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On New Year’s Eve, we joined with Pope Francis’ call for prayer on this 51st World Day of Prayer for Peace. If you weren’t able to  join our vigil here at the monastery, we invite you to share in our prayer in heart and soul wherever you may be.

From Pope Francis’ Message on the World Day of Peace:

Peace to all people and to all nations on earth! Peace, which the angels proclaimed to the shepherds on Christmas night,is a profound aspiration for everyone, for each individual and all peoples, and especially for those who most keenly suffer its absence. Among these whom I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers, I would once again mention the over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees. Pope Benedict XVI, my beloved predecessor, spoke of them as “men and women, children, young and elderly people, who are searching for somewhere to live in peace.” In order to find that peace, they are willing to risk their lives on a journey that is often long and perilous, to endure hardships and suffering, and to encounter fences and walls built to keep them far from their goal.

In a spirit of compassion, let us embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands.

We know that it is not enough to open our hearts to the suffering of others. Much more remains to be done before our brothers and sisters can once again live peacefully in a safe home (Migrants and Refugees: men and women in search for peace).

Hymn:  Prayer of St. Francis

~Silent Prayer~

From Pope Francis’ Message on the World Day of Peace:

The wisdom of faith fosters a contemplative gaze that recognizes that all of us “belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth, whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.” These words evoke the biblical image of the new Jerusalem. The book of the prophet Isaiah (chapter 60) and that of Revelation (chapter 21) describe the city with its gates always open to people of every nation, who marvel at it and fill it with riches. Peace is the sovereign that guides it and justice the principle that governs coexistence within it.

We must also turn this contemplative gaze to the cities where we live, “a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their houses, in their streets and squares, […] fostering solidarity, fraternity, and the desire for goodness, truth and justice” – in other words, fulfilling the promise of peace.

When we turn that gaze to migrants and refugees, we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasures of their own cultures; and in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them. We also come to see the creativity, tenacity and spirit of sacrifice of the countless individuals, families and communities around the world who open their doors and hearts to migrants and refugees, even where resources are scarce.

A contemplative gaze should also guide the discernment of those responsible for the public good, and encourage them to pursue policies of welcome, “within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good” – bearing in mind, that is, the needs of all members of the human family and the welfare of each.

Those who see things in this way will be able to recognize the seeds of peace that are already sprouting and nurture their growth. Our cities, often divided and polarized by conflicts regarding the presence of migrants and refugees, will thus turn into workshops of peace (Migrants and Refugees: men and women in search for peace).

~Silent Prayer~

Sung Prayer: Psalm 85

~Silent Prayer~

Reading: Matthew 5: 39-45

~Silent Prayer~

Intercessions: For those we are especially aware of this night, we life our hearts and voices in prayer to our compassionate God…
~For all who are living in fear amidst armed conflict and war…
+Show us Your mercy and grant us Your peace.
~For all who are mourning the violent loss of loved ones…
+Show us Your mercy and grant us Your peace.
~For all who have been wounded in body, mind, or spirit by violence…
+Show us Your mercy and grant us Your peace.
~For all who have fled their homes and are living in refugee camps…
+Show us Your mercy and grant us Your peace.
~For all who are working to bring aid into war-torn areas…
+Show us Your mercy and grant us Your peace.
~For world leaders, departments of state, ambassadors, diplomats,
and all who in any way further the cause of peace…
+Show us Your mercy and grant us Your peace.

Our Father

~Sign of Peace~

Closing from Pope Francis’ Message on the World Day of Peace:

God of Tender Compassion, hear the powerful cry for peace that has gone up from every land. Let us draw inspiration from the words of Saint John Paul II: “If the ‘dream’ of a peaceful world is shared by all, if the refugees’ and migrants’ contribution is more properly evaluated, then humanity can become more and more a universal family and our earth a true ‘common home’.” Renew our hope and faith, so that we may be instruments of Your grace and peace for each other, for our communities, and for our world. We pray now and forever in the name of the Prince of Peace (Migrants and Refugees: men and women in search for peace).

Sung Blessing: Dona nobis pacem, pacem; Dona nobis pacem.

Blessings to you,
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