Colonel Dan Smith who authors one blogs on my blogroll has a familiar story in his post today. That is the story of St. Francis and the Sultan Malik al Kamil. It’s a great story and the stuff of legend but we need stories like this to remind us that there are events and people within our spiritual traditions who actually tried to practice the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. I really like how Dan ends his writing today.
Is there in all this a lesson for today? One commentator sees Francis’ journey to meet and speak with al-Kamil as the equivalent of efforts to find a peaceful resolution of the ethnic, tribal, and sectarian warfare raging in Iraq and Afghanistan. Especially when leaders refuse even to explore peaceful alternatives to war, it becomes all the more necessary for ordinary people to keep alive the flame of peace, to maintain a commitment to peace, and to continue the struggle against the ravages that war inflicts on the body-politic and on the human psyche and spirit.