We live in anxious times.
Christmas is traditionally a season of peace, when even hardened warriors have been known to lay down their arms in honor of the day’s solemnity and celebrate the oneness of humanity with a temporary truce.
Yet these are truly anxious times. We are beseiged from all sides by calls to war in rhetoric that suggests how readily we forget the lessons of the past. It is a call that brings to mind the late author Tony Hillerman’s description of war as young men killing one another for the entertainment of their elders. How quick we are to send other folks’ sons and daughters to war!
Thankfully, we have the words of men and women of wisdom throughout the ages to remind us that war only begets more war, that the one who lives by the sword also dies by the sword. And in that spirit, the spirit of peace, the spirit of the season, I offer the following messages of hope:
Let There Be Peace on Earth
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
-Jesus of Nazareth
They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; naion shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
When, as individuals, we disarm ourselves internally–through countering our negative thoughts and emotions and cultivating positive qualities–we create the conditions for external disarmament. Indeed, genuine, lasting peace will only be possible as a result of each of us making an effort internally.
-the Dalai Lama
War is the suicide of humanity. It kills the heart and it kills love.
Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being . . . We must be the change we wish to see.
If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.
Peace be with you.
-Jesus of Nazareth