By Pat Ferrone
During this Christmas season, we once again raise our voices to urge all who love and nurture the young to refrain from the temptation to purchase gifts that promote violence as a means to resolve conflict. As though in a war zone ourselves, we are ‘bombarded’ with increasingly graphic ads that make normative the division of “good guys” and “bad guys,” perpetuating the dead-end ‘might-makes-right mindset.’ Inevitably, this fosters an acceptance of militarism and war-making as noble ways to pursue the good and overcome evil. Most assuredly, if fidelity to the Way of the Prince of Peace means anything, it is to remind us that violent means can never produce peaceful ends.
Surely, we must do all we can to foster in children alternative and loving ways to deal with inevitable conflict. Their energies and enthusiasm need guidance and models of behavior that remind them of their potential to create cooperative relationships. Our communities and our world cry out for imaginative people who can see with new eyes the way out of the quagmire of endless, deadly war-making and the perpetuation of enormous suffering.
Let’s begin to celebrate the Love that is the heart of all faiths and traditions and yearns to be born in our lives. Let us guide our young and lead them in the way of peace. Pablo Casals so beautifully reminds us:
“Let us say to each child: “Do you know what you are? You are a marvel.
You are unique. In all the world there is no other child exactly like you.
In the millions of years that have passed there has never been a child like you…
and when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?
You must cherish one another…”
St. Susanna Parish Peace and Justice Committee 2013