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Peace – A Reflection

January 19, 2020

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Today has been one of those days…

It was a time of worship and preaching…

Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King, Jr. were both very present…

I find myself in a church, community, nation and world filled with turmoil…

Your presence and guidance were sought, Lord…

Did you know that this nation has only known peace for seventeen out of the two-hundred-twenty-four years it has been in existence?

How much more horrific can this legacy of a nation and world be!

Thomas Merton had the following to say about the lack of peace in this nation: We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. had the following say about the Vietnam War which both he and Thomas Merton spoke against: It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence… “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind,” and the best way to start is to put an end to war in Vietnam, because if it continues, we will inevitably come to the point of confronting China which could lead the whole world to nuclear annihilation.

These two prophets for peace spoke these words in the late 1950’s and the 1960’s. They both died in 1968… mere months apart. Merton had envisioned a retreat with Dr King to pray and to discuss matters of faith and the world. It was supposed to happen in April of 1968. Tragically, Dr King was cut down by an assassin’s bullet on April 4th and Thomas Merton died on December 10th. The two never had the opportunity to meet together or work together. Yet in the forty-plus years since their deaths, they have inspired so many to work for peace, including your Padre.

As the National Holiday to remember Dr King and his work commences tomorrow morning Denise and I plan on being a part of a march and teach-in down in Fort Collins. George Santayana once said: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. We as a nation and world MUST learn from our horrific past and, by the grace of God, change our course before our global and corporate sin destroys us. In order to do so, we must work for justice and peace. In the words of Dr King, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Dear reader, may we be a part of that work to bend the arc towards justice!




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