Peace within the storm — the EU and Ukraine

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With the EU, NATO, and Heads of state meeting to discuss conflict resolution in Ukraine I have been reminded often today to pray for the leaders involved.

In December 2012 I had the opportunity to sit in a room with many of Europe’s leaders as we heard from the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy. President Van Rompuy spoke of the significance Europe, rooted in core values, has in solving conflicts. He continued that in times of insecurity, the commitment to Christian values is an important component of the European identity. That current storms should not be allowed to push Europe apart, rather they should serve to bring it closer together in its core underlying values.

Here are a few more excerpts from the President’s address to the European Prayer Breakfast on December 2012:

“I do not find it all that difficult to talk about faith because I have written about it before and spoken about it countless times. It was and remains unusual for a politician who is Flemish and Belgian. However, it is still difficult to find the right words to convey how faith is perceived. How did I come to reconnect with the faith of my childhood after a break of 15 years? What were the reasons, assuming there was a rational reason? In many respects faith is comparable to a kind of “falling in love” which happens to a person or which a person encounters (meets); it is in many cases a serendipitous experience (finding what you were not looking for!).

…The picture that Christ holds up before us is an ideal. Someone who leaves everything and everyone to devote himself to the work of the Father, who remains loyal until the martyr’s death. All we can do is “imitate Christ”, each of us in our own way and to the best of our ability. However, it is important to keep working on our consciences so that we retain or hone our sensitivity to others. Nothing is worse than being self‑congratulatory or losing that sense of achieving betterment, not to say perfection. We must continue working on ourselves, continue asking ourselves what meaning we give to our actions and whether we can do better. That is the way to increase our detachment from what is unimportant (what is not meaningful) and at the same time our commitment to precisely what really matters.”

Some of the high school and middle school students we’re working with now will be discussing the conflict resolution of the future.  My hope is that their actions will be rooted in their faith in Christ.  Join me in praying for the leaders present and future.

For a full transcript of President Van Rompuy’s remarks Click Here.

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