Tag Archives: scripture

“Peace on Earth” Classic MGM Christmas Cartoon

Peace On Earth. Classic Christmas cartoon. MGM 1939. Anti-war.

Here is my early Christmas gift to all of my friends and visitors to this blog. I hope you take the 8 1/2 minutes to watch this extraordinary classic cartoon. It is distinguished as being the only cartoon to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I would describe this as a post-apocalyptic, dystopian-yet-utopian tale that presents the true meaning of the peace associated with the Christmas story in a manner that makes it still as relevant today as it was when it was first released, back in 1939. Think of it as an extended meditation on the twin themes of the “peaceable kingdom” and “turning swords into plowshares” that figure so prominently in the Book of Isaiah; two themes which serve as a backdrop to the story of the first Christmas found in the Gospels of Mathhew and Luke. What is ironic and sad is that this cartoon’s powerful anti-war message was largely forgotten or ignored just two years later when the USA entered the throes of WWII.

I post this now as we enter into this year’s Christmas season in hope that perhaps the message of this cartoon may engender in some people a reconsideration of the subversive but much needed message of Christmas: of the power of non-violent love that was incarnated in the coming of the Christ child some 2000 years ago. As we reflect on the sorrow, injustice and violence that plague our world right now, it should be clear that we need this cartoon’s simple message of peace and hope even more today.

I would love to have you post your reactions and thoughts here once you enjoy this heartwarming cartoon and ruminate over its message. And you are certainly encouraged to share or re-post this!

Merry Christmas and “Peace to All People of Good Will!!!”

Tom

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December 23, 2013 · 7:27 am

Watch Your Words!

The Power of our Words Vision Wall Poster copy

I ran across this article discussing the groundbreaking research of a prominent neuro-scientist named Andrew Newberg, M.D., whose research demonstrates the tremendous power that simple words hold for either harming or healing our brains. Many people today are rediscovering, for instance, the healing power of words through the simple repetition of a mantra (a simple word word or phrase) during meditation or during a simple prayer form such as centering prayer. On the other hand, how many of us (parents, bosses, spouses, lovers) go about our days, mindlessly barking at one another, failing to consider the lasting damage we may be doing to others?

Here, then, is a link to the brief article in question which I invite you now to read and consider now:

Words Can Change Your Brain | World of Psychology.

I, for one, find that Dr. Newberg’s research (as science often does) simply confirms what I have long known to be true based on my own personal experience and observation. How often have we heard our parents and mentors reminding us: choose your words wisely. Easier said than done, of course. I am reminded of a passage from the New Testament Letter of St. James where the author discusses the importance of and the challenge involved in learning to “control your tongue”:

James 3:1-12 – Taming the Tongue – Not many of you – Bible Gateway.

As a Roman Catholic who is entering into the spirit of this new liturgical season called Advent, I am find myself applying the insights of this article toward me taking up the resolve to attending specially to two practices that should help me grow: first, I will return to a daily (rather than sporadic) practice of centering prayer and meditation on scripture; and secondly, I aim to be more mindful of the words I choose in my everyday conversations and interactions as to their power to lift up or potentially cripple others. I can only hope that, should I be faithful in these practices, a few weeks down the line my family will find me just a little more peaceful, loving and kind.

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For those of you interested in learning more, here is a podcast that is steamed online featuring an interview with Dr. Newberg on the same topic of the effects of words on our brain: http://www.holisticsurvival.com/hs-140-words-can-change-your-brain-with-dr-andrew-newberg/

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