Advent Day 2 — Swords to plowshares / guns to roses

The price of peace paid by the Prince of Peace

Monday of the First Week of Advent

Dear Friends,

If you’re new to this Advent blog,  I recommend reading “Welcome to Advent” Click here. to get a sense of why we want to spend four weeks preparing for our Christmas celebration and how it can help you deepen your (our) spirituality whether you are a Catholic or even a Christian. (If you’re not tech savvy, click on the little arrow on the top left of your browser above the word “Back” and it’ll bring you right back to this page.)

Today, I’m referring to yesterday’s first reading from Isaiah 2:1-5 that you’ll probably recognize:

They shall beat their swords into plowshares

and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation,

nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4)

All of my adult life my writing and my prayer has been against war —

Viet Nam / the Balkans / the Gulf  War / Iraq / and recently, Afghanistan.

Pope Paul VI, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly made an impassioned plea:

“No more war! Never again war!

And Pope John Paul II said the Iraq war was “a defeat for humanity.”

Dwight David Eisenhower, the great general of Word War II and President of the U.S. said: “When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.”

Advent is a time to wish for peace / pray for peace / work for peace.

The Christmas story is about peace.  One of the titles of Jesus is “Prince of Peace.”

But we become cynical about peace.

Many of us have our private little wars that we engage in every day with a sibling or a friend or co-worker.

Let us “Practice peacefulness,” as a friend put it to me once.  Let’s stop the gossiping.  Give people a chance.  Be kind.

The legend of St. Christopher carrying a child across a stream on a stormy night invites us to greet every human being as if they were Christ himself.

Think thoughts of peace.  Be peace.  At least try it today, the second day of Advent.

The image below is a photo of the last page of the men’s magazine Details.   This image is actually a GAP commercial selling plaid shirts;  those are young women and men making up the peace sign.) Would that they (we) would put their (our)  bodies, minds and spirits to the task of creating peace in our world!

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,

a voice that speaks of peace,

peace for his people and his friends.

and those who turn to him in their hearts.

Mercy and faithfulness have met;

Justice and peace have embraced.

Faithfulness shall spring from the earth

and justice look down from heaven.

The Lord will make us prosper

and the earth shall yield its fruit.

Justice shall march before him

and peace shall follow his steps.

Psalm 85

Dear Friends,

Be sure to follow our Advent Blog as we go along. I will publish most days until Christmas.  You can make yourself a five-minute-a-day mini-retreat and have the best and most meaningful Christmas ever!

It’ll relieve your stress.  Calm your nerves.  Put a bounce in your step and a smile on your face.  And it’s free!

And I always spend a lotta time selecting the right photo.  And I search the web for the perfect music video to accompany the theme.

Before you go here’s a real treat for you: Angelina singing St. Francis’ “Make Me a Channel of your Peace,”  filmed right in Assisi.  Click here, Be sure to turn up enter full  screen and turn up your speakers.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer