“He shall judge between nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares. And their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again” – Isaiah 2:1-5
I have watched the ebb and flow of war and peace in my lifetime. There have been times of great progress with the end of the Cold War, and a slowing of the nuclear arms race. Domestically, we saw progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the introduction of Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, etc. This past decade, however, has marked a decline in global stability. Even among our own citizens, the divide seems to be widening. The road to peace and progress has been obstructed by fascism, nationalism, and tribalism.
During this first week of Advent, the words of Isaiah speak to our troubled times, and provide hope that the innate goodness of the human spirit will rise up and heed the divine message of peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.