Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for January 2nd, 2009

Our God is merciful and tender.
He will guide our steps
into the path of peace.

Luke 1:78-79

On Christmas eve, during the
Franco-Prussian War in 1870,
French soldiers and German
soldiers faced each other in
trenches, a short distance apart.

Suddenly, a French soldier stood
on top of the mound of dirt and
began singing “O Holy Night.”
Not a shot was fired.

When the French soldier ended,
a German soldier did the same,
singing “From Heaven to Earth
Come.” Not a soldier present that
Christmas ever forgot the event.

What lesson might that event
hold me? For our world?

Someday people will want peace
so badly that governments had
better get out of their way and let
them have it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Author: Mark Link SJ

John XXIII in the first paragraph of his encyclical Pacem in Terris (1963) wrote: “All men of every age have most eagerly yearned for peace on earth.” And yet, as we look at our world today we see situations of un-peace: wars, violence, division, injustice, oppression and exploitation, deteriorating poverty and un-love.

The list at the Global Peace Index shows the GPI rankings for the 140 countries analysed in 2008 and the 121 countries analysed in 2007, as well as year-on-year comparison. Countries most at peace are ranked first. A lower score indicates a more peaceful country. You can click on a country to see the detail of its peace indicators and drivers.

Below are the 15 most violent countries listed in descending order to the most violent, which is Iraq.

  1. Myanmar
  2. Pakistan
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  4. Nigeria
  5. Colombia
  6. Russia
  7. Lebanon
  8. North Korea
  9. Central African Republic
  10. Chad
  11. Israel
  12. Afghanistan
  13. Sudan
  14. Somalia
  15. Iraq

“We desire peace and therefore, St. Thomas adds, “we desire to obtain what we desire” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, 29, 2). Hence, all men and women of good will have to pursue and work for peace of all. For “peace is either for all or for none” (John Paull II, SRS 26).

“Do all you can to live at peace with everyone” (Rom 12:18).  “Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors. This will prove that we are sons and daughters of our heavenly Father” (Mt 5:44-45), do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who persecute you, love your enemies, rejoice with those who are joyful, weep with those who weep, live in peace with one another and conquer evil with good (see Rm 12:14-16, 21). Gandhi’s reminder is still relevant and urgent today: “A tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye makes the world toothless and blind.” Let us promote peace for all nonviolently and peacefully.

Prayer For Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

[Book of Common Prayer, p. 815]

1. We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion, and, as we condemn every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or of religion, we commit ourselves to doing everything possible to eliminate the root causes of terrorism.

2. We commit ourselves to educating people to mutual respect and esteem, in order to help bring about a peaceful and fraternal coexistence between people of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions.

3. We commit ourselves to fostering the culture of dialogue, so that there will be an increase of understanding and mutual trust between individuals and among peoples, for these are the premise of authentic peace.

4. We commit ourselves to defending the right of everyone to live a decent life in accordance with their own cultural identity, and to form freely a family of his own.

5. We commit ourselves to frank and patient dialogue, refusing to consider our differences as an insurmountable barrier, but recognizing instead that to encounter the diversity of others can become an opportunity for greater reciprocal understanding.

6. We commit ourselves to forgiving one another for past and present errors and prejudices, and to supporting one another in a common effort both to overcome selfishness and arrogance, hatred and violence, and to learn from the past that peace without justice is no true peace.

7. We commit ourselves to taking the side of the poor and the helpless, to speaking out for those who have no voice and to working effectively to change these situations, out of the convinction that no one can be happy alone.

8. We commit ourselves to taking up the cry of those who refuse to be resigned to violence and evil, and we are desire to make every effort possible to offer the men and women of our time real hope for justice and peace.

9. We commit ourselves to encouraging all efforts to promote friendship between peoples, for we are convinced that, in the absence of solidarity and understanding between peoples, technological progress exposes the world to a growing risk of destruction and death.

10. We commit ourselves to urging leaders of nations to make every effort to create and consolidate, on the national and international levels, a world of solidarity and peace based on justice.

Source:  A Day of Prayer for Peace in the world that took place in Assisi.

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More than 10,000 Buddhist monks gather near Lopburi in Thailand to pray for peace.


“May He banish from the hearts of all men and women whatever might endanger peace.

May He transform them into witnesses of truth, justice and love.

May He enkindle the rulers of peoples so that in addition to their solicitude for the proper welfare of their citizens, they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace.

May He enkindle the wills of all so that they may overcome the barriers that divide, cherish the bonds of mutual charity, understand others, and pardon those who have done them wrong.

May all peoples of the earth become as brothers and sisters, and may the most longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always among men and women.”

Source: Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII, 4/11/63

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past-have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing- don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

Author: Unknown

Chances are, at some time in your life, you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution — and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change, but then not following through. If your resolution is to take better care of yourself and get your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) under control, you’ll have a much better year if your resolution sticks. Here are 10 tips to help get you started.

  1. Be realistic
    The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to never eat your favorite food again because it bothers your IBD could be a bad choice. Strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.
  2. Plan ahead
    Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.
  3. Outline your plan
    Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have one more cigarette. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your bad habit affects your IBD.
  4. Make a “pro” and “con” list
    It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
  5. Talk about it
    Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best case scenario is to find yourself a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.
  6. Reward yourself
    This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution. If you’ve been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, perhaps your reward could be going to a movie with a friend.
  7. Track your progress
    Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, say, focus on losing that first 5. Keeping a food diary or a symptom journal may help you stay on track.
  8. Don’t beat yourself up
    Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take each day one at a time.
  9. Stick to it
    Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. Your new healthful habits will become second-nature in no time.
  10. Keep trying
    If your resolution has totally run out of steam by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! There’s no reason you can’t make a “New Year’s resolution” any time of year.

By Amber J. Tresca, About.com
Updated: December 7, 2008

If you are intrested to know some of the golden “resolutions” in life, just click: New Resolutions

  • 63% of people say they are keeping their resolutions after two months
  • 67% of people make three or more resolutions
  • Top four resolutions:
    1. Increase exercise
    2. Be more conscientious about work or school
    3. Develop better eating habits
    4. Stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs (including caffeine)
  • People make more resolutions to start a new habit than to break an old one.

Source:

Schwarz, Joel. How to keep up with those New Year’s resolutions, researchers find commitment is the secret of success. University of Washington. 23 December 1997. December 20 2007.

Related Article: New Year’s Resolution: Four tips for writing your personal commandments.


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