Tag Archives: conflict

God’s Law and Meditation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, June 3, 2017

Exod 20 ten commandments word cloud

God’s Law and Meditation

Dietrich Bonhoeffer had some fascinating words to say about the Ten Commandments. Just two paragraphs are quoted in this chapter of Meditating on the Word, but they give us a glimpse of what Bonhoeffer was thinking. “It is grace to know God’s commands,” he said.  Knowing God’s commands—God’s laws—helps us to understand conflict. What is more, God’s laws help to set us free from “self-made plans.”  Intriguing!

Of great important is the beginning of the commandments, for we are messing up that relationship in Exodus 20. “I am the LORD your God.” According to Bonhoeffer, the “I” of the commandments is the Almighty God, and we are called into intimate relationship with God.

When we break one (or more) of God’s commands, the rules are not just of human origin. Bonhoeffer reminds us that we transgress against God. We break God’s commands in our disobedience, not mere human ones, and it is serious, indeed.

If we add to the law God is certainly in charge of, we see Bonhoeffer’s amazement; God dispenses grace through the Ten Commandments, as well. The Ten Commandments ”are not detachable, as if we could  somehow separate God’s will from God Himself.” [1]

God’s grace comes to us from God’s word. This—Exodus 20—as   is as surely God’s revelation as punitive sections of the Mosaic Law as well as many of the Prophets and their writings. God is revealed with mighty power throughout this interaction.

Dear Lord, help me to understand Your abundant grace. Even in the midst of diversity. Dear God, thank You for being on our side, with grace, with love, and with Your open arms of compassion and forgiveness. In Your mercy, hear us as we pray.


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

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 13.

PEACE is Accepting Yourself, and Equality

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, April 21, 2016


PEACE is Accepting Yourself, and Equality

Today I come to the end of the personal definitions from St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights. I am sad that I have reached the last of those personal points of view. It was so good, so refreshing to talk with so many young people and find out what they truly thought about PEACE.

That was the most interesting part. I would ask them, engage their minds. And, I could see so many young people thinking hard. Dipping down into the well of ideas, and bringing one (in some cases, two) up and out. Sharing the definitions on pieces of paper, and verbally. Some even going on at some length, with considerable eloquence. So exciting!

Finally, I would like to sincerely thank Father Corey Brost, the President of St. Viator’s High School, for his kind invitation to come and talk with the young people during their lunch periods. I truly appreciated it. I hope the young people were helped by my being there, too.

Now, to the last two definitions. First, Mike’s personal definition: “PEACE is equality.”

I asked him to explain. He said, “You can’t get peace until everyone feels part of things. If people don’t feel part of things, there can be conflict. Conflict all over.”

Mike, you spoke such truth. Alienation is such a part of conflict. Separation is a huge part of conflict, too. If people are constantly isolated and divided into separate little cubicles (real or virtual), conflict and even war are looming on the stormy horizon. (Scary thought.)

Last, Christine’s personal definition: “PEACE is something that comes with accepting yourself and others.”


Intrigued, I asked her to explain further. She said, “Not being afraid to express yourself helps me to be peaceful inside. Since I have inner peace, I can spread it to others.”

Peace. Spreading peace to others. What a wonderful idea, Christine. May we all strive to do so.

Dear Lord, help each of us to strive to spread peace to someone else. Thank You for this opportunity to talk with so many others, and to search out ideas, personal definitions of PEACE. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


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

PEACE: Different Peace/Different Situations

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 3, 2016


PEACE: Different Peace/Different Situations

Earlier this week, I visited the senior group at St. Martha’s Catholic Church in Morton Grove to speak to them about PEACE. I talked about the growing feeling of division, conflict and animosity in this country, in several significant ways. And, I gave a few ideas on how to lessen that negative feeling. How to express kindness, respect, love, and peace, as much as we can.

I also gave them some background on my Pursuing PEACE Project, and asked if any of the seniors would be willing to give me their personal definition of PEACE. Several of them were more than happy to give me their points of view.

One senior did not waste any time. He came up to me as soon as my talk was over and engaged me in conversation. He had a different kind of definition! Joe Sebastian’s definition of PEACE: different kinds of peace in different situations.

“Peace is like a chameleon. There are different kinds of peace depending on the different types of situations. Peace is a relative term to me. I guess it is to live in harmony and accommodation.”

Joe has a unique point of view, since he was born half a world away. I need to listen especially closely to him. I so value his contribution to this continuing conversation on PEACE!

Just so, Joe uses a fascinating comparison and word picture: “Peace is like a chameleon.” I never would have thought of that, not in a hundred years. Yet, when he said that, followed by saying that different kinds of situations merit different kinds of peace, I understood immediately what he meant. “Chameleon.” Changeable! Adaptable! Matching its skin and appearance to its surroundings. What a superb comparison. Thank you so much, Joe.

Dear Lord, I appreciate Joe’s definition. I appreciate Joe’s point of view. Thank You for bringing Joe to the meeting this week. Dear God, I pray for Joe and the other seniors. I pray for their Lenten journey to the cross. Dear Lord, be with them just as much as You are with me.


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