Becoming Instruments of Peace

“Lord, Make me an instrument of Your peace.”
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

The world wants peace. Not every person does, but most people desire peace rather than war. We value life over death. We prefer creating to destroying.

The United States is preparing to teach the world a lesson about war. We may get to see what happens when the good guys try on pre-emptive war as a national policy. It used to be that the use of first strike war was a way to sort out the good guys from the bad. We’ll see. Perhaps we shall see the United States change its preferred role from beacon of democracy to frightened aggressor? Perhaps when the smoke has settled, the world will have had a lesson in the futility of making war when we have a choice.

People who believe in peace sometimes feel hopeless thinking about the long history of war and the persistence of war even after the War To End All Wars. But war only exists when people think it is acceptable. What people think is acceptable can change.

Things people used to accept as normal:
Gladiator fights
Genocide of native peoples
Fist fights among grown men
Wife beating
Drunk driving
Cutting down all the trees
Smoking in crowds
Social norms change. Someday, war will join the list of things people used to do and think it was right. We are the people who think. Let us think on war and the end of it. Let us decide what we want and begin to create it. Let us go beyond fear, anger, hate and thirst for revenge. Let us pray for a peaceful world. Let us find ways to overcome evil with right action.

Prayer for Peace

We people of earth long for peace.
We cherish our common humanity.
We value each life.
We give up hate and embrace compassion.
We hold faith that minds can change,
That evil is overcome through wisdom, and
That wisdom grows of love.
We act with kindness and integrity.
We grow peace from the inside out.
So it shall be.

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© 2003 Tom Barrett