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You might wonder what talking to a couple about to get married and having lunch with an ex-convict might have in common. One commonality  is that I get to do both as a deacon.

As part of the pre-marriage course a couple fills out a long questionnaire, and then we talk about their answers. One question of the key questions is  “Do you value peace at any price?”

If one or both answer yes then we have a discussion of the long term cost of ‘peacemaking at any price’ has on the self-designated peace keeper.

The one who believes it is their duty to restore peace- at any price-  will often put aside their own feelings. I liken it to a placing a pebble  in a backpack and  deciding it is easier to carry the stone than resolve the problem.  If this pattern continues then by the 25th anniversary the backpack is likely  heavy and the spouse who has decided to carry it can become disillusioned and angry by the  consistently growing burden of carry the now enormous backpack.

Many ex-cons carry around their own knapsack full of heavy rocks from their past. They are filled with resentment and rage about the past hurts in their lives, and others often become the victims of their anger.

Below is a reflection  from Fr. Richard Rohr’s daily meditations. It speaks to this idea of carrying our past hurts with us as we travel through life. Check out the Center  for Contemplation and Action to subscribe to his daily meditations- they are thought provoking and worth a few minutes everyday.

Question of the Day:
Is my pain transmitted or transformed?

Is your religion helping you to transform your pain?  We all carry our past hurts in a big black bag, and it gets heavier as we get older—betrayals, rejections, disappointments, and wounds that appear along the way.

If we do not find some way to help us transform our pain, I can tell you with 100% certitude, we will transmit it to others around us.  We either transform it or transmit it.  So it is no surprise that the central Christian logo became a naked, bleeding, suffering man—who ROSE!

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