Tag Archives: peace

“Peace on Earth” – Classic MGM Christmas Cartoon

23 Dec

Peace On Earth. Classic Christmas cartoon. MGM 1939. Anti-war.

Here is my early Christmas gift to all of my friends and visitors to this blog. I hope you take the 8 1/2 minutes to watch this extraordinary classic cartoon. It is distinguished as being the only cartoon to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I would describe this as a post-apocalyptic, dystopian-yet-utopian tale that presents the true meaning of the peace associated with the Christmas story in a manner that makes it still as relevant today as it was when it was first released, back in 1939. Think of it as an extended meditation on the twin themes of the “peaceable kingdom” and “turning swords into plowshares” that figure so prominently in the Book of Isaiah; two themes which serve as a backdrop to the story of the first Christmas found in the Gospels of Mathhew and Luke. What is ironic and sad is that this cartoon’s powerful anti-war message was largely forgotten or ignored just two years later when the USA entered the throes of WWII.

I post this now as we enter into this year’s Christmas season in hope that perhaps the message of this cartoon may engender in some people a reconsideration of the subversive but much needed message of Christmas: of the power of non-violent love that was incarnated in the coming of the Christ child some 2000 years ago. As we reflect on the sorrow, injustice and violence that plague our world right now, it should be clear that we need this cartoon’s simple message of peace and hope even more today.

I would love to have you post your reactions and thoughts here once you enjoy this heartwarming cartoon and ruminate over its message. And you are certainly encouraged to share or re-post this!

Merry Christmas and “Peace to All People of Good Will!!!”

Tom

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“The New Day Greets Me” (original poem)

17 Oct

sunrise over misty rolling hills

The New Day Greets Me

The new day greets me like a middle-eastern girl —
A young Bedouin virgin, enshrouded in mystery.

A single amber eye peers out to charm
And beckons me from behind the cerulean veil
Which drapes and falls over her woolen green robe,
Revealing barely a hint of her rolling beauty and form.

Oh how I find myself ineluctably drawn to follow
With hopes of savoring her promised delight!

By Thomas C. Webber
2/27/02

“For Us” — A Christmas Meditation on the Incarnation

25 Dec

Nativity Panel by Ducio

 

A Christmas Meditation

by Tom Webber

 

“FOR US”

 

For us . . .

 

He who is God

Has become Man.

 

He who is Power

Has become weak.

 

He who is Rich

Has become poor.

 

He who is Creator

Has been created.

 

He who is Love

Has sought our love.

 

He who can by give

Has received.

 

He who is Eternal

Has entered time.

 

There is not place that He is not,

And yet He is born in obscurity.

 

He who is Giver

Is our gift.

 

(c) Thomas C. Webber  1990

 

To all of my visitors and friends,

I sincerely wish for you peace, happiness, hope and mirth that are the true Christmas blessings we celebrate and receive this day through the birth of new-born Babe, the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Tom

Video Meditation for Advent: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

9 Dec

Please take a moment to settle back and quiet yourself,

recalling God’s ever present love.

 

Set aside all of the cares and concerns of this day.

 

Be in touch with your deep desire for God;

your own deep need for Love, for Grace, for Peace, and for Hope.

 

Pray: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” several times as you breath deeply.

 

Please watch now, with an open heart, a truly inspiring Advent meditation that I found to share with you this day.

 

 

Blessings,

Tom

Reflection: The Life of Gratitude

24 Nov
Since we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, in that spirit I thought that I would share this little journal I wrote a few days back. Here’s to hoping that you and your family have a bountiful and joyous celebration, and that you learn to take up that spirit as a way of life. — Peace, Tom
The Life of Gratitude

I have long known that
the key to happiness lies
not in pursuing happiness itself.
Rather, happiness is the natural fruit
of living a life
of thanksgiving,
of gratitude.

Gratitude begins when I am ready to
let the scales fall from my eyes,
have a pure receptivity to life as it is,
have a Beginner’s Mind,
become a Child,
be Born Again,
viewing the world
with unfiltered Wonder,
without judgment,
with pure Acceptance.

Then Beauty shall reveal herself
in all her splendor,
arising like the proverbial Phoenix
from the rubble of life’s  pain, sorrow, dullness, and ennui.

