Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Prince of Peace Still Reigns



As he watched the snow fall gently to the earth covering all in it's blanket of white his thoughts were about the people he was reading about that had a profound affect on the world and it's surroundings.  He lived through the turbulent times of the last half of the twentieth century and it seemed that those who took the roads of violence and pain slipped into the past to be examined by historians but those who remained were those who chose peace, love forgiveness and healing were the only ones who remained in the hearts and actions of those who live.


The Catholic Church certainly did not distinguish itself and was beset by scandals about pedophilia and those who tried to cover it up. Yet the one who had the most profound affect on the Church by "Opening Up The Windows" and letting out the old ways and letting in the new is Pope John XXIII. A common man who never forgot his roots which were with the people. He used to sneak out of the Vatican to visit prisoners. He laughed. He prayed. He wanted social justice. Pope Francis, the current Pope, comes from the poorer sections of the world and just goes about his business of loving people not judging them. If it is true he spent some time as a bouncer than it could very well explain his understanding of what drives certain people most of whom live outside the confines of those that live within the walls of the church. These Popes wanted reconciliation through love and understanding nothing that would be forced on anyone.


Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi
en.wikipedia.org
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader and freedom fighter of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma —applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa,—is now used worldwide. He is also called Bapu in India.
  • en.wikipedia.org · Text under CC-BY-SA license




Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
en.wikipedia.org
  • Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
  • en.wikipedia.org · Text under CC-BY-SA license


These two guys accomplished the impossible through peaceful means and they are giants of our civilization. Mandela after being imprisoned for 27 years never held the bitter pangs of revenge instead he forgave, he spread love and even invited his former prison guards to sit on a place of honor at the inauguration of his Presidency.


He thought that even though these men were religious leaders, leaders for social justice and freedom another person has shown what grace and forgiveness means to a successful life.  Joe Torre grew up in Brooklyn. His father was an abusive man who mistreated his mother. The family had tough times until the children grew to be men and stop the abuse. Joe Torre and his brother Frank became major league ballplayers with good but not hall of fame careers. Joe Torre went on to become a manager with his most successful tenure with the New York Yankees. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by acclamation.  Some say he was the most important manager of the New York Yankees ever. The most repeated slogan from those who played for him, wrote about him, all said it was the grace in which he treated everyone that was his biggest asset. He treated all with respect even those he had strong disagreements with. He brought a feeling of trust and a form of peace that calmed athletes that were always hyped up by their competitive nature and he had respect for all even those on the opposing teams. He has established The Safe At Home Foundation which offers assistance for abused women. He remembers his upbringing and has not forgotten those who still experience abuse.

The snow was letting up a bit. He couldn't help but experience a feeling of peace as he viewed the beauty of the newly fallen snow. He also couldn't help but feel so thankful that those who understood the sermon on the mount, perhaps never even knowing about it, have lived it to its powerful conclusion. Greatness lives in the era of peace and love eternally, while hate and violence eventually dissipates.

  


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