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Prayer for World Peace

Prayer for World Peace by Joan Chittister at Monasteries of the Heart

Each month Monasteries of the Heart suggests a Good Work for its members because Good Works are one of the five pillars of monastic practice, along with lectin, prayer, community, and study. November's Good Work invites members to read and reflect, in solitude and in shared reflection with others, on our role in empowering peace in our hearts, in our world and in our universe, especially in light of the threat to world peace that is building in the Holy Land and that continues to erupt in Ukraine. Sister Joan Chittister's Prayer for World Peace, below, is a starting point. We invite our Benedictine Sisters of Erie readers to engage in the same Good Work. And if you're interested in learning more about Monasteries of the Heart, or creating a free membership account, click here.

Prayer for World Peace 
by Joan Chittister, OSB

Great God, who has told us 
“Vengeance is mine,” 
save us from ourselves, 
save us from the vengeance in our hearts 
and the acid in our souls.

Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt, 
to punish as we have been punished, 
to terrorize as we have been terrorized.

Give us the strength it takes 
to listen rather than to judge, 
to trust rather than to fear, 
to try again and again 
to make peace even when peace eludes us.

We ask, O God, for the grace 
to be our best selves. 
We ask for the vision 
to be builders of the human community 
rather than its destroyers. 
We ask for the humility as a people 
to understand the fears and hopes of other people. 
We ask for the love it takes 
to bequeath to the children of the world to come 
more than the failures of our own making. 
We ask for the heart it takes 
to care for all the people 
of Afghanistan and Iraq, of Palestine and Israel 
as well as for ourselves.

Give us the depth of soul, O God, 
to constrain our might, 
to resist the temptations of power, 
to refuse to attack the attackable, 
to understand 
that vengeance begets violence, 
and to bring peace—not war—wherever we go. 
For you, O God, have been merciful to us. 
For you, O God, have been patient with us. 
For you, O God, have been gracious to us.

And so may we be merciful 
and patient 
and gracious 
and trusting 
with these others whom you also love.

This we ask through Jesus, 
the one without vengeance in his heart. 
This we ask forever and ever. Amen. 
— Published by Pax Christi, USA