(c) Thomas C. Webber  11/18/2010

“The Weight of Nothing” – an important parable for this election season

25 Oct

If you are like me, you probably find that it tempting to get discouraged in the face of so many problems and setbacks when we are striving to move our country forward with a progressive agenda, an agenda that will benefit average folks. A sense of despair certainly is difficult to fend off when TV pundits in the mainstream media have virtually swallowed lock stock and barrel the narratives spun by Tea Party kooks and other Neo-Cons, and voices of reason are drowned out by all the noisy clamor. One may well feel that tempted to crawl in a hole while feeling that one’s own voice for justice would be nothing more than a vain burst of hot air. And all of this is complicated by the fact that an avalanche of lies are spun through countless ads sponsoring right-wing politicians whose campaigns are funded by a handful of billionaires and Lord knows how many multinational corporations!

There is a fabulous little story that I recalled today that has given me solace and encouragement. I first heard it some 30 years ago while attending a peace conference that focused on forging a path towards nuclear disarmament. I’d like to share it with you:

The Weight of Nothing

“Tell me the weight of a snowflake !” a blackbird asked a dove.

“Nothing more than nothing!” was the answer.

“In that case I must tell you a marvellous story” the blackbird said.

“I sat on a branch of a fir tree, close to the trunk and it began to snow,

not heavily, not like a raging blizzard. No. Just as in a dream, softly

without violence. Because I didn’t have anything better to do, I counted

the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their

number was exactly 3,741,952. When the next snowflake fell on my

branch – nothing more than nothing – the branch broke !” Having said

that, the blackbird flew away.

The dove, since Noah’s time somewhat of an authority on the matter,

thought about the blackbird’s story, and finally said to herself:

“Perhaps there is only one person’s voice lacking for peace to come

about in this world….”

from A Race to Nowhere, by Pax Christi

Now with only a week to go before the mid-term elections, I ask that you please join me and others in getting out the vote! Here are a just a few ideas as to how each of us can do our part to make a difference:

  • First of all, make sure that you personally make it to that voting booth, voting first and foremost with an eye to policies that serve the common good, including the needs of the poor and marginalized.
  • In addition to the typical network newscasts and newspaper sources (e.g., ABC, NBC, CBS), continue to be informed by rebiewing solid and reliable news sources that present news items and analysis with a critical eye for the truth. A few I would personally recommend include National Public Radio, Democracy Now (podcast and on YouTube), Best of the Left podcast (comes out about every three days), Left, Right and Center (podcast), Rachel Maddow (podcast and MSNBC site), and locally there’s the Shepherd Express. Also, there are some good religious publications that maintain a focus on social justice issues. Two that are particularly of note are the National Catholic Reporter and a progressive evangelical magazine called Sojourners. (If you ever wanted other ideas for good news sources, let me know; I pay attention to a ton of them. Also, feel free to post your own ideas!)
  • Help get the truth out by posting links to news items and editorials that simply and clearly help counter rightwing propaganda.
  • When the opportunity arises in conversation with friends and colleagues, don’t be afraid to tactfully speak up, offering your view supported by relevant facts to the address right wing propaganda that might crop up. Of course, do so in a matter-of-fact manner that us free of malice and haughtiness.
  • then, if you have the time and inclination, consider contacting your political party’s local office and volunteer. (I have done this myself, working both in the phone bank and by canvassing neighborhoods with other volunteers on order to both get out the vote and to help educate others though discussion and passing out literature. (I have met some wonderful everyday folks this way.)In the end, let us fight any and all temptation we might feel to give into apathy and inaction, even in the face of what appears to be a rather bleak political landscape. Rather let us each pledge to place into service our own hands, feet, and voices in answer to that age-old question of “what can one man do?” In the words of my favorite singer-songwriter and activist, Bruce Cockburn, we have to “kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight.” None of us can afford to be that “one lone voice that is needed” for a brighter future for our nation and its people.
  • “Thoughts Arise Like Mountains”: A Poem for Meditation

    30 Sep

    If you practice any form of meditation or quiet prayer, you will continually struggle with the question of what to do with thoughts, feelings, emotions or memories as they arise, especially if they are strong or afflictive. The temptation is to quickly try to suppress them, which is an exercise in futility. Yesterday I wrote this little ditty as a gentle reminder to myself of what to do. Please let me know your own thoughts and experience.

    “Thoughts Arise Like Mountains”

    Thoughts arise
    like mountains, moving;

    Circumvent them not, 
    troublesome or soothing.

    See; not judge
    as friend or foe.

    Just see the Knower 
    in the Know.

    (c) Thomas C. Webber. 9/29/2010