Saturday, June 2, 2012

Paddling for peace

One of the most beautiful stretches of the river flows between Brainerd and Little Falls, MN. The current dances over the rocky bottom, the verdant forest hugs the banks, and wildlife plays on the surface and in sky. My morning reverie was suddenly interrupted by several huge explosions. When I consulted my map I discovered I was traveling through the Camp Ripley Military Reservation. I flashed back to a boyhood memory of passing army "convoys" and waving to the young soldiers. For the next two hours I was surrounded by the percussion of artillery fire and the ratatat of gunfire.

A thought crossed my mind...."we have entered civilization...".  As I reflected I thought of the enormous expenditures of dollars and lives on war that could be used for "peacemaking". I thought of St. Francis and his life which actively sought peace and care of creation. And I was reminded how we are all called to that noble task.

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