Saturday, 7 April 2012

Reconciliation and Peace


This sculpture is called 'Reconciliation'. It is in the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral in England. An identical sculpture is in the peace garden of Hiroshima, Japan. It is by Josefina de Vasconcellos. 

 This is the last of my posts following Christian Aid's 'Count Your Blessings' calendar for Lent 2012. I've found it hard to keep these going as a daily Lent discipline (except on Sundays). I definitely haven't always felt like it, which I think has probably shown in some posts. I wondered if it was worth doing. The hardest part was having to forego posting about whatever I happened to feel like writing about. It seemed that every day there was writing I would have preferred to have done. I think it has been worth it, even only in reminding me of the many many ways in which I am blessed - with taken-for granted things like clean water, sanitation, food and education.


A few days ago I was sitting in a church and was completely overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to God for all such things. I received this feeling as a gift of the Holy Spirit, but I may not have been open to it without the previous weeks of daily discipline. I find that prayer is like that. On many days I just do it, whether I feel like it or not. I think of it as digging the irrigation ditch, so that when the water of the Spirit flows the channel is clear. 


Back to the Count Your Blessings calendar, which this Easter weekend appropriately focuses on peace and reconciliation. It cites the example of how Christian Aid's partner CNCA in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is organising civilian rights training. It shows a photo of Major Janvier Bulambo, one of 492 highranking Congolese soldiers to receive this training. The purpose of the training is to start the process of reconciliation between soldiers and civilians. The hope is to bring peace to that country.


For this weekend Christian Aid's calendar has this prayer:
Dear Lord,
As we give thanks for the gift of your son,
we remember that love and life
are always stronger than violence and death.
Help us to see past ourselves
that we may love as he loves
and bring your peace to the world.

Christian Aid suggests today giving thanks for all people around the world who are working for peace and reconciliation.





4 comments:

  1. I love the analogy that prayer is like, "digging the irrigation ditch, so that when the water of the Spirit flows the channel is clear." Thank you for this.

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    1. I think I first met this analogy in book I read while on a retreat a long time ago, but can't remember what book or who wrote it. Perhaps someone else will know?

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  2. I too like the idea of spiritual discipline as digging an irrigation ditch for the spirit. Daily writing practice is like that too:-)

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    1. Sorry Anita - only just caught up with your comment - and yes I understand what you mean about daily writing practice - you are amazing in the amount and the regularity of your blog writing - and be busy with many other things too.

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