The advent of peace begins in the heart where fear is cast out and reconciling love abides. When we die to our old hates and heal each others brokenness we bear witness to what is worthwhile in this life: to live compassionately and to do no harm to each other. We know what that looks like: to offer a touch of comfort in the midst of suffering, to give healing care in the pain of illness, to embrace with love in the loss of death , to work toward overcoming hate in the midst of violence, and to cry for justice in dismantling the powerful structures of oppression. This is the message wrapped in the promise of advent.
Renew my spirit, O God.
What can I do to help dispel whatever dams the flow of love in myself and in the hearts of those with whom I live and work?
How can my life bring healing to others?
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior;
he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love…
The spirit of the God is upon me, because God has anointed me;
and has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly; to heal the brokenhearted.
Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
The starting point of Jesus’ spirituality, the experience of God as Abba, included the awareness that God was a loving parent to all human beings. God loves and forgives all men, women and children unconditionally. It was with this conviction that Jesus approached the people of his time.
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott
The effect of one good-hearted person is incalculable.
Oscar Arias Sanchez
You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.
Pearl S. Buck
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.