by Sister Jean Schwieters
Peace is a word tossed around quite a bit today. What, exactly, do we have in mind when we mention it? In our everyday lives it is often thought of as an absence of conflict or a state of serenity and calm. But, such definitions do not get at the heart of what Peace is. Such definitions ignore the strength and integrity it takes to live in peace and harmony with others, or even with oneself for that matter. To dedicate oneself to a life of enduring relationships involves discipline, courage and a willingness to risk. In our world today power is obtained or maintained most often through violence and hostility. And that’s where we seek the wisdom of Francis of Assisi as our mentor. He saw Peace as integral to any sense of wholeness or completeness; the necessary “piece” in life’s puzzle. He refused to wedge his vision in on others when it didn’t fit or to eliminate, figuratively speaking, those who disagreed with him. Instead he actively went out of his way to make room for others’ views and refused to go to battle on any scale, personal or otherwise, when differences arose. Respect for the other was always a “must” in his approach to conflict. If power was to be gained it was, likewise, to be shared. To everyone he met –friend or foe- his greeting was the same. “The Lord give you PEACE!”
Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.