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Day 9 – Novena of Peace 2013: The Servant’s Way (Part 2)

The Servant’s Way Isn’t Easy The servant’s way is a challenging paradox; if it were easy, everyone would be following it. St. Francis understood the paradox of the servant’s way. Jesus mastered it. And teachers and prophets from many traditions teach the same paradox contained in the final words of the Prayer of St. Francis:           For […]

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Day 8 – Novena of Peace 2013: The Servant’s Way (Part 1)

The Way of Peace Is the Servant’s Way The essence of St. Francis’ teaching in the prayer that bears his name is that we must walk the Servant’s Way to become instruments of peace. This Servant’s Way presumes that we already properly love ourselves because we have recognized that not only are we children of […]

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Day 7 – Novena of Peace 2013: Joy

Where there is sadness, let me sow joy We cannot, nor should we, deny that sadness exists in the world. In any life, sadness will come to visit. But life itself is such a miraculous gift that even in distressing or dire circumstance, joy is possible. Sometimes, though, we need someone to remind us. Other times we need […]

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Day 6 – Novena of Peace 2013: Light

Where there is darkness, let me sow light Darkness is threatening. Darkness—whether physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional, or social—disturbs and perturbs us, sometimes to our very core. But just like a single candle pierces the darkness of the night, a single person can pierce the darkness in our world. Just look at Malala Yousafzai, the young […]

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Day 5 – Novena of Peace 2013: Hope

Where there is despair, hope Despair is such a dark and lonely place. It can be so emotionally powerful that it blocks out all light, all rational thought to find a way out. Despair may be the most challenging, most arduous element to tackle among all the opportunities to sow God’s peace. Because of its emotional power, […]

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Day 4 – Novena of Peace 2013: Faith

Where there is doubt, faith Existential doubts about whether there is God or whether we’re loveable or capable or worthy cause untold suffering. Since childhood, I’ve been graced with the gift of faith in God. It was faith in myself that was my struggle; not in everything but in enough to give me compassion for […]

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Day 3 – Novena of Peace 2013: Pardon

Where there is injury, pardon. I heard one of the most radical ideas about pardoning from Abbot David Geraets, a Benedictine monk who was my teacher at a school for spiritual directors. During a lesson about Healing the Family Tree he said that we must ask forgiveness from family members who have injured us because […]

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Day 2 – Novena of Peace 2013: Love

Where there is hatred, let me sow love Hatred is such a strong word. We can easily identify hatred out there but rarely do we sense it in here, in our own hearts. Yet hatred doesn’t spring forth whole in its easily identifiable ugly ways. It begins as small frustrations, angers, and resentments that are held, […]

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Day 1 – Novena for Peace 2013: Vibrations of Peace

Make me an instrument of peace When we think of the word instrument we often think of a musical object or a voice that uses vibration to create sounds. Sound vibrations range from pianississimo (very very soft) to fortississimo (very very loud); they can be staccato (short detached notes) or legato (flowing smoothly). Sound vibrations can also be dissonant or harmonic, […]

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Novena for Peace 2013: Meditation Questions and Prayers

Every Christmas season since the tragic events of 2001, I have been praying a Novena for Peace and most years I’ve invited others to join me in the belief that a personal and communal commitment to peace will bring it about. While I have not yet seen peace break out throughout the world, I have […]

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