Tag Archives: being kind

PEACE: An Inside Job

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 5, 2016

PEACE: An Inside Job


Another day to present two young people from St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights. Another day to see what kinds of impactful thoughts these high schoolers have.

Today, I noticed companion actions in both of the personal definitions of PEACE: ways of acting towards other people. Let’s see what else our two young people have to say.

Maggie’s personal definition: “PEACE is accepting others regardless of differences.”

What an excellent relational practice. (Believe me, Maggie, this is really difficult to do, as someone who has been trying to do this for a long time.) When I asked her to explain this statement, she readily said, “People should be more tolerant. Tolerance is a positive thing in order to have peace.”

Maeve’s personal definition: “PEACE is being kind to everyone.”


I wanted Maeve to give me further information, and she did. “Peace is helped by being kind to every one and every thing. Then, peace will come.”

These young people have the right idea. Peace is one of the things where a portion of peace depends on the inside job. It depends on how individuals act and react, as well as their inner sense of grace, love and especially forgiveness. That is the soil in which peace is planted.

Dear God, thank You for giving teenagers such wonderful ideas. Help us all to remember these thoughts. In Jesus’s risen name we pray, amen.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

A Caring Acrostic on PEACE

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 18, 2016


A Caring Acrostic on PEACE

Today is another day posting from St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights. Another day of my Pursuing PEACE Project (#PursuePEACE). Their principal, Fr. Corey Brost, offered me the opportunity to hang out in the lunch room last week. I talked briefly with anyone who came up to the table I had set up on one side of the large room.

Two more young people today, and two more personal definitions. I was so intrigued by both definitions! But more about that, in a moment.

First, Julia’s definition: “PEACE is not just being kind to one another because you have to, but because you want to.”


I asked Julia to tell me a little more about her definition. “Peace is an internal thing,” she responded. “You can’t be kind to people begrudgingly, but you need to WANT to be kind. On the inside.”

I was so moved by this. Julia had articulated something deeply significant. Peace starts off on the inside—internally, long before it is ever experienced by others on the outside. I thanked her very much for her profound insight.

Second, Maranda’s personal definition—an acrostic on PEACE! “P-eople E-verywhere A-re C-aring for E-veryone.

I thought this was awesome. And, innovative and imaginative. Maranda obviously had given her definition a great deal of thought. I would have loved to talk with her further! However, she needed to go—regretfully, but her homework was calling. (She needed to finish an assignment.) I thanked her so much, encouraged her with her homework assignment, and sent her off with one of my signature smiles.

I absolutely loved both definitions. Caring. Kindness. The internal kind/caring/loving thoughts processed mentally and psychologically, as well as spiritually discerned. Then, displayed through kind/caring/loving words, thoughts and actions. That is PEACE in action for both of these young people. Thanks to God for such awesomeness!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Given, Broken, for Others

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, April 17, 2014

God thanks for everything

Given, Broken, for Others

I read the Lenten meditation for Maundy Thursday this morning with great interest. I had never thought of bread and the Body of Christ in this specific way before!

The meditation booklet I am following is a selected group of snippets from Fr. Henri Nouwen’s books and other works. Today, being Maundy Thursday, Fr. Henri riffed on the bread that was broken. The Bread of Life is equated with the bread that Jesus multiplied by the Sea of Galilee. Further, Fr. Henri compared this bread to the bread used by Jesus on that Maundy Thursday night. The Bread that is the Body of Christ, broken for us.

Finally, Fr. Henri asked the penetrating question: how are we—the Body of Christ—broken today? So that Jesus can distribute us, give us to others—how can we then serve? What kinds of opportunities open up for us?

I know I look for opportunities for service each day. I pray for intentional acts of being kind, each day. But I still am amazed by God sending me such specific answers to prayer! I know I can find ways, sure. However—here was a special answer staring me in the face, in black and white.

Sure, I was kind to a whole bunch of people today, including one very good friend. I used my well-honed skill of listening. I heard my friend tell me about concerns and difficulties. I couldn’t offer any answers, but I feel my friend was relieved to get whatever it was out. Not eating away at the insides, but out in the light of day.

Let’s pray. God, thanks for allowing me to serve You in such a way. Forgive me—forgive us for our selfishness and self-centeredness. It’s so great to know that I am doing things and praying prayers that are pleasing to You. Thanks, God!


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net Shortlink: