“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace …” ~ St. Francis of Assisi
“There is no true solitude except interior solitude. And interior solitude is not possible for anyone who does not accept his right place in relation to other men. There is no true peace possible for the man who still imagines that some accident of talent or grace or virtue segregates him from other men and places him above them.” ~ Thomas Merton
Indeed, Merton is reminding us here of one of the most fundamental basis for peace amongst all humanity – equality. So, as we come close to the end of this year let us endeavor to cultivate, and deepen, peace … in our daily, ongoing, ever-present acts of being human … by reflecting upon, and living not only Merton’s words but also the timeless wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi …
Simple Prayer for Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.
~ St. Francis of Assisi
… to deepen peace even more, here is another prayer from the ancient text of Hindu Vedas … well worth contemplating: Peaceful: An Invocation …
And, in this unfortunate time of the seeming rise of divisiveness in many parts of the world, it is worth remembering some other words from Merton: “… There is only one true flight from the world; it is not an escape from conflict, anguish and suffering, but the flight from disunity and separation, to unity and peace in the love of other men …”
So, remembering the world peace prayer from 1978 is most apropos …
We pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding on to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe
in a world emancipated from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead men or women to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which we and all men and women were created.
– Author Unknown, Offered by Beth Amyot