Peace Prayer

This prayer is on my mind today.  It is often wrongly attributed to St. Francis, but is clearly modern.

When something like this is repeated by enough different people, it can start to sound like a cliché, but none of these requests are trivial-minded!  The only real flaw with the structure is that it focusses on the word "me" far too often for a prayer that is supposed to be about "self-forgetting".  Nevertheless, there is some real spiritual beauty here that is worth meditating on:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

Lord, may it be so!  And as every Eastern Orthodox priest recites during the liturgy: "Forgive those who hate us, and those that love us."  Amen.

About Aron Wall

I am a Lecturer in Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. Before that, I read Great Books at St. John's College (Santa Fe), got my physics Ph.D. from U Maryland, and did my postdocs at UC Santa Barbara, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Stanford. The views expressed on this blog are my own, and should not be attributed to any of these fine institutions.
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6 Responses to Peace Prayer

  1. When considering the very starting points of our universe, why not begin with the Planck base units of Planck Length/Planck Time and Planck Mass/Planck Charge? Aren't these the most simple definitions of a thing with real numbers, real dimensionless constants? Thanks again, Aron. -Bruce

  2. Elizabeth says:

    A very good song. Quick research shows you to be correct, that the song is from early 1900s. ... my math teacher at my Christian HS in GR MI (early 1990s, he's retired now) loved this song very much and we often sang it in chapel; I can still hear his voice, leading us to sing. A very good song for these times. May God so have mercy.

  3. TY says:

    One of our common Hymns during communion and other occasions. A beautiful and catchy tune; as Elizabeth says, "A very good song". Singing in my head as I write!!

  4. Hmmn. I'm not seeing much physics here. I think Ms Hossenfelder is having a laugh. Aron, I believe in Christian ethics. I think the spirit of cooperation built the modern world. But I do not believe in heaven and hell and sweet baby Jesus. I don't believe in Neils Bohr and the Copenhagen interpretation either, but that's another story.

  5. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem, there is an entire lifetime's worth of learning packed into those short lines!

  6. PC1 says:

    Congratulations, Aron, on winning your 'Oscar of Science'!


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