AWAKE: Continuing to Observe the International Day of Peace Posted July 21, 2023 by admin@interfaith


The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Day of Peace, September 21, by sending out a reflection on the twenty-first of every month. We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information that you would like to share to:

Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
[email protected]

July 21, 2023


The hour has come to be awake!
Romans 13: 11

Continuing to Observe 
The International Day of Peace
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

There is a very touching story about the Buddha I would like to share with you. The story concerns a very beautiful insight capable of changing a person’s life forever. One day the disciples of the Buddha asked him how he wanted to be remembered. The Buddha wisely responded, “As one who was awake.” 

My grandfather, responding to the question about how was his night, cheerfully responded, “It was a good night, I woke up to another day.” Think of all the people you know who are grateful to be alive, aware, conscious, and in touch. 

Wise and courageous people are often fond of saying, “Every day invites us to do something wonderful.” We might think they live in a bubble unaware of all the pain and suffering in the World. Think for a moment about the stories of suffering people doing great things for themselves and others. The wise would say they are “awake”.

Jesus is said to have cured the unsighted so they could see. We oftentimes see what breaks and disturbs our hearts. Life can be very upsetting.  The question is simple: do we desire to see and hear what is happening around us?   We cannot feed the hungry if we refuse to see them. We cannot bring comfort to those who sorrow if we will not hear them.

The word that captures this willingness to see and hear the World around us is a word I love very much, “woke.” The word comes to us from African American Vernacular English referring to the awareness of racial discrimination and prejudice. Today we might appreciate what it means to be deeply aware of the World around us and, if I might suggest, the World within us.

I beg your forgiveness for daring to expand on the implications of “woke” in our time. It seems to be “woke” also implies the perception of one’s own dignity and beauty as a human person worthy of love and respect. The Golden Rule, I believe, assumes our ability to love another. We love others when we stand up for what is right and good. When we love ourselves, we discover our beauty and dignity. Such awareness empowers us to care for others. When we come to the aid of another, we ultimately bless them with the gift of ourselves – the greatest gift anyone will ever give.

Blessings to you, Beloved Community, for having the courage to be “awake”. Thank you for never missing an opportunity to confront the injustices of the day with your dignity and love.