Saturday, September 7, 2013


Today, in response to an invitation from Pope Francis, people around the world, including myself, are fasting and praying for peace, in particular, peace in Syria.. My prayers for peace extend well beyond the Syrian border.  There are so many, too many, places in the world suffering from violence. I am living now in a place that knows violence too well and too often.

It is evening here and I've already broken my fast, but the prayers from many different traditions that I've been posting on my Facebook page throughout the day continue to dwell within me.

Thank goodness.

If I had already let the words escape my mind and heart, the day would have been for naught.  Or would it have? If focusing on peace today made someone else's day better, then it was a worthy day, and perhaps just a hair more peaceful than if I hadn't fixed my attention more fully on peace.

However, while concentrating my energy more deliberately today on peace is good, doing so every day is better, particularly since I claim to be (and honestly strive to be) a Christian peacemaker.

Today is Saturday, normally the day of the settler tour.  It didn't happen.  It didn't happen last Saturday either.  We (international observers) don't know the reason. But I am grateful that one obstacle to peace here in Hebron did not materialize, now twice. For the most part, today was another quiet day. Again, I am grateful.

I am grateful that I had time to spend on peace prayers, on the rich words that my own and other traditions offer to bring us to greater harmony with each other and within ourselves. Of all the prayers I read, prayed, and posted, the one that resonates with me most is from St. Teresa of Avila:

May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I be aware of my true nature.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of healing to others.
May I dwell in the Breath of God.

Whatever your beliefs may be, may you be at peace.  May you dwell in the breath of life that sustains you this and every day.

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