Brethren, be joyful. Try to grow perfect; help one another. Be united; live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Cor 13:11
So, how can we live peacefully & lovingly together when not only are our beliefs so different, but actually seem to collide?
As Christians, one of the first things to do is to step back & look at things differently. I like to use this mantra when things seem to be getting overwhelming, or when I know I need to look at something a little differently in order to move forward: PAUSE – PRAY – PROCEED.
As St. Ambrose reminds us: The Apostle Paul taught you to look not at what is visible but at what is invisible; for visible things will pass away but the invisible things are eternal. As you read elsewhere: Since the creation of the world, the invisible attributes of God, his eternal power and his divinity are understood through the things that he has done. The Lord himself says: If you do not believe in me, believe in my works.
What is the invisible? It is God’s love – which creates, transforms, & moves everything. Out of God’s love springs action or works. If our actions or works become violent, unkind, angry, disrespectful – then it is not from God.
Perhaps, as we pause & pray this day, let us ponder 1 Corinthians 12-13 before we proceed. Truth can be spoken in love, but before proceeding to speak the Truth – ponder on the characteristics of a loving conversation…
Others will not want to even listen to us, if they do not see a peacefulness in us that is attractive. They will eventually listen, but like well planted seed it may take awhile for the message to germinate. Don’t look for immediate visible results – leave the transforming to God & His incredible power. Just do what you are able to do in a humble, loving, respectful way….