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When the 'Queen of Peace' is not listening

culture death lent ukraine Mar 02, 2022

By Barry Taylor

Last week as the crisis in the Ukraine was unfolding and tensions were increasing, Pope Francis called for people to fast for peace on Ash Wednesday, praying that “the Queen of Peace will preserve the world from the madness of war.” The Queen of Peace seems to not be listening at present in spite of the desires and prayers of much of the world. Whether we fast or pray this Ash Wednesday is a matter of personal choice and conscience, but it might not be a bad idea to spare a moment to reflect on the state of the world at the moment.

The sense of liberation that filled us all at the end of the pandemic lockdowns is suddenly tempered by the sobering and tragic events unfolding in the Ukraine. The pandemic gave us many insights (whether we wanted them or not) and chief among them was the somewhat contradictory revelation that our isolation also revealed how interconnected our world is. And now a conflict in one part of Europe spreads fears and concerns for the whole world. The media is full of ‘what ifs’ and explanations. It seems everyone has got a theory as to how we got here. I must confess that I don’t know how we got here, I would just hope that we can find a way out of it, and if the Queen of Peace can’t be bothered to help, that we, the collective, interconnected we, might.

I realize that to fast for peace is a very personal act and would seem to have very little impact on the tragic events whatsoever, but it might just help us to remind us that we are connected as humans on this planet, and that empathy for those who are suffering is an important trait to be aware of. Lent for me is much less of a religious observance and more of a statement of solidarity.

We live as humans often do, in troubled times, but we can be lulled into thinking that we are free from these kinds of things, yet here we are again, shaking our heads at the madness of power-hungry leaders and the innocent suffering that always accompanies that lust. Our time on earth is short, we forget that all too quickly. Lent is perhaps a time to remember that as well.

We look forward to having more conversations with you about Lent, death and the interconnectedness of it all starting this Sunday. Would love for you to join us for these weekly mediations on all things life and death, as we journey further into the abyss full of creative possibility. 

*For some more thoughts, hope and beauty concerning Ukraine click here for our recent Monday Musings on just that.

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