Copyright ©2019 - Carlyle Fielding Stewart, III, All Rights Reserved.
Jan 2009 16

Making Peace in a World of Violence

Posted in Peace, Speeches
Delivered at the Making Peace  in the Arenas of Violence Conference,
The Board of Church and Society,
The United Methodist Church,
Lansing, Michigan, March 30, 2002
Carlyle Fielding Stewart, III
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” JFK United Nations Address, New York City, September 1963

“On this February day,as the nation stands on the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war. Yet this chamber is, for the most part silent. There is no debate, no discussion no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing. We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only on the editorial pages of our newspapers there is much substantive discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular war.

And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple attempt to de-fang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, represents the turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning point in the recent history of the world. eehis nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time.

 The doctrine of pre-emption-the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future-is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the U.N. charter. And it is being tested at a time of worldwide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -or some nation’s hit list.” Senator Robert  Byrd February 12, 2003.

As bombs  explode  in the Iraqi capital  of Baghdad  and Coalition  forces grind  towards its city  gates, many Americans have voiced  their support of this  war and many have opposed  it. Those supporting it, see this war as a kind of Pax Americana; a logical  step in ridding the world of a brutal dictator and the impending  specter  of terrorism. As one wag stated, “It is better to strike at Saddam before Saddam strikes at us. This strike will send a message to  all terrorists that America will not turn the  other cheek when its interests and  security are at stake.”

Those opposing  this  war are still  hard  pressed  to find moral grounds for legitimizing it. They are unclear  about  its ethical imperatives and confused  about  the real reasons  we are fighting it. They are uncomfortable with  what  one writer called, the “dismissive indifference” of the President  and what  appeared to be a headlong  rush into  conflict.

In the op-ed  February  2nd New York Times, Stephen  Walt, Dean of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy  School of government and John Mearsheimer, professor of Political  Science at the University of Chicago, argued  that  logic and evidence suggest  that  Iraq  could  be contained, even if it possesses weapons  of mass destruction. They contend that  Hussein’s nuclear  ambitions, the ones that  concern  us most-  are unlikely to be realized  in his life time, especially  with inspections underway.

Whether one is for or against  the war with  Iraq, the devastating consequences  of war cannot be ignored. The human price of war cannot be underestimated. They physical costs of war cannot be fully determined until  that war is over.

Meanwhile, television studios have been transformed into virtual command centers where war tactics and strategies are fervently discussed by commentators, journalists and retired military officers. Some exchanges between journalists and retired generals and officers give war the aura of a board  game, where  stalemates and checkmates of the enemy  are simulated and predicted with  chess master efficiency.

References to smart bombs and high tech weapons that minimize casualties seem to suggest that war is a cake walk devoid of suffering, brutality and terror.

Apart from death and destruction there  are the hardships of the adverse  conditions of the environment for those who fight. There is sand and rain and fatigue and tears and sleepless  nights  and hazardous  conditions that  declare  in the words  of William  Tecumseh  Sherman  that  “War  is all hell”; that  death, destruction and misery  are by products.

 “War  is a death  feast,” says John Ray.  The poet Percy  Bysshe  Shelly says “War  has a “million horrors.”

Atrocitologist, M. Cherif Bassouni, cited  in an article  in the  Chicago Tribune  25 October, 1998  that  a total  of  203,000.000 have died in wars during  the Twentieth Century.

Zbigniew Brezenski’s book Out of Control; Global Turmoil on the  Eve of the  Twenty First  Century states “Lives  extinguished from  politically motivated carnage  total  167,000,000 to 175,000,000. This includes War  dead: 87, 500, 000; Military war dead 33.500.000;civilian war dead 54,000,000 and not war dead 80,000,000, and deaths due to communist oppression 60,000,000.

Rudolph J. Rummel in his book “Death by  Government” estimates that government inflicted deaths or demicides between 1900 to 1987 were estimated at 169,000,000.

Matthew White in the Historical Atlas of  the Twentieth  Century, calculates the death toll to be  188,000,000.

