I n our opening feature this issue, we visit with Maryknoll Father James Eble, who founded a retreat center in his mission ministry in Tanzania that emphasizes the human need for peace and quiet. The Lake House of Prayer on Lake Victoria focuses on silence, he says, and that seems like a fitting place to open our Winter 2023 issue.
We hear much about peace this time of year. It echoes in Christmas carols, like the “heavenly peace” in the first stanza of “Silent Night” and in the Scripture readings of our Christmas liturgy. We adore the Prince of Peace and wish “peace to people of good will.” Christmas and peace are inextricably intertwined.
During times like these, however, peace may seem mostly aspirational, a greeting that carries more hope than reality. Wars rage, famines loom, poverty deepens and millions of people the world over are displaced — seeking in one form or another that elusive ideal: peace, with its familiar connotations of safety and comfort.
Yet, hope is exactly what is foremost about the Nativity of the Baby Jesus. Hope is the gift that the Christ Child brought into the world. The Christmas season is a time of togetherness, of remembering that we are one humanity. It’s about showing God’s love to our friends and relations, but also to strangers — especially those for whom there is no room at the inn.
Let’s pray for peace on earth and good will toward all God’s children.
Lynn F. Monahan