Let Peace Begin with Us

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

While visiting my sister who lives at a senior village in Chicago, I attended the lighting of the 8th candle on the Menorah. We were invited by 94-year-old Minnie as she worked out on the treadmill, when we also were in the exercise room.

The service was lovely. Accompanied by a flute, we sang “O driedal, O driedal,” and prayed “to the glory of God who could smite enemies and comfort the afflicted.” (This, from a number of Psalms.)

What faith and hope guided these good women as the local paper headlines screamed out, “Both parties refuse to reconcile at the last Parliament session in Jerusalem.”

Belief in the light of Christ as we “Ooooo and Ahhhhh” at such beauty as the setting sun – today a stunning light show of reds, purples, pinks, roses and mauves on our way to Vespers – fills us with hope. The Creator hovers over us like a mother, caring tenderly for her creatures. Yet how shall we view the angry, vengeful and violent howling western winds that whistle across our hills?

Let us consider our relationship with God and the people we live with, see on the street, work with. Let us ask, as we enter 2012, do we exhibit the warm and loving care modeled by Christ, or the hostile and violent blast of these howling western winds? Do we model the faith and hope of the Jewish women, or the refusal to reconcile by political parties? Let Peace begin with us.

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