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A Call to Prayer

by SOM Magazine

An Invitation From Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen »

We are struck and saddened by the realization that during the celebration of the Season for Nonviolence1, our world is experiencing armed conflict in more than 70 locations on the planet.  We are saddened, too, by what appears to be an overarching concern about the impact of war on the economy.

We are concerned about war’s impact on life, families, children, the environment, habitats and ecosystems on which we all depend. The current war in Europe brings to our attention the recent daily themes of the Season for Nonviolence — harmony, friendliness, respect and generosity — and rightly causes us to question if our spiritual work is having any beneficial impact on the world.

We believe it does, based on our teaching that consciousness is cause. Therefore, in light of what is happening, we feel called to reinforce our spiritual practices and affirm our support of and advocacy for peace everywhere2.

We invite you to join Centers for Spiritual Living’s Spiritual Leader Dr. Edward Viljoen in a daily devotional at 6 a.m. PT3 (or whenever you feel called to participate), to light a candle as a symbol of our commitment to keeping our hearts open to love, our trust open to peaceful resolution of conflict and our minds open to the guidance from a Power greater than we are.

We stand with people everywhere who are standing for peace and protesting violence. We stand with people everywhere who are praying for all leaders and all governments. We stand with people everywhere who dare to grieve the use of violence as a means to attain dominance and economic security. We stand humbly with people everywhere who can look to their personal and national history of complicity in violent means without losing courage or hope for a better world. We stand with people everywhere who help in times of crisis and who refuse to celebrate death, innocent or otherwise.

In our spiritual work of embodying oneness, we feel called to embrace:

  • Haiti and the threat of further instability in that country
  • Myanmar and the escalating fighting there
  • Kazakhstan and the loss of lives during the fuel price-related nationwide riots
  • Colombia and Venezuela, whose people are enduring armed clashes on the countries’ borders
  • Burkina Faso and the widespread political anger there
  • Syria and the thousands of displaced Syrians
  • Ukraine and the hundreds of thousands of displaced Ukrainians fleeing the invasion of their country
  • Everyone, everywhere violence touches our planet

We call you to join us in teaching strategies for peace4 and what it means to engage in peace consciously. We call you to share your views and concerns with family, community members and congregations, considering the question, “What can be done to end conflict?” We call you to connect with other spiritual and religious communities to discuss these issues and take collective action.

We call you to join us with affirmative prayers, vigils, meditations and hymns of peacemaking.  And we call you to reaffirm your trust in the power that these tools have to help mend feelings of helplessness and contribute to peace.

With love,
Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen
Spiritual Leader, Centers for Spiritual Living
Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee

“We are now seeing the necessity of a world law, to the maintenance of which all nations, great or small, shall contribute the best they have that the strong shall protect the weak without overpowering them; that the great shall live with the small without subduing them; that cooperation shall take the place of aggression; that government shall rule without tyranny through the common consent of the governed and that individual freedom shall unfurl its flag of liberty on the ramparts … .”

— From “The Essential Ernest Holmes,” page 178-179

  1. 64DaysLenEllis (agnt.today)
  2. https://www.crisisgroup.org/crisiswatch
  3. Join CSL’s Spiritual Leader Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen in a daily devotional practice at 6 a.m. Pacific Time. You can watch a recording of it and previous devotionals at any time afterward. Go to https://www.facebook.com/CSLSpiritualLeader. You can also watch the daily devotionals on the spiritual leader’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/CentersforSpiritualLiving
  4. Thich Nhat Hanh: “Order of Interbeing” | Tiep Hien

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