practicing psychiatrist for over thirty years and the vast majority of my patients would never have had to come to my office door if they relied on the spiritual teachings of their spiritual masters".

If you read another line in the works of Winston Churchill, he said, "when I was young I was very liberal; when I became older I became very conservative; and when I became very, very old I became very spiritual".

No matter what we think and how wonderful our insights might be, no matter how big an army we have in Iraq and no matter how powerful our forces might be, we still have to face the fact we have not found this quality of peace. Every one knows the Muslims pray five times a day. Every one knows that Christians are encouraged to pray day after day for more peace. Every one knows that without the spiritual infiltrating our minds and hearts, the war in Iraq can go on year after year.

There have to be people in Iraq who want normal lives without warfare all around them. We can never forget that they have had wars with Russia and are now engaged in a war with us. What we can never forget is that they lack peace. Can a nation that is so devoted to war become a prayerful nation? If you really believe in the language of St. Thomas, St. Paul and Tennyson that prayer can move mountains, then prayer has the capacity to move the mentalities of those who feel that killing and war is the natural way to pursue peace. It has never worked.

We have to believe that every mother and father who has a son or daughter in the service of our country in Iraq are constantly praying that God will bring that son or daughter home safe and sound. We have to think of the people in Iraq who want normal family living and would do everything in their power to stabilize their country and bring peace. We all know there is a fanatical element in the minds of individuals who want to pursue war no matter what the cost. The cost on both sides in blood, sweat and tears is something we will never be able to measure. There is no doubt diplomacy works. There is no doubt we have to wave the olive branch of peace. Now we have to decide whether Carl Jung was right or not.

In the course of our lives we have to keep in mind that Jesus Christ spoke about peace when he said, "my peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you". If Jesus Christ today were speaking to the Iraqis, if Mohamed were speaking to Christians, both of them I am sure would believe that wars never solved anything and that if we had the welfare of each other in our hearts through prayer and mediation, through the emphasis of the spiritual, this reality of peace can be experienced by all.