13 years later .... Praying for Peace

Thirteen years ago today my heart was both broken and awoken to my call to seek peace in our wounded world.  I've written before on the blog about how I became a peace activist thirteen years ago on September 11, 2001.  In many ways, the seeds of my vocation as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace were also planted in my heart that day, although it took a few years for my head and feet to catch up.  And now, on this 13th Anniversary, I am at the half way point of the 22nd General Chapter of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Today is a free day, but I have invited some of my Sisters and Associates to pray with me at 11am in our meditation chapel this morning.

This morning, I brought to prayer President Obama's speech last night, detailing plans to "ramp up" our military involvement in Syria and Iraq in the next phase of our war on terror. I also brought to prayer this morning the families of all those who lost their lives on 9/11 and the war and violence that has followed.  And continues to follow ... and lie before us ... until and unless we choose the path of peace.

And so I pray. For peace in our troubled world.  For an awakened heart and conscience on the part of our political leaders and indeed on the part of the American people.  That we may accept the responsibility of what has been done in our name and commit all our efforts instead to building true peace upon the foundations of justice. I pray for all the lives lost and forever changed through terrorism and the wars on terror.  I pray for dialogue and diplomacy, not bombs and death.  I pray in hope and gratitude for people of good will from every nation, race, creed and way of being. That peace may come, that we may help to bring about that peace. 

Pope Leo XIII, considered the father of Catholic Social Teaching (and perhaps not coincidentally the Pope who blessed Mother Francis Clare's new community, St. Joseph's Sisters of Peace) wrote this:

O Lord, you see how everywhere the winds have burst forth, and the sea is convulsed with the great violence of the rising waves. Command, we beseech you who alone are able, both the winds and the sea. Restore to [humankind] the true peace of your name, that peace which the world cannot give, and the calm of social harmony. Under your favor and inspiration may [people] return to due order, and having overthrown the rule of greed, bring back again as ought to be, the love of God, justice, charity toward neighbor, temperance in all desires. May your kingdom come.
God of peace, push and pull us to work and pray and live tirelessly for peace. Be in the mind and heart of our political leaders. Enkindle the flame to build peace among all your children. May we seek peace, and may peace come. Amen.

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