congregation of the sisters of st joseph of peace
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Peace Prayer

January 16, 2018
                prepared by Carmel Little, CSJP
 

 
We Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Constitutions:
Recalling Jesus’ identification with the prophetic tradition,
we develop a critical, sensitive conscience
regarding religious, social, cultural,
economic, and political realities,
and we direct our efforts
to actions which bring peace through justice.         #23
 
Today we stand at a new crossing place.  We live in a society marked strongly by the
violence of war, violence to people through poverty and a sense of powerlessness and
alienation, violence to earth, sea, and sky – violence that is truly cosmic.  In response we
commit ourselves to grow more deeply toward a nonviolent way of being and acting as
peacemakers.              Seeds of Peace – Acts of the 21st General Chapter
 
Prayer:  Psalm 85
We will hear what God proclaims: for God proclaims peace.
God proclaims peace to the people and to the faithful ones,
and to those who put their trust in God.
 
Kindness and truth shall meet; Justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.      
 
Quiet Reflection
 
Reading:     Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted,
   every hill and mountain shall be made low,
     the rough places will be made plain,
   and the crooked places will be made straight,
     and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
       and all flesh shall see it together.
 
Response:     We have a dream.

This is our hope.
This is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith we will be able
   to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
With this faith
   we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation
     into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together,
   to pray together,
     to struggle together,
       to go to jail together,
     to stand up for freedom together,
       knowing that we will be free one day.
 
Response:     This is our hope.
 
This will be the day
   when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning,
     "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
   land of the pilgrim's pride,
     from every mountainside,
       let freedom ring."
 
Response:     This is our song.
 
And if America is to be a great nation
   this must become true.
So let freedom ring from the
   prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
     Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
       Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
 
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
   Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
   Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
     Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
       From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
 
Response:     We ring out freedom.
 
And when this happens,
When we allow freedom to ring,
   when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet,
     from every state and every city,
we will be able to speed up that day
   when all of God's children,
     black men and white men,
       Jews and Gentiles,
     Protestants and Catholics,
will be able to join hands
   and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,
     "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
 
Response:     We have a dream!
 
Quiet Reflection
 
On the Pulse of Morning       Maya Angelou  (excerpt)
Lift up your eyes
Upon this day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
 
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands,
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For a new beginning.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
 
Here on the pulse of this new day,
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes,
And into your brother's face,
Your country,
And say simply
Very simply
With hope--
Good morning.
 
Prayer:
O Thou Eternal God,
   out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence
     the whole universe has come into being,
we humbly confess
   that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds,
     and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us.
We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses
   rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ.
We often give in order to receive.
We love our friends and hate our enemies.
We go the first mile but dare not travel the second.
We forgive but dare not forget.
And so as we look within ourselves,
   we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives
     is the history of an eternal revolt against you.
But thou, O God, have mercy upon us.
Forgive us for what we could have been
   but failed to be.
Give us the intelligence to know your will.
Give us the courage to do your will.
Give us the devotion to love thy will.
In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray.  Amen.
                                                                 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace Prayer

"Life and prayer are intertwined, because the natural thing to do is to talk to God, to pray. Nothing is compartmentalized. "

Margaret Dove, CSJP