Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cultivate Peace

By Diane Bayne

This past Wednesday night I was faced with a choice:  either to attend my weekly Wednesday night Centering Prayer Group or skip it to watch the Presidential debate.  As I debated my options, at first I was sorely tempted to watch the debate.  On the one hand, was it not my civic duty to make myself available to hear what these candidates have to say?   But on the other hand, there was the Palanca to finish for the candidates and team on this Cursillo weekend.  And then I remembered the meditation I needed to write for today’s Daily Tripod meditation.  Looking over the readings for this Sunday, the words of James in today’s second reading jumped right out of the page at me:

The wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.  (James 3:16-18)

I long to grow and to immerse myself in these virtues–these fruits of the Spirit–and am only too aware that so often I choose their opposites.  So where, on this past Wednesday night, would I find evidence of these virtues–might even experience one or more of them?

When Henry Nouwen wrote the following words in Bread for the Journey, he was looking into his own soul. But he could just as easily have been looking into mine when he said: 
“When we look critically at the many thoughts and feelings that fill our minds and hearts, we may come to the horrifying discovery that we often choose death instead of life, curse instead of blessing, Jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, greed, lust, vindictiveness, revenge, hatred. . . they all float in that large reservoir of our inner life.  Often we take them for granted and allow them to be there and do their destructive work.”   

Amen to all the above!  I need all the help I can get!!!  My Wednesday choice became crystal clear.  Need I say which option I needed to choose?  What options similar to mine last Wednesday are you facing now?

No comments: