by: Nancy R. Catan
Editor’s Note: For years now, the column Footsteps and Fingerprints has come out in the weekly Negros Chronicle, a local newspaper in Dumaguete City edited by BCBP member Ely Dejaresco. Now, this column will also appear in the Kapatiran website as a three-times-a-week reflection of our founding editor, Sis. Nancy Catan. This column is being posted here with her expressed permission.
Reading the newspapers during my morning breakfast often sets my soul on edge. Lately in the news we have been bombarded with blow-by-blow accounts of battles fought in Mindanao, uprisings in the Middle East, and rebellious mobs surfacing in other parts of the world. Even the weather is experiencing disastrous changes!
What is this world coming to? Why are so many people in so many countries disenchanted? Why is life, just keeping alive, becoming stressful? Where is the peace?
What we need is to create as many “Peace Spaces” as we possibly can. We need to think peace, desire peace, breathe peace, and become peace! I believe that this is one of the main challenges of today : “thinking Peace, desiring Peace, breathing Peace, and becoming Peace ourselves.”
Why not create a Peace Space in our homes, our offices, our neighborhoods and public places to remind everyone of our Christian responsibility to promote peace, to be peace.
What is a Peace Space? It is simply an area dedicated to PEACE. Maybe it is a corner in your home with a framed copy of the Peace Space Prayer, a candle, and a small vase of flowers. Or, perhaps it is a small space in your backyard or near your front gate with the words “Peace Space” carved on a stone marker.
It might be a framed poster on the office bulletin board proclaiming “Think Peace, Desire Peace, Breathe Peace, and Become Peace” and the words of the Peace Space Prayer.
It should not be elaborate or cluttered with many icons or religious items; rather, it should simply be a place where one can pause, quiet oneself apart from the day’s activities, recite the Peace Space Prayer, and reflect on how he/she can think Peace, desire Peace, breathe Peace and become Peace. A moment in time that transforms!
The Peace Prayer itself only takes a few moments. But when prayed from the heart and with the heart, it is a prayer that can reverberate not only in one’s soul, but throughout the world. Pray it by yourself, pray it with your family, pray it with your friends. My days are more peace filled now that I begin my day, and many times end my day, with this prayer. Pray it now with me.
LORD JESUS CHRIST, you said to your apostles:
“I leave you peace, my peace I give to you”.
Look not on our sins, but on our faith in you.
Look kindly on the leaders of our government
And of the Church, and those whose decisions affect our lives.
May they forge Peace.
Keep close to your heart our youth and the poor.
May they feel Peace.
Remove from our heart and mind
All anger, resentment and bitterness.
May these be buried in your Love.
Help us all to think Peace, desire Peace,
Breathe Peace and become Peace ourselves.
With Mary our Mother,
Grant us the peace and unity of your Kingdom
Where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit.