Thought for the Week, Nov 8th 2020
In the New Testament, peace has nothing to do with pastel painted scenes of beaches and waterfalls and mindfulness exercises to attain inner peace. Peace comes through struggle and pain.
When Jesus talked about peace, the Greek word used most frequently in the gospels does not mean an absence of conflict or war. The word eirene describes an harmonious state of mind, an ability to remain undisturbed. despite external circumstances.
The enormity of the suffering in this world and the relentless violence we see around us is so overwhelming, it is natural to want to close our eyes, to block our ears, to say nothing for fear of being heard. But it is in remembering, in contemplation of all the waste and suffering, that change happens.
The controversial Archbishop Oscar Romero, assassinated in El Salvador in 1980 while saying mass and canonised in 2015, has wise words on striving to bring about change and the nature of peace, recognising that we cannot do everything, and that there is a sense of liberation in realising this that enables us to do something. However incomplete, this is a step along the way.
Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Rev’d Julia Porter-Pryce
St Peter De Beauvoir