Dear In Communion reader, June 2009

Dear In Communion reader,

It always surprises me, for a journal of so modest a size, how much we

manage to get into it. It’s a bit like Holland, small but densely populated.

Walking home this morning, having left the paper edition of In Communion

with the printer, I thought about the longest piece in this issue, a

selection of short commentaries from the Church Fathers about the eight

Beatitudes. It struck me that the life of the peacemaker is essentially to

live the Beatitudes. Not just one of them is about peacemaking. They all

are, and none of the eight can be crossed off the list as being less

important.

In one way or another, each of the longer pieces in this issue has something

to do with the Beatitudes. Two dramatic examples are given in the accounts

of how two bishops acted in a way that saved many lives and changed for the

better the direction of the nations in which they lived: Metropolitan Kirill

in Bulgaria, who in 1943 was able to stop a train that would have carried

Jews to a death camp; and Patriarch Aleksy of Moscow, who in 1991 called on

soldiers not to obey orders to open fire on unarmed people surrounding the

Parliament and in the process helped prevent a KGB-led coup.

Peacemaking is rarely that dramatic. Often it’s almost invisible a parish

member who quietly works to defuse a situation which, left unattended to,

could destroy the unity of the parish; or someone who manages to talk about

a controversial issue (war, abortion, capital punishment) in such a way that

ears are opened instead of closed.

Peacemaking is rooted in our spiritual life. Without prayer, including

prayer for our enemies and opponents, how can we hope to come closer to God

and to each other? Here too there is much in this issue that we hope you

will find helpful.

*We appeal to you to help us continue the work of the Orthodox Peace

Fellowship.*

If you are not yet a member, consider joining. See this web page for

details:

http://incommunion.org/articles/introduction/what-is-the-opf

What about giving some one you care about a subscription to In Communion?

Your parish priest or to a friend?

Another way is to make a donation to OPF. Just click the donation button.

Thank you for whatever help you can manage.

In Christ’s peace,

Jim Forest

editor and OPF co-secretary