“According to the 21 March 1998 Times Union in Albany, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 1,000,000 Iraqis, including 560,000 children alone died as a result of malnutrition and disease caused by the international embargo following the invasion of Kuwait.” Gulf war veterans have been afflicted with a strange, mysterious disease that escalated their death toll  long after the  war. There are the  immediate casualties of war  and  the  lingering casualties of war; those  who  suffer long after the  last shot has been  fired.

Notwithstanding these realities, our hats go off and our hearts  go out to the men and women  who have sacrificed  their lives in battle; men and women  who serve and have served  in the military of our country  who have put their  lives on the line in the name of freedom and democracy. Despite  their  noble efforts, we cannot  afford  to be naive about  the adverse  impact  of war on all of us or ignore  its toll on the soul of collective humanity.

George Orwell reminds us that  there  is a “certain hypocrisy that  denounces war while  wanting  to preserve  the kind  of society  that makes war inevitable.” We all have been the beneficiaries of war; we have received  its largesse  and amenities and borne  its benefits.

While some wars, from  a Christian  viewpoint, are Just Wars and engaged  only as a last resort  for self defense, there  are others  that  give us pause;  others  where  we continually question whether  we have in the words  of Addision, exhausted all possibilities, left  no stone  unturned, no avenue unexplored, gone through fire and water, moved  heaven  and earth, before  undertaking them.

We must  also ask whether a climate  exists  in our nation  and world  that  makes  war inexorable and expedient; where dettante and rapprochement are perceived as signs of weakness  and appeasement and where  cultures of violence spawn  and precipitate the realities of war. We must  ask ourselves whether individual societies  implicitly create  the conditions that  make  war attractive, viable, glamorous and necessary , and we must  ask ourselves if there  are realities within our own society  that  make  other more peaceful  methods of solving conflict necessary.

As Christians we should  be willing  to act as the conscience  of the nation.  We should  be prepared to act as peacemakers and peacekeepers in society.  It is true  that  a certain  peace is maintained with  the presence  of force and the presence  of force in many  instances  acts as a deterrent to war and violence. Peace can only  be established in some cases where force is met  with  greater  force. Had Adolph Hitler, who William Shirer  called the last of the Caesarian  conquerors, been stopped  at Munich  some 50,000.000 lives  would not have been  lost. There is a point when violence cannot be appeased and  when peacemaking requires a greater, stronger presence, otherwise chaos, anarchy and  mass  fratricide, homicide and genocide result.

War  sometimes is a necessary evil and also as one writer stated a necessary good.

What we need today  in our world  is a new peace, where swords  are turned into  plowshares and we study war no more.

The peace to which I am referring today  is much  broader than  that  which comes with  maintaining a forceful  presence in the world  to keep the peace although such presence if warranted in the protection of nations and their interests.

It is peace as a way of life; peace as a seedbed of consciousness  which springs  forth  a tree of life; peace as a means  of orientating to and responding to the world.  It is a peace that  countervails the presence  and practice  of violence as a necessary  and normative expression of core values  in society.    It is a peace that  opposes not only mindless and even  willful acts  of  violence but  the  states and  conditions of violence that give  rise, credence and  legitimacy to the  practice of violence in our  world. It is a peace that opposes the  practice of physical  and structural violence for the sake of domination, human subjugation,  annihilation  and profit.

Physical violence  has been defined  by the Eisenhower Commission as,“Behavior designed to inflict personal injury or the destruction of property in violation of general moral belief of civil law,” and by  Richard Hoftstader in his introduction to American Violence as, “Those acts which kill or injure persons or do significant damage to property.”

Structural violence is when the very structures of society perpetuate the violation of personhood such as  poverty, disease, injustice or the absence of health care. The Ecumenical Commission on Society, Development and Peace put it this way some years ago:

“Violence  can have structural forms  built  in the apparently peaceful operations of society as well as overt  physical  expressions. The failure to provide  educational opportunity, or the manipulation of sources of information, can do violence  to those affected. The existence  in a society of intellectual repression in any form  is psychological violence. The condescension  and subtle  forms  of discrimination with  which age treats youth, or men treat  women  or one race or religious group  treats another, are part  of it.  We live in a society  in which the drive  for security, self esteem or power, and the failure  to share responsibility and decision  making  often  do violence  to other  persons….Violence is therefore a condition  of which all of us are guilty  in some degree.”(The Desperate Imperative, pp. 13-14)

The structures or operations of society  can thus create conditions or states  of violence, or what  Michel Foucault called “regimes of power  and truth,” where  the practice  of violence  is normative, and the use of violence  is justified as a quintessential value  in society.  Both physical  and structural violence  can be blatant and overt, subtle  and restrained.

