September 21

International Day of Peace

Reflection

Today we unite ourselves with people around the world to pray for peace. We focus on the conflicts around the globe which pit nation against nation and citizen against citizen. We look at our own nation and see a deep political divide where the violence is attitudinal if not physical and those most needy are its victims. We remember all those ordinary people who only want to live their lives in peace and harmony but instead are caught in war and violence and are trying to survive amidst their suffering. We look to the leaders of governments and pray that they may see the wisdom of exploring alternatives to war.  We join with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who said, “On this International Day, let us promise to make peace not just a priority, but a passion. Let us pledge to do more, wherever we are, in whatever way we can, to make every day a day of peace.”

Prayer

Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.

Prayer for Children Caught in Conflict

A voice was heard in Liberia, a mother weeping for her lost son.
We own our sorrow for the thousands of boys and girls throughout Africa who have been betrayed by adults, forced to become so called ‘child soldiers’. They are both victims and perpetrators of violence. Let our sorrow link us with those children throughout the world who are betrayed in this way.
 

A voice was heard in Rwanda, a grandfather weeping for his grandchildren.
We own our sadness for those children orphaned by war, forced to watch their parents die violent deaths.They suffer the violence of war and the violence of loneliness. Let our sadness connect us with those near and far who are in need of compassion, companionship and healing

A voice was heard in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a father weeping for his murdered daughter.
We own anger for those children maimed or killed through the violence of war. Let it expose us to our connection with the arms traders and the diamond traders, whose greed for money and resources wreaks havoc throughout the world.
 

A voice was heard in Sudan, an aunt weeping for her lost family
We own our shame at the plight of children forced to leave family, home, country in their search for peace. Let it remind us of the need to welcome the stranger, those seeking refuge and asylum from countries where rights are abused or which are torn apart by war.

A voice was heard in Iraq, a grandmother weeping for her grandchildren.
We own our sorrow for the children of Iraq, who do not have proper sanitation, water, food to eat, or homes to live in. Let our sorrow remind us of the need to provide proper care for those who suffer most during war, the children.

A voice was heard in Afghanistan, an uncle crying for his nieces and nephews.
We own our sadness for the children forced to live in a fearful world. The pain of worrying about the next conflict, and longing for a stable life, are hardest on the children. Let their fear remind us of the need to peacefully and justly end conflicts within this troubled world.

 A voice was heard in Syria, a father mourning his dead children.
We own our sorrow that the economy of our nation makes us the exporters of powerful weapons.

Merciful God, bring us to new life. May we walk in your ways so that peace becomes a reality among us.
Education for Justice

Action

I will stop whatever I am doing at noon today and join with all those around the world who will be observing a silent moment of prayer for peace.

Suggested Reading

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

True peace is the fruit of justice. True peace is the fruit of respecting the dignity of all people and nations. True and lasting peace is born when justice and mercy meet.
Pax Christi USA

If you want peace, work for justice.
Pope Paul VI

May our enemy become our friend, O God,
That we may share earth’s goodness.
May our enemy become our friend, O God,
That our children may meet and marry.
May our enemy become our friend, O God
That we may remember our shared birth in You.
May we grow in grace|
May we grow in gratitude,
May we grow in wisdom
That our enemy may become our friend.
John Philip Newell

 

Click here:   Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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