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Spiritually Speaking: Arm yourselves…with love and mercy

Written by By Sister Mary Thill. Posted in January

No human being should suffer what we suffered.

—­Satsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima survivor

To all those who make unjust use of the weapons of this world, I make this appeal: lay down these instruments of death! Arm yourselves instead with righteousness, with love and mercy, the authentic guarantors of peace.

—Pope Francis

 

I hope we’ve made it to 2018 as I write this just 11 days into the month of December, 2017. You know from some of my previous articles that hope is my mantra, so I’m just building on that hope as a new year begins. I recently rejoiced when I read that ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) won the Nobel Peace Prize. I thought, now that’s a step in the right direction as we continue our spiritual journey and pursue healthy living in mind, body, and spirit. If we destroy the world in which we now live, we will not need to be concerned about our health because we will be living in an ice age of sorts. Let’s not go there.

Christians who have just celebrated Christmas, Jews who have recently celebrated Hanukkah, and our Muslim brother and sisters are believers in a God who created this world and everything in it. They believe in a loving God who wants us, commands us, to love God and one another as much as we love ourselves. I guess that’s the key here. How much do I love myself? How do I show that love? It’s easy to love God I think. God is always there for me if I only look hard enough, especially in the difficult times. The challenge seems to be in the loving of my neighbor and even in loving myself. You have heard, I’m sure, the saying that, “We are our own worst enemy.” We are very hard on ourselves sometimes, and I think that rubs off on our neighbors. How do we remedy this so it doesn’t end up in domestic violence, gang shootings, acts of war, etc.?

Satsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the bombing in Hiroshima, Japan in WW II, now works with ICAN so others will not suffer as she and her people suffered after such a horrific tragedy. In November of 2015, Pope Francis appealed, “To all those who make unjust use of the weapons of this world, … to lay down these instruments of death and arm yourselves instead with righteousness, with love and mercy, the authentic guarantors of peace.” In his encyclical, Laudato Si, he reminded us that “We have the freedom, the intelligence and the capacity to guide technology, to limit our power, in the service of peace and true progress.”

I think Pope Francis and Satsuko Thurlow show us the way to love ourselves and one another. They bravely speak truth to power and work to bring about a better world for ourselves and our children and for future generations. There is so much that we can do if we but use our freedom and intelligence in a world in need of love and mercy and peace! Blessings for the New Year! ❦