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Dear Reader

I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Making New Year resolutions? Perhaps it is the same old list: go on a
diet, get some exercise, be kinder, express more gratitude, get out of
debt. Whatever the list consider something easier to do, but much
grander. Since 1963 Catholic Popes have declared January 1st as World
Peace Day. There are other dates throughout the year that are chosen
for a day of prayer or action for peace, but consider this date as an
opportunity to reflect on the issues of peace and how you and I can be
a "blessed peacemaker".

The ever so popular Pope Francis has issued his proclamation and here
is segment of his plea:

In my Message for Peace last year, I spoke of "the desire for a full
life… which includes a longing for fraternity which draws us to
fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or
rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced".[1]
Since we are by nature relational beings, meant to find fulfilment
through interpersonal relationships inspired by justice and love, it
is fundamental for our human development that our dignity, freedom and
autonomy be acknowledged and respected. Tragically, the growing
scourge of man's exploitation by man gravely damages the life of
communion and our calling to forge interpersonal relations marked by
respect, justice and love. This abominable phenomenon, which leads to
contempt for the fundamental rights of others and to the suppression
of their freedom and dignity, takes many forms. I would like briefly
to consider these, so that, in the light of God's word, we can
consider all men and women "no longer slaves, but brothers and
sisters".

If you follow world news you may have seen reports on human
trafficking and sexual enslavement of girls from around the world.
These same reports have been televised and written about here in the
United States. I will not attempt in this article to go beyond the
scope of asking for prayer. Those who desire to be informed about the
issue and to take some action can find plenty of information on the
web. But I do desire to draw attention as we make resolutions as to
how we can expand our hearts and our prayers to the plight of present
day slaves. We can join our prayers to those around the world who
sacrifice their lives to free our brothers and sisters. By prayer we
expand our own hearts.

How in our daily lives can we become peacemakers? When we encounter
individuals enslaved in their addictions? The problem of drugs is well
known in our County. How can we be peacemakers? Not everyone is seen
as brothers and sisters. How can we be peacemakers? There are many
fractured families. What can we do to be peacemakers?

So go ahead with your resolutions, but take a pause to consider peace.

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