A word about this blog

Daily News and Prayer is inspired by The Christian Science Monitor, one of the most important (and most underappreciated) newspapers in the world. Posts are usually (but not always) responses to articles in the Monitor about events and trends that call for prayer.

The blog's aim is to help strengthen humanity's collective confidence that we can triumph over even the most deeply entrenched evils, in ourselves and in the world.

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The ripple effect of moral victories

Moral breakthroughs tend to have a ripple effect. When humans discover that certain fears, personal desires and firmly held convictions in one area are not so justified or deeply rooted after all, then breakthroughs in other areas can suddenly seem more possible. If I think yelling at my kid will help her learn to do the right thing, for example, and then I realize one day that it’s only teaching her that when she wants to change someone’s thinking she should yell, maybe it will help me see that calm reason and prayer are more effective than will power in a lot of areas, such as work relationships, commercial disputes or even just writing a blog.

That is what seems to be happening with the UN Security Council resolution to determine who is using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians. Why suddenly do we have a breakthrough, with Russia willing to join the US and others in uncovering a fact that may point a finger at the Assad regime in Syria, which Russia, along with Iran, has backed from the beginning? As Howard LaFranchi points out in a perceptive article in The Christian Science Monitor, there is strong indication that it was the breakthrough achieved by Iran and the US to limit development of the Iran nuclear program, a breakthrough with heavy involvement from Russia, that opened the way to these parties working together again on Syria. Solving the Syria problem would enable the Middle East to take another huge step toward peace.

While ideological and political opponents of the Iran agreement have their say in the US Congress and elsewhere, the agreement itself continues to bear fruit in changed thought. Russia, the US and Iran – who would have thought? – seem to be finding a way to work together. It’s being shown again that diplomacy is far more capable of achieving human progress than bombs.

Peace and moral progress always have their opponents, who see change as a threat to their fears, personal desires and firmly held convictions. But everyone has the ability to feel the healing influence of a moral and spiritual breakthrough. No one is excluded from the right to light.

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