January 21, 2023
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 to share in this effort by sending any articles or information that you would like to share to:
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
HOPE IN A NEW YEAR
Continuing to Honor The International Day of Peace
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
Shirley Chisholm once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This brilliant woman, skilled in the political arena, had the charm, wit, intelligence, and courage to inspire thousands of people to pursue human rights for all people. As the first Black woman elected to Congress, she gave hope a chance. She ran for President, receiving over 150 delegates after participating in twelve primaries. She challenged the racism and sexism of her day, paving a pathway for those who would continue to fight in the cause of justice.
It is good spiritual practice and quite healthy to remember inspiring people who have gone before us. As the New Year breaks upon us, we pause to remember the people and events that inspired our lives and challenged us to be better people. People such as these give birth to hope in uncertain times.
Many in our time seem to be losing hope. As they look out upon the World, they become afraid, and for good reason. The rise of anti-Semitism in the United States and other parts of the World is dangerous and threatening. The ongoing assault in Ukraine is more than tragic. The rise of right-wing governments in the Middle East is alarming. The breakdown of traditional institutions makes life uncertain. The list goes on and on. Yet, in every situation of conflict and division, people are rising up in the cause of what is right and just.
Gandhi once famously said, “You must become what you want the World to be.” Now is the time to dedicate ourselves to discovering inspiring people of the past so we might become inspiring people in the present. Do not let the madness in the World define who you are as a person. Do not let the uncertainty of life obscure the vision of hope in your soul. Dream your dreams and become a catalyst for hope. Seize the moment, taking every opportunity to bless others with the gift of you.
One great Master said, “Fear not, little flock, it has pleased your God to give you the Kingdom.” As this New Year unfolds, fear not to look within your heart and transform the World around you with the love and peace within you.
Blessings to you, Holy Community. Thank you for bringing your folding chair to the table. Bless you, for your courage to dream and your willingness to hope. Thank you for blessing this New Year with the gift of you.