What can you do to promote peace?

Published 9:17 am Monday, May 23, 2016

Early in March, we were given the news of an ISIS attack on a small nursing home facility in Aden, Yemen. Four Catholic Missionary of Charity sisters, along with 12 residents in their care, were brutally murdered by ISIS terrorists. The chapel where the sisters prayed and went to daily Mass was desecrated and destroyed. The priest who served as chaplain was kidnapped and taken away. His fate has yet to be determined for sure.

In parts of Syria, Iraq and Africa, thousands of Christians are being enslaved, tortured, raped, driven from their homes and brutally murdered. They have witnessed the destruction of their homes, churches and all that they hold sacred. Recently, after much political foot dragging, the United Nations and the State Department has declared what is happening to Christians in these regions to be a genocide.

This is but a small sample of the evil atrocities that continue to afflict innocent people around the world and should help all of us keep things in perspective. Why are we so often overcome by anger, incessant complaining and holding on to grudges? Why do we find it so difficult to love God and neighbor even though we are blessed beyond measure? I read a story recently where a dying Iraqi child asked her mother to forgive the terrorists who tortured her. This young Christian child taught me a lot about what it actually means to follow Jesus.

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Mother Teresa, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1947, was fond of saying, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” So simple and yet so profound. We can learn a lot from her wisdom. Mother Teresa will be officially canonized a saint on Sept. 4.


Scott Bute