by Debbonnaire Kovacs

by Debbonnaire Kovacs
submitted Sept 11, 2013

Let me add a special prayer today for all (all! on both sides!) who were affected by the tragedy twelve years ago today. I think it's amazing that today's entry just "happens" to be about peace.
 
On my website homepage are words which were once on many churches, monasteries, and other places which eschewed violence: Peace to all who enter here [or pass this way]. I frequently pray fervently and specifically for those who read or hear my words, or who meet me in daily life, that they will pass over the mistakes and stumbles I make and see and hear only the good voice of God. I am doing my best to become transparent enough that God can shine through with as little interference from me as possible. I do that pretty poorly, on average, but fortunately God is such a great light that my streaks and stains can’t keep that light from shining through. God loves me. Enormously. Unbelievably. And you, too! That’s the only real message I want to pass along.
 
So I love Joan Chittister’s chapter on peace. We are nearly to the end of her little book, The Monastery of the Heart. Next week we’ll say good-bye, with the epilogue. I hope some of you have checked out her website and learned more. You may not agree with every single thing she says—is there a human being with whom you do absolutely agree?—but there are beautiful little windows to God there. She, too, is trying to learn to be clear and let God shine.
 
She begins this chapter by pointing out those words inscribed over medieval monastery doors: Peace to All who Enter Here. Then she attempts (that’s all any human can do) to describe that indescribable peace that passes understanding. Even the human Jesus could only say, “Not as the world gives.” He could just give it. And live it. And so can we. Live it, I mean. He's the only Source.
 
Peace, says Chittister, “is not a lifestyle dominated by control and a plethora of rules. It is a lifestyle that foregoes violence on every level, for any reason.”
 
Here’s what I think is the best paragraph:
 

It creates community out of a collection of
strangers—
a slice of life
that crosses age levels,
economic backgrounds,
and ethnicities—
to where differences
can be honored,
and differences
can be broached,
and peace can come
to both the person
and to an entire population
at the same time.

 
I was just wondering. . . Is that a good description of your church? If so, how blessed you are! If not, what can you do to begin the change?
 
www.joanchittister.com