St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Thomas Merton - Prayer for Peace

A day of ominous decision has now dawned on this free nation. Save us
then from our obsessions! Open our eyes, dissipate our confusions,
teach us to understand ourselves and our adversary.
Let us never forget that sins against the law of love
are punishable by loss of faith, and those without faith
stop at no crime to achieve their ends!
Help us to be masters of the weapons that threaten to master us.
Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war and destruction.
Save us from the compulsion to follow our adversaries in all that we most hate,
confirming them in their hatred and suspicion of us.

Resolve our inner contradictions,
which now grow beyond belief and beyond bearing.
They are at once a torment and a blessing:
for if you had not left us the light of conscience,
we would not have to endure them.

Teach us to wait and trust.

Grant light, grant strength and patience to all who work for peace.
But grant us above all to see that our ways are not necessarily your ways,
that we cannot fully penetrate the mystery of your designs
and that the very storm of power now raging on this earth
reveals your hidden will and your inscrutable decision.

Grant us to see your face in the lightning of this cosmic storm

- Thomas Merton, Prayer For Peace.