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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 time!
 
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!