Peace is God's gift to us, expressed fully in the person of Jesus Christ. It is the "scent of Jasmine"the pleasing odor of a life offered as a sacrifice in love. The Scent of Jasmine encourages us to lay claim to Christ's promise of peace, to make each day an experience of God and an experience of the gift of peace. A practical book, it gives facts, raises questions, and blends the liturgical cycle (contemporary devotions, saints, feast days, and sacraments) with the "secular" cycle of civic observances and recurring yearly events (school days, weddings, graduations). This linking of faith and daily life makes The Scent of Jasmine an ideal tool for all who take the gospel seriously, especially teachers, directors of adult education, and those involved in RCIA. When we learn to forgive our enemy, feed our brother, clothe our sister, and shelter our children, we will be living peace as our Christian responsibility and receiving peace as God's gift.
The twelve chapters mirror the twelve months of the year, and focus on key solemnities and modern eventssuch as the pro-life movement, the assassination of archbishop Oscar Romero, and the bombing of Nagasakithat urgently remind us of the need for harmony. Quarterly introductions provide a seasonal summary. Short questions for reflection are useful for peace action and faith groups, as well as for individual readers, to help put ideas into action.
Patricia McCarthy, CND, has worked with the poor in the field of education, particularly with abused children, for more than twenty-five years. She has studied the theology and spirituality of Christian nonviolence, and gives courses and lectures on the topic to students, adult education classes, parish groups, and religious communities throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Japan. Her articles have been published in Review for Religious, The Spiritual Life, Momentum, and many diocesan papers.