Blog

Knowing Peace in the Midst of War

Centers for Spiritual Living
An important message from your
CSL Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee
  CONTENTS  
Christian Leaders’ Call to End Violence
What We Can Do
Join the Global CSL Community in Prayers for Peace
Today’s Prayer of Comfort
Your SMSE Committee Members
Not only must we have complete faith in Spirit and Its ability to know and to do, but we must have complete confidence in our approach to It. We must not be lukewarm in our conviction. We must know that we know.
— Ernest Holmes, “The Science of Mind,” page 159
October 13, 2023 — Given the current level of escalation in Israel and Palestine, we bring our awareness and love to all of those touched by this crisis, to all whom suffer.
 
We are saddened by the attacks against the Israeli people carried out by Hamas. The loss of life is devastating, and we decry violence in all forms. To quote the patriarchs of Jerusalem, “We unequivocally condemn any acts that target civilians, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or faith.” Further, the patriarchs said, “We implore political leaders and authorities to engage in sincere dialogue, seeking lasting solutions that promote justice, peace and reconciliation for the people of this land, who have endured the burdens of conflict for far too long.”

Read the Christian leaders’ call to end violence here. We, too, pray for a cessation of violence and for the rights of the Israelis and the Palestinians to live free from fear, violence and war. 

As we explore the power of paradox as CSL’s global theme this month, we’re aware that war and peace form the biggest paradox of all. How do we continue to know peace in the midst of war? We cannot move toward a more peaceful world until we address the underlying causes of violence, inequity, injustice, colonialism and oppression of all forms.  
 
Our founder Ernest Holmes declared, “The promise that comes from practicing a conscious sense of union with the Divine is a deep, abiding peace even in the midst of personal or planetary challenges. We can create a spiritual chain reaction which can bring peace in the midst of chaos.” 

What We Can Do
We can unite in focusing the energy of love to bring peace to Israel and Palestine, to Ukraine and to all areas of the planet where there is no peace through the creation of a spiritual chain reaction. Allow the energies of peace, love and harmony to rise up and become strong. Peace begins at the center of our own being, where instead of moving to fear, anger or anxiety, we focus on the greater powers of love, peace and harmony.

We hold space for peace to be realized. We convene peace vigils, prayer calls and read sacred texts while also engaging in sacred activism. We band together to remind each other that there is an infinite and divine creative force of life that is wholeness and truth. We stay in constant prayer without ceasing to remember what we know, rekindle our sometimes-dwindling faith and continue to seek the light amid the dark abyss.

Join the Global CSL Community in Prayers for Peace

Peace Meditation & Prayers
Join CSL Geneva and CSL communities in Ukraine, Crimea at 12 p.m. (noon) U.S. Mountain Time, Monday through Friday at 12 p.m. (noon) U.S. Mountain Time. Here is the Zoom link.

Heart of Peace Meditation
Join the CSL Heart of Peace Initiative every Monday at 1 p.m. U.S. Mountain Time on CSL’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/centersforspiritualliving

However, it is not enough to simply pray. We must also act. Get involved in local agencies providing relief to refugees. Donate to reputable agencies working in areas of the world where there is strife. The GuideStar website provides information about how funds given to nonprofits are used: www.GuideStar.org.

Today’s Prayer of Comfort
We offer this prayer of comfort and truth as a collective show of peace and faith in the divine presence of love, right in the midst of war:
 
There is a power for good in the Universe, and it is moving in and through me this day to bring peace, harmony and good to all. The Divine is everywhere present, especially and including in all spaces of war, conflict and violence. We bless all who are impacted by conflict of any kind. We lift up peace in the midst of war. We pray for healing and comfort where it is needed right now. In gratitude, we declare this truth collectively. And so it is.

