Monday, September 18, 2006

Blessed are the Peacemakers

It is dangerous to be a peacemaker, one who enters the arena of turmoil and dissension and brings harmony. Peacemakers are not popular. They go to the front lines of battle and risk life and limb in the cause of peace. Warring factions both want the peacemaker to be on their own side. Neither wants compromise. Neither wants to recognise truth and legitimacy in the other.

Battle happens when there are factions and neither will give way. Minds are closed and stubborn. Battle means winners and losers, a victor and the vanquished. A peacemaker suggests that there is no need for winners and losers, no need for conquests.

There is a saying that in every argument there are three points of view: your story, my story and the truth. A peacemaker listens to both sides of a dispute and encourages all parties to work towards the truth.

Peace is more than an absence of conflict. A lack of conflict might be no more than an indication of apathy, indifference and lack of involvement.

Look at a family in which the members no longer talk to each other. There might be no fighting as they go their separate ways, but neither is there love and so hearts are not at peace. Where employers and employees no longer share their hopes and dreams for their work, there might be physical togetherness, but there is no shared goal and people become disposable. Instead of peace, there are industrial disputes, hardships, and personal misery.

Peace is active. Peace needs to be taken with both hands and a will to work for its realisation. It demands 100% commitment. A peacemaker sows the light of love where there was the darkness of hatred, pardon instead of injury, faith instead of doubt, hope rather than despair and replaces sadness with joy.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

God bless,
Sr. Janet