Posts Tagged ‘world peace’

Pilgrimage – Life as Prayer

  “If you give your life as a prayer you intensify the prayer beyond all measure.”
Peace Pilgrim 1908 – 1981

On her pilgrimage from 1953 – 1981 

Her little Pocket size blue book, Steps Toward Inner Peace, has been translated into twenty languages and published in a few many countries. It is a compilation of who she was and how she came to be a pilgrim for peace, a messenger of God’s total and uncompromising love for us and a true living example of how God cares for us.

She had total trust in that as she took up her walking pilgrim way of life, renouncing all worldly goods, traveling on foot wearing only her pilgrim tunic, and sharing with those who cared to listen (and thousands were drawn to her) the true path of peace in the world through inner peace and coming to a correct understanding of the existence of a loving God in every particle of creation. She trusted this God for total provision, eating only when offered food on her journey and sleeping out in the elements unless invited inside by another kind human being.

This unquestioning trust is not possible for a human being unless one has learned a lot about the reality of their being and their connection to all that is holy. She describes making herself ready for her life journey and purpose by what she calls: The four preparations, then the four purifications, followed by the four relinquishments.

I know you can’t just put this stuff on a TO DO list, and check them off, one by one. This is a process of inner journey before the first step of the outer journey of walking begins. I believe we are all called to do this in one form or another.

Maybe not to live our life as Peace Pilgrim did, but I’d venture to guess most of us who are willing to take on this inner voyage mostly do so for the same motivation she had: to find inner peace, a peace that was satisfying, stabilizing, and love-giving. In fact, Peace Pilgrim came to be known, in her crusade for world peace, to say the key to world peace was true inner peace in the individual.

I have believed that for a long time in my life and I still have preparations, purifications, and relinquishments I regularly work on. Maybe that’s why I’m not a pilgrim on the road as she was. But I am a peace light-worker in my life, my family and my work. I also know that whether one works for peace on an individual “little-life” stage or through the power of a larger world-wide attention, that individual must first possess inner peace.  

Peace Pilgrim’s individual discernment, discipline, and open loving heart led her to share freely that which she learned and that which she was given by a Higher Power. She did not force her message of what she knew to be true about God or the way to live upon anyone. She merely walked her path and accepted invitations where she received them. She had no marketing plan. She only had a path to walk.

A pilgrimage is a gentle journey of prayer and example. She wrote, “My walking is first of all a prayer for peace. If you give your life as a prayer you intensify the prayer beyond all measure.”


Sometimes the Truth of someone is so completely spelled out by what they say and how they live that to paraphrase it would do somewhat of an injustice of it. So it is with printed materials about Peace Pilgrim and her message to the world. Since these materials are not copyrighted and readers are made welcome to reprint sections in whole or part, that is what I choose to do in some future notes on napkins about Peace Pilgrim.

Materials on the life and work of Peace Pilgrim are kept alive by a group of volunteers who freely publish and distribute them all over the world. Unpaid volunteer workers and many small donations make this possible.


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Imagine – John Lennon Memorial in Central Park, NYC

I was alone at my daughter’s house today when I spotted John Lennon’s “Imagine” sheet music on the piano. I am still processing the events of the weekend where the US Navy Seals successfully invaded the Pakistan compound of the #1 Terrorist on our FBI Most Wanted List. Osama bin Laden was shot and killed, then removed from the compound. His body was buried at sea.

There’s been a ten year wait for justice to be done for the September 11, 2001 attack on America and the killing of 3,000 innocent people who were on one of the three hijacked planes, in one of the Twin Towers in NYC, or at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

The immediate American response to the killing of bin Laden has been one of jubilation, flag-waving, and gratitude to the US Armed Forces, especially the Seals and the planning engineers of the covert op.

The big questions seem to be:

          1)  Is this justice?
          2)  Is this closure?
          3)  Is the world safer now?

The prevailing consensus seems to be:

          1)  Yes
          2)  Somewhat, but the wound remains alive
                in our American DNA
           3)  No

I am grateful to live in our country in freedom. It is our history that this freedom from day one in 1776 has been given to us through the struggle, personal sacrifice and death of many and the constant strengthening of our national defense system.

It also seems evident to me, at our current level of evolution, that defense against aggressive offence has been necessary as the human race continues to “pick-on” and mistreat and kill other human beings to expand their own power base.

I am grateful to every man and woman who has stood up, willingly or drafted, to protect our way of life because, so far, we have prevailed, won and retained our liberty or helped others to do so.

Sound clips from the news find intelligence officials saying bin Laden’s death makes the world no safer because it is the IDEA Al Qaida holds that is the danger to the world – to unleash incredible terror on innocents around the world — not just one man’s existence as it’s leader.

I wandered over to the piano. It is an elementary level composition of  John Lennon’s “Imagine”.  My sixth grade grandson is probably working on it. I can sight-read it and so I play the tune and look at the powerful lyrics once again.

The song comes from the 1970s when I was young and idealistic about what the world could be. Because I held strict, religious beliefs of right and wrong at that time, the most radical lyrics in the song for me were just short of blasphemous:

                   “…imagine no hell below us
                    above us, only sky.”

Now, at age sixty-eight, I find my spiritual journey has led me to seek God within; to forgive self and others rather than blame. Over time, I have felt relief that theologians and the Pope have spoken on the demise of a real hell, purgatory or even heaven as a place, and redefined how they can each exist as a reality within us.

I have sought God in my heart and found God in my soul. I believe what God tells us is true. We are made in God’s image. Through the person of Jesus Christ, God frequently warned the apostles (and I can only assume, us) of how little we understand what he is showing and telling us about ourselves and God. Christ said we need not be amazed at the miracles he performed — that instead, we could believe that we could do those miracles, and even greater things, shored up by the power of a personal faith that only needed to be the size of a mustard seed.

So, John Lennon, in the ’70s had an IDEA too — one we would not have to kill and die for:

                       “…imagine all the people living life in peace….
                         …imagine all the people sharing all the world…
                         …nothing to kill or die for…
                         …a brotherhood of man.”

I always like the melody and I always like the words.  I like to sing the words. As my  life goes on, I find little and big ways to make this true for me. His IDEA, he admits is lofty:

                       “…you may say I’m a dreamer, 
                            but I’m not the only one.”

It’s true. I can imagine what he’s saying.  I am what he’s saying — a peacemaker. I know many others who are peacemakers. I give my personal support where I find this to be a bottom-line value.

From the ’70s to 2011 — I am old-er, and still idealistic. I answer John Lennon’s hope with my own life:

                          “…I hope someday you will join me
                               and the world will be as one.”


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