Subject: Martin Sheen's Peace Prayer

The following is taken from a speech by Martin Sheen at Marquette University
on Sept. 19, 2003.  At the end of the speech he invoked the following
poem/prayer, which is his effort at combining the Prayer of St. Francis with
a poem by Tagore, India's poet laureate.

My sisters and brothers, peace be with you!

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

We are left empty and trembling at the level of confidence placed in the
power of violent weapons and the level of arrogance thay have inspired in
our national leadership.  But you have taught us, Lord, that arrogance is
ignorance matured and "what we sow, also we reap", so Lord, make us
instruments of your peace.

Descend with us into the depths of our powerlessness and fear and awaken the
power of non-violent transformation as we discover your fire for the second

Then, Lord, let the light and heat from that fire make every thought, every
word, and every 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
blessing reserved for the Peacemakers and for those who show mercy.

Lord, make us non-violent instruments of your peace, so that we may lift up
the world and all its people to a place where the heart is without fear and
the head is held high, where knowledge is free; where the world has not been
broken up into fragments by narrow domestic calls; where words come out from
the depth of truth; where tireless striving stretches its arms toward
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 ever widening thought and action -- into that heaven of freedom, my
Father, let my country awake!