For the last couple weeks, I have found myself continuously praying for peace--peace for myself, for my fiance, and for the world that we live in...especially the world that we live in.
Then, the city that inspires love was infiltrated by hate and terror, which seemed to catch some people off guard; but really should not have been a surprise. I first reached out to family and friends in Paris, and as I awaited their responses, I was filled with anger. How can people cause so much pain and horror against their neighbours? Why can't we stop this? IS is like a cancer that plagues our modern society.
Chris, my fiance, asked if I felt like God did not answer my prayers. I told him no. The nightmare that occurred in France was a challenge to prayers for peace, because I know I'm not the only one that's been praying for peace more so than ever. As a devout Catholic, I believe in the power of prayer, and I know that prayer doesn't begin and end on my knees. As Pope Francis said when he asked, "How do we feed the poor?" "We pray for them, then we feed them," he said.
So, as I keep praying for peace, I keep telling myself, "pray for peace; be peace." But how do we "be peace" when there are those who continue to use terror? We can be a symbol of peace by showing strength and solidarity. It's not France's war now, nor is it a war simply against "the West"; but rather, it continues to be a global issue. So, we must act with strength and solidarity, because we together are the peacemakers.
I went to a baby shower today, and the baby is due on Boxing Day. What a blessing and a miracle that this baby should come at Christmas time--even more so, because the grandfather, who passed away just this year, loved Christmas like no other. As we were celebrating this joy, and the room was overflowing with so much love, I thought, God bless the world this child will grow up in. This child, and all the children in the world, are why we need to stand together with strength and in solidarity.
Then I thought, this is why the terrorizors will not win. They can't scare us from living our lives, and they can't scare us from bringing more love into the world. They can keep attacking our biggest cities, but if our hearts are linked in solidarity, there is no breaking that kind of strength.
So, I'll keep praying for peace, and should terrorists find us on our knees praying, may they not confuse that for weakness--for really they should fear our continued will and strength. We do not pray out of weakness, but out of strength.
Don't pray for Paris--let Paris continue to be the lively, beautiful city it is. I'm getting married there next year, and it's going to be everything exquisite and magical, as it should be, but now even more so. I won't let anyone mark the city with ignorance and hate as they've clearly tried. Moreover, this was neither the beginning, nor the end of this kind of terrorism, so if you're praying for Paris then pray for all the other cities and nations affected by this terror. However, instead, pray that anyone who might feel fear, find courage to keep living vivaciously. Pray for peace, joy, and love...and be peace, joy, and love. Nothing and no one can stop us from doing so.
I also pray for the refugees and the Muslims around the world who are likely to feel the backlash of what these terrorists have done. It's not their fault, and people should remember that the refugees are refugees because of these terrorists.
I pray that immigrants everywhere integrate into their new homes.
I pray that our world leaders are able to act together as one force and with great wisdom, because in the end we are all here for the same cause.
I pray that the children we bring into the world and the children we are raising in this world never have to learn the pangs of hate, and that they're taught to love themselves and their neighbours, rather than feel the heaviness of animosity.
BIG LOVE & HUGS