Marvin Repinski: Again, we cry out for peace

Published 5:21 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

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“Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee.”  (Isaiah 26:3)

“Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!”  (Matthew 5:9 (TEV)

The world is currently in the crisis of what has happened to Ukraine at the hands of Russia. We live now, as so often in the past, in a time of threat, possible violence, the suffering of the innocent, and destruction of all that is needed for survival. We pray for the wisdom of President Biden and the autocratic leader of Russia to come, with the aid of calm minds, to a resolution of the present near calamity.

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We began in the early life of our children to be people of forgiveness, of learning about other nations, of supporting the values of our democratic nation, of tending the “garden” of our own growth — to be reasonable, devout, and peace-loving people. A list of phrases, printed in a booklet “Connected” is wise nourishment. The booklet is available at Austin’s St. Augustine Church.” Tell me how you are feeling. I want to understand.”  This is an empathetic statement that is most effective when you are sharing eye contact, and you are listening.

“It’s OK to feel …” Suppressed emotions tend to intensify. Let him or her know you will work it out together.

“Can I give you a hug?”  A six-second hug is the recommended time to get oxytocin and serotonin (connection chemicals in the brain) flowing.

“How can I help you?” This question gets him or her thinking about solutions so the focus is no longer the negative emotion.

“I’m sorry for…”  Yes, you need to apologize for your bad behavior, for not listening.  However, keep the phrase “but, you …” out of your apology.  No buts allowed!  Even better to add to your apology is the specific way you promise to change.

These are guidelines, questions that people of every age may find helpful. They are the soil, the water, out of which we join the chorus of working toward peaceful solutions.

We note the following quotations to fortify our seeking answers to the challenges of living without hostility, anger, and pouncing on others.

I think Derek Wolcott was right:  one has to be willing to surrender to a condition of awe, to the astonishment of the soul, to bewilderment, bafflement, humility.  Or, as Emerson neatly put it,

“Let the bird sing without deciphering the song.”

     — Denise Shekerjian

“He who would be friends with God must remain alone or make the whole world his friend.”

  — Mohandas K. Gandhi

“O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world; we commend this nation to your merciful care,

that being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace.  Grant to the President,

of the United States, the Governor of each state, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know,

and to do your will.  Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever,

mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who,

lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.  Amen

— Book of

Common Prayer