PCMDCB follows the longstanding Catholic tradition of moving from prayer to study and action that are guided by the Spirit. As a community, we begin and end our meetings with prayer. There are many kinds of prayer and many distinctions to be made: personal and communal, verbal and nonverbal, scripted and spontaneous, praise and petition. Sometimes our prayer takes the form of reflection. Sometimes, especially when we witness publicly, we sing our prayers. The prayers we say together are primarily praise and petition.
Theologians remind us that even in prayers of petition, our intent is not to change God but to change ourselves. So as nonviolent peacebuilders, acknowledging the power of original sin and the violent culture in which we live, we pray to change our own hearts through a process of continuous conversion and to be guided by the Spirit in all we do. This section offers some of our favorite prayers and hymns for peace and justice, as well as a listing of prayer resources.
The World Peace Prayer ("Lead me from death to life, ....)
This is My Song (The Finlandia hymn)
Calmness Prayers - for inner peace, from Jesuit Resource.org
Maryknoll Prayer for Peace & the Healing of the Wounds of War - This is from 2006, but the wars rage on.
Peace Hymns - from LiturgyTools.net
Other Websites with Prayers for Peace
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Prayers for Peace - by Popes and saints
The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (CNV) lists these prayer resources on its extensive website:
- 2018 Lenten reflection guide: Embracing Jesus’ practice of nonviolence, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
- Living a Nonviolent Life, a reflection booklet from the Marianites of the Holy Cross
- Resources for Peace Sunday 2018, based on the World Day of Peace message, offered by Pax Christi UK
- Observe a Year of Peace and Nonviolence, Sisters of St. Joseph
- Prayer service: Commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence (PDF file)
Prayers and practices of nonviolence: Peace Sunday packet 2011, Mennonite Central Committee, Canada
From the introduction of "Prayer for Conscience and Courage"
Loving God, lead us beyond ourselves to care and protect, to nourish and shape, to challenge and energize both the life and the world You have given us.
God of light and God of darkness, God of conscience and God of courage lead us through this time of spiritual confusion and public uncertainty.
Lead us beyond fear, apathy and defensiveness to new hope in You and to hearts full of faith.
Give us the conscience it takes to comprehend what we’re facing, to see what we’re looking at and to say what we see so that others, hearing us, may also brave the pressure that comes with being out of public step.
Give us the courage we need to confront those things that compromise our consciences or threaten our integrity.
Give us, most of all, the courage to follow those before us who challenged wrong and changed it, whatever the cost to themselves.
- Sr. Joan Chittister