October 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 share in this effort by sending any articles or information that you would like to share to:
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
Continuing to Honor
The International Day of Peace
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
stock.adobe.com Meysam Azarneshin
The word we hear over and over again is “heartbreak.” This is understandable when we hear the news and see the pictures and videos of terrorism, destruction, and chaos. Our hearts break as we see villages and cities destroyed, not to mention children being tortured and killed. The heartbreak we feel can quickly become anger and rage.
President Biden was no less than masterful as he cautioned, “Our rage must not consume us.” Rage can close our eyes and hearts to the dignity of another human being. Consider the parents who have lost children because of the ravishes of war and armed conflict. Whether a a mother in Wisconsin or a father in Ukraine, the destruction of the children is intolerable and a call to sanity.
The Israeli mother said it best. On the occasion of her son’s kidnapping, she pleaded for the welfare and safety of all the children on all sides of the conflict. A thirteen-year-old Palestinian girl named Marca desperately said, “People tell me my tears are gold, but I cry, and I cry and I don’t see anything.” She cried for water, safety, and the right to be a child.
We need to see the World through the eyes of the children. We must become aware of the madness born of religious strife, political greed, and the lust for power and control. How many more children must suffer and die before we come to our senses?
Pope Francis urged people to take only one side, “the side of peace.” This peace would be a peace born of justice by which all peoples could live within safe and secure borders with a responsibility to care for our common World. This would be a peace born of the right of all peoples to enjoy the privilege of self-determination. This would be a peace born of justice, not hate. This would be a peace recognizing the sins of the past and the necessity to forgive in the present. This would be a peace recognizing the right of children to be children and not pawns in the throes of war and hate. This is a peace that will be born from our hearts.
Blessings to you, dear friends, for having the courage to transform the rage in your hearts into the quest for justice. As the World continues to break your heart, gratitude to you for opening your hearts to one another as together we quest for a more peaceful and loving World.