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Arun Gandhi and James Lawson share lessons of nonviolence

At the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions, I had the privilege of hearing Arun Gandhi speak of his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, who guided Arun in his formative years. Angry at racism in South Africa, Arun was sent to live with his grandfather in India to learn how to transform his anger into positive action. Two powerful practices was journalling about anger in order to find peaceful ways to address it, and reflecting on the overt and tacit violence he saw or committed as a 14 year old. What wonderful life lessons in peacebuilding for us today!

Persevering for Peace

This year, Liguorian magazine gave me a dream commission — writing four articles on diverse aspects of peace. We began with an exploration of interfaith peace and ways the Bible embraces the whole world, including people of varying faiths. Next, we ventured into the valley of the shadows of death and terrorism, and saw how the light of God shines even there. Thirdly, we considered how theology and practice can empower us to respond peacefully to violence wherever it occurs.

Why Pavla Uppal leads Dances of Universal Peace

This summer, I explored new aspects of something that has long fascinated me — dancing for peace. Dancing is one of my favourite endorphin-enhancing activities that help me get out of my head and into my body. Invariably, dancing increases my joy and peace, along with my heart rate. So when Dances of Universal Peace practitioners met in Toronto's High Park, I joined them to incant peace into our circle, our souls, and the world. May our steps fall on fertile ground, producing a harvest of peace.

Responding Peacefully to Violence

They were humiliated and mistreated, and they couldn’t take it anymore. So they took a stand. They went into extensive training for the fight. They knew it would be hard and long. They had to be mentally, spiritually, and physically prepared. When the day of confrontation arrived, every hour of training was worth it. Although they were shouted at, pushed, spat upon, and beaten, they did not fight back with angry words or fists, but with love. They won, peacefully.

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.

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