Peace Begins with Me (and You!)

A peaceful heart create in me, O God;
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.

Psalm 51:12

Today’s date sends a chill up my spine in spite of the years which have passed. Like I do, you likely recall precise details of where you were when you realized what happened in New York City, Arlington County, Virginia and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The good to be found in all of this unfolded among us during the days that followed. Uncommon selflessness and generosity became the norm. Political differences fell to the wayside. We joined hands as one people to do everything possible to bring about healing.

I was convinced then just as I am convinced today that our world is in dire need of peace. Our sisters and brothers who were directly touched on 9/11 as well as those in war-torn countries across the earth can attest to this. Our service men and women who witness and endure suffering overseas continue to witness the same. If this isn’t enough, daily news reports of the violence we inflict upon one another underscore our need to rid our world of violence.

My mother used to remind me often that charity begins at home. She expected me to show my own family the kindness that I so willingly extended to others. Today, I remind myself that peace begins at home as well: in our world, in our country, in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our homes and, most importantly, in our hearts. Today, I remind myself to do something to infuse peace into every moment I’m given.

Loving and Merciful God, help us. Give us hearts which desire peace and hands which extend that peace to all whom we meet along the way.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved


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