No Peace Without Justice

ROTTERDAM, Jul 15 (IPS) – “Human rights organisations all over the world will celebrate the tenth anniversary Jul. 17 of the adoption of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is the first and only permanent international criminal tribunal to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Interview with human rights promoter Dorota Gierycz: “…I believe that yes, there is a very difficult initial period when there is this kind of tension between justice and peace, but in the long run there can be no peace without justice, and if we just keep pushing things under the rug there will be no room for genuine understanding and consolidation of the society and democracy.”

Pushing things under the rug is an age-old activity of humans when they wish to commit a crime or when they feel they just need a break from moral responsibility.

Holding things high in the full light of the sun can be painful. Making the effort to use tact and diplomacy while still pursuing rigorous truth is hard work. It seems mere humans can’t regularly accomplish these desirable goals.

Well, I’m here to say that humans can’t accomplish peace and justice if what they depend upon is just their human powers.

We have more than animal bodies for a reason. Our bodies (and our minds and hearts subjugated to the body) will always vote for the easy path, even if it leads to war—war between nations, members of a family, neighbors…

So, where’s the “instruction book” so many people claim we don’t have?

“The Heavenly Books, the Bible, the Qur’án, and the other Holy Writings have been given by God as guides into the paths of Divine virtue, love, justice and peace.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 61

“The fundamental spiritual truth of our age is the oneness of humanity. Universal acceptance of this principle — with its implications for social and economic justice, universal participation in non-adversarial decision-making, peace and collective security, equality of the sexes, and universal education — will make possible the reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Apr 01, Sustainable Development and the Human Spirit

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Mercy . . .



Just a brief exploration of mercy from a few of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions:

Mercy is what we get when faults are overlooked.

That which Allah openeth unto mankind of mercy none can withhold it; and that which He withholdeth none can release thereafter. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
The Qur’an (Pickthall tr), Sura 35 – The Creator

Justice itself can be a Mercy.

God, however, as has been pointed out in the very beginning of these pages, does not only punish the wrongdoings of His children. He chastises because He is just, and He chastens because He loves. Having chastened them, He cannot, in His great mercy, leave them to their fate. Indeed, by the very act of chastening them He prepares them for the mission for which He has created them. “My calamity is My providence,” He, by the mouth of Bahá’u’lláh, has assured them, “outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy.”
Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 115

Sometimes, humans use apparent mercy to entrap others.

Therefore, the truly great man does not injure others and does not credit himself with charity and mercy.
Tao, Chuangtse (Lin Yutang tr)

We certainly could use more human mercy in our world !

Bounty waits on squalid hunger, gifts dispel the suppliant’s fear,
Gold revives the poor and lowly, mercy wipes the mourner’s tear,
Tender care relieves the stricken by the gracious king’s command,
Charity with loving sweetness spreads her smile o’er all the land!
Hindu, Mababharata (R. Dutt, abridged tr)

It’s our duty as spiritual beings to be merciful.

This is the hour when ye must associate with all the earth’s peoples in extreme kindliness and love, and be to them the signs and tokens of God’s great mercy. Ye must become the very soul of the world, the living spirit in the body of the children of men.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 20

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~ Unleash The Life Within ~
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Prayer . . .

Today, I was led to include excerpts on Prayer from various Holy Books and Spiritual Traditions.

Since your comments are the other half of this blog, this author prays you’ll consider these quotes and add your opinions, ideas, criticisms, or feelings.

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“He to whom the sanctuary of true prayer is revealed
Deems it shameful to turn back to mere formal religion.”

Rumi, The Masnavi, Vol 1 (E.H. Whinfield tr)

“Take for instance, a cut hand; if you pray for the cut to be healed and do not stop its bleeding, you will not do much good; a material remedy is needed.

“Sometimes if the nervous system is paralyzed through fear, a spiritual remedy is necessary. Madness, incurable otherwise,. can be cured through prayer. It often happens that sorrow makes one ill, this can be cured by spiritual means.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 65

“A servant is drawn unto Me in prayer until I answer him; and when I have answered him, I become the ear wherewith he heareth….”

Qur’án 83:28.

“…pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…”

King James Bible, Matthew

“An offering, consisting of muttered prayers, is ten times more efficacious than a sacrifice performed according to the rules (of the Veda); a (prayer) which is inaudible (to others) surpasses it a hundred times, and the mental (recitation of sacred texts) a thousand times.”

Hindu, Laws of Manu

“Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through.”

Kesuvim (Writings), Eichah (Lamentations)

“For I know words of prayer are effective
with Ye, which tend to a good object.”

The Zend-Avesta, – Yasna