Today we share with you a prayer composed by John Flaherty as he, like so many of us, watched the violent events unfold in our Capitol last week. John is well known for his work at Loyola Marymount University. He is Associate Director of Campus Ministry, Director of Liturgy and Music, and Director of Pastoral Liturgy and Pastoral Music Certification for the Center for Religion and Spirituality. He is also a friend and supporter of Ignatians West.
We hope this prayer is a comfort to you as we move toward Inauguration Day 2021 . .
"Prayer for Peace"
On this day, we watch in fear, horror and confusion as we witness the images unfold in the assault on the U.S. Capitol Building, the very heart of our democratic republic.
On this day, scenes we witness and the epiphanies we have had, frighten and shake us to the core.
On this day we pray for peace and reason to reign.
And, so we pray.
God of mercy and peace, source of life and author of all that is good: Amid the clamor of our violence, your Word of truth resounds; upon a world made dark by sin, We look for the light to chase away the darkness.
In the midst of the human conflict unfolding in the heart of our country, you turn our minds to thoughts of peace. And, on this day when brother has turned against brother, and sister has turned upon sister, We see that we have strayed far from where you are and where you summon us to be.
But, loving God, here is where we need you now, and need you the most. Be with us.
In Torah, in Gospel, in Q’ran, You speak these words again and again: “Do not be afraid.” When the message of the world goes against the grain of your Word, may we always cling to the love you offer today rather than the fears the world offers tomorrow.
Hear our cries of pain and anguish. Hear our cries of despair. Hear our cries and prayers for peace and reason. Hear our cries for forgiveness.
Quell the cries for vengeance and violence. Quiet the rage that seeks to silence the voices of others. Still every heart filled with vengeance and violence. Calm those who live in fear. Comfort those whose hearts are broken. and filled with pain and terror.
Give us the strength and resolve to end all violence in our hearts, minds, communities, this beautiful and fragile world, and especially on this day, in this country we love and call home.
For it is only through your healing power the love of peace quells violence, mercy conquers hatred, and vengeance yields to forgiveness.
Loving God, show us your face in one another; teach us to recognize as your children, even our enemies and persecutors, and to love them without measure or discrimination.
Hasten the advent of that day, when the sounds of war will be for ever stilled, the darkness of evil scattered, and all your children gathered into one.
Hear this prayer as we send it along with those of all peace loving people.