As a woman of deep spirituality, I grieve with those who grieve, seek release of those held captive, and recognize the root causes of violence.
I urgently call upon the world to find and use all possible resources to stabilize the Middle East, secure refuge for those in humanitarian crisis, and negotiate peace that will last.
I am united with those of all faiths and take seriously our shared responsibility to protect the safety of ALL people, particularly the Jewish community throughout the world and to work for – and live – Peace.
I stand with the leaders and followers of the Jewish faith, intolerant of any form of hate or violence towards places of worship, and stand ready, willing and able to hold space and bear witness to the transformation of consciousness necessary for sustainable peace.
I categorically disavow ANY person, philosophy, group, religious or political ideology which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people, culture and/or religion.
I pray for Grace, Light and Love and Peace.
Last but not least, you are not alone. I will sit with you and allow you to question, to cry, to pray, to wonder, to lament during this time. I do not offer “fixes” or “solutions” but Presence and prayer. Message me if you need or want to talk.
The Board of Directors for Spiritual Directors Companions (formerly Spiritual Directors International) https://www.sdicompanions.org/, an organization of which I am a member, released a statement concerning the recent violence and turmoil in Israel and Gaza. In an email from them, the following prayers were included. I share them with you hoping you find comfort and peace in their words.
God of Life:
You who heals the broken hearted, binding up our wounds.
Please hear this prayer of mothers.
You did not create us to kill each other
Your name is Life, your name is Peace.
For these I weep, my eye sheds water:
For our children crying in the night,
For parents holding infants, despair and darkness in their hearts.
For a gate that is closing – who will rise to open it before the day is gone?
With my tears and with my constant prayers, With the tears of all women deeply pained at these harsh times
I raise my hands to you in supplication: Please God have mercy on us.
Hear our voice that we not despair, That we will witness life with each other, That we have mercy one for another, That we share sorrow one with the other, That we hope, together, one for another.
Inscribe our lives in the book of Life
For Your sake, our God of Life, Let us choose Life.
For You are Peace, Your world is Peace and all that is Yours is Peace,
May this be your will
And let us say Amen.
May we make peace where there is now war, rebuild where there is now devastation.
—- Rabbi Dr. Rachel Adler
Prayer for World Peace – Joan Chittister
Great God, who has told us
“Vengeance is mine,”
save us from ourselves,
save us from the vengeance in our hearts
and the acid in our souls.
Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt,
to punish as we have been punished,
to terrorize as we have been terrorized.
Give us the strength it takes
to listen rather than to judge,
to trust rather than to fear,
to try again and again
to make peace even when peace eludes us.
We ask, O God, for the grace
to be our best selves.
We ask for the vision
to be builders of the human community
rather than its destroyers.
We ask for the humility as a people
to understand the fears and hopes of other people.
We ask for the love it takes
to bequeath to the children of the world to come
more than the failures of our own making.
We ask for the heart it takes
to care for all the people
of Afghanistan and Iraq, of Palestine and Israel
as well as for ourselves.
Give us the depth of soul, O God,
to constrain our might,
to resist the temptations of power,
to refuse to attack the attackable,
that vengeance begets violence,
and to bring peace—not war—wherever we go.
For you, O God, have been merciful to us.
For you, O God, have been patient with us.
For you, O God, have been gracious to us.
And so may we be merciful
with these others whom you also love.
This we ask through Jesus,
the one without vengeance in his heart.
This we ask forever and ever. Amen
Lord, Lord, Open Unto Me – Howard Thurman
Open unto me, light for my darkness
Open unto me, courage for my fear
Open unto me, hope for my despair
Open unto me, peace for my turmoil
Open unto me, joy for my sorrow
Open unto me, strength for my weakness
Open unto me, wisdom for my confusion
Open unto me, forgiveness for my sins
Open unto me, tenderness for my toughness
Open unto me, love for my hates
Open unto me, Thy Self for myself
Lord, Lord, open unto me
Please Call Me by My True Names – Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow — even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving to be a bud on a Spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river. And I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond. And I am the grass-snake that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks. And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate. And I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands. And I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.