Tag Archives: open-minded

PEACE Amidst Conflict

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 30, 2016

no fighting

PEACE Amidst Conflict

Tonight is my last post from Oakton Community College. I include another two personal definitions of PEACE.

(Thanks, Oakton College, for allowing me to come in to the cafeteria and set up a table. Thanks, members of the Oakton Christian Fellowship, for sitting with me and providing a welcome, too.)

These two definitions are more serious. They seem to me to be connected. Thanks to Tomer and to Ervin for your thought-provoking words. These words may be more political than I usually post: moreover, these words are sincere and deeply felt. I pray that my readers consider them in a similar spirit in which I heard them; I was receptive and encouraging for these young men. I hope each of them felt safe and felt what they said was sincerely heard.

Tomer’s personal definition: “PEACE = Acknowledgement of Actual Truth.”

A fascinating definition, I said. Could this young man tell me more? Tomer had conflict in the whole Middle East area on his mind. “All parties have their own truth. Their own view of what truth is. Each person needs to look at facts, and not just listen to propaganda.”

Tomer is an Israeli citizen. He hates seeing anti-Israel propaganda. He earnestly wants to encourage all people to approach the various conflicts and fighting in the Middle East with an open mind and not to be swayed by divisive, narrow-minded talk.

Ervin’s personal definition is a list. “PEACE is: honesty, understanding, confidence, truthful, unity.”

A hopeful list, I thought! I asked Ervin for a further description. He said, “Peace is being honest with each other and understanding what people are trying to say to you. Peace is being confident in the challenging situations, when things are going wrong. When there is conflict, I bring peace into the situation. I show people that I can overcome many kinds of difficulties.”

Yes, there is conflict. Yes, there is fighting and war. Yes, there are many people who spread false rumors, reports and propaganda. Yet, even though we all face challenging situations, there is hope. Honesty, understanding, confidence, truth and unity can go a long way towards healing divisive talk and actions.

Please, God, help us all to practice these positive, helpful actions. As the prophet tells us, encourage each of us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.


(Reminder: I will be posting more from the young people at St. Viator’s High School tomorrow. Have a joyful Easter celebration!)

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

Seeking the Light—in Ignatian Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, May 28, 2015

Light be a light to the world

Seeking the Light—in Ignatian Prayer

I was a bit puzzled by the third step in the daily Ignatian prayer process, as interpreted by Margaret Silf. I know it’s a small thing, but I did not quite get what she meant. Or rather, one particular word she used.

Here’s the step, as found in Silf’s book on Ignatian spirituality and prayer, Inner Compass: Light-seeking: “Ask God to help you see and understand how His love has been working within you today. This is a gift of the Spirit, and it has been promised to all who sincerely seek it.”

I consider myself theologically knowledgeable, in basic terms. But here—Silf’s use of “light-seeking” interchangeably with “God’s love?” Perhaps I am overthinking what she’s doing here. I probably am.

What I sometimes do with concepts I have difficulty understanding is this: I break it down. I take it apart, in pieces. It’s then that I come to some understanding of the separate pieces. Yes, I have some idea of what constitutes “God’s love.” And, I am so moved by Silf’s imagery of “Light-seeking.” Thought-provoking mental image!

I’ve come to a comfort level of not-knowing. Or, at least not knowing in full. If I can’t square the phrase “God’s love” with “Light-seeking,” it’s okay. God will still love me just as much if I don’t understand some things about God. No one has a full understanding, anyhow. I suspect that I am in a better (read, more open-minded) position, now that I realize I just don’t know stuff.

And, that’s okay. God understands. God still gifts me with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, no matter how much or how little theological background I may have. I just need to be honest, open and willing. Willing to be open, with an open mind and heart. Amen. 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 .