Peace in Action

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GivernyBusiness!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” 
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Virginia Woolf once said:  “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”  Peace is found in action!

The indomitable Eleanor Roosevelt declared: “It isn’t enough to talk about peace.  One must believe in it.  And it isn’t enough to believe in it.  One must work at it.”  Even so, it is difficult at times to know how to participate. How do we “work at it?”

Perhaps the “work” is sharing kindness and love.  A gentle word said in passing, a smile exchanged with a co-worker, a hug given when sorrow has visited a friend.  St. Francis of Assisi prayed:  “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”

Saints Around Us

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“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”

St. Francis of Assisi

October 31st and Halloween has come and gone with a gallant promise to return next year. In the meantime, November 1st celebrates All Saints Day. This special day commemorates those who have walked the earth before us, and have achieved something that is quite extraordinary. They have attained what is known as the beatific vision in heaven.

I have known many Saints in my life, still living. These are the people who have been with me through joyous, sad and difficult times. With a word, a smile or a hug, I gained strength via their compassionate understanding. Let us celebrate the Saints that are among us by looking back at those Saints that have reached the vision of heaven.

St. Francis of Assisi is called the little poor man of Assisi, which is ironic considering he was brought up in luxury and wealth. His journey began when he gave money to a beggar crying for alms. His friends mocked him for his generosity and his father rebuked him for wasting his money. Shortly thereafter, St. Francis became seriously ill. When death was imminent, he received a vision of his ministry. From that moment on, his life was placed in God’s hands.

“Where there is injury let me sow pardon.”

“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”

St. Francis of Assisi