Friday, November 30, 2018


Hi There !

"May she/he rest in peace."

I've offered that final funeral prayer

just south of twelve hundred times

over the past fifty years.

Rather regularly it causes me

to wonder if we have to wait

 'til grave or urn to

 "rest in peace."

Reading history, checking the news,

counseling all types and strips of us,

looking in the mirror,

hearing countless confessions,

people watching,

supermarket to symphony,

causes me to wonder,

indeed to worry, about that.

So many say they want peace.

Some devoutly pray for it.

Some work hard

 "to get along" with everyone.

Some kill for it.

Since I was born in 1940,

how many wars, deaths,

how much devastation

and destruction,

life wounds, resources

and finance used up

have there been

"killing for peace,"

and where is that peace?

So many say they want peace.

Some drink and drug for it.

Some work for 

social justice and accord

hoping for it.

Some "shop 'til they drop "

trying to buy it.

Some see shrinks.

Some binge.

Some are dedicated to 

Yoga, Tai Chi,

 mindfulness sessions.

Some vigorously vacation and party.

Some have affairs.

Some hike and run.

Some worship at the altar of

non-stop sports and entertainment

trying to numb their way to it.

Some go to religious services seeking it.

Some drown their consciousness

with surround sound.

Some explore 

various spiritualities seeking it.

Some look to philosophy, 

psychology, the arts for it.

Some do porn.

Some go on retreats searching for it.

So many seek peace so many ways.

When we don't find peace 

we get grumpy, moody, 

depressed, agitated, angry.

Some politicians and media moguls 

parley that, driving wedges

in our hearts and between us.

Hate groups, hate media, terrorists,

young males with guns, 

devastate and destroy.

Nations spend

 "the kids lunch money,"

and way so much more, 

incessantly arming

"for peace."

Lovers leave.

Families fray.

Trivia, factual manipulation,

gossip pollute 

airways and awareness.

Corporations leave 

The Common Good in the dust.

     "Peace, peace,
         but there is
          no peace."

     ( Jeremiah 6:14 )

Sadly so.

Yet, happily there is peace.

Lots of it.

We all have some combination of

grandparents, Soul Friends, 

coworkers, acquaintances, congregants,

who are genuinely peace people,

ones who settle us 

and their surroundings

with their for real peacefulness.

I fondly and gratefully remember

the steadiness, calm, centeredness

of old Father John

back in my seminary days.

Just being in his presence

was settling and "whole-ly."

With him things were 

of a piece, 

a peace.

A few years ago 

a deranged young man

terrorized a little Amish school

in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

He shot and killed 

five, sweet little girls,

and inflicted permanent trauma

upon the other children 

and the families.

In response, the Amish elders

immediately went to care 

for the wife and children

of that deranged, young man.

That's peace,

    "A peace that passes
        all understanding."
   ( at least for most so far )

         ( Philippians 4:7 )

I recently met a zippy, 

zesty young couple

in their twenties who are doing

wilderness therapy with troubled

and addicted teens,

helping them free up

and experience 

a balanced peacefulness.

When we get right down to it,

better, when we're up for it,

just what is peace?

Does it come to us in positive

or negative ways,

is it a doing or a not doing?

It seems the saints, 

the ones who are "whole,"

find that peace is 

the result of things being as

they really are at their core - 

genuine, alive, loving, 

creative, restorative, real.

It took Augustine half his life

to find that peace,

to let himself accept peace.

He finally experienced that

and expressed it:

" Peace is the tranquility of order."

Now, that's worth a lot of 

good long looks

and frequent revisits.

There is a calm, a freeing, a harmony

when things are in right arrangement,

are ordered and settled 

in their basic realness.

Paul VI said that'

  "If you want peace
   work for justice."

In other words, get things

  (Latin for "right")

  among you and within you.

Francis of Assisi prayed 

for peace in words,

but much more in his living:




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.

 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.

Now, that's an action plan,

a peace plan.

It's down right, 

actually up right, 


    "Blessed are

     the peacemakers,

     for they shall be called

     children of God."

       ( Matthew 5:9 )


     personal life,

            social life,

                 international life

        lived like that.

Peace is love let loose!!

How do we out here

on the street of everyday living

find our way to peace?

Probably the best way of all

is to "catch it," is to share

in the life, the spirit,

of the most peaceful person 

you can find.

For me that is Jesus The Christ.

He has it together, embodies

"the tranquility of order."

He is the incarnation 

of Cosmic Love - God.

He is Love let loose 

in the most personal way.

Happily Jesus is more than willing

to welcome us into a union with him

so complete that 

his spirit becomes our spirit,

that his peace becomes our peace.

We are invited into his realness,

his flow, dynamic in peace, 

powered by his love;

    "My peace I leave you;

     my peace I give you.

     I do not give

     as the world gives.

     Do not let your hearts
     be troubled and
     do not be afraid."

      ( John 14: 27 )

What a source and sharing.

We let Jesus draw us into himself

by meditation, prayer, sacrament,

worship, modeling him, joining his love

of all people and all creation,

and being active in their care.

That opens us up to his flow.

Peace is the result of being:

  - rooted right and real 

    in love and life,

  - and that vibrantly active 

    in thought,word, deed, 

    action and attitude,

    through and through

  - personally and communally

   letting love loose 

   in all affections and actions.

We don't have to wait

 'til grave or urn

to "rest in peace."

Right now, 

we can experience and share

a vigorous living of love, of justice,

and the resultant "tranquility of order"

in our heads, hearts, souls and society

as love is let loose.

"Peace be with you!"

       John Frank


If you are willing to invest

a healthy portion of time,

"Pacem in Terris"

by John XXIII

is a masterful, brilliant treatise

on peace so suited to our time,

need and potential.

It can be sourced through Google.

See" Combat High, America's addiction to war"

Harper's magazine, June 2018,

Forum, beginning at page 25.


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