Trying To Be A Peacemaker

As a ‘Partner in Mission’ with the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in O’Fallon, Missouri, I have made a commitment to be a reconciling presence in our world. This (for me) is a daily struggle.

Our world today is wracked with hatred and violence. Extremism, racism, elitism, sexism and terrorism is daily headline news. The moral, economic and political divisions in our country alone seem to be greater than any other time in my adult life.

So here I am joined with the “Sisters” in hopes of bringing the reconciling love of Jesus to our world through prayer, service and presence. At times this feels overwhelming and futile. How can I be a peacemaker when I can’t get along with my co-workers and neighbors? How do I even begin to reach out to those who don’t share my values? And what about all those folks that I’ve decided to dislike – for their political affiliations or beliefs? What about people that I’ve discounted due to their lack of education or worth (in my opinion)? What about the ones that I hate simply because of how they talk or look or where they live or who they love? peace

 

How can I, a flawed and sinful man, become a peacemaker? This won’t be easy, but I believe that I must begin with me. To “reconcile” means to rebuild; reconnect; to be at peace. I’ll have to try to be more loving; more caring; more respectful; and less judgmental. I’ll have to shut my mouth and open my ears and more importantly my heart.

And I’m sure that I will fail more often than I succeed. But I’m encouraged by the simple fact that every life makes a difference. I will look for the divine in everyone that I encounter. After all we are made in God’s image. Love is easy to give when it’s received in kind. I’m going to try to love with no hope of love in return. And maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way I may bring peace to at least one other person. It’s a start.

God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

And my journey continues…

Peace,

Denis

P.S. To know more about being a Partner with the Sisters of The Most Precious Blood click on the link: http://cpps-ofallon.org/ministries/partners-in-mission/

 

 

Reconciliation From Within

In search of spiritual nourishment, I have recently inquired about joining a lay partnership of a religious order. This is a daunting task: the unholy (me) joining in prayer and mission with the holy (The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood).

The Sisters’ mission sounds simple: To live the charism of reconciliation in their daily lives, work and ministry. But it sounds overwhelming when I try to insert myself into this equation: To live the charism of reconciliation in MY daily life. What does that mean?

Charism is defined by Webster’s as an extraordinary power given a Christian by the Holy Spirit for the good of the church. And reconciliation is defined as the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement. Or the process of finding a way to make two different ideas, facts, etc., exist or be true at the same time.

This is hard to wrap my head (and heart) around. How can I bring peace to others when I’m often not at peace with myself? And then I re-read the mission statement. The charism (power given by the Holy Spirit) of reconciliation (finding a way to make two different ideas true at the same time). I re-read it again and again. And finally it hits me: this mission statement is both simple and profound; two different ideas but the same in this mission.

reconciliationNow for the practical applications: Judge less; love more. Exploit less; care more. Take less; give more. Worry less; pray more.

I’m going to pray that God will guide me as I discern whether or not to join the Sisters as a lay Partner in Mission. I struggle at times with the arch-conservatives in my Church. I often question the hierarchy. I see a lot of un-loving behavior. So I’m praying that I find a way a to make two different ideas, facts, etc., exist or be true at the same time. And of course my peace will be found in the Holy Spirit.

My two year-old grandson Noah often says at mass, “More Alleluia!” because he loves the music.  I suppose we could all use more Alleluia. I know I could.

Peace,

Denis