June 4th is blogblast for peace. Learn more about it here.
I am a child of the 60's, one of the first generation to get a daily dose of war with the 6 0'clock news. I became pacifist in my thinking at a very early age. It was not popular thinking either in my house or out of it.
Many think that if you are pacifist, or anti~war, or non~militant you lack respect for those who have fought & died in the name of freedom but that is not so. Many people equate pacifism with inertia but again that is not the case. True peace has to be won but violence is the refuge of the powerless & the weak. The truly strong have no need to force themselves on others. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than within ourselves. If we truly want peace it begins with ourselves, one person & the way they relate to their husband, their children, their neighbours & their community.
It is frightening the amount of violence I harbour within myself. It is frightening to recognise how little genuine love I display in my relations with other people. How on earth can there be global peace when even within our families, amongst those we declare we love the most, there is a lack of love, a lack of respect, bad temper, ill feeling, selfishness?
When I meditate on peace what immediately springs to mind are Jesus' words: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Obedient even unto death Jesus is the living example of perfect love casting out all fear. He was secure in who He was, where He was going & to whom He belonged. It gave Him deep inner peace. From that calm centre He could act in love with no need to force His will on any other, even in the face of the most awful personal abuse. It is a lesson Maximillian Kolbe also learnt. You remember him ~ the Catholic priest who took the death place of a stranger in Auschwitz, offering prayer & comfort to the others condemned with him before being murdered with carbolic acid? Corrie ten Boom learnt it too when she came face to face with her camp commandant many years later.
At the heart of peace lies forgiveness, forgiveness of others for being less than perfect, forgiveness for failures in love, & the acknowledgement that all men have been created in the image of God & for that reason alone are deserving of love & respect without violence.
I do not believe I will see global peace. I don't think anyone will. The bible warns of wars & rumours of wars, of things getting worse, more violent, greedier, more selfish before the end but that in no wise removes my personal responsibility to live a life founded on love & peace. I may not do it perfectly but I will do it as well as I can.