Tuesday, April 17, 2007
An Icon, and a Prayer for Peace
It's one of those stories of senseless violence that makes you keep your television on CNN all day and night. First you try to process the horror. Then you try to find the stories. The people. The martyrs and heroes.
I love the stories, to see the faces behind the tragedy, and hate them at the same time. I hate that these souls--somebody's loved ones--are gone too soon. I cry with their families for them. There was so much hope. Kids getting their education.
And now. . .
For the life of me, I can't process this tragedy. I want to interceed deeply, but all I can do is sit here stunned and hurting, probably like so many of us.
I like that other people, Veteran prayers, have paved the way for peace prayers for me. I found this prayer of peace in my hungry wandering today. It's by Brother Roger of Taize, he himself, a victim of a violent homicide. Brother Roger was 90 years old when he went to live with Jesus. A mentally ill woman stabbed him to death during evening prayers. Lord, have mercy. This world, so full of beauty, is also the habitat of so much terror. Yet we must still pray. We must still love. We must still remember the radical words of the even more radical Jesus:
"Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recongnised as the sons of God." Matt. 5:9 The New Jerusalem Bible.
Here's Brother Roger's prayer:
O Risen Christ,
You breathe your Holy Spirit on us
and you tell us: 'Peace be yours'.
Opening ourselves to your peace-
letting it penetrate the harsh and
rocky ground of our hearts -
means preparing ourselves to be
bearers of reconciliation
wherever you may place us.
But you know at times
we are at a loss.
So come lead us
to wait in silence,
to let a ray of hope shine forth
in our world.
Amen, Brother Rogers. Interceed for us still here in this violent world of troubles.
Pray for the victims and their families. And let's pray for one another.
This icon, 'Christ is our Reconciliation' was made for Pax Christi International at the Monastery of St. John in the Desert, near Jerusalem. Further information: www.paxchristi.net/symbols.
Pax Christi, St. Joseph's, Watford Way,
London NW4 4TY
You can purchase a copy of the icon/prayer card there.