17 October 2008

Fertile plantings

O Lord, you see how everywhere the winds have burst forth, and the sea is convulsed with the great violence of the rising waves. Command, we beseech you who alone are able, both the winds and the sea. Restore to mankind the true peace of your name, that peace which the world cannot give, and the calm of social harmony. Under your favor and inspiration may men return to due order, and having overthrown the rule of greed, bring back again as ought to be, the love of God, justice, charity toward neighbor, temperance in all desires. May your kingdom come. May all recognize that they are subject to you, and must serve you who are truth and salvation; that without you they labor in vain. In your law is reason and fatherly kindness. You are ever at hand with your strength and your copious power to help man to keep it. Life upon earth is a warfare, but you watch the contest and aim man to conquer. The weak you sustain; the victor you crown.
~Pope Leo XIII

My neighbors planted a Peace Pole in their front yard yesterday while they strongly support abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.

How can we have peace when we turn a blind eye to, or even actively support, what is happening to the unborn, the infirm or the disabled? Or work to break down the family? Peace is something (nearly) everyone wants. All the Popes in recent history have been quite vocal about striving for peace. Many times the Pope's message falls on deaf ears, even among Catholics who should be living our Faith by caring and protecting life from conception to natural death.

What happened to life's share in, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" Are we too busy pursuing our own ideals of happiness to care for the plight of others?

This election period, the State of Washington, much like it's neighbor Oregon voted on and passed while I was living there, has an assisted suicide law on the ballot. Already, Oregon's law limits chemotherapy treatment for patients but will provide the means for assisted suicide. How compassionate is that? And, Washington's law is even more loosely written.

Queen of Peace, ora pro nobis, be with us this election period and always.
Pope Says Abortion, Gay Marriage Are 'Obstacles' to World Peace
by Francis X. Rocca
Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Nuclear arms proliferation, environmental pollution and economic inequality are threats to world peace -- but so are abortion, birth control and same-sex marriage, Pope Benedict XVI said in a statement released by the Vatican Tuesday (Dec. 11).

"The Human Family, a Community of Peace" is this year's papal message for the World Day of Peace, which will be observed Jan. 1.

Presenting the nuclear family as the "first and indispensable teacher of peace" and the "primary agency of peace," the 15-page document links sexual and medical ethics to international relations.

"Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of new life ... constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace," Benedict writes.

Regarding actual military conflicts, the pope laments unspecified African civil wars and violence in the Middle East.

Condemning what he describes as a global "arms race," Benedict calls for a "progressive and mutually agreed dismantling of existing nuclear weapons."

At a press conference held to present the document, a top Vatican official criticized the U.S. for its handling of Iran's suspected nuclear arms program, saying that Washington's rhetoric had fomented international tensions.

"All these threats, all these worries, these threats of war and invasion ... harm the international atmosphere because they can provoke worries and the reinforcement of security with the production of new arms," said Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and a former Vatican envoy to the United Nations.

In his message, the pope also endorses greater cooperation on environmental protection, writing that "further international agencies may need to be established" for the purpose. He also calls for an "equitable distribution of wealth" in a globalized world.


Tara said...

What do your neighbors consider peace!? They don't want our soldiers killed fighting for our country, but it's okay to kill innocent children in the womb? A peace pole sounds like something from the "New Age" religion. Sounds like something Oprah would promote.

Christine from Maryland said...

There is nothing wrong with the act of planting a peace pole. Planting one without understanding the true meaning of peace (the peace that comes from Jesus Christ)is where many people have missed the boat. What they do is not much different from the folks who wear rosaries around their necks because they're "fashionable" or the houses that display walls full of crosses because they're a current decorating trend. It's one more reason why we need to pray without ceasing and work to spread the Good News.

My daughter is in a Sisters of Mercy college that holds regular prayer services by their campus peace pole. (The school sounds the Angelus everyday, too.)They work with the nearby Franciscan university to live out the Catholic traditions of the two schools. The things they've done to bring light to the surrounding economically depressed community are nothing short of miraculous. I think these students know peace.

swissmiss said...

I live in St. Paul, it's pretty liberal. OK, it's very liberal!

You hit the nail on the head. Planting a peace pole completely lacks substance unless you put the idea into action. Sounds like your daughter is wise beyond her years in that respect! Good for her.