Friday of the First Week of Advent
Why do we want to solve problems by conflict instead of rising to the challenge to work things out — um — creatively.
Why do we need to use firepower rather than brainpower?
Why can’t we — um — “Imagine” a different way as John Lennon proposed during another war a generation ago?
One man did. He stumbled into his dream when Afghan villagers saved his life.
He dreamed. He thought. He acted. And now is building schools for girls all over Afghanistan.
He’s Greg Mortenson, “a frumpy Montanan,” and the Pentegon bought up large numbers of his book Three cups of Tea.
They recognized he’s on to something.
What would happen, Lord, if we all “imagined” peace not war, schools not missiles?
Greg is building schools for about the same price it costs to support a soldier for a year — about $50,000. 30,000 troops could mean 30,000 schools!
What would happen, Lord, if we dreamed of / prayed for / wanted reconciliation with the people in our own lives that we are at odds with? What would happen if we — um — “talked” to one another?
What would happen if families spent Advent nights in a circle in the living room, turned off the TV and — um “talked” for a change and really got to know and love the people who lived together under the same roof instead of dreaming up crazy things to buy for Aunt Suzie?
And so, dear friends, I ask you:
Do you dream of / want / think peace and harmony in your relationships?
Do you want it for all the world?
Jesus wanted it.
He refused to act violently to save himself.
The meaning of the Cross is that he gave an example of the power of Non Violence.
He commands us to “Love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us.”
That’s his standard.
And that’s mine, dear friends.
I try to root out of my thoughts and heart and speech vestiges of violence.
I’m not there yet.
But my anger is lessening as I get closer to You, Lord,
and allow You to get closer to me.
My dear friends, make Christmas real this year!
Imagine peace / Dream peace / Want peace / Think peace
in all your relations
and in our world.
For after all, every single one of us was created by God.
We are all his children.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
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. Amen
priest / writer