In love and solidarity,
CSL Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee
Rev. Soni Cantrell-Smith, Spiritual Leader
Rev. Sunshine Michelle Coleman, Ph.D., Chair
Rev. Beth Linguiri Ayodele McClenney, RScP, liaison to the CSL Leadership Council
Rev. Mike McMorrow, D.D.
Rev. Kathleen Sibley, Director, CSL Global Services
Rev. Audri Williams
Questions? Email Communications@CSL.org

With Sorrow for the Loss of Constitutional Protection

Centers for Spiritual Living

Reproductive rights remain a highly polarized issue, with many differing points of view within each family and spiritual community. Centers for Spiritual Living’s North Star is our Global Vision, our organizational shared values, and our Science of Mind statement of belief, all of which speak directly to liberty, equality, equity, inclusion, human rights, compassion, safety, self-determination, and spiritual living. For that reason, we are unambiguously in support of the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; unambiguously in support of gender equity and equality; unambiguously in support of LGBTQi+ lives, and unambiguously in support of women being sole decision-makers about their lives, wellbeing, dignity, and choices.

Overturning constitutional rights may be seen to be the evidence of an organic, flexible self-renewing, democratic social structure, and its power to recreate itself according to the will of its people. Why then, is there a painful smoldering sadness and anger in our nation? Why then are the protesters of the 60s and 70s watching with shock and dismay? Why then are historically marginalized communities experiencing fear and despair?

Perhaps the answers lie in national polls which show that the Supreme Court’s decision is out of sync with the will of the people, Or perhaps the answer lies in the ominous language used by the dissenting Supreme Court Justices who issued a united statement of dissent:

“With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent,” they wrote and warned that “no one should be confident that this majority is done with its work.” I take that to heart when members of the highest court in the nation issue a warning to its people – saying don’t be fooled into thinking this is done.

What is contained in the warning from the Supreme Court dissenting Justices?

This: the blow to women’s rights, signals that other previously recognized rights now fall into jeopardy. The warning may stand also as a reminder to us all that it is spiritually appropriate for us to be unequivocally in favor of people’s rights, women’s rights, LBGTQi+ rights, and the rights of people who have been oppressed marginalized, and disenfranchised. The warning evokes the sentiment that we are not to be so spiritually minded, that we are no earthly good, a reminder that we ought not to take refuge in spiritual practice when others on the planet suffer, but instead to let spiritual practice propel us into action.

To quote Trauma & Co, an organization that supports people who live with and work with trauma, “The control and removal of body autonomy is traumatic and/or can activate trauma memory and trauma responses for so many humans.” Regardless of what an individual’s stance on reproductive rights may be, in the days and weeks that follow, it is likely that we will encounter in our families and communities the complex emotions that go with grieving a loss. We encourage you to reach out to the World Ministry of Prayer for spiritual support and to offer the resources to others who may be struggling with a traumatic response to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

World Ministry of Prayer – A Ministry of Centers for Spiritual Living (csl.org)

Dr. Edward Viljoen, Spiritual Leader
Rev. Sunday Cote, Field Leader
Centers for Spiritual Living

CSL stands with the people of Buffalo, New York

Centers for Spiritual Living

The people of Centers for Spiritual Living stand with the people of Buffalo, New York. At a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood, an 18-year-old white gunman shot 13 people on Saturday, killing 10 and wounding three.

We stand with those who are suffering loss today, who feel targeted and unsafe.  We stand with those who are grieving this loss of life, and our hearts are with the family and loved ones of the victims, not only of this tragedy but from wherever gun violence results in death.

We are deeply saddened by this violent act and by the racial hate that motivates and perpetuates crimes against People of Color. Racially motivated hate crimes or acts of violent extremism harm us all. The false narrative that creates fear of a certain group of people and dehumanizes them has led to violence. This stands in direct contradiction to the principles of CSL. At CSL, we believe that in our Spiritual Oneness, there is unique value that comes from diversity. We treasure this diversity and the benefits all of us receive from it.

We acknowledge the pain and vulnerability that occurs when places of communal gathering such as shopping centers, schools and places of worship are targeted with intent to do harm. We believe that at times like these, CSL’s World Ministry of Prayer may be a resource for people of all or no faith traditions. World Ministry of Prayer offers trained prayer professionals who are available to listen empathetically and create a personal affirmative prayer for anyone who calls on them.

If you are in need of prayer, visit CSL.org/World-Ministry-of-Prayer/.

Peace and blessings, 

Dr. Edward VIljoen, Spiritual Leader
Rev. Sunday Coté, Field Leader
Centers for Spiritual Living