Tuesday, March 28, 2006

peace prayers

peace prayers

Our pastor did die. We are in the mourning process.
And remembering of the good we have shared with him... remembering the gifts that were uniquely his...

For every Good Friday there is an Easter. And always in between is a holy waiting time. A quiet time of reflection and sorrow and anticipation.

Peace to all tonight.

Friday, March 24, 2006

peace place

peace and healing please
A dear friend is quite ill. Yes, this is a difficult time. The anguish of uncertainty. The anxiety of theunknowns. We so easily drift into the worst possible scenarios for EACH of us.

What we are called to do is remember the Grace of God and hold Pastor and his caregivers and family and loved ones in tender loving care that only our gracious and merciful Creator can give.
We find no peace on our own. We calm no fears independently. We heal no ills alone.
We serve each other best when we serve as children of the Living God and extend love and forgiveness and healing thoughts and prayers to those around us; when we embrace Pastor with the love not only that we feel, but the love he has given to us over all of these years and with the ever present love of our heavenly Father.

I cannot attend this evening's prayer service in person, but know that we are holding him and you all in our hearts and prayers from where we are.

I share a prayer that has accompanied me through many trials.
" God has given us the power to change our ways, heal the broken, loose thebonds, live welcoming to all." May we each be blessed to remember this loving God of all creation who loves us beyond understanding.

And when words fail, a song or a psalm may suffice... as simple as Jesus loves me, or the 23rd psalm or silence. Allow ourselves to be emptied of negativity, of fear of evils and allow the love and light of the Holy One to fill every cell of our beings and to fill all the hearts and minds of those who are caring for Pastor and for him too.

Love is so powerful. Let us apply it well and be mindful of God's will prevailing throughout.

Peace my friends ... peace.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

peace place

peace place prayers today.

How fragile we are. Humans. Life comes. Life goes.
When a loved one is ill, we all feel the suffering.

If we do not, something is missing.

Holding our beloved Pastor in prayer together today bonds us all.

"Let there be complete silence. No whispering, no speaking."
from the Rule of St. Benedict

Let us all listen to the Word of God in our hearts today.

Listen Listen Listen.
Listen for the healing.
Listen for the peace.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

peace place

peace place PEACE TODAY. Peace Here. Peace NOW.

And a friend asks me today, so... what did you say? What did you do?

I must smile. I had to go back to see what I said that was leaving the mystery! Thanks for the feedback. I gave the flavor and the wherefores but left out the specifics. Typical for a motivational speaker!

But, not as helpful as direct communication. Lest I be perceived as the latest politico with a peace feather to wave in the wind... here are specifics. Remember this was a conversation among friends and family. Not always a safe place to speak words of peace.

Precisely? The easiest approach has always been to redirect. Deflect with humor and change the focus of the conversation. Like an oppossum... "play dead"... and the enemy/predator goes away and I live another day.

But I gave up my 'possum days a long time ago. Though often I choose silence or absence as my passive approach. (Note the use of the word "passive" instead of "non-violent".)

On the topic of the gunpoint robbery in the local parking lot I heard one woman say THAT is why I do not go anywhere without my husband anymore. AND I felt a surge of "Omigod where is this taking us next??" I resisted the antagonistic response of our childhood days... Well La te DAH what about all the rest of us without husbands or little old ladies?

Instead, I accepted a moderate redirect approach. Acknowledged how terrified the victim was and how dreadful it is that such a crime can happen in our backyard. Yet, are we not fortunate that it has taken this many decades for this kind of fear to strike our town? In the cities where we grew up it was commonplace. We learned to cope. We walked with purpose, parked by the lights, planned our trips and did not ever enter a parking lot with anything less than full attention to our surroundings.

A room with some nods now and less fuming.

Yes, even as we once were living in the wilds in primitive days we needed to pay attention to our surroundings in order to survive. Not everything was going to be easy for us in a world with an increasing predator population. Not then, Not now.

