There is a yearning in our hearts that calls for peace, compassion, love and forgiveness. December is a time of the year when we have an opportunity to take time out of our busy schedules to focus on these inner promptings. It doesn't take much for us to get lost in the bombardment of negative news that blares out around us. Yes, not all is right in our troubled world, but each of us in our own way can make a difference in bringing about those things for which we all yearn.
When I write about forgiveness, compassion, meditation, gratefulness, and stress relief, I find a wide audience. Why is this? I suggest it's because people are trying to find expression for these inner promptings within their places of work and in their lives. They are searching for peace within themselves and with those around them as they deal with the push and pull of life.
Inner peace is found through calmness and silence and when we are at rest. I hope you can find time to sit out from the noise of this festive season and enjoy that peace. When you do, you will also find the strength to share it with others; and in so doing, you will become a beacon of light for those who are still troubled and weary. Thus, in some small way you will make a difference. If there is enough of us who do this we can be a force for positive change in our workplaces, communities and the world.
Peace also to those caught in wars, in prisons, and those who are considered enemies. It is never too late to lay down arms, seek forgiveness and be at peace with one another.
So, my message today is one of peace as we light the Christmas candle representing the light and peace of Christ; or, the Jewish menorah, the symbol of light, wisdom and Divine inspiration; or, cultivate tadabbur to enhance awareness and healing in the Islamic tradition; or, seek to create a union between self and the infinite life force found in the Hindu tradition; or, search for enlightenment and freedom from suffering through the meditative practices of Buddhism; or, participate in the smudge ceremony of our Native North American people which symbolizes the cleansing of negative energy and the healing of mind, body and spirit. These traditions and sacred rituals point us in the direction to inner peace and a way to encourage peace with each other.
Richard P. Fontanie, MSW, FCMC
The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi is one that extends to people of all faiths and walks in life.
During this season which calls out for peace, let's take a moment to reflect on his words of wisdom and inspiration.
A Prayer for Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.