Ephesians 4:31-32: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
• Prayer of St. Francis (Make Me A Channel of Your Peace)
God of all creation, send us your Spirit to guide and help us, that through us, your Spirit will fill the world with beauty, wonder, and peace. Let us live in the gift of this moment and look for the good in others. Remind us that it is not enough to simply wish for peace or believe in peace— you call us to work for peace. Give us the courage to be true to your call to be people of peace. Open our minds and hearts to the message of your Gospel. May each one of us be a blessing of peace to others.
Communication is important to achieving peaceful relationships. Our spoken words and tone make a difference in creating either an inviting and welcoming space or a hostile environment for others in interacting with us. Bullying and verbal abuse can create much harm to the dignity of the victim, resulting in low self-image and psychological depression, which may later lead to substance abuse or suicide. Bullying and verbal abuse can also cause marginalization, divisions or polarities between people.
We need to be mindful of the words we choose to use with others and follow Jesus’ example of compassion, love, and caring for one another. To build peace, be peace, and spread peace, each of us should pay attention to the words and language we use and the tone we deliver. We should also encourage others to do the same and to eliminate all kinds of bullying.
Reflection Question: God’s Word is the Living Word. As Jesus’s follower, how should I live and speak so my words may become the living word?
(Pause for a moment of silent reflection)
Response: Holy Spirit, hear us.
- Holy Spirit, Come. Help the victims of bullying and verbal abuse and give them courage to seek help for healing. Send people to help them recover, we pray.
- Holy Spirit, Come. Awaken people who are bullying and help them to learn how to use words, language and tone properly with compassion, love, and care, we pray.
- Jesus, our Savior. Deliver us from the temptations and the tendency to harm others through bullying and verbal abuse, we pray.
- God of Redeemer. Forgive people who bully or verbally abuse others. Forgive us for not always speaking up to prevent harmful outcomes, we pray.
- God of Creation, teach us how to value the dignity of each person and care for each other as you care for us, we pray.
Closing Prayer: Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it be: a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or are poor; a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them; a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect; a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love. Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Downloaded from United Church of Christ prayer website at http://www.ucc.org/justice_ejcp_ef_prayers)
Dominican Blessing: May God the Creator bless us, May God Redeemer heal us and May God, the Holy Spirit fill us with peace.
Suggested Practice: I commit myself today to pay more attention to my tone when I speak and to use positive words when talking to others.
Join us to Be Peace, Build Peace, and Preach Peace. You can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share this Novena on your Facebook page and forward it to at least 5 people. Tomorrow’s prayer will be for Peace Through Hospitality.
Prepared by Sister Mai-Dung Nguyen, OP, Louisville, KY.