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Dear brothers and sisters, and the viewers of this web site Barkur.com, I am Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade better  known as Fr. Tony Andrade. I was born and brought up in Barkur. My primary education was in Barkur. In 1980 I joined the seminary to become priest and was ordained to the Holy Order of priesthood on the 19th of December, 1992. I served a short period of time in Bangalore (India) and then went to the USA to serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. Presently I am the parish priest of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located in St. Paul, Minnesota (visit our web site:- www.stthomasap.org).

I Hope and pray this column "Spiritual Corner" will inspire many viewers of our Barkur.com web site. As all of us know the need of spirituality in our daily life. We walk our faith journey trusting in God our creator and we are certain one day we will meet our creator God in Heaven. Meanwhile here on earth we need good insights to enlighten our minds and hearts in our spiritual life. in this column I will write articles which will be short and precise that may help our interested viewers to reflect on their own spirituality. I welcome others also to share their articles and reflections. This column is open to all the faith denominations. What is important is that we inspire each other on our own spiritual journey.

My sincere thanks to Kishoo de Barkur, the designer of this beautiful web site, and for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection on our Barkur.com web site.


BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS!

Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade

The question that often comes to mind is "who are peacemakers?"

Peacemakers are those who make the earth a good place to live in. Shalom, is the Hebrew word for Peace, which includes health, prosperity, good relationship within families and with oneís neighbors. In some of our Indian languages we know the beautiful word for peace as "Shanthi."

We share peace with one another in our places of worship. By doing so we make "peace" with our God and feel that inner peace within us. Peace is a fullness of life that eliminates the anxiety of lacking something. God is a peacemaker. He created the universe, and wants to make this a peaceful dwelling place for everyone. Therefore, the work of peace completes the work of creation. Everything God creates is good: "God saw all He had made and indeed it was very good." (Genesis 1:3) But injustice, wars, and violence disfigure this aspect of creation. The Lord of the universe watches over the world and sends "peacemakers" to establish peace on earth.

God is not alone in this work of peace. Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew recognizes those who work with God in this process of making the world a better, peaceful place to live in. He says: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Refer to the Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 5:1-12) Peacemakers make up Godís close family, they are His sons and daughters. Peacemakers work with one heart and one mind focusing their eyes on God. They are unafraid of the conflicts and difficulties they may have to face in the process of bringing peace to the world. They dare to act in unexpected and courageous ways, that overturns the logic of confrontation. As peacemakers focus their full attention on God, He guides them along this difficult road, that involves inner struggles, to create a new humanity and make peace. Jesus Christ is the perfect example for us. He did not flee situations of conflict, rather became part of the struggles of our humanity in order to bring peace to His followers.

Forgiveness also plays an important role in the peace process. When we forgive others from the bottom of our heart and when that act is sincere only then can we really experience inner peace. When we attend Mass we often hear those beautiful words such as forgiveness, love, service, compassion, and peace. At the end of the Mass the priest sends us forth saying: "the Mass is ended let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another." Thus we are given a mission to fulfill; experience Godís peace within and be peacemakers in this world.

Every year the Noble Peace Prize Committee recognizes peacemakers and confers the Peace Prize on them for their efforts in establishing peace around the world. I can name some of them; such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Bishop Bello of Indonesia, and recently Jimmy Carter, former president of the USA. There are many others who everyday work for peace around the world and in our own communities. God bless them all in their important mission. Let us be aware of our own responsibilities in bringing "peace" to one another.

Let me conclude with the Peace Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi: "Lord make me a channel of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

FOR ARCHIVES......

 
 
 

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