Monday, September 15, 2008

Muslim, Jewish, Christian Prayer for Peace

Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!

It's Monday and, though I'm generally a morning person, I'm feeling a bit sluggish today. Maybe the coffee will jumpstart my day. Or maybe getting some much needed assignments completed will jumpstart my day. Or maybe a combination of both!

As Muslims continue to enter to take a journey into Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer to God, I thought I would share a Monotheistic prayer for peace I obtained from a Pax Christi blog. Pax Christi, as little as I know about it, is considered a Catholic Peace Movement. This prayer was posted in a blog on December 7, 2007 and was meant to be prayed by those around the world seeking an end especially to the War in Iraq. In the blog, the author hopes that 2007 would be the last year the prayer would have to be said. Unfortunately, it looks like this December we may need to unite and pray for peace again. It seems to be a never ending, always needed prayer request.

The Muslim, Jewish, Christian Prayer for Peace

O God, you are the source of life and peace.
Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of war.
Your power changes hearts.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews remember,and profoundly affirm,
that they are followers of the one God, children of Abraham, brothers and sisters;
enemies begin to speak to one another;
those who were estranged join hands in friendship;
nations seek the way of peace together.
Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these truths by the way we live.

Give to us:
Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred;
and Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance.
Empower all people to live in your law of love.

Sometime before the end of Ramadan, I, as a Christian pretty ignorant of many of the fundamental aspects and practices of Islam, vow (that's a strong word!)---promise, plan to (maybe a little easier to say) share with my Muslim sisters and brothers in a day of fasting. Practicing Muslims spend the entire month of Ramadan fasting from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food AND drink.

I will try and push through one day to, in some small way, show solidarity and respect for the Muslim friends I have made thus far. In particular, I plan to share in the fast with my friend Khady. She will be leading a group from Loyola to travel and help New Orleans continue to rebuild and repair its community come spring break. Yesterday, all Alternative Break Immersion leaders finished a weekend retreat to help us begin to prepare to lead our groups on immersions. I thought it was really something that Khady was more than willing to attend a Catholic mass with our group and to skip some of her daily prayer time to be with us on retreat. To me, it was an example of a person making an individual statement of unity that symbolizes the potential for unity on a religion to religion, community to community, nation to nation level.

So I encourage anyone, regardless of his or her faith tradition, to share with Khady for one day this month and take part in Ramadan. Find out the basics about what Ramadan is and then even invite friends and family to share in the fast. And if you do take part in it, try to strive and make it a personal commitment to be open and compassionate to the various people in our world pray and find peace.

Peace and blessings.

with love,

your friend bob.

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