DAY FIVE – FEBRUARY 5, 2016
INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK
FROM POPE FRANCIS INTERFAITH PRAYER FOR PEACE
FLAMES OF HOPE
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried…
Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”. Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, “sister” and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!
“… a greater appreciation of the shared Abrahamic roots of three great faith traditions might help reconcile those false divisions that the most strident voices of ignorance seem to propagate. Whenever one stops and pitches one‘s tent for too long, it becomes a place of fixity, and an illusion of absolute certainty that soon leads to conflagration and destruction.
Like Abraham, we might instead leave behind former times and places; and resume the journey once again on shared, fresh paths, under the canopy of a million, billion stars that have been cast before us.”