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WORKING FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE

REQUIRES A SOLID SPIRITUAL BASE

By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

Recently I attended a reflection on “A Spirituality of Non-Violence”,  and the presenter Rev. Simon Harak, S.J. suggested that we need a solid spiritual foundation to effectively address violence and transform our lives and our world and  create a culture of peace. Peace is badly needed in ourselves, our families, communities, political structures and other places in order to create the kind of community God has in mind for all people.

Our spiritual life is not a separate department of our lives. It is the whole of life.  Spirit is our life’s principle, the very breath we breathe. Body, mind and spirit are all interconnected to the source of life – the Divine.  One of the words used in Scripture is “Ruah”, which means the breath of God. We cannot get along without breathing. When we go deep within, we get in touch with God’s healing power, always available to us. Every step we take, we leave footprints of peace or worry, joy or sadness, anxiety or freedom, hope or despair. When we go deep within we get in touch with God’s healing power and share that healing power with all we meet. As we listen carefully, we get in touch with the hunger of the spirit seeking a deeper connection to the divine life. We feel a longing for a deep peace for ourselves and all around us and beyond us. This does not remove us from challenges and pains of life, but helps us to get in contact with the healing touch of God. We let go of some of the frenzy of activities, worries, angry feelings, sense of hopelessness, and allow God’s healing touch to fill our longings and give us a desire to create a more peaceful world. Then we will create a welcoming space where God can dwell within our very being. Spirituality is not just for ourselves. It connects us with the Divine in other people and communities where we live out our daily lives. It calls us especially to be concerned about the poor and abandoned in our society and create a world of peace and dignity for all.

The increase in violence in our homes, schools, neighborhoods and nation is an indication that the edifice we have built is crumbling and we need a new foundation . Vaclav Havel once said: “Transcendence , the recognition of a Divine power, is the only real alternative to extinction.” We are called to seek out and discover what is God’s agenda for ourselves and our world, and work to make it a reality. It means conveying that vision to people in power and urging them to create systems and structures that enhance rather than dehumanize life, to replace what is obsolete with peace, and to provide basic necessities for all rather than putting billions of dollars into wars. Bishop Oscar Romero reminds us that “we are to be the microphone and messengers of God in the face of injustice in our day.” Author William H. Shannon reminds us that in discovering the Divine and nurturing our spiritual lives , we will we arrive at the awareness of who we really are. When we live only on the surface of our lives, we are living out of an illusion that veils our true self, the self that we are called to be in God.

A good question we could ask ourselves is “What legacy do we wish to leave for future generations?” I also believe we are living in a privileged moment – a time of breakthrough as well as breakdown- a moment of great possibility and hope.

I believe God’s Spirit is alive and well, operating within our lives as we allow it, as well as in the church and local and global community. With this kind of foundation we can look to the future with hope. The fact is the Divine is already here, How we discover, name, recognize and call forth that dimension of our lives is the challenge. It is never too late to begin. Let us start today with courage and hope. 


Preaching Essay Archive

Just click on an Essay title below to read it.
(The latest submissions are listed first.)

• The Journey Through Lent •
• A New Year - A Time To Choose •
• Called To Continue Our Journey As Peacemakers •
• CALLED TO NAME •
• CHOOSING HOPE IN TIMES OF DARKNESS AND CHALLENGE •
• Easter: A Call To Renew Our Faith •
• Fan Into Flame •
• Grieving Our Losses •
• IMAGINING A RE-EVANGELIZED CHURCH •
• The Importance of Inter-Religious Sharing •
• THE PROMISE OF EASTER –“ THAT ALL MAY HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT IN ABUNDANCE.” •
• Are We Living In Pentecost Times? •
• Living With Gratitude and Hope •
• “Lumen Fidei” – the Call and the Challenge •
• What is the "New Evangelization"? •
• Pentecost •
• PRAYER OF PREACHERS •
• Inculturated Liturgy Challenges Preaching to Flower •
• Preaching Lent - Year C •
• Preaching Luke •
• Preaching Mark •
• Reflection - Psalm 127 •
• Reaching Youth Today •
• The Need To Reclaim And Live With Moral Courage •
• The Sacred Triduum •
• STRENGTHEN OUR HOPE TO REPAIR A BROKEN WORLD •
• Welcoming the Stranger •
• Working for Peace •

Blessings on your preaching.


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