Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
On Saturday morning the world woke up to the horrific news of the killing and maiming of so many young people in a series of terrorist attacks round the city of Paris on the previous night. Yet the whole affair could have been so much worse if one of the terrorists had managed to gain entry into the football stadium where the French President was enjoying the match between France and Germany.
Such a waste of life and for what? The reasons for the attacks are unclear but the intention and indeed the effect is to stir up unnecessary fear and hatred amongst peoples of different races and creeds. But God will judge their actions as He will judge us all. Evil will not ultimately triumph as we read in the Book of Revelations which tells of the battle between St Michael and his army and Satan and the forces of evil.
In the darkness of that Parisian night there is light – hope - for as Jesus says:
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 NIV
In the streets of Paris crowds gathered to offer prayers and light candles in memory of those who lost their lives: the churches across the city were filled. Their outpouring of grief, support and prayer was echoed across the world.
Yet now is not the time for the fear and hatred those evil men are trying to foster. Now is the time for us all to pray together for peace. Perhaps I may quote from a Reading from an Angelus Homily of Pope Francis:
Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to add my voice
to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world...
from the one great family which is humanity.
It is the cry for peace!
It is a cry which declares with force:
We want a peaceful world; we want to be men and women of peace ...
and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict,
that peace break out!
Amen to that!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years