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March 1, 2003-Prayer for Peace
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Original content from The Tidings Online. 

'Make us instruments of your peace'

From Martin Sheen

The following is the text of the prayer for peace read by actor-activist Martin Sheen, March 1, at the Religious Congress in Anaheim.

Martin Sheen

Peace be with you!

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace."

This war was a foregone conclusion since September 20, 2002, when the United States declared a policy of "first strike option" - including nuclear first strike - against any nation it perceived as a threat. In one year, we'd gone from protection to paranoia.

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace."

Nationalism and patriotism have become the gods of our idolatry, and those opposed to the madness of this war are told to give thanks and praise for living in a country that tolerates such dissent, as if basic human rights and personal conscience were given by the gracious hand of any state.

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace."

By some demented form of logic, the men, women and children of Iraq are relegated to collateral damage, as the dogs of war slouch toward Baghdad.

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace."

We are left empty and trembling at the level of confidence placed in power and violence, and the level of arrogance it has inspired in our national leadership. And so Lord, we beg you, descend with us into the depths of our powerlessness and fear, and awaken there, Lord, the power of non-violent transformation, where we may discover fire for the second time. And then, Lord, let the light from that fire make every thought, word and deed a reflection of loving, non-violent resistance to every wretched form of violence, so that we may be made worthy of the long-promised blessings reserved for the peacemakers and those who show mercy.

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace."

Lord, we pray you make us instruments of your peace so we may lift up the world and all its people to a place where their heart is without fear, and their head is held high, where knowledge is free, where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow, domestic wars, where words come out from the depths of truth, where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection, where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sands of dead habit, where the mind is led forward by Thee into every thought and action into that heaven of freedom.

My Father, let my country awake!


Next Page:  March 2, 2003-Sheen as Peacemaker

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