Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace

September 21 was the International Day of Peace. When I commented to Rocky about the seeming escalation of unrest in the United States and abroad he reminded me about what it must feel like to live in a place like Syria. Some of us have been fortunate enough to have experienced only minor conflict. Others of us have seen or experienced violence or fright firsthand. How could we be a part of making this world more peaceful? The first thing to do would be to pray. We should pray for world, national, and local leaders to work towards peaceful solutions and for the best systems to be in place for promoting safety and protecting rights. We must pray for those caught in environments ridden with strife. While praying, we should take an active role by encouraging peace in our own households and neighborhoods. Peace will not be achieved by ignoring or glossing over problems or injustices, but by facing them head-on in appropriate and productive ways. Usually, dialogue between parties or groups seeking reconciliation is extremely helpful. Even then, we must remember that we are all subjective in our interpretation of the “facts.” It is important to try to step into another person’s shoes.  “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, ‘whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.’” (1 Peter 3:8-11) My mother had the “Peace Prayer” of St. Francis of Assisi hanging in our kitchen and I always loved it.  “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

 

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