About Pax Christi Toronto

Pax Christi Toronto is a small but growing group of concerned Catholics who are trying to make the statement that a non-violent approach to living and dealing with the world’s problems is the only solution that will work in the long term.

We are opposed to the use of military force as a means of enforcing our will upon others, no matter how well meant, or even as a means of protecting our own physical and commercial assets. As Christians, we are committed to the “terms” that the Lord has imposed on the nations …

They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. (Isaiah 2: 4)

Opening Prayer for General Meeting - 14 March 2007

(tonight’s prayers have been gathered from a variety of multi-cultural and multi-faith sources in recognition of the goal of peace through cooperation)

Native American Prayer for Peace

Leader:   O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, We raise the pipe of peace to you.

All:          To your messengers - the four winds, and to Mother Earth who provides for your children. Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, and to be kind to each other so that they may grow with peace in mind.

Let us learn to share all good things that you provide for us on this Earth.

The Prayer for Peace of Pope John Paul II

Leader:    O God, Creator of the universe, who extends your paternal concern over every creature and guides