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Peace, Lord, Peace!

I think we are all exhausted. The endless stream of shootings, fallen police officers, guns, political pukings .... I know I want to turn it all off. I can't - my job literally requires me to be on social media all the time.

I cannot recall a time (in my lifetime) of seeing my nation so divided. I have a small banner under my computer screens at work: peace, paix, salam, paz, shalom. It is my constant prayer, yet it feels like a distant echo.

My spiritual adviser said, "We need to be a nation on our knees," yet even among people of faith it feels as if we are praying for vastly different things. One prays for the protection of children from things like gay "marriage" while another prays that all gay unions be recognized for being equal to the marriage of man and woman. One implores God for an end to abortion; another shouts for its expansion. I will let God sort it out...

Peace, Lord, peace.

I am worried about my own health. I try to follow the example of saints, offering up my pain to Christ: let my suffering be one with yours, O Lord. I'm not very good at it.

I am burdened with the death of a friendship. A woman with whom I have shared faith, friendship, struggles, a love of music, the Eucharist - all I can say is that it is like watching a major conversion in reverse. She admits she lied to me and many others. In what seems like the blink of an eye, her marriage is a broken mess, her faith swept aside and she says she is now her "true" self.

God is faithful, even when we are not. The whole earth is groaning out for Him. Can you hear it? Can you feel it? There is no peace without Him. We cannot manufacture it. We cannot elect it into office, or bargain it into being. Peace is not achieved through negotiations by ambassadors, high-level meetings or bombs.

I will hear what God proclaims;
the Lord - for he proclaims peace.
To his people, and to his faithful ones,
and to those who put in him their hope.
Near indeed is his salvation to those 
who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from
heaven.
The Lord himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his 
steps.

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