Remembrance Day falls on Friday of this week, when we shall remember before God all those, civilian and military, who lost their lives in the two World Wars of the twentieth century, the first of them inappropriately called “the war to end all wars”, and in conflict since. It is indeed a time to honour the courage and conviction of those who died, but it is also a salutary reminder of the horror of war, and of the imperative on us all to pray and to work for peace.
The news-screens remind us hourly of warfare and violence across the globe. We live again in uncertain times, and we see expressed in different countries a rise in a politics of nationalism and defensiveness, the re-erection of barriers between “them” and “us”. There is a need to re-discover our common humanity and our mutual interdependence.
Let us pray for the peace of the world, and for ourselves, in our small part of it, that we may be channels of Christ’s love, and instruments of his peace.
“Almighty God, the refuge of all who put their trust in you, we turn to you in these uncertain times. Direct the course of this world, we humbly pray, in accordance with your holy will; take away whatever hinders the nations from unity and concord; and prosper all counsels which make for righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“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.”
(attributed to St Francis of Assisi)