Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when 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.
~Franciscan Peace Prayer
I don’t read the newspaper very often. When I do, I’m reminded why I’ve given up the habit. Page after page, we read stories of wars, violent deaths, crime and corruption. Who doesn’t hunger for a little peace and goodwill?
In my travels, I ran across a Latin phrase scattered across the hilltop town or
In addition to the letter Tau, observant pilgrims find a Latin phrase, Pax et Bonum. all over
Peace and Goodwill. This is the dual gift sung by the angel choir to shepherds “watching over their flocks by night”, at the birth of Jesus: Peace on earth, goodwill towards all.[i]
Second, we celebrate the goodness of God discovered every day in the ordinary lives of creatures and nature. Sun and moon, wind and rain, bird and beast. These are our brothers and sisters. They teach us to live more fully in the simple gift of life. Peace comes by laying down our life for others. Goodness comes by picking up the gift of each day through living more intimately connected to God’s good creation. Pax et Bonum.
[i] Luke 2:14.