As Christian peacemakers we must  be aware  of not only the overt  forms  of physical  violence  that  harm  and devastate people, but the structural violence  in society “That  produces  inordinate amounts  of suffering, destruction and violation of human  personality.”(Religion and  Violence, p.36)

When  A. J. Muste said “There is no way  to peace, peace is the  way,” he affirms the  essence of peacemaking as an ultimate concern and as a way  of life.  This peace making ranges from pacifism to vegetarianism.

The problem today  is the ethos and culture which give  rise and legitimacy to the practice  of certain types  of physical and structural violence in our world; a violence  which slowly erodes the light  of the human  spirit and personality; and quickly destroys human  life. Do we live in a society  that promulgates and glorifies the use of violence; a society that  gradually disarms us against  the use of violence  because we have been so inundated by it? Does our tolerance for and acceptance  of violence  ultimately make  us defenseless against  it? Do we live in a world where  differences and human  conflict  can only  be mediated through the use of force and violence? Has violence  thus become  a method  of meaningful conversation and dialogue  for some people in our world?

Media studies tell us  that by  age  18  the average American child sees on TV 200.000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders. The  American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that American Children watch and average of three to four hours of television daily. “Television can  be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Hundreds of  studies of the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may: 1) Become immune to the horror violence; 2) gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems; 3) imitate violence they observe on television;and 4) identify with certain characters, victims and or victimizers.”(4/99)

The National Television Violence Study (1994-1995) found that: 1) The  negative consequences of  violence are rarely portrayed,especially in Children’s programs; 2) violence goes unpunished in almost three out of  four scenes; 3) humor occurs in 39  percent of the violent scenes on  television;humor tends to trivialize or  undermine the seriousness with which violence is regarded so its prevalence poses cause for concern.”

A quote from the report of the APA Commission on Violence and Youth says,”Children’s exposure  to violence in the mass media, particularly at young  ages, can have harmful lifelong  consequences. Aggressive  habits  learned early  in life are the foundation for later behavior.”

The influence of Music and videos  has also had a precipitous effect  in promoting violence  in our society.  The following troublesome themes are found  in some music  today:  l) Advocating or  glamorizing the use  of  drugs and alcohol. 2) Explicit lyrics presenting suicide as an alternative or solution. 3) Graphic violence. 4) Rituals in concerts. 4) Sex  which focuses on control, sadism, masochism,  incest, children devaluing women and violence toward women.

As peacemakers we should challenge the media  to examine the long term  consequences  of the images  of violence disseminated in society.  In a nation  where  Violence is often glorified and imitated as a fashionable and acceptable  means of  life and conflict resolution, peacemakers should  have some say about  what  the effects  of those images  on the minds  and souls of the nation.

I may be dating myself but what happened to the great black and white movies of Hollywood’s  Golden Age where violence was often a last resort to conflict resolution and reckless violence was not a mindless substitute for a good script. What happened to music before there were parental advisories; music where you could understand the lyrics and sing along and not have to worry about the use  of profanity or  other invectives streaming through your ears ?

Now the media images are replete with verbal, psychological and physical violence. What was once forbidden in now acceptable. You  can barely sit through a movie today without hearing the “F” word, which when used is often an angry verbal prefix to physical combat and violence. The philosopher Plato said,Mislogos is directly related to misanthropos. When hatred in language is used to profane, denigrate and devalue human persons, it  is not long before such hatred justifies annihilation of the hated.

The  words of  Livy in his Early History of  Rome ring true; ” “Angry  words  ensued, followed  all too soon by blows, and in the course  of the affray, Remus was killed.”

The  church has  spoken to these issues over the ages but itself has  been an instigator and propagator of violence through what Rene Giraud in his book Violence and the Sacred termed, sanctioned violence  against  outsiders and scapegoats.

