Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 10/9

In Pope Francis' new encyclical letter he writes:
We can no longer think of war as a solution, 
   because its risks will probably always be greater 
   than its supposed benefits. 
In view of this, it is very difficult nowadays...
   to speak of the possibility of a “just war”. 
Never again war!
Lord, I know the pope is speaking about nations at war
but I think this applies to me, too,
and all the little wars I wage in my life:
   - folks I refuse to talk to
   - family feuds and struggles
   - resentments I hold against neighbors
   - grudges I've carried for decades
   - anger my heart won't let go of
   - bitterness towards those who don't agree with me
   - animosity aimed at a particular group
   - real hatred of some individuals
   - ill will towards others in church life
   - mean spirited speech and gossip

In some of these cases, Lord, 
I might have a real grievance against another
but that gives me no license to hate the one
by whom I've been aggrieved...

As it is among nations, so it is among us:
it's very difficult to speak of the possibility of a "just war" 
between me and my brother or sister...
How can I wage war against my neighbor, Lord,
when I know that you live in my neighbor's heart?
How can I justify hating a brother or sister
when you have taught us to love our neighbor
as we love ourselves?
I have learned, Lord:
Whoever claims to love God 
yet hates a brother or sister - is a liar. 
For whoever does not love their brother and sister, 
whom they have seen, 
cannot love God, 
whom they have not seen. (1 John 4:20) 
Speaking before the United Nations in 1965,
Pope Saint Paul VI cried out,
    Jamais plus la guerre! Jamais plu la guerre!
    Never again war!  Never again war!
Lord, help me take to heart
the words of your servants, Paul and Francis:
help me lay down the weapons of words
    and the armaments of animosity;
help me be the one to call for a truce,
    to reconcile, to make peace, 
    in the skirmishes, the battles 
    and the wars I wage in my own life,
    in my own family, among my own neighbors
    and with my colleagues at work...

For this I pray, Lord, because I love you
- but I know I can't truly love you 
    whom I haven't seen
if I don't love my brother and my sister
    whom I have seen...

Jamais plus la guerre, Lord!
Never again war!



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