Who are the peacemakers?
IN recent months, the newspapers have carried numerous reports of attempts to negotiate peace. Christ Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, ``Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.'' 1 Certainly every individual in our world community who strives to eliminate strife is embraced by this beatitude. The efforts and the services of these people are a clear response to mankind's great hunger for peace. But peace also has something profound to do with individual thought. As we study the Gospels, we can see that Jesus laid great stress in his teaching on the direct effect that our thinking has on our behavior. We see the importance of purifying and healing ``the thoughts and intents of the heart.'' 2 Isn't there a larger dimension, then, implied in the beatitude ``Blessed are the peacemakers''? It gains a broader significance to us individually if we also think of it as, ``Blessed are they who make peace within themselves: for they shall be called the children of God.'' What does it mean to make peace within ourselves? Doesn't it mean to triumph over self-will, fear, and so forth? Wouldn't we feel and live differently if we were freed from envy and greed? Wouldn't our world and daily experience be radically different if we were fully freed from anger, prejudice, and hate? What a change there would be if blind human will was erased. And what a blessing we would feel if we were able to eliminate all fear and anxiety! We would feel more and more like the children of God, and blessed by our Father. Christian Science teaches that God, divine Mind, gives us the ability to fulfill our Master's teaching in just this way. Once we acknowledge that we are the children of God, we also catch a glimpse of the underlying fact that our true nature must be spiritual and at peace. And the more clearly we perceive this fact, the more it's expressed in our lives. If we have long believed that we have an ungovernable temper, we have a basis for challenging that belief: the reality of our true spiritual nature and God's care for us. If we take to heart Paul's statement that ``it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,'' 3 we'll find more and more evidence that the force of this divine control and presence is working within us. It actually frees us from enslavement to anger and passion. Instead of exploding, we'll respond to this divine influence with the expression of tolerance, patience, and good will, and we'll feel the divine inspiration that leads to the resolution of our problems. If national pride or racial prejudice has had a strong hold on us, the Lord's Prayer, taken seriously, will purge us of pride and fear. We cannot pray long to ``our Father'' without considering the fact that we are all the children of one universal God. A basic tenet of Christianity is that we love one another, because we all are His children. Compassion, goodness, patience, kindness, and love are the natural response of a Christian. As we feel these inside, they obviously will transform our relations with others. The eternal Christ, the divine influence, reveals man's spiritual nature, our true selfhood. Discerning everyone's actual being, we are able to embrace our fellowman with genuine love. The Beatitudes bring to light the spiritual blessings that follow such reformation and regeneration. Living of the Beatitudes is a key to being ``born again,'' which Jesus taught is essential to entering the kingdom of God.4 Peacemakers, or the children of God, are greatly needed in the world today. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in one of her prose works, addressing the members of her Church: ``Beloved children, the world has need of you,--and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. You need also to watch, and pray that you preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through contact with the world. What grander ambition is there than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to know that your example, more than words, makes morals for mankind!'' 5 This is the peacemaking that ultimately will change the climate of strife to peace and good will. It is something you and I can do today. 1 Matthew 5:9. 2 Hebrews 4:12. 3 Philippians 2:13. 4 See John 3:1-7. 5 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 110.