Tag Archives: children

three reasons

20 Aug

During the Mass in Cremisan valley our pilgrim-teachers saw three reasons for why they were praying and singing in the olive grove.

Here are two …

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… and here’s a third.

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These children deserve a green space in which to picnic and play.  

That’s why we sang and prayed.

 

her three children

20 Jul

It seemed that, while on pilgrimage, Michelle was always remembering her three children, and was always missing them. She often reminded the rest of us that she had three children, and was constantly reminding God, too. 

Whenever she was standing quiet, we figured she was thinking of her three children, missing them, and praying for them.

While at the Sea of Galilee, I handed her three stones, of three different sizes, one for each of her children: small, medium and large; youngest, middle and oldest. I suggested that she hold the stones, one by one, as he held her children in her heart, one by one. Start with the smallest stone, I suggested, while praying for your youngest child. Hold the smallest in your hand, tell God what your prayer is for your youngest, then toss the stone into the sea. Then take up the medium sized stone and your medium sized child; make the prayer and toss the stone. And finally, the largest and the oldest.

The four photos below capture the stages: the stone, the wind up, the toss and the ripple.

It made me wonder if the four photos capture the stages of our prayer. Do they represent four parts of prayer, or four movements in prayer, or  four things that are necessary for prayer, or four things that make a prayer a prayer and not just a thought? What do you think?

I have given each photo a caption, from the point of view of the stone. What caption would you give them, if the photos were not about the stone, but about the prayer?

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Part 1: the stone (notice the white bird flying near the water)

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Part 2: the wind up

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Part 3: the toss

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Part 4: the ripple

 

 

to break the spiral of hatred and violence by one word alone: the word “brother”

17 Jul

Many, all too many, of those children have been innocent victims of war and violence, saplings cut down at the height of their promise. 

 

Dear Presidents, our world is a legacy bequeathed to us from past generations, but it is also on loan to us from our children: our children who are weary, worn out by conflicts and yearning for the dawn of peace, our children who plead with us to tear down the walls of enmity and to set out on the path of dialogue and peace, so that love and friendship will prevail.

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I am profoundly grateful to you for accepting my invitation to come here and to join in imploring from God the gift of peace.  It is my hope that this meeting will mark the beginning of a new journey where we seek the things that unite, so as to overcome the things that divide. 

Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare.  It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity.  All of this takes courage, it takes strength and tenacity.

 

History teaches that our strength alone does not suffice.  More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it.  That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God.  We do not renounce our responsibilities, but we do call upon God in an act of supreme responsibility before our consciences and before our peoples.  We have heard a summons, and we must respond.  It is the summons to break the spiral of hatred and violence, and to break it by one word alone: the word “brother”.  But to be able to utter this word we have to lift our eyes to heaven and acknowledge one another as children of one Father.