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Love and Peace

There’s unrest in my heart as I take to the task of writing a blog about peace that is due on Valentine’s Day. Peace AND love in one post! Ironically, perhaps paradoxically, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” is playing in the background at the coffee shop. I am not comfortably numb. How can I be comfortably numb when the saint of passionate peace, Francis of Assisi, is in my heart, as he is in the hearts of Franciscans all around the world, including here at the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Milwaukie, Oregon? But how can I have peace and love in my heart, like Francis, while still feeling unrest or anxiety?

Francis would cry in the streets. When asked why he was crying his response was, “LOVE is not loved!” I put the word “love” in caps and italicized it to emphasize something. We can only speculate on what Francis meant by his passionate proclamation based on our inner experiences of him. The “little poor man” who quickly, and enduringly became renowned for his deep peace, was tuned into the God of Jesus, with that same Christ consciousness as Jesus, Mary, and the prophets of old. This is the God who is not only experienced as “loving,” but IS THE “LOVE” in which we “live, and move, and have our being (Acts:17-28).” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, in his inspired book, “The Prophets,” refers to this God as “THE MOST MOVED MOVER!” This is also the God who is the “peace that surpasses all understanding!” Pure and perpetual peace! Pure and perpetual passion! A paradox that surpasses rational human understanding