The choices are yours to make all throughout your God-bestowed lifetime.
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr wrote the following words, “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
How can one recognize true love…? “Love is when you had the courage and will to take that risk. It might have cost you your life, every ounce of sinew and every beat of your heart! You took that risk, opened your heart, surrendered your own self and even risked a broken heart. From the very start, God, you and our fellow brothers and sisters were meant to become a union of love; a union of new life and one of many blessings unto all.”
Maybe we might freely choose to step back, quiet down and ask this or a similar thought: “Dear Lord, I am not certain how or where I am to go in this one unearned lifetime. I give you my whole being, my heart, my mind, and my spirit. I cannot know for certain where I will be tomorrow, or how I will journey there. I cannot know who I shall meet. I cannot know why our paths shall cross. However, my Lord and my God, I know this day and forever, that You are my God in whose divine company I forever shall strive to walk humbly, to love goodness and to serve others.” Or one might ask, “Lord, I ask You, dear Creator, to take my heart, my mind, my spirit and my entire being and create in me the new person, the better person and the more compassionate & just person, You, dear Lord call me to become.”
If peace is to prevail over hatred, then we have to learn to love others, including people we do not like or want to be around. The dignity of every human being is not based on one’s asset/liability ratio. Rather, your greatest treasure was planted and given unto you months before you were born. Use whatever time, talents and skills you have to help renew and strengthen our communities. Lastly, strive to be at peace with oneself, family, the strangers and God. In short, live in the right manner in which you honestly can love others. Love is your greatest power. Use it. The choice is always yours to make, “Do I want to hate or love?”. What is your answer to this profound question? If you are not certain, then ask, “What would Christ do?”. Peace.
-Father Michael Briese