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Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
 
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
 
Tom Bonacci
[email protected]
925-787- 9279
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September 14, 2020
Dear Friends,
 
In honor and celebration of The International Day of Peace, Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P., is sharing a daily reflection from various sources from September 11 to September 21, 2020. Today is Day 4 of those reflections. If you missed some of the reflections, you can find them on our website (under Blogs), interfaithpeaceproject.org.
 
“The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.” 
 
For more information on the day click here or go to:  https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace

 

The Interfaith Peace Project 
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Releasing Heavy Burdens of Hate
Eleven Days of Peace: Day 4
Celebrating The International Day of Peace
 
© Shristoopher Aluka Berry / REUTERS  stock.adobe.com

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.
John Lewis
July 30, 2020
 
              Before he died on July 17, 2020, the great Civil Rights leader, John Lewis, wrote his final opinion piece published in the New York Times on July 30, 2020. His “opinion” piece was actually a farewell address filled with humility, compassion, and hope.
 
              If there ever was a man who had every reason to harbor despair and hate, it was he. Yet, his life, his entire life, was filled with compassion for others at his own expense. John Lewis exemplified what it means to live and die for the sake of another and their well-being. The violence he suffered in the pursuit of human rights never made him bitter. He refused to be burdened by hate. Sometimes the more powerful and expedient, who think everything is transactional, cannot understand why anyone would risk life or limb for the sake of another. Think of any parent, firefighter, soldier, police office, or protester who witness to the human rights of all. All of them, and more, know what it means to live and die for another and their benefit.
 
              The quest for such courage is a quest to discover the depth of one’s own heart. The self-giving capacity of extraordinary people resides inside each and every one of us. We are all called to be “activists” by our very nature as human beings. That is why extraordinary people don’t think they are extraordinary when they do extraordinary things. They are in alignment with the depth of their hearts. It is ordinary for them to be extraordinary of heart.
 
              We need to “activate” the love in our hearts. We need to be in alignment with the depth of our hearts. We need to realize how much maintenance hate requires. We need to realize the temptation to hate is systematic, pervasive, and fostered by those who cannot imagine living their lives for the well-being of someone else. We must love those who think they have transcended the need to be loved and the joy of loving another.  
 
RESPONSE
 
Today I will journey into my heart with great courage.
There I will find the treasure of my willingness to give of myself.
I will set myself free from the heavy burden of hate.
When I encounter hatred, in any of its forms, I will be true to myself.
I will release the love that is in my heart.
I will not burden myself with hate or trouble my soul with fear.
I will, over time and practice, love my enemy without being their victim.