During the past week we have seen the worse of humanity. It has been plastered all over our televisions and the Internet. Hate has been held up as a beacon and praised by the President of the United States.
However, it has also been a chance to see the best humanity has to offer. There have been counter protest that remained peaceful. People have gathered to pray for peace and to spread the message of love and acceptance. They have come together to help total strangers who were hurt and damaged by hate.
Churches have taken the opportunity to stand up to this hate. Many have proclaimed loudly that hate has no home in their churches. Churches have engaged in the hard discussions about racism and bigotry on a local level. Some of those churches have declared that they are willing to offer sanctuary to those being hunted by hate.
Saint Francis Old Catholic Church takes a firm stand against hate. Hate has no home in our community. We believe that it is time for us as a nation to take a firm stand against the forces of hate and bigotry. It is our belief that we must engage in non-violent resistance to hate. We must allow our love to overcome hate.
If we allow ourselves to be drug down to the same level as those marching in the name of hate, then we will loose this battle. We cannot meet hate with hate, violence with violence. We must meet hate with love and violence with peace. Anything else will fail!
The prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi offers us a road map to stamping out hate and division in our world. I leave you with those words. I pray that we will strive daily to live these words and to bring love to the world around us.
May you be filled with peace and love in abundance!
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.