The quest for peace in Iraq

A Christian Science perspective.

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Mesopotamia, the ancient name for Iraq, defines the land between two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates. It is the site of ancient civilizations. And its quest for peace symbolizes the world's quest – one that will ultimately bring together East and West in the search for ways to end war.

But how to find lasting peace? To me, it begins in our own hearts by accepting Jesus' promise "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). It's a recognition that however challenged we may be, each of us has within us a place of infinite stillness where we can feel our spiritual nature as the sons and daughters of God. This inner stillness, in which God is communicating with us, is available to everyone, including the people of Iraq.

Within this sanctuary, the day-to-day struggle stops and peaceful prayer begins. Here there is spiritual strength, which comes from God, infinite Love, and which regenerates peacemakers with healing ideas. One such thought is that since God is ever present, His peace can also be felt in Iraq. Holding to this conviction blesses everyone involved by embracing them in that place of inner stillness, where reconciliation is possible.

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Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14). The presence of God with us is the light that shines in our consciousness and enables us to be instruments of peace wherever we are. Such moments of heartfelt prayer remind us that divine Love is omnipotent and that Love must have the final word, embracing all its children.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded the Monitor, touched on this spiritual stillness in the way she described the word "river" in the Glossary of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Channel of thought. When smooth and unobstructed, it typifies the course of Truth; but muddy, foaming, and dashing, it is a type of error" (p. 593).

When our thoughts are open to divine Mind and obedient to its purpose, human reasoning and analysis yield to the divine Mind and uplift our thoughts. As more of the peacekeeping duties devolve upon Iraqi citizens, such inspiration can do much to ease the transition. Our individual alertness to maintain a spiritual view of all parties, and to refuse to be discouraged by setbacks, will also help. In this way, we can support Iraq's safety under what the Bible calls the "perfect law of liberty."

The book of James describes this law and each individual's relation to it: "One who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does" (1:25, New American Standard Bible). When we practice this inner peace through maintaining a focus on the kingdom of God within, we're supporting Iraq's journey toward lasting peace, where all may know and be blessed by God's perfect law of liberty.

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