Tuesday Fifth Week Easter 2012 Thomas Merton Prayer For Peace

 Scripture readings for today's Mass are here

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
 Not as the world gives do I give it to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

You heard me tell you,
'I am going away and I will come back to you.'

If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.

And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.

I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.

He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me."

Fr.Ron Rolheiser says "

 When we are helpless, God is not. God's love can descend into hell itself (as we profess in our creed) and breathe peace and reconciliation inside wound, anger, and fear. 

God's hands are gentler than ours, God's compassion is wider than ours, and God's understanding infinitely surpasses our own......Our God is not stymied by locked doors like we are.

God can go through locked doors, breathe out peace in places where we cannot get in, and write straight with even the most crooked of lines."

This Prayer for Peace below was written by Thomas Merton and read in the USA Congress on April 18, 1962 and placed in the Congressional Record. It was at the request of Frank Kowalksi, a Congressman from Connecticut.  In 1962 the Vietnam War was raging, but it is a timeless prayer.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Almighty and merciful God, Father of all, Creator and ruler of the universe,
Lord of all history, whose designs are without blemish, whose compassion for the errors of humanity is inexhaustible, in your will is our peace.

Mercifully hear this prayer which rises to you from the tumult and desperation
of a world in which you are forgotten, in which your name is not invoked, your laws are derided and your presence is ignored. Because we do not know you, we have no peace.

From the heart of an eternal silence, you have watched the rise of empires
and have seen the smoke of their downfall. 

You have witnessed the impious fury of ten thousand fratricidal wars, in which great powers have torn whole continents to shreds in the name of peace and justice.

A day of ominous decision has now dawned on this free nation. 

Save us then from our obsessions! 

Open our eyes, dissipate our confusions, teach us
to understand ourselves and our adversary. 

Let us never forget that sins against the law of love are punishable by loss of faith, and those without faith stop at no crime to achieve their ends!

Help us to be masters of the weapons that threaten to master us.

Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war and

Save us from the compulsion to follow our adversaries
in all that we most hate, confirming them in their hatred and
suspicion of us. 

Resolve our inner contradictions, which now grow beyond belief and beyond bearing. They are at once a torment and a blessing: for if you had not left us the light of conscience, we would not have to endure them. 

Teach us to wait and trust.

Grant light, grant strength and patience to all who work for peace.

But grant us above all to see that our ways are not necessarily
your ways, that we cannot fully penetrate the mystery of your
designs and that the very storm of power now raging on this earth
reveals your hidden will and your inscrutable decision.

Grant us to see your face in the lightning of this cosmic storm,

O God of holiness, merciful to us. 

Grant us to seek peace where
it is truly found. 

 In your will, O God, is our peace.

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