Celebrate the International Day of Peace

Pope FrancisI invite you to celebrate the International Day of Peace with me today, September 21, 2015. The UN has dedicated the 2015 International Day of Peace to “Partnerships for Peace — Dignity for All.” In conjunction with Pope Francis‘ visit to the United States to speak with President Obama tomorrow, deliver a climate message to a joint session of congress on Thursday and visit the United Nations on Friday, this is truly a day to celebrate.

The Pope’s Encyclical Laudato Si calls for action on climate change. Aware of the suffering caused by climate change, Naomi Klein thinks that climate change is a symptom of an even bigger problem: global capitalism. She said in an interview with Tricycle Magazine,

I don’t see the climate crisis as being separable from economic and racial justice. We are now collectively dealing with the impacts of an industrial model that always had sacrificial places and sacrificial people.

She is referring to the impoverished people who are most affected by climate change. I won’t go into this here, but there are many fine articles about who has the most to loose with climate change.

On a more positive note, the Pope wrote,

“We recognize that we are but a minuscule part of the divine order, yet within that order, we are exceptionally powerful beings, and have the responsibility to establish good and avert evil in every way we can. We also recognize that –
We are but one of the multitude of living beings with whom we share the Earth;
We have no right to oppress the rest of creation or cause it harm;
Intelligence and conscience behoove us, as our faith commands, to treat all things with care and awe of their Creator, compassion and utmost good.”

In this statement, Pope Francis is recognizing the insight of interbeing – the interconnectedness of all things. We must make every effort to see our neighbor as our self – to see that all sentient beings want happiness and avoid suffering.

To celebrate today, plan to do one or more kind actions for a stranger. For example, let someone into your lane of traffic when you ordinarily would rush ahead. Or visit a stranger in the hospital or call an ailing relative. What will you do to celebrate the International Day of Peace?

Peace in yourself! Peace in the World! Please join me.


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