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Litany for Peace
by Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios

Lord and Creator of humanity, have mercy on this race of ours! In your image it was created, to live in peace and joy, reflecting your glory. Look at us now!
Swords and spears we have learned to make, to maim and kill, to oppress and to exploit. Now guns and rockets, bombs and tanks!! We lust and covet, we fight and destroy, for it's desires have overpowered us. Our greed has become insatiable.
---Have mercy on us, Lord!

We have the borders of our own lands and seek fellowship with others only as our desires and our greed drive us. We go out only to plunder and rob, to steal and exploit, through our trade policies and our commercial strategies. We are still as greedy as ever, still as violent, still as oppressive.
---Have mercy on us, Lord!

By our greed and lust, by our pride and selfishness, we have made this world, a place of strife and struggle of war and terrorism. We spend a major portion of the fruit of our labors to fight our brothers and sisters in other lands or in our own. Have compassion for our miserable plight!
---Have mercy on us, Lord!

Teach us to seek justice and to pursue peace, not seeking our own, but serving the interests of the poor and needy, the oppressed and the exploited. Teach us to labor in love without greed, in order to serve in dignity and serve the needs of our fellow human beings. Teach us not to covet, not to exploit, not to oppress.
---Teach us the ways of peace, Lord!

Help us who are gathered here to see our own role in a greed-based, oppressive and exploitative economy. Rescue us from this oppressive set-up, in which we are more often on the side of the oppressor than the oppressed. Rescue us from our narrow loyalties, from our addiction to privilege and comfort, pleasure seeking, from our local, racial or national parochialism. Teach us to look upon all humanity as one family to whose common interests we are all committed.
---Teach us the ways of peace, Lord!

Kindle in us the quest for peace with justice, Lord! We know not where to seek it, though we know that it is only as we commit ourselves and apply ourselves to the pursuit of peace with justice, that we can know the way forward. Deliver us from the shackles of indifference and self-interests, from laziness and love of comfort and pleasure, from vain speaking and from the desire for empty praise and unearned glory from the distracting pursuit of thousand follies, from a false perception of what is the true good, from every lie and terror, from word without verity, from all that alienates from you, our Creator!
---Teach us the ways of peace, Lord!

We are constantly destroying our ecology and we are affected with all kind of new diseases! Teach us to join pace with the rhythm of the eco-system of the earth and the universe which are your creation!
---Teach us the ways of peace, Lord!

Teach us the process of human becoming, through interaction with nature and through interrelation with other human beings in social labor, with a critical assessment of human social activity in science and technology and in political economy!
---Teach us the ways of peace, Lord!

Help us with courage, Lord! We need courage to stop stockpiling and start disarming. We need courage not to waste and not to consume more than what is good for all of us together. We need courage to trust our fellow human beings. We need courage to start shaping a new world economy based on peace with justice.
---Grant us courage, Lord!

We need wisdom to know how to order our lives as a world community. We need wisdom to know what are the values worth living for, so that we do not lose our souls in the mad pursuit of a foolish affluence. We need wisdom to know how to achieve the training of the masses of men and women for seeking their own liberation and for building the right kinds of societies.
---Grant us wisdom, Lord!

We need power, power to withstand the unjust oppressors, terrorists, power to resist the blandishments and seductions of power itself. We need power to imagine and to create. We need power to see visions and to pursue the truth. We need power to build a world of peace with justice. We need power to hope, to struggle and to strive. We need power to create what is good and joyous, peaceful and just.
---Grant us the right kind of power, Lord!

And most difficult of all, we need power to love! We need to know your love, so that in that love alone we seek our security. We need to know your love, in order that we may not to be afraid to love. We need to love, for love is the sign of your presence, and without love neither peace nor justice is worth very much.
---Teach us both to know your love, and to be unafraid to love, Lord!

Source: Dr. Eapen Cherian

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