(*This was written but for some reason not published on Sunday).
As I sat down to write this blog, I clicked onto social media and saw the news that President Obama had intervened on the pipeline situation, denying permit for access through the land. Another way had to be found. This happened on the second Sunday of Advent, Peace Sunday, where John the Baptist is crying out to prepare the way of the Lord. The voice of one crying out in the wilderness was heard then and now. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the Water Protectors, and their allies cried out and a path shall take a different route. These are the miracles of Advent, of hope, and of peace.
Peace comes in strange and wonderful ways, through the oddest of voices being raised at times. This week the challenge will be for me to speak peace when I want to utter anything but. I want to prepare the way of the Lord this week by stepping out of my comfort zone if need be to intervene when it may not be popular, to welcome as Christ would welcome me, and to be led by a little child. Bearers of Peace is the call this week. We can raise our voices to bring peace to a world that waits in darkness.
How will you cry out this week on behalf of peace? Is there a family relationship that needs healing? Does a situation at work need some serene intervention? Do you need to spend more time in prayer for your own inner peace? What deeds will you do to bring Light to the darkness?
Have you ever participated in an act of civil disobedience for the sake of peace?
What concrete action will you take on behalf of Peace this week?
God of steadfastness and encouragement, give strength to our voices as we shout Prepare the Way of the Lord! Help us to bring peace in each step, each word, and each deed. Amen.
Suzanne, your latest post reminds me of a a Carmelite blog, now closed, called “Praying the News”. Different sisters from a small community near Indianapolis offered reflections from the fruits of their contemplative prayer on different topics in the news. They offered a singular light on how each one of us *can* pray effectively on a national or international issue that could seem to be so out of reach that why should I even bother to pray.
You drew that connection in this latest post between the ever timeliness of Scripture- alive today, in the Lectionary, and the conflicts arising outside of our neighborhoods.
I started an online Ignation Retreat (via Creighton U) quite a while back but only made it about halfway through before life interrupted as it is wont to do. I think the single most striking thing I carried from that was a better understanding of corporate or institutional sin. I think what we used to call “evil” when people would acknowledge that evil is present and active. It helped me through many of these devastating national and international horror headlines, not to mention smaller institutions and communities that just put up roadblocks and tie things up that keep people enslaved to despair and more. It helped me to pray with the psalms and the daily readings. Once my eyes were opened, if I PAY ATTENTION, then there is a prayer there.
Thank you for bringing this front and center for me during this Advent. And God’s peace be with you for the daily decisions you have facing you each day.
Yes, I had wanted to write a longer post on societal/institutional sin this past week as our retreatants who are doing the “long” retreat (19th Annotation) have just wrapped up Week One. I had neither the time nor the energy but I am glad to see you were still able to make that link. Your comments are helpful and thoughtful. May I ask if we have ever met?
Suzanne, Only online, and on All Souls’ Day this year, when I was searching to understand more about the beautiful verse “As sparks through stubble.” I was so struck by your writing and reflection that I had to know your story. So I started reading your blog and then realized that I want to stay with you on your journey. I believe we have common threads in our backgrounds, with my faith journey as a young adult being formed by time living at l’Arche Syracuse among other things.
If you have my email address, please write me there, as your time and energy permit. You are in my prayer radar.
I remember now! Thanks for jogging my memory…and for the prayers.