Monday, September 21, 2009

International Day of Peace

Today, September 21st is the International Day of Peace. In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly established this International Day of Peace with the intention of having the entire world observe a day of peace and nonviolence.

In response to our own Catholic World Day of Peace on January 1, Pope Benedict XVI quoted his Predecessor Pope John Paul II drawing attention to the negative repercussions for peace when entire populations live in poverty. “Poverty is often a contributory factor or a compounding element in conflicts, including armed ones. In turn, these conflicts fuel further tragic situations of poverty. “Our world”, he wrote, “shows increasing evidence of another grave threat to peace: many individuals and indeed whole peoples are living today in conditions of extreme poverty”.

Millions of people today live in extreme poverty around the world. This poverty has the power to hold peace at bay.

Today, and for more than 50 years, Mission Doctors have served at mission hospitals and clinics to offer health care to those most in need.

While the healthcare debate rages here in the US, the need in Africa and Latin America call some dedicated lay missionaries to leave the comfort of home and family to share their gifts and live their faith. They bring their professional skills and in doing so are also bearers of peace.

May we carry peace in our heart, share it in our families and workplaces, our communities and pray to hasten the day that swords will be beaten into plowshares.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Prayer on 9/11

September 11 was celebrated in my house growing up, it was my father’s birthday. A special dinner, followed by my less than stellar attempts at a birthday cake.

Sadly, since 2001, September 11 leaves us now remembering the shock of the horrific and tragic events of that morning. Today we remember those who died and we pray for the loved ones left behind who suffered the greatest loss.

On this day of grief, reflection, service and prayer, this prayer of St. Francis challenges us to try to go beyond the pain, beyond the grief, beyond the fear, calling us to the light in the darkness.

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,

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may
not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.
- St. Francis of Assisi

For those whose lives were lost on September 11 we pray that you welcome them to Your eternal life Oh Lord. For their families and those whom they love, may Your consolation be theirs.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Power of Prayer

Doing a quick Google news search for “power of prayer” everything, from the current health care debate, to stories of people lost at sea, come up. Each of these stories, while significantly different, has in common a belief in the power of God’s grace.

The mission doctors who serve at hospitals and clinics around the world, often with their spouses and families, do so believing in the power of God’s grace. Grace to get them there safely; to guide and protect them while their serve; the grace to offer professional care with limited resources; and upon returning, the grace to arrive home safely.

I want to take this blog post to invite you to share some of your prayers for our missionaries serving the poor around the world. If you would like to send a prayer of support and encouragement to our mission doctors and their families, you can do so here.

Thank you for becoming our partner in prayer!