Monday, December 13, 2010

Prayer at IRA Weapon Decommissioning

On a Monday, May 10, 2010 our Volunteer In Missions group met at 3 pm with Reverend Harold Good who is a Winner of the World Methodist Peace Prize and was involved in decommissioning of IRA weapons. This is the ninth in a series relating his talk. In the prior blog posting, Reverend Good explained how the decommissioning was super secret and incredibly moving. Next, he related to us :

Before the process of weapons being turned in was over, Reverend Good pulled out the cards with the prayer of Saint Francis. He went around quietly and one by one, he approached some of the folks around and said, “I hope you won't think I'm one of those Protty preachers going around handing out tracts. That is not my way. But this is a prayer I pray often. I think we all need to pray it from now on.”

He remembered one guy who looked at the card someone else had been handed and said, “Are those tickets to the All Ireland Final?”

Of course, the All Ireland Final was a BIG thing, and it was about to take place in week or so in Croke Park. Reverend Good said, “No. No, it's not that. But when the All Ireland Finals have been forgotten, we'll still be praying this prayer.”

Reverend Good had forgotten about those cards, but a few months ago when he was speaking about something at a site in Ireland, a man came up to him and said, “I am glad of this opportunity to tell you, I recently met a man to whom you gave a card with a prayer. He asked me if I ever met you, to tell you how much that meant to him and how important that was to him. It's the prayer he now prays regularly. He had to be in the top brass of the IRA, though there's no way of knowing which of them it was.

The prior posting of Reverend Good's talk is here.

Prayer of Saint Francis (English version):

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;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


This talk continues at the blog posting entitled Finishing the Reconciliation.

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