Today I had the joy of celebrating peace...peace among friends, peace among co-workers, peace among cultures, peace throughout the world.
25 years ago today, Pope John Paul II gathered leaders of all faiths in Assisi, Italy to pray for and commit to a world of peace. What a beautiful endeavor...no judgement, no arrogance, no disdain. Only love and peace for the greater good of the world we live in. I can't even fathom the intense energy unleashed on the universe that day.
As we came together in honor of the historic Spirit of Assisi, I was privileged to hear the chanting and wisdom of a Jewish Rabbi, an inspirational Iman chanting and reading from the Qu'ran, a Catholic priest reading from Gospel of John, and one of my spiritual advisers praying over and with all of us. And if this wasn't moving in its own right, the service was held in a softly-lit room with a wall of windows portraying the first Upstate New York snow of the season.
I know I have said it before, but I love my job. Not only am I enriched by my work, the environment where I spend most of my waking hours is steeped in the tradition of St. Francis. Make me a channel of your peace, his prayer proclaims. Indeed, may we all be channels of peace as our prayers join with others around the world in celebration of Pope John Paul II's dream brought to life 25 years ago. I am reminded of Mother Theresa who said, "I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me and I will be there." I learned from Mother Theresa to never be anti-anything; be pro-everything. I need to remember this more often.
As the day closes and the snow continues to fall, I am thankful for the blessing of these experiences. At the end of the service, all of us in attendance signed our names in commitment to creating peace in our environments, relationships, and world. In celebration and recognition of a great man's dream, let there be peace on earth...and let it begin with me.