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Monday, 24 April 2017 11:06

Praying for peace on ANZAC Day

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As we mark ANZAC Day 2017, we honour all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations, and remember the contribution and suffering of all who have served.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we shall remember them.
Lest we forget”.

Let us also pray for an end to all conflicts and for peace in our world with these suggested prayers and reflections (below). 

A Prayer for Peace (from the Brigidine Sisters in Australia)

God of peace, may we become peacemakers by
feeding the hungry,
welcoming the stranger,
planting kindness and nurturing peace wherever we are.

God of Justice, may we become justice makers by
sharing goodwill,
upholding the rights of all beings,
sharing our gifts and nurturing justice wherever we are.
We pray for these things with humility, because of the hope that is within us,
and because of our faith in the ultimate triumph of the good over evil.

We pray because of our love for Creation and because of our trust in a loving God.
Above all, we pray for an end to violence, and for peace throughout the world. Amen.

A Prayer (from CRA Justice Networker Fr Claude Mostowik msc spoken during ANZAC Day Service on Christmas Island Detention Centre, 2011)

God of peace, God of all peoples and all nations,
source and lover of the peace that the world cannot give,
feed the flame of peace in human hearts.
You have blessed our land
and given us the power through your Spirit
for our hidden self to grow strong.
May the fierce flood of your grace sweep away all barriers and soak deep into our hearts.
Kindly hear our prayer
for those who bore witness to your fidelity
by giving their lives for those they love.
Resurrect them in our true homeland
and perfect that peace for which they longed and died.

Reflections on ANZAC – remembering the dead and promoting unwar

Never Forget You (By Denis Kevans©)

‘Your friends will never forget you’,
the fluttering leaflet said,
‘Your friends will never forget you’,
and then o’er the valley spread,
The wide sky cowed in sorrow,
and the eyes of the angels wept,
For a promise made by the soldiers
that their leaders never kept.

For the soldiers are there when you need ‘em,
they’re there to suffer and die,
And to make the eyes of the angels weep
in the depths of the tropical sky,
And the soldiers are there laugh it off,
and shoulder their blistering gun,
And fight anew, in the mud light glue,
and the sweat of the tropical sun.

And solders were there, and their mates were there,
their mates, the East Timorese,
Who fought and died beside them
in the night of the jungle trees,
Who fought and bled and suffered
so Australia might still be free,
And the Aussies cried, when their leaders lied,
and poisoned the Timor Sea.

‘Your friends will never forget you’,
the fluttering leaflet said,
Dropped from the biscuit bomber,
and then o’er the valley spread,
‘Your friends will never forget you’,
and the eyes of the angels wept,
For a promise made by the soldiers
that their leaders never kept.  

Growing A Culture of Peace

Instead of enemy images
understanding, tolerance and solidarity

Instead of armaments
disarmament, universal and verifiable
Instead of authoritarian governance
democratic participation

Instead of secrecy and propaganda
the free flow and sharing of information

Instead of violence
dialogue, negotiation, rule of law and active non-violence

Instead of domination
the equality of women

Instead of education for war
education for peace
Instead of exploitation of the week and of the environment

(Featured Image: Pixabay)