This morning as I was running I kept thinking of the monks and I thought of peace. I run for peace. I’ve been running for peace for at least four years. It’s something Brother Joe Kotula, OFM and I do. He walks for peace and I run for peace. It’s our effort to bring cosmic peace to the world. I got to thinking as I ran of the Trappists, Franciscans, Benedictines, Quakers, Buddhists, and others who worked for peace. In this country they are called pacifists. Christians refer to us as pacifists. Then as I ran I followed that thought. The folks they call pacifists actually get the Jesus message. They get the Sermon on the Mount and they live as though it were true. In other words the folks who call themselves Christians are actually the “almosters”. They almost get the message, but they fall short of it. They observe the rules like church going and not swearing, not playing cards or dancing in some cases but they miss the part about living in relationship with the brothers and sisters. St. Francis of Assisi got that message and that’s what I think God was telling him in rebuilding the church. The almosters are sure that they’re going to heaven and they’re quick to show any of us how to get there by obeying their rules, some of which might even be contained in the Gospels.
Gandhi said that the only people in the world that didn’t understand the Jesus message were the Christians. I think the Mahatma was awake. He was enlightened. His doctrine of Satyagraha is almost a mirror of the Sermon on the Mount. Maybe the the almosters are like the old story of the folks that spend most of their life at the depot waiting for the train. They spend so much time there that they smell the baggage, hear the train and see the passengers coming and going that they really believe they are on the train. But, they really aren’t. Maybe the almosters almost get to heaven, but.. Well, that’s what I was thinking this morning as I ran for peace. Peace be with you.