We came, we reflected, we lit candles for peace. We invoked peace in our lives, in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our state, in our country, in our world, and in our universe. We agreed that every day be an International Day of Peace!
Reflection by Fr. Tom
Walk through the house, not necessarily to see the house, but because your presence will bless the house and as other people come into the house through the year, the peace that you have, will bless them.
I would ask you to think of the many people who come through here. I’m shocked when we look out over a year as to how many people come to this house, not necessarily for programs. It is in one sense the middle of nowhere, but it has become a very, very safe place especially for women because as you know The Interfaith Peace Project is dedicated to recovering the voice of women in ancient text and contemporary society. It is based on the idea that without retrieval of women’s voice, we do not have men but little boys with power. We can see where the power is getting us. Right now on this day as we gather there are a few powerful people in the country that are literally destroying the lives of the poor. It is one thing to attempt to cut off food stamps, but what they really cut off is hope. This is violence.
Peace is not a day for you and I to come together and pretend the world is at peace, but to access the peace that is deep within our hearts. It is insufficient for us to say, “Well, I feel peaceful. I hope everybody else does too.” Once I can get in touch with my inner peace, I then have a serious social responsibility to share that peace with other people no matter how significant the violence might be. Either the violence of stereotyping, fear of another person, racism, or sexism. So the peace within is not a haven from the world. The peace within is a call to justice in the world. Of course it is this justice that makes right what is wrong.
The philosophy of today, the United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21st), is that we may practice peace in everything we say, do and think. So this day is not dedicated to the idea of having programs, even though having programs is not a problem, but it is based on the idea that individual people can practice peace in everything they say, think, and do for twenty-four hours, then why could we not practice that peace one day at a time for a life time.
The most important thing that the Interfaith Peace Project does is to invite people to meet each other and to invite each other to the depth of our hearts, the depth of our vision, the depth of ourselves.
Many people come through that door who think they have no voice. So when their light shines it is an incredible blessing to them, but it is an unbelievable blessing to us.
I would love to take the energy that is in this room and give it to the world.
Light a few candles, share a few thoughts, share a prayer or two and then I would invite you to enjoy one another’s company, to practice peace and friendship; to practice peace within the house, to practice peace for the rest of your life by first of all claiming the peace that is within your heart and then sharing that with everyone you meet.