MIA Prayer Intention: Guide Us in the Way of Peace
11 November marks the centenary of the conclusion of World War One (1914-1918), 'The war to end war'.
War is defined as an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives. According to an article in the New York Times (2003), of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history. 187 million people are estimated to have died as a result of war in the twentieth century (The Guardian).
Let us join with Pope Francis in his prayer from 2014:
'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… But our efforts have been in vain.
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”. Instil 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 quarrelling 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!
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!'