Christmas Musings: Pray for peace


By Fr. Elaine Silverstrim - For the News Journal



In 1947 it was reported that Albert Einstein was asked by friends at a dinner party what weapons he thought would be employed in World War III. His purported response was, “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.”

“And what are those?” a guest asked.

“Stone spears,” said Einstein.

According to Snopes, this exchange can’t be fully verified even if paraphrased, but did reflect the concern he had for the potential use of nuclear weapons in a future conflict.

Somehow, as we enter this Christmas, his words haunt and hover in the back of my mind. For the people caught in the Hot War in Ukraine and the Energy/Food War more globally, the specter of nuclear disaster, intentional or accidental is real.

Unlike the fabled Christmas Day pause during WWI, where troops put down their arms to sing favorite carols and share a time of grace, this year, there will be no pause. No pause to drones, missiles, cold, and distress. There will be no pause for the deaths from an unprovoked war initiated to annihilate a country, its people, language, and culture.

Since the Saturday after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, aggressively escalating the invasion from the spring of 2014, a few of us have stood with Ukrainian flags and signs to help our community remember the incredible people of Ukraine. We will take a brief hiatus over the next few Saturdays and resume our weekly vigil in January. We will be painfully aware that our brothers and sisters in Ukraine will have no such break.

We who are so blessed, at least, need to remember the sacrifices being made halfway around the world for all the things we value the most during this season of love. In the midst of our giving, in gratitude for all we’ve been given, consider passing some of that gratitude forward to groups hard at work providing love and care for those giving everything for the simple right to exist.

And pray. Pray not just for peace. Pray for justice and restoration. Pray for everything that is the heart and soul of Christmas.

By Fr. Elaine Silverstrim

For the News Journal