Today we celebrate the World Day of Peace. The theme of Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Day of Peace is Overcome Indifference and win Peace.
In his message (which you can read in its entirety here), Pope Francis wrote
There are many good reasons to believe in mankind’s capacity to act together in solidarity and, on the basis of our interconnection and interdependence, to demonstrate concern for the more vulnerable of our brothers and sisters and for the protection of the common good. This attitude of mutual responsibility is rooted in our fundamental vocation to fraternity and a life in common. Personal dignity and interpersonal relationships are what constitute us as human beings whom God willed to create in his own image and likeness. As creatures endowed with inalienable dignity, we are related to all our brothers and sisters, for whom we are responsible and with whom we act in solidarity. Lacking this relationship, we would be less human. We see, then, how indifference represents a menace to the human family. As we approach a new year, I would ask everyone to take stock of this reality, in order to overcome indifference and to win peace.
What will you do to help overcome indifference as we begin this new year?
“. . . whom God willed to create in his own image and likeness. As creatures endowed with inalienable dignity, we are related to all our brothers and sisters, for whom we are responsible and with whom we act in solidarity.”
A statement could possibly be made that the majority of people who believe in a ‘Divine’ spirit or being profess, in “solidarity” with their brothers and sisters, that there is only One God.
“Lacking this relationship, we would be less human.”
How mightily we struggle to live out in ‘Truth’ our “mutual responsibility” – our obedience to the ‘Truths” taught of the One God – by religious leaders. A “. . . mutual responsibility (that) is rooted in our fundamental vocation to fraternity and a life in common.”
At Mass on Monday father mentioned that during the 400 plus years, since the last great Old Testament prophet (I believe it is, Malachi, if we do not include John the Baptist) that God had done all He could to help bring about His Kingdom and that mankind had not responded. Accordingly, to give example and encourage mankind to contribute more fully He sent His Son – One can almost sense God’s disappointment during the 400 plus years after Malachi and God’s action taken with the Birth of Jesus. Imagine His emotions and disappointment during the past 2,000 years. . .
Why is the ‘Name of God’ so often evoked by faith leaders in public pronouncements as solution, often the only solution, to “overcome indifference” (in most of its forms) when the same faith leaders, while presiding over Sacred Liturgy, clarifying doctrine and teachings and directing their pastoral shepherds, themselves pray for and request of their followers prayers and evangelism to convert ‘non-believers’ to their ‘One True Faith’ and their ‘One True Path of Salvation?
Concerning faith, I know of no one that ‘runs their mouth’ as unceasingly and as arrogantly as I, though once again. . .
How could anyone be in the presence of one so beloved and respected as Rabbi Cohen, look him in the eyes and suggest he needs to convert to Catholicism to ensure his salvation?
On numerous occasions, I have sat and discussed faith with Muslim elders, faith leaders and Waleed (newborn child), a young man studying to be a Muslim Scholar. One afternoon Waleed expressed, “I would become a Christian today if I knew the teachings of Jesus had not been altered in translation.” “Don’t you dare!” I exclaimed. “You were introduced to God through your faith, you’re willing to devote your life to your faith. Would it not be better to become the best Muslim Scholar you can possibly be and promote the acceptance of all faiths as we are discussing and professing here today?”
This past Wednesday morning, during an exchange Christmas gifts with Father Antoniy my Russian Orthodox friend, and while discussing the schism between east and west and the Reformation, he challenged my relationship with ‘The Church’. . .
On numerous occasions during the design process for their renovation and expansion it has been said of me, “where did she come from?” He and his congregation have commented that I am a blessing sent by God. Are we all not blessings from God? He mentioned our relationship with God can be likened to the cross – the cross beam is our relationship with our earthly brothers and sisters, and the vertical post is our relationship with God.
He complimented me on my ability to connect on a personal and spiritual level and inspire most everyone I encounter. Then he proceeded to question my continual outspoken disagreement with the ‘Church’ on faith’s teachings and truths. “Do you believe salvation is possible outside the Church?”
At that moment, I felt the spiritual hearts and eyes of an indescribable many awaiting my reply. I had a flash-back moment to fourth grade, Sister Eileen’s class and my being the new outsider who proclaimed to her question, “My relationship with God is before Scripture.” – Imagine the discussion that followed. . .
From a Christian perspective, In all my arrogance I answered father, “Most likely it is not possible and I may truly be delusional, though I believe Perpetua introduced me to faith and the church, in her home ‘Church’ of (Carthage) Truburbo Minus (Tebourba); her faith that is before Nicaea, before the Councils of Trent, before most of what separates one from the other in ‘Faith’ today.” The Church where the Eucharistic sacrifice proclaimed much more than a memorial and model – where Cyprian expressed, each are called by and to Christ as a single grain offered to be combined into One Body with Christ.
I also believe Professor Mark Osler is correct. Can any single faith claim ownership of the Two Great Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes – His suggestion of combining the three is possibly one of the finest distillations of Creeds?
“The theme of Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Day of Peace is Overcome Indifference and win Peace.”
It has been 2,000 years since the birth of ‘The Child’ we have recently, or will soon, celebrate. If overcoming indifference is necessary to win peace, will another 2,000 years see progress on overcoming our indifferences which continue to proclaim, ‘our faith is the One True Faith and the Only assured path to salvation – salvation that Jesus proclaimed is attained within The Church.’
At life’s end and with my long litany of controversial comments and questions, it well may take days for my ‘final judgment’ to be concluded and a verdict proclaimed – though I pray I will always embrace, reference, nurture and share the love, acceptance and encouragement offered me by Perpetua and all of the members of her (my) faith home – ‘Home’, the early ‘Church’ when She was more ‘One’ than the often professed ‘One Church’ that through ‘indifference’ continues to separate and divide brothers from sisters, one from the other.
Until we come together in ‘Truths’ sincerity and begin to reconcile our ‘differences’ can ‘indifference’ be overcome? God is most patient, how much longer will we have Him wait? . . .