A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Prayers of the People: Our World at Peace, 4th Sunday in the Season of Creation '16

For Sunday, October 30, 2016, Our World at Peace, Season of Creation IV***Readings: Thomas Merton*, Psalm 139:1-10, Prayer of St. Francis**, Luke 19:1-10

If you yourself are at peace,
then there is at least some peace in the world.
~ Thomas Merton
Peace is not something you fight for...It is indeed "fighting for peace" that starts all the wars.  [Thomas Merton*]

Lord make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love...
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. 
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life. [The Prayer of St. Francis**]

O Lord, you have searched me out and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.  [Psalm 139:1-2]

"Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost." [Luke 19:9-10]

        How powerful are the words of Thomas Merton - peace is not something you fight for...fighting for peace...starts all the wars - given the current context of life in this time.  And no less powerful are the following readings requesting that we are made into instruments of God's peace, that we are known by God in all that we do and are not separate but held fast. 
        This reading from Luke's Gospel always makes me think of Mrs. Zacchaeus - can't you imagine the scene: "You invited WHO for dinner, are you nuts?" And of course we are told that the bystanders watching Jesus call Zacchaeus out of the tree to take him home to dinner are all so pompous and arrogant about Jesus as a guest of a sinner. Who among us hasn't thrown a similar verbal stone? Yet Jesus bestows salvation on the house of Zacchaeus. Is it because Zacchaeus has pledged to right all financial wrongs? We don't know. But we do know that Jesus came to seek out and save the lost. Maybe Zacchaeus knew he himself was lost. Maybe the ones who were grumbling didn't know that they, too, were lost. Let us find and be found by Jesus, seek peace within ourselves to share, and sow love, faith, and hope in a world too ready to fight.  

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, Divine Master, as You know us better than we know ourselves, guide us to seek and recognize You in others, to find You living deep within us, and to learn to pray with more fervor for others than we pray for ourselves.

                                    Lord of Love and Hope
RESPONSE:              Make us agents of Your peace

~ O God, Divine Master, search again the hearts of us all, especially those who lead in governments globally and locally. Quell the ego-need to fight for or against peace, and lead us to the path within, where peace will grow and spread beyond all barriers and borders. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Lord of Love and Hope
                                    Make us agents of Your peace

~ O God, Divine Master, lay Your healing hand upon those weary of the pain, anguish, or fears of this life, and hold fast to those who offer caring help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                    Lord of Love and Hope
                                    Make us agents of Your peace

~ O God, Divine Master, lighten the darkness for the grieving, as our loved ones return Home to the eternal splendor and glory of new life in Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Lord of Love and Hope
                                    Make us agents of Your peace

~ O God, Divine Master, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud… add your own petitions

                                    Lord of Love and Hope
                                    Make us agents of Your peace

~ O God, Divine Master, bestow courage and confidence upon those anointed to call us to Your holy table, that we may partake of Your spiritual food, and serve the world together, in Your name. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

The Celebrant adds: Lord of Creation, Salvation, and Wisdom, grant us the grace to embody Your Presence through consoling, loving, giving, and pardoning for all who know they are lost, and for all who believe that they are not. May we be born to eternal life in the death of selfishness. We ask through Jesus, our Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Counselor, who together with You are One God, now and forever. Amen.


*A reading from Thomas Merton — Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Doubleday, 1966, p 181)
Peace is not something you fight for. Perhaps peace is not, after all, something you work for, or “fight for.”  It is indeed “fighting for peace” that starts all the wars. What, after all, are the pretexts of all these Cold War crises, but “fighting for peace”?  Peace is something you have or you do not have. If you yourself are at peace, then there is at least *some* peace in the world. Then you share your peace with everyone, and everyone will be at peace. Of course I realize that arguments like this can be used as a pretext for passivity, for indifferent acceptance of every iniquity. Quietism leads to war as surely as anything does. But I am not speaking of quietism, because quietism is not peace, nor is it the way to peace.

**Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

***for more information on the Season of Creation and the Earth Charter see:  http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2016/10/prayers-of-people-very-beginning-1st.html




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.