One of my favorite quotes comes from Mother Teresa when she said, "I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."
This is wonderful visual for the power of our thoughts. What we focus on, we will manifest. Therefore it is very important that we don’t put all our energies on what we don’t want; rather, we should direct those energies to the things we do want.
This includes prayer. How do we pray? Do we pray for what we don’t want? Do we pray against someone or something or pray for ill-will to happen to someone? We also need to be careful how we pray because what we put out there, we will receive in kind. Some people may call it ‘karma.’ Karma is sometimes associated with reincarnation, but it can also mean receiving the consequences of your actions. Because of this, I’ve learned to be very careful of the energies/prayers that I send to another person or group of people.
Our world is seeing a lot of chaos right now (at least turmoil is the media’s main focus), and it’s very easy to go into a state of fear. I know I do, particularly with what is occurring in politics and religion. Not too long ago, I was steeped in so much fear that I was almost paralyzed in that fear. I was talking to Spirit about it and these are the words I heard returned: “It’s okay, Karen. Don’t worry about it. I have everything under control.” Oh. Okay. Since then, I’ve tried to release that fear and leave it up to Spirit. I can only do what I can do.
Therefore, in light of the direction we send our prayers/energies, I wrote what I call The Collective Consciousness Prayer: “I pray for our President, not against him. I pray for our government, not against it. I pray for our Congress, not against them. I pray for our people, not against them. I pray for all people in the world, not against them. I pray for and with all religions, not against them. I pray for our nation, not against it. I pray for other nations, not against them. I pray for our world, not against it. I pray for love, compassion, and kindness. I pray for harmony and peace. I pray for oneness that we can all come together as one race...the human race.”
It is only when we can pray for someone or something that we can feel at peace. Thich Nhat Hanh said, "If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace."
As Black Elk said, “The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.”
We cannot wait for peace. As individuals, we need to find peace within ourselves. As we become and feel more at peace, only then can we help bring peace to those around us, to our nation, and to our world. We need to watch the words we speak and the actions we take because they are a direct reflection of who we are as human beings, individually, and as a whole.
Then there’s one of the greatest
prayers by Saint Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me an instrument of your
peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow
love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is
darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be
loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that
we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
Peace be with you.
(Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper October 5, 2012.)