Remember

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Canada. A day we remember those who gave their life for us in conflict; respect for  those who are serving today. Canada is known as a country of peacemakers. I want to be a peacemaker. My favourite Catholic prayer is “make me an instrument of your peace” by St. Francis of Assisi
I don’t have much experience with war. I have never seen it, touched it, smelled it or heard it. It is only in my imagination, fueled by what I have read or seen in the media. I know that it is suffering.

In my grade 12 English Lit class we wrote an essay on “is war real or romantic”. It was 1971. We had the war in Vietnam Even that wasn’t real. It was romantic, at 17 you protested against a war. This war gave us a chance to flex our budding adult hood. I remember cheekily asking my mom if she thought the communists were going to swim across the ocean and kill her in her sleep.Worse yet I married a draft dodger, if only for a brief time. We had a great teacher that was way ahead of his time. He taught that the next big war would be over natural resources; fossil fuels first and then they would come for our water. My parents thought that was ridiculous. We got the lecture about how my paternal grandfather had served in WWI and my mother’s brothers in WWII. They protected us from evil. I so wish that is true.
Evil is still all around us.

Tomorrow I will remember my grandfather and all grandfathers. I will pray for gratitude and awareness of how fragile and unpredictable life is; I will cherish the wealth of my life. I will do my best to bring my attention more deeply to life around me. I will be an instrument of peace.

Bodhi
 "Some days are like this,
 you wake with an ache in your chest
 that isn't even yours.
 You know that somewhere, great rivers
       of blood are being shed.
 Somewhere mothers are weeping over
      children, bodies strewn like wildflowers.
 Somewhere, men and women, eat a bowl of pain -
 A man tells his wife that he is leaving,
 A woman wakes in an empty bed
 or puts her hand to en empty place
      where a breast was.
 Somewhere, in the screeching of brakes
      there is a shattering, of glass, of lives.
 This earth is covered in a sea of suffering.
 If for few moments we manage to forget
    do not begrudge us our wine, our prayer, our reaching out
      for a word, a touch,
           even from a stranger"

Regina Sara Ryan

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