Tragedy in Paris

Last night I kept vigil, not just for the people of Paris killed or injured in the terrorist attacks, or their grieving families and friends, but for all of us. When such dreadful things happen, there is a tendency to want vengeance, to express lots of emotion and fear, often in violent language. This morning Social Media is awash with ugly sentiments. At such times it is easy to preach, but not so easy to practise, restraint. I think, however, that it is vitally important. We must not pass the poison on — not because that is what the terrorists want (I have no idea what they want) but because to do so is to diminish our own humanity; and I think our humanity matters. This morning, when everyone is in shock, please take a moment just to listen. Ignore the clamour inside; forget yourself; listen to what the Holy Spirit is urging; and remember the Benedictine motto, pax, peace. It is surrounded by a crown of  thorns which both protect and bar the way, reminding us that to choose peace and love rather than hatred and violence is true heroism, true valour, and comes at enormous cost.

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