So, I drew an analogy with the dangers of the primitive world to bring some perspective to the very real dangers of our out-of-touch world.

Sending out a call to PAY ATTENTION. Be Mindful.

Peace is possible one moment at a time.

It does help to have a strong sense of confidence and have your mind already made up about what kinds of responses you will allow yourself. I find it extraordinary how many threatening ==yes-- even life threatening -- experiences I have encountered and survived with a variety of humane responses, sometimes playing to the crowd or the ego, sometimes showing bravado, sometimes it felt like I was dancing on the head of a pin. Sometimes there was fear, sometimes not. Hard to explain. Maybe another day.

Monday, March 20, 2006

peace place

peace in our time and place Please.

What did YOU do today to further the cause of peace in your home, your town, your workplace, your nations?

I wept when I read about the young Afghan convert to Christianity who is being persecuted because it is a crime to do so in the Islamic society in Afghanistan.

There are so many other countries where Christians are persecuted, we hardly even know. And yet when the story of one young man hits the press, we at least are made aware of it.
So what do we do?
Prayer is certainly our universal vehicle of communication.
So. Pray Daily for the health, well-being and protection of persecuted Christians around the world.

Actually, why stop at persecuted Christians? WHY not pray for peace and healing for all of the hated and misquided and oppressed peoples of our planet? In some small way, our prayer energies may counterbalance the evils we see around us.

What did I do today? I rejected a violent response. Friends and family were irate about the first robbery at gunpoint in our little town, in the Walmart parking lot. All sorts of evil and angry thoughts bounced around the conversation in the room.

I listened. I thought. What would be my appropriate non-violent response to a situation in this small town?
Peace. So fragile. A single lunatic or drug addict can turn us all upside down and inside out. So critical for each of us to be strong enough in our convictions that PEACE is worth it that we can and (we hope we will) stand firm and bless those who offend us and pray for their guidance.
NO. Not in some holier than thou sanctimonious way.

Just simply. As one human to another.
So what? You say we have no common ground with THEM?
I say... Who among us does not have a belly button?
Is that not evidence of common beginnings?

Can be start where we are now, today and absolve centuries of hatred overnight? Unlikely. But perhaps in our little circles of friends and families we can learn to have the courage to speak out and shake the silence. Speak against the mainstream when it screams retribution without thought.
Be gentle with our victims and treat our criminals as misguided fellow humans, not as animals.

Seek Peace and pursue it.

A couple of websites that help guide my path:



http://www.thebiblesite.org/ Click here to donate translations for free.

http://thehungersite.com feed hungry people with your free clicks.

http://www.care2.com Click here for eco-justice


Friday, March 10, 2006

peace place

peace place

So why not seek peace in simple ways?

Psalm 119

Teach me your ways
that I may follow them faithfully.

Give me discernment
that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.

Guide me in the path of your commands,
for there is my delight.

Incline my heart to your will
and not to love of gain.

Protect me from all that is evil;
by your word, give me life.

To the one who holds you in awe,
keep the promise you have made.

In your great kindness
turn away the insults that I fear.

I long for your precepts;
in your justice, give me life.

OSB translation 1998

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

peace please

peace place
Peace Please. Perhaps that is what we need more than peace PLACE.
Because we all need peace. And we all need it now.
Justice for all peoples can only follow peace.
Eco-justice for all of Earth needs peace to flourish.
it is Peace PLEASE.

Yes. Please.
You, too.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

March Forth

"Nothing is Impossible to those who WILL and to those who LOVE"

Liberated Lou
How we miss you.

As your heart dances with Dolphins
and soars with
Hawks and Saints

So, too, do we strive to honor your life

with our living and being.

Often against all odds, being in concert with truth.

Remembering on March 4th

the most positive day of the year,

we March Forth with memories of you held in our hearts.

~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~
Remembering Mary Louise St. John, OSB