LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
Are we born or are we made peacemakers?
I wondered about this as the choir sung our congregation out through the open doors of the church and into the bright sunlight. I blinked and felt a bit sheepish as I sang along: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
I have never been known for being a peacemaker. As a matter of fact, I pride myself as being a warrior. In my world, if you didn’t fight you didn’t survive. I had dangerous childhood. I never felt safe. Later in life, I became a Domestic Violence statistic and I learned quickly to be threatening before I was put in the position to be threatened. It was like this: If my back was up against the wall I innately knew how to puff myself up, as a frightened bird would, to create the illusion of being big and bold and scary. That survival tactic, having had to rely on it more often than I care to admit, became a habit and then the habit became a way of life. I am tough and ready to strike back. Is it possible for me to become a peacemaker?
If I were to look inside the tool bag of a peacemaker what might I find? Would the bag be filled with words like these: “I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” or would there be the promise: “…Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”? I think so. And inside the bag too, folded around Christ’s teachings, God’s Mercy would also be found-- for without His grace the peacemaker can do nothing.
Jesus is the ultimate arbiter. It is through His willingness to: Instruct the ignorant; counsel the doubtful; admonish sinners; bear wrongs patiently; forgive offenses willingly; comfort the afflicted and pray for the living and the dead, that we have a model of what it means to be Children of God. (The Church has come to identify these acts as The Spiritual Works of Mercy) Its quite simple: The peacemaker must be as merciful as Christ himself is.
Mercy, as it is considered here, is said to be a virtue influencing one’s will to have compassion for another. Compassion is needed for the black- hearted enemy as well as the persecutor for they suffer internal strife that far exceeds the harm they inflict.
Can I become a peacemaker? Yes, because nothing is impossible for God. But first I'll want to reach deep inside my bag and grasp the greatest tool God has offered me: love. I have His love, which gives me the grace to love. And if I choose to love God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and I can love my neighbor as myself (Matt 22:36-40), then I will become one of Jesus’ cherished peacemakers one day.