Where is the voice of the church today in these matters of prevention of  violence; where are  the  voices of protest against the negative, exploitative influences of violence disseminated by the media and American popular culture? Don’t get me  wrong. I  am  not a prude.      We live in the real world,and some movies are entertaining but some of the media influences on violence is simply out of control; where the Dionysian impulses of society sponsor a kind of hedonistic, narcissistic,  Bacchanal self indulgence and  mind numbing  intoxication that leads to what Andrei Sakharov called a mindless stupefaction of humanity that leads to a kind of fawning acquiescence with evil and violence and the status woe,where the will to protest has  been domesticated and subjugated into a witless desire to go  along and get along with any and everything.

Must we live in a world in words of Ivan Karamazov,” Where Everything is permitted. Does freedom mean the freedom to do  any and everything we desire without consequences? Does freedom mean allowing the media to disseminate these gratuitous images of  violence without accountability? A seed that is planted will grow with the proper nourishment and cultivation.  Does our society and world in its glorification and magnification of violence create a milieu where violence becomes an acceptable, glamorous and customary mode of existence?

Various images  of violence  are not only  disseminated in the media  and larger  culture but various acts of mental, verbal and physical violence are  prevalent in many homes

Domestic  violence  is a major concern  in our society  where:  3-4 million women are battered each year;where 85- 95 percent  of  all domestic violence victims are female; where 47 percent of  men who beat their wives do  so at least 3 times a year; where 40-60 percent  of  men who abuse women also abuse children;where requests for  emergency shelter by  homeless families with children increased to 68 and 57° percent of homeless families identified domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness;where black women experience intimate partner violence at a 35 percent higher rate than white women; where an estimated 3.3 million children witness their mothers or female caretakers being abused and where over 1,750.000 workdays are lost each year due to domestic violence and costs an estimated $67 billion annually.

Hannah  Arendt  reminds us that “The practice of violence, like all action,changes the world, but the most probable change is a more violent world.”

Mohandas K. Gandhi said,”Nothing enduring can  be built on  violence.”

“All men desire peace but few indeed desire those things which make for peace,” said Thomas A Kempis.

Eleanor Roosevelt said,”It isn’t enough to talk about peace;one must believe in it. And  it isn’t enough to believe in it; one must work at it.”

We often  focus on war as the quintessential expression of violence  in our world, but  what  about  the war that  is raging  in our society  for the souls and minds  and hearts  of men, women  and children; war that  has just  as many  if not more human  casualties; war that  is waged between  those axis value  systems  that  sometimes recklessly and without remorse  ignore,  destroy  and discard  human  life on one hand, and those systems  that  revere, respect  and seek to preserve  it at all costs on the other.

Have we evolved  full circle from  our anthropological   beginnings where a kind  of  primal bloodletting  and  violence  have  become  an indispensable part  of our progressive striving as a nation  and world?

As disciples  and followers of Christ, we are called to be peace makers  in every  arena  of our community, society and world; to vouchsafe  the sanctity of human  life.  We are called to speak words  of truth for peacemaking in our time.  We are called to be instruments and harbingers of peace notwithstanding the reality and presence  of violence  and war  in our world.  We must  never  tire  in our efforts  for peace. The poignant words  of Thomas Hardy challenge  us today:

 ..Peace  upon  earth! was  said.  We  sing it And pay a million priests to bring it. After two thousand years  of mass, We’ve got as far  as poison  gas.”

Did you know  that  since the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918  for every  year of war there  has been two minutes of peace? Did you know  that  from  the year  1500  B.C. to 1860  A.D more  than  8.000  treaties of peace were established and the average  time  they  remained in force was two  years?

We need a new peace; a peace that  compels  new cognitive structures of consciousness; a peace that  sets a new national and world  agenda. The peace that  Iam referring today  is not simply macro peace among  nations and empires, but  peace actualized by the  individual personally, socially and  communally. This peace  begins  in our bodies; in our  minds; in our  hearts and in our  spirits; it is a peace  that permeates our homes, families, and  workplace. It is a peace that thrives in our churches.

