WORKING FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
REQUIRES A SOLID SPIRITUAL BASE
By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine
attended a reflection on “A Spirituality of Non-Violence”, and the
presenter Rev. Simon Harak, S.J. suggested that we need a solid
spiritual foundation to effectively address violence and transform
our lives and our world and create a culture of peace. Peace is
badly needed in ourselves, our families, communities, political
structures and other places in order to create the kind of community
God has in mind for all people.
spiritual life is not a separate department of our lives. It is the
whole of life. Spirit is our life’s principle, the very breath we
breathe. Body, mind and spirit are all interconnected to the source
of life – the Divine. One of the words used in Scripture is “Ruah”,
which means the breath of God. We cannot get along without
breathing. When we go deep within, we get in touch with God’s
healing power, always available to us. Every step we take, we leave
footprints of peace or worry, joy or sadness, anxiety or freedom,
hope or despair. When we go deep within we get in touch with God’s
healing power and share that healing power with all we meet. As we
listen carefully, we get in touch with the hunger of the spirit
seeking a deeper connection to the divine life. We feel a longing
for a deep peace for ourselves and all around us and beyond us. This
does not remove us from challenges and pains of life, but helps us
to get in contact with the healing touch of God. We let go of some
of the frenzy of activities, worries, angry feelings, sense of
hopelessness, and allow God’s healing touch to fill our longings and
give us a desire to create a more peaceful world. Then we will
create a welcoming space where God can dwell within our very being.
Spirituality is not just for ourselves. It connects us with the
Divine in other people and communities where we live out our daily
lives. It calls us especially to be concerned about the poor and
abandoned in our society and create a world of peace and dignity for
in violence in our homes, schools, neighborhoods and nation is an
indication that the edifice we have built is crumbling and we need a
new foundation . Vaclav Havel once said: “Transcendence , the
recognition of a Divine power, is the only real alternative to
extinction.” We are called to seek out and discover what is God’s
agenda for ourselves and our world, and work to make it a reality.
It means conveying that vision to people in power and urging them to
create systems and structures that enhance rather than dehumanize
life, to replace what is obsolete with peace, and to provide basic
necessities for all rather than putting billions of dollars into
wars. Bishop Oscar Romero reminds us that “we are to be the
microphone and messengers of God in the face of injustice in our
day.” Author William H. Shannon reminds us that in discovering the
Divine and nurturing our spiritual lives , we will we arrive at the
awareness of who we really are. When we live only on the surface of
our lives, we are living out of an illusion that veils our true
self, the self that we are called to be in God.
question we could ask ourselves is “What legacy do we wish to leave
for future generations?” I also believe we are living in a
privileged moment – a time of breakthrough as well as breakdown- a
moment of great possibility and hope.
God’s Spirit is alive and well, operating within our lives as we
allow it, as well as in the church and local and global community.
With this kind of foundation we can look to the future with hope.
The fact is the Divine is already here, How we discover, name,
recognize and call forth that dimension of our lives is the
challenge. It is never too late to begin. Let us start today with
courage and hope.
Blessings on your preaching.