Fr. Mark Carr, Executive Director of my “happy place” (the Jesuit Retreat House in OshKosh), wrote this reflection for the retreat house’s “Monday Moment” weekly reflections. Since I only recently learned about the Peace Light, I thought I’d share his reflection:
Two weeks ago, on behalf of the Jesuit Retreat House, I received the Peace Light, a continuous flame originating in the grotto of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. For almost 40 years, this flame has been shared around the world each December to remind people of Christ’s message of love, peace, friendship, and the deeper meaning of Christmas. It is symbolic of the Light of Christ, promotes peace, harmony, and unity among all people of the world from every race, ethnicity, and creed.
The small ceremony at which I received the Peace Light integrated a line from the Prophet Isaiah and referenced the Gospel of John. It also included the words below. They are words worth reading to our hearts, especially as we approach the celebration of the Incarnation of the Light of the World and Prince of Peace.
This flame is a symbol of peace and friendship. Your faith does not have to be like mine and my faith does not have to be like yours, but the Peace Light reminds us that each of us is free to light our own flame and that we can live and work together in harmony and teach others to do the same. It reminds us that even though there is still much darkness in the world, you and I can overcome that darkness to create a peaceful community.
In the coming Christmas season, let us carry within our hearts the peace and light of Christ!
Blessings to all during these last days of Advent.