It is a peace  that  is practiced in mosques, temples and synagogues, in the  board  room, school  room  and pool room, a peace  that lives  on Wall street and  on the  mean  streets; a peace  realized in the  jail  house,  the  out  house, the  dog house and  the  white house; a peace  visibly manifested in   our  tones  and  trajectories of interaction with  one another and  in the  way  that  we listen, interpret and  respond to others around us. It is a peace  that  puts  ourselves in the shoes  of others; a peace  that  questions why  a society  has more animal shelters than human shelters, more  bombs  than  bread  to feed its hungry; more  black and Hispanic men in jail  than  in our colleges  and universities.

It is  a  peace  in  the  words  of  Senator  Robert  Byrd,  “That refrains from  language  that  denigrates, devalues  others  who are  different and  resists  calling   head   of  state   pygmies, labeling  whole   countries  as   evil   and   deriding  allies   as irrelevant. It is a peace that speaks the truth peacefully. It is a peace  that   protects but  secures  the  future of  the  human family  on the planet  earth; a peace that  seeks reconciliation, in personal  and corporate diplomacy. It is a peace that  seeks justice,  where   corporate  heads   who   steal   billions   from ordinary  citizens   will  do  the  same  if  not  more   time   as  a hungry man  who  steals  a  bag  of  cookies  or  street   hustler who  gets  busted for  a nickel  bag of dope.  It is· a peace that brings  drug  traffickers to justice as well as drug  peddlers.  It is a pharmaceutical peace.

It is a peace that  seeks harmony with  the environment; seeks accord with  every  man, woman  and child; peace that understands and passes all understanding: a peace that resists  a war on 35 million of the unborn who perished between  1973  and 1996  and a peace that  respects  and values  life itself.

It is a peace; a perfect peace that  does not call its citizens  unpatriotic because they  voice protest against  a war they  don’t  believe  in and it is a peace that  has compassion and empathy for our President  and other  leaders who must  make the hard  decisions  to go to war with the evidence they have at hand.  It is a peace that  affirms the common ground of all people; it is a peace that  values  the  life of American Children and Iraqi children and all of the children of the world; it is a peace that  still affirms our enemies  as children of God; worthy  of the love of God and the grace of God; it is a peace that  causes our enemies  to see us as worthy recipients of the love of God. It is a peace that  speaks confidently, boldly  and firmly to racism, sexism, ageism  and hobopobism.

As peacemakers we cannot afford to become permanently tone  deaf  to the  victims of physical and  structural violence in our  communities, in this  society and in our  world, nor  gorge ourselves on the red meat of violence not can  we afford to smugly and  indifferently consider the problems of violence as the  other person’s problem and not our  own.

We see the  presence and  vestiges of violence everywhere in our  society and  world and  while  it is unrealistic to think that we can rid  society of every nuance  of violence, we can  create a culture where violence cannot thrive or mutate as  the only  acceptable method of expressing, addressing and resolving our  ultimate concerns. Like a cancer  metastasizing the  patient under the  influence of an anesthetic, we all become victims of violence through apathy and indifference. While  the  specter of violence in the  world grows the  will  to resist it must not  die.

I think if was Edmund  Burke  who said, “The  only  way for evil  to prevail is for the  good to remain silent.”

As the church  of Jesus Christ, we are spiritual heirs  of one who was a victim of violence  but  a man who triumphed over it; a man  who died violently on the cross for our sins; a man who gave his life in contraposition and contradistinction to the violent forces that  took his life. Jesus was a warrior for peace. He renounced violence  as a first  way; as the only expedient way of living  life and responding to life.  Walter Wink says he affirmed and practiced  the Third  way. He viewed every  one as a person; a child of God worthy  of the love, promises and inheritance of God. As a Jew, this  was his message  to everyone of his time.  As Lord and savior  this is his message  to the world  today.

Jesus said, I have not come to bring  peace but  a sword. In other  words  those things  that  make  a false peace palatable  I have come to change.  Those things  that  make  us unwilling co-conspirators in an unjust peace Ihave come to overturn.

Jesus Christ  was no respecter  of persons , and if he were here in the flesh today  he would say love is the way to peace; justice  is the way to peace and I love you all white,  black, brown, beige and red; I love you all sick, well, abled and differently abled; I love you all conservative, moderate and liberal, neo conservative and neo liberal. I love you all gay, bi, straight, American, African, Iraqi, French and German, I love you all urban, rural  and suburban;  rich and poor,  have and have not, children, women, men, male, female,  young  and old. I love you all and this is my way to peace.

Jesus would  say, “What I don’t love is the manner  in which you treat  each other, deny other, kill each other  and destroy each other; what I don’t like is the cruel manner of your inhumanity to each other; what I don’t like is the suffering  and  the pain and the cold, callous  disregard for life that some of you have for each other.  What I don’t like is how some lives are valued over other  lives  when all life is sacred in my eyes and not just  a few lives that  are valued  on the privileged, revolving and vacillating scale of moral  relativity. What I don’t like is the hypocrisy, greed  and lust for power that  runs like a juggernaut destroying any and everything in its way.” This is what  Jesus says to us today.

As heirs  of Christ  we must  all become  peacemakers in an era of war and violence; peacemakers in a world  that  makes violence  doable, acceptable  and the only plausible result of  human conflict. Peacemaking begins  and home  in ourselves and with each other  in our communities and world.

What must  we do to be peacemakers today?

We must  practice peace in the  personal realm in our relationship with Christ  the  ‘ultimate peacemaker. We  must live lives of spiritual devotion to him. Following Christ is a commitment to peacemaking. It means keeping the peace and love and grace of Christ in our hearts,minds,bodies and souls. Following Christ as peacemakers means a commitment to non-violent cooperation with evil in every realm;the personal, interpersonal,social and communal as well as the national and international spheres.   It means speaking and living  peace and modeling peace each day in our attitudes and in our thoughts, in our prayers  and in our concerns  for others.  It is affirming and living  that great  line of the poet Tennyson, “I am a part of all that I  have met.” All life is an extension me and I of it. It is peace rooted in a profound and abiding spirituality and trust in God  to make the crooked places straight and the rough places a plain.

It is peacemaking in the social-communal arena that actualizes itself in the pursuit of justice. Martin Luther  King Jr., said it best when he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is living and giving what Harvard philosopher John Rawls called,distributive and retributive justice. It is also a justice that does not in the words of M. Scott Peck,”Fail to put our own selves on trial for the evil we do.” It is a peace that does not become the evil it seeks to eradicate.

 It is a peace that  seeks environmental justice, gender justice, racial  justice, political and economic justice; justice for the aged and youth, the oppressed  and depressed; justice for all people.

We can start  with  justice in our homes and justice  in the church  by making just those  realities that  leave people feeling  victimized, alienated, marginalized and frustrated.

As peacemakers we can call attention to the injustice, write  our representatives and challenge our churches  to become  more involved in the movements for personal, social justice, environmental and political justice. We become  sojourners for peace. There may  be issues right  in our neighborhoods that  need to be addressed. The church  and community are good places to begin.  Peacemaking  means  practicing justice in the social and communal realm.

Finally, it is seeking  and practicing peace on a national and international level.  Clergy  should  be involved in all negotiations for peace worldwide, but the clergy themselves must  make the peace, inter denominational peace; intra-­ denominational peace; inter faith  and inter religious peace that  brings  people  together from  all walks  of faith.  It first means  affirming our common ground  where  there  is no east or west, no Hindu, Sikh or Jew, no Muslim, Christian, Atheist or Agnostic, but  between us all walls  can be laid down and made into  bridges. This is the peace we seek. It is a peace the recognized the inherent value of every person and the sanctity of every life.

 We must  not use religion as an instrument of violence, for when we do the chasm of peace widens.  We must  find ways of bridging the chasm and we begin  this process with ourselves.

Mother  Teresa said it best, and it is something what  we should  all remember if we are to become  peacemakers, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong  to each other.”

Blessed are the peacemakers for they  shall be called the children of God. Blessed are those  who strive  for peace each day of their  lives and work  to make the world  a peaceful place. Blessed are the soldiers and warriors who risk their lives to ensure peace in our world. Blessed are those want and live peace each day as a totalizing concerns for the betterment of our human community.

Amen.


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