Thursday, January 13, 2005

Three Ways to Increase The Peace

There was and is a lot of discussion about the moral validity of current involvement in Iraq. I don't really want to get into that here.

Instead I wanted to offer some practical ideas for increasing the peace. Since none of the readers or the authors of this blog will be asked to serve as ambassadors of the U.S., I say, we embrace our role as ambassadors of Christ. Through sacrifice, prayer, and active apostolates, we can act in the name of the only person who can bring anything like real Peace to our world. Here are the ideas:

Prayer Request
I received this via email this a.m. Tuck it in wherever you can. It is an urgent request. (I did edit it for length; you'll get the gist.)

"As a transportation battalion, my unit will be delivering the voting machines and the ballots to villages and cities throughout Iraq during the upcoming elections (January 30/31). Our convoys are prime targets for the insurgents because they do not want the equipment to arrive at the polling stations nor do they want the local Iraqi citizens to have the chance to vote; timely delivery must occur so that the elections occur. Encourage your friends and family members and those within our churches to pray specifically for the electoral process. Historically, the previous totalitarian regime would not allow individual citizens to vote. Democracy will not be realized in Iraq if intelligent and competent officials are not elected to those strategic leadership positions within the emerging government."
Also, please don't forget to pray for the insurgents and the agents of violence as you are praying for the transporation battalion. It is a concrete way for us to love our enemies and those who persecute us.

Send them your pencils
(via OSV, "How you can bring a measure of peace to the victims of war," December 26, 2004, pg. 2)
"A U.S. military chaplain in Iraq has requested donations of clothing for wounded U.S. soldiers as well as school and medical supplies for Iraqi citizens....injured troops often arrive at the U.S. military hospital in Baghdad with only the clothes they are wearing and must leave behind their personal belongings when transferred to European or American hospitals. Offering these brave men and women a change of clothing boosts morale and shows the love and support of the people back home whom they serve."
I assume what is requested here is new clothing or old clothing in VERY GOOD CONDITION (i.e. clean with no damage or stains). I would guess that most of these military folks are in good shape and therefore large size clothing would be sufficient.

"[The chaplain] is also collecting supplies for six Iraqi schools that educate more than 1,700 children and for area clinics that provide health care to tens of thousands of Iraqis....Supplies can be sent to Lt.Col. Robert Cannon, JASG-C/ Chaplain, APO, AE 09316; his email address is"
I would advise contacting the chaplain for a specific list of things needed. Just for the record, I will be using these two needs as a specific project for my three parishes during the season of Lent. Ooohh, crafty priest...

Heal the Sick
(via the same OSV article as above)
"Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops continue to wage war on terror, a 4-year-old child named Zia Urrahman has gained the sympathy and support of U.S. soldiers who hope to fly the boy to the United States for urgent medical treatment. Zia suffered third-degree burns to his back, right arm, and left elbow last summer when a propane tank used for the family stove exploded. The blast killed two of Zia's siblings, two cousins and two uncles, and caused lesser burns to another brother...."
Members of the 113th battalion have managed to secure medical treatment in the U.S. for the child but they need bucks to transport the child to the U.S. with his family. They are in need of $6,000 to cover travel costs and expenses related to medical travel visas. The course of treatment will take about 6 to 8 weeks.
"To help, send checks marked 'For Afghan Child' to Northeast Indiana Burn Council, Box 11414, Fort Wayne, IN 46858-1414 or phone (260)425-3575."

I would like to conclude this post with the concluding paragraph from this article written by Gerald Korson, editor of OSV: "Small acts of charity such as these won't bring peace to the earth, but they may bring a glimmer of peace, hope, and love to needy individuals who benefit most for our gift." This is in line with the words of our Lord as recorded in St. Matthew's Gospel: "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him"(Matthew 6:1-8).

No comments: