Benediction of Peace at United Nations Peace Plaza
By Eric Garbison of Kansas City, MO, USA
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” —Matthew 5:9 NRSV
Eric Garbison of Cherith Brook Catholic Worker House offered this benediction of peace on the United Nations Peace Plaza at the close of a Nagasaki commemoration service, hosted by the Independence Temple.
Prayer for Peace
God of the Universe, you are the Gracious Giver, Architect of Life and Love. What holy places you have crafted! From continent to continent your presence fills each country, culture, creature. Every place, population, and people are proof of your goodness. This Earth is your handiwork and a sanctuary for life!
Spirit of inspiration, Spirit of imagination, Spirit of faith, send us from this place with peace and grace. We claim your many paths to peace and those ways we may live into our calling. May we go from here willing to do the simple daily tasks of mercy, willing to do the difficult and painful tasks of love, willing to join the direct struggle for nonviolence.
May we go willing to resist forces of fear and violence, willing to create and live as alternative peace communities. We will study every way to abolish the weapons of mass destruction we have created. May we go welcoming as you have welcomed us—opening ourselves, beyond our kinships, to strangers and enemies. Expand our sense and circle of community.
May we go from here willing to do the disciplined work of the mind, willing to reform our culture and social patterns to follow the arc of your justice. Using our education and our intelligence, we will unite for peace. Using our voice and writing, our art and music, we will teach alternatives to a culture designed by gods of war.
May we go from here upholding the truth that goodness is always stronger than evil, love is forever stronger than hate, resurrection has overcome death. May we be foolish for Christ, willing to be awkward, to appear insignificant in the name of love.
May we trust in the mystery and strength of trivial acts of kindness. May we emerge from the maddening crowd, as people who choose hope over fear.
Architect of Love, Peaceful Parent, Spirit of Hope, we give you our lives and our hearts. Amen.
Spiritual Practice: Pursue Peace on Earth
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a. Reflect on how you can “see violence but proclaim peace…feel conflict, yet extend the hand of reconciliation…encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.” What does the peace of Christ mean to you? Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom. What act of justice or peacemaking does God invite you to pursue this day? Dwell on these words of pursuit: see, proclaim, feel, extend, encounter, find.
Today, God, I will network and collaborate with the peace community, so bombs will never fall on a city again.