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
Lord, make us instruments of your
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!