Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Lady of Peace

When I arrived in Italy on vacation with my brothers on May 1st there had been first the information about the air strike in Libya in which the son of Khadaffi was killed and also the news about the raid on Osama Bin Laden's haven in Pakistan in which he was also killed...For this reason the most poignant image that I have brought home from Italy is this one of OUR LADY OF PEACE.  It is in the Basilica of Mary Major just one block from the world headquarters of us Redemptorist Missionaries on the Via Merulana in Rome....Killing our enemies, "taking them out" as the phrase says....will not bring peace to the world. My two brothers and I were "warned" on arriving in Rome that there was a "travel alert" for Americans travelling abroad.  The fact is that there exists the need of a "peace making and reconciliation alert" in all parts of the world.  Recently I read something that said that..."one of the gravest mistakes in today's world is the belief that idyologies can be overcome simply by killing or "eliminating those who believe in them or live by them"....Many years ago there was a group in Venezuela called "Los Guaraguao".  They sang of injustices in both Venezuela where the poor lived in "Casas de Cartón (Cardboard Shacks).  One of their most popular songs was..SI SE CALLAN EL CANTOR  (If the Singer is Silenced).  The song dealth with the death squads that in that era as in our own kill, threaten and maim those who speak out against evil and injustice.  One of the last phrases of this song went...."If the singer is silenced...LIFE is silenced.."  One of my firmest beliefs is that in today´s world the prophetical voices are not heard or not heeded.  Leaders who are both prophetical, loving deeply humanity and are religious in the deepest and truest sense of what religious "should mean"  need to speak up.  In this way the extended arms of OUR LADY OF PEACE and of her little Jesus who also has his hand outstreched will lead us to the peace that nor political leaders nor terrorists have achieved.

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