- Sarah Beth Dippel
HOW DO WE DEAL WITH CONFLICT?
THE FEAST OF ST. MATTHEW
During this morning's Daily Mass, Father posed this question while preaching the homily: "How do we deal with conflict?" He continued with the question, "How do we deal with Roe v. Wade?" The second question was easy for me. I work in a pregnancy resource center. I have been on eight trips to Washington, DC, for the March for Life with hundreds of young people, and I've taught Theology of the Body to hundreds of teens. I believe Roe v. Wade is about a change in hearts, a change in society, and a change in our culture. I continue to stand in a place where I believe I peacefully make a difference in the fight for life. Peaceful and prayerful. So why did the first question feel so rough around the edges when the answer to the second question came to me so easily. I drifted from the homily to search my heart for answers.
When we marched on Washington, it was with peace and prayer, not protest. When I work with a soon-to-be-mom in crisis, I offer her compassion, peace, and prayer. But how do I handle conflict? Is it with peace and prayer? Honestly, not always. Do I instead handle it with anxiety, stress, and unspoken hurt? Yes, I do that. So there I was before the Blessed Sacrament, realizing He was gently pointing out my fault, a fault that needs work. Do you experience these moments? These opportunities for the Lord to gently and lovingly correct your defects? He does so with great love and mercy showing us where we need to become more loving and merciful ourselves.
Yesterday, I felt the Lord's nudge on this very same topic. I'd very unkindly asked Him to do something to benefit my selfish desires, and He showed me how that desire would disappoint someone I love. Instead of feeling guilt or shame about my request, I felt a greater love for the Lord and a greater love for my neighbor.
This morning the answer was simple. Conflict can only be resolved through peace and prayer. Anger, anxiety, and frustration will not heal us or those we disagree with. Prayer for a change of heart will be effective, for sometimes it is our own heart that the Lord will change.
Listen for the Lord today, that He may show you how you can become more like Him.
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