February 5, 2023

Dear Friends,

Today is the fifth of our daily reflections for Interfaith Harmony Week. The Interfaith Peace Project is pleased to offer you these reflections for each day of Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7, 2023. World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February. The General Assembly of the United Nations designated this week to point out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace. Therefore, the General Assembly established World Interfaith Harmony Week to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

Our reflections this year come from the diverse people we have met on the streets. The houseless community is a vital part of the Interfaith Community. Over the years, we have learned the wisdom of simplicity from our friends in the streets. We are pleased to share their wisdom, courage, and creativity with you. The names and locations of the various individuals have been changed for their safety and anonymity. The people involved in these reflections asked for nothing but the opportunity to be heard, and we are grateful for their sharing.

© motortion

by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

Walking the streets is a wonderful way to practice interfaith love and understanding. The people you meet can touch your heart and change your life. In this age of gun violence, it is more important than ever to encounter people in deep and personal ways.

Jeffery is the name I gave to a young man I met while walking down the street. He never spoke but his presence touched my soul. I have never been the same.

As I was walking, I suddenly saw Jeffery walking straight toward me. He was gentle, broken, like a small bird who fell from a branch.  I had the feeling we were destined to meet. I sensed the Universe was calling us to this moment. I quietly stopped as we faced one another. Jeffery lowered his head to my chest and cried. I held him for a moment or two as the crowds around us became quiet in this sanctuary of grief and sorrow. His tears were the tears of all those who are hurting in the World. I was immersed in the broken-hearts of those who suffer cruelty and injustice. Jeffery is the incarnation of their tears. 

After a few moments, Jeffery faintly smiled and went on his way without a word. He reminds us to stop and weep, to allow our hearts to be broken.   


I have often spoken about the gift of tears, and how precious it is. Can one love in a cold way?  Can one love by function, by duty?  Certainly not.  There are the afflicted to console, but sometimes there are also the consoled to afflict, to awaken, who have a heart of stone and have forgotten how to weep.  It is also necessary to reawaken people who do not know how to be moved by the pain of others.

While bitter, mourning can “open one’s eyes to life and to the sacred and irreplaceable value of each person, and at that moment one realizes how short time is,” the pope reflected.

Pope Francis

When your heart cries and the lips are unable to express the pain, you have chosen tears as your medium of expression of your sufferings.

Paulomi Roy
Wings To The Broken Soul


Explore what breaks your heart.
Your tears are your love.
Embrace your capacity and willingness to be broken-hearted
over the sorrows and hurts of others.
Hold someone who weeps in your heart if not your arms.
Invite someone to hold you.