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Empathy and acceptance bring peace to shooting victim Danielle Kane

On July 22. 2018, an ordinary summer's evening, Danielle Kane was celebrating a friend's birthday in one of the restaurants in Toronto's popular Greek Town. She hasn't gone home since. When she stepped outside to investigate what sounded like fireworks, she looked an ordinary looking stranger in the eye. Then he fired a gun at her. The bullet went through her spinal cord and stomach. Danielle was rushed to the hospital.

Deep Peace

Today I am gifted with deep peace. It’s centered deep, low in my body, in my womb. It’s birthing strength to face new challenges and forget past fears. It stills my mind; my body is tranquil. May I carry this peace all day and into tomorrow.

Ode to the Black Prince

“You know that woman who came by herself?” said the vinegar craftsman to the server.

“You mean me?” I asked, revealing my presence, losing the chance to hear the next sentence.

Would it be that I was still there, hours later, sated with vinegar, recipes and stories?

Was it the story I told the young woman who made my pizza, of my travels seeking stories that bring peace? Her great aunt couldn’t marry a Catholic, not because of faith, but because of politics. Her cousin just married a Catholic, a sign of growing peace in Ireland.

Finding Peace After Tragedy

I wish I didn't have to write this. I wish I was writing an Easter message about lent leading to resurrection, or videos and stories about meeting Martin Luther King, Jr.'s family in Atlanta this month, or news from the peace and justice conference I attended there. But a tragedy has struck my city, Toronto, and I am compelled to walk the long path back to peace with my fellow Torontonians, and the others around the world whose hearts are with us at this time.

Peace Fought, Peace Lost

I met a man who came from away
With no friends, no money, no English
Everything against him

But he was proud
He had two hands, he wanted to work
Not accept help

This man went to Toronto and almost starved
Before he found somewhere to eat and sleep

This man has two degrees, he’s a priest, he risked his life defending human rights
He can’t go to law school because his war-torn country can’t send his degrees
How ludicrous
He could teach the truth that children should not be used as soldiers
That people who defend children should not get shot

The Peace "zone" is ever possible

I had the best day, and it's only 4pm! I find myself with an unexpectedly free afternoon and am wondering how to "spend" this gift of time. While I have many more Mexico stories to share, I want to share the joy of this day with you, while reminding myself that peace can be ever present. It is palpable to me today through intentional mindfulness and prayer. It's easy to be mindful and prayerful on a peace retreat — that's my sole purpose on retreat, and I can order my day around it, starting with meditation and prayer, then walking and speaking through my day with a wide open heart.

How to be OK when life's not OK

Last week I attended chapel and heard a very inspiring message from a woman who's had cancer. Looking young, vibrant and beautiful, I would never have known she was sick if she hadn't shared it. But there were many days when she was neither vibrant nor beautiful, and struggled to know where her worth lay then. A woman of faith, she strongly believes in the inherent worth of all people, but when she could not contribute to the family, to her business, nor be productive in the usual ways, she emotionally, if not mentally, questioned her worth.

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