October 22

Reflection

There is a deep personal conversion needed in leaders and peoples if we are to learn to live in harmony with each other, with all other beings with whom we share this planet, and with the planet itself. There is a vast transformation of consciousness necessary if we are to translate our words and inspiring rhetoric into action. The world lives in a common state of peril, yet, we go about our daily lives with a false sense of security. If put to creative use, the money spent on weapons could eradicate most causes of social conflict. Yet, there is usually no opposition to those costs but crippling opposition to the cost of protecting the environment, educating and caring for children, and programs to alleviate poverty. The biblical vision of the peaceable kingdom is far from our thoughts except perhaps on Christmas cards where a lion is depicted sitting next to a lamb. What does that biblical image symbolize for you?

Prayer

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Action

Read texts within the sacred writings of your own particular religious tradition that urge people to live in peace and harmony. Research some of the statistics that list the numbers of nuclear weapons in nations, the costs of maintaining arms and armies, the costs of feeding the hungry, educating children, providing sanitation projects and clean water. Compare them. Does this matter to you?

Suggested Reading

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
Isaiah 11:6

Now is the time to counter the logic of fear with the ethic of responsibility, and so foster a climate of trust and sincere dialogue. Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations. To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty. When these resources are squandered, the poor and the weak living on the margins of society pay the price.
Pope Francis

Peace is the product of justice and love.
Oscar Romero

The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?
Dorothy Day

The peace we seek and need means much more than mere absence of war. It means the acceptance of law, and the fostering of justice, in all the world.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am leaving this legacy to all of you…to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die – the dream of freedom and peace.
Rosa Parks

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Women, who are a majority of the peoples of the earth, are indispensable to the accumulation of the kind of social capital that is conducive to development, peace, justice and civility.
Mahnaz Afkham

But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.
John F. Kennedy

We all need to work together, because there are no jobs on a dead planet; there is no equity without rights to decent work and social protection, no social justice without a shift in governance and ambition, and, ultimately, no peace for the peoples of the world without the guarantees of sustainability.
Sharan Burro

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