PEACE BY PIECE

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

I enjoy putting puzzles together. When I walk through the loggia at the DSOP Motherhouse in Akron, Ohio, there is always a puzzle in process. Anyone can stop by and put a few pieces in, or work/play at it as their free time allows. When I’m not in a hurry, I usually try to get at least one piece in before moving on. There is a sense of satisfaction when—out of a thousand pieces, you find something that fits together. I often think God must also enjoy puzzles.

Judy Cannato’s Radical Amazement, published in 2006, still inspires me. She describes the Big Bang burst of light and life, reflecting on how everything in the universe—including Earth and all her inhabitants—is connected and evolving in amazing complexity. I imagine God enjoying and delighting in interacting with natural laws and our free choices to make all things work together for something good that we cannot imagine.

In an October 1, 2017 letter to all Dominican men and women throughout the world, the Master of the Dominican Family, Bruno Cadore, OP, wrote:

One of the recurrent themes from our Jubilee was the importance of us renewing our preaching to be

advocates of peace (like Dominic) in a world torn apart by many forms of violence and war. There is

hardly a country anywhere that is spared from this harsh reality that breeds fear, insecurity, and the

assertion of narrow ethnic and religious identities, that result in enormous suffering, death and

displacement of entire communities.

While many Dominicans are already involved in forms of preaching that are bringing hope to such

situations, we would now like to promote a global Dominican solidarity for all such efforts. We

therefore propose to identify a period each year when Dominicans everywhere will pray for peace, and

will offer solidarity for a particular project for peace.

The period we propose is Advent, when we are all waiting for the incarnation of the Prince of Peace.

Our focus on Peace will then start on the First Sunday of Advent and culminate on the Church’s World

Day of Peace on I January. Each December will therefore be our Dominican Month for Peace.

Our focus of solidarity this year (2017) will be on Colombia.

In Fr. Cadore’s letter he suggests several ways we can live into this Month for Peace with a focus on Colombia.

[Click here for the complete letter.]

Whether you are a member of the Dominican Family, Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates, you are invited to join with us in solidarity by choosing your way to participate: in prayer, preaching, art, contribution, or other. While our prayers for peace are poured out to God in a special way through our Advent/Christmas songs, it takes all of us together to build peace in our world. Like a 1000 piece puzzle, every piece adds to the whole. Will you add your piece for peace?

This morning’s Beacon Journal ran a front page story about Ana Ramirez, who noticed a neighbor, Raymond Tanner, who was living alone, seeming to have no family or friends. A Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD, he had left his family behind and moved to Florida.

Ana knocked on his door and asked for a cigarette. He threw her a pack and said, “Don’t come back.” But she decided to cook a meal and leave a plate of food on his porch. After a while, he began leaving soup and some vegetables on her porch, and gradually a simple act of kindness flowered into a 20-year friendship bringing healing and peace to Raymond and eventually to his family members, as well as to Ana who had been suffering from substance abuse. Her piece for peace was a cigarette…a plate of food. Not much, but it spread peace and helped piece one family back together.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

3 responses to “PEACE BY PIECE

  1. I too love putting puzzles together so I really like your analogy. My piece was shouting out at the staff meeting that we needed to do more for feast of Guadalupe with our English speaking people and the public. The celebration will start tonight and will be at full swing, with dancing etc. by tomorrow night. We need both cultures to be together.

  2. Thank you so much, Amy. this is very relevant, and I loved learning the outcome of Ana and Raymond’ “pieces of the puzzle! Terry

  3. Thank you so much, Amy, for this reflection. I have taken some action on the Master General’s request for us to preach peace in a reflection for our HCS newsletter and organizing a January Christian Unity Service. I have been frustrated in the slow progress, but I have put some of the puzzle pieces together. Just now need to be patient for the other pieces to come together and fit in.

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