Peace is your choice.

I'm for more quiet contemplation and less talk

St Francis prayer for peace
Photo by Colin Pearce. Fanny Bay Darwin.

Peace is a precious character quality which is becoming as rare as rocking horse manure. I am not referring to the fifty-four current armed conflicts in the wide world. (Here’s a fairly accurate list of them.)

Instruments of peace

I’m talking about places where people who should know most about peace are giving themselves political upheavals and ‘un-peace’; Australia, UK and USA. Thankfully the disharmony and disillusionment in these three countries closest in nature to my own, has not degenerated into armed conflict over political differences but there is distress, disgust and despair.

Peace is strong, but so is disharmony

Disharmony is disruptive. It’s time wasting and energy sapping. There is so much good to be done. Wouldn’t you like to see us bursting our boilers to outdo each other in doing good and being instruments of peace.
You’re probably aware of the prayer of St Francis but don’t you wish politicians would live it? Don’t you wish you would?

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the 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. Amen.

Where do we need peace?

    We need it in politics. We don’t need sniping and lies and resentment and carping and sarcasm from our leaders. Pot-shots and side swipes in TV interviews and talk shows are pointless. Sure they get audiences laughing or clapping but they are still pointless. They need to disagree but they need to do it with grace.

    We need it in the workplace, at school in academia and on the roads. Anyone viewing us from Mars would think we are all arrogant, self-opinionated, defensive, aggressive meat sacks full of wind. Some aren’t. Most of us – if we examine ourselves – would agree we need a personality adjustment.

    We need it at home. It’s time we all learned that the hardest thing to give is ‘in’, but to do more of it, nevertheless.

Another thought on peace

Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471) popped up in my morning reading with this. It’s worth reading over and over in hope it will remain with you.

Keep yourself in peace, and then may you pacify others.
A peaceable person does more good than a learned one.
A passionate person however turns good into evil, and easily believes in the worst.
A peaceable person turns all things into good.
They that are in peace are not suspicious of any; but they that are discontented, are not quiet themselves, nor suffer others to be quiet.

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14 thoughts on “Peace is your choice.

  1. Another well written and meaningful blog Colin. I am aware of these prayers – haven’t thought about them for a while.
    Your are correct the disharmony of disgust, despair and distress is abundant. We are filled with “twitter news opinions from experts and Elites” that provide no reason or substance for changes taking place or being forced on us – legally and by media pressure – to reduce, denigrate and even remove debate over personal opinions and “truths”. So as to continue the Elite agenda of rampant social changes for which the reasons are shallow and consequences ignored.
    LOVE is misused to the point where I read a poster that said “Love is Love”. Not only is it shallow – it is ridiculous and meaningless. Love is not a feeling – it is an ACTION. The very basis of our humanity,
    LOVE is a decision – a choice we make as there are all types of love – man and woman friends, married man and woman, father and child, mother and child, friend and friend etc.
    All explained so well in your “Character Works”.
    Yes “make me an Instrument of your Peace” for that is the sure and certain way back from distress, disgust and despair.
    As the level of confusion and division rises – the breaking point becomes closer.
    God Bless our country and its people – let us pray enough so that He hears and listens. It is however our personal choice (decision) to read your words, meditate on them and action them.

  2. An extremely insightful article Col and very timely. In my lifetime, I can’t recall a period when the word “uncertainty” is appearing in so many settings – especially in the Editorials of major news mediums!
    Well done…

    • I agree, Graham. Mind you there weren’t so many editorials or media commentaries where ‘uncertainty’ could occur when you and the Disciples were huddled in the Upper Room, or when you were hiding from The Grand Inquisitor when he was out looking for heretics, or when Napoleon was on the march, or … But I agree nevertheless. People are looking for hope in all the wrong places and clutching at any old straw that blows along the airwave.

  3. Wonderful Prayer and wonderful article Colin.
    How hard is it to start off with a simple “Hello” to one another and
    a simple “Smile” and say to one another who we meet “Have a lovely day”?
    We are not to judge a book by its cover. We leave all of that to our Creator.
    “Hatred” So much wasted energy in the world and in our own back yards.
    I experienced a small innocent incident in a local cafe about 5 months ago and the 2 persons involved would not wish to serve me. They made me wait at the counter for at least a half an hour before the Kind Owners realised this and they were serving me until about a month ago, where one of the employees began to start serving me again. So much “hatred” these 2 individuals had for me, regarding a very small incident, and it took 5 months for one of the employees to start serving me again. The other individual still holds “hatred” and does not even bother to say “hello” or wish to serve me to this day still. I have prayed day and night along with my other prayers to help these 2 individuals that the trend of “hatred” for such a small incident is not what God wants from us. The incident should have ended at the most 24 hours after it occurred and hence “smiles and hellos and can i help you please” should have begun immediately after the incident was resolved. “WHAT A WASTE OF ENRGY AND TIME” The “Oppositions tail” is sticking it in situations all around the world, because he knows that his time is soon to come to and “END”.
    Yours in Christ Colin,
    Angelo K

    • There is only guessing what it is that puts people off us. I have one or two (hundred??) people who don’t like me either. Me! Imagine that! Mrs Pearce’s little golden child all grown up and still regarded as a big fat gumby. Here’s another quote from St Thomas a Kempis which I offer you, not as a judgement but a reminder to us both: We should not trust too much in ourselves, because we have often neither Grace nor understanding.
      There is but a little light in us, and that we quickly lose by negligence.
      We reprehend small things in others and pass over greater in ourselves.
      We quickly feel anyway what we suffer from others, but we mind not what others suffer from us.
      He that does well and rightly considers his own work, will find little cause to judge hardly of another.

  4. Dear Colin,
    Thanks for your latest article. I am a member of the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin and our current project is the bring a World Peace Bell to the Canberra Nara Peace Park. This Bell will be able to be rung and allow people to express their desire for Peace. It will allow a place for commemoration of significant events from people of all nations. Here is a link to our current test web site : staging2.canberrapeacebell.org . Take a look at the site and let me have your comments. We will launch the site publicly soon, if you are agreeable you might like to talk about the site on one of your blogs once we launch the site. We already have the Peace Bell in Canberra, have had the plans for the Pavilion approved by the National Capital Authority and are now seeking a builder to build it. I will let you know how we get on. We may or may not have to seek funding for the actual Pavilion. We will be seeking donations for ongoing Rotary Peace Projects like the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Peace Scholarships, Shelter Box Australia and to help finally rid the World of Polio (Only two countries reported cases last year). My best email is michaelprabey@bigpond.com if you wish to respond. I heard you speak at an LJ Hooker conference on the Gold Coast. Now that was a long time ago!! Keep up your good work. Cheers
    Michael Rabey 0411367700

    • I seem to have missed your comment Michael and I apologise for the oversight. That’s a wonderful project you are on. For 40 years or so I have loved the story of Jonas Salk and his amazing work in finding a preventative for polio. You and the Rotarians can be justifiably puffy-chested about your work. I probably won’t get a chance to mention the project but I certainly wish you all the best with the World Peace Bell.

  5. Thanks Colin
    This is a very important message of all of us at this time. Particularly in times of transition we need to focus on the positive opportunities and work to make them realities.

    • Thanks for the affirmation, Mike. If you were not sure of your purpose and destination, the world’s people could give you the right ‘irrits’ couldn’t they?