Angela – Woman of Peace
Indigestion – nightmares – quarrels – bitterness. Stress and division afflict me and most of our country.
“What happens on November 9?” No matter who wins the presidency or which way the Senate tilts, we need reconciliation!
We Christians look to Jesus, the One who prayed for his killers: “Father, forgive them.”
We Americans take inspiration from Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to “bind up the nation’s wounds” with dignity and justice, not vengeance.
As an Ursuline I see Angela Merici as a model for peace-making. Disputing spouses sought her help to reconcile. So did warring siblings. Her friend Agostino Gallo described her process as “counseling and consoling,” a personal attentiveness much deeper than argument. She interceded with the severe Duke Luigi Gonzaga on behalf of a relative he had punished and persuaded this arrogant ruler to restore her relative’s property. Angela recommended that her daughters, listening to people with dangerous opinions, “consider them all good, but be prudent for your own good.” No name-calling here!
Persuading Filippo Sala and Francesco Martinengo to call off their duel seems to me most pertinent for this national crisis. Angela had arrived in Brescia in 1516, just after the bloodbath of a civil war. Political parties had taken to the streets in reciprocal violence. Every household counted its dead. When Sala and Martinengo declared their duel, the problem was not only individual. Brescia quaked with the memory of those earlier vendettas. Prominent civic leaders, even the Duke of Urbino, tried to intervene.
Three women finally brought peace. The wives of the two antagonists appealed to Angela. Angela approached each of these angry men singly. Her words are not recorded, but the result was peace.
Angela, woman of peace! On November 9 I must – we all must – be and carry peace.