The incursion of Russian forces into Ukraine has been deeply disturbing to me. I feel some days that I am witnessing what it must have been like during World War II. I wonder are we in World War III? How is it that in this time— in the 21st century— a superpower can simply invade another sovereign nation in a brutal attempt to take it over? I just find that impossible to believe, yet, it is true. So many innocent people have been displaced as refugees who have lost everything whole villages are without power, water, food, or shelter. They are my sisters and brothers. They could be your family. We all have family in Ukraine.
Peace does not seem possible to me. Yet as a woman of peace I want peace, I seek it. I pray for it. Peace is not simply peace of mind or peace of heart, or peace in my house or neighborhood. This moment calls for the world to put a stop to this war. We dream of peace that is truly the absence of war, and when war comes it must be stopped. But I feel, as I suspect you feel, that peace seems impossible. What are we to do? All I can offer is a prayer from someone more eloquent than I can be in this terrible time.
It so happens that in 2016, Sr. Pat Twohill narrated the poem by John O’Donohue, For Peace. I offer the video and the poem to you in the hope that our prayers will bring comfort to those who are suffering, and an end to this war.
As the fever of day calms towards twilight
May all that is strained in us come to ease.
We pray for all who suffered violence today,
May an unexpected serenity surprise them.
For those who risk their lives each day for peace,
May their hearts glimpse providence at the heart of history.
That those who make riches from violence and war
Might hear in their dreams the cries of the lost.
That we might see through our fear of each other
A new vision to heal our fatal attraction to aggression.
That those who enjoy the privilege of peace
Might not forget their tormented brothers and sisters.
That the wolf might lie down with the lamb,
That our swords be beaten into ploughshares
And no hurt or harm be done
Anywhere along the holy mountain.
John O’Donohue, Irish poet and philosopher
And all the people said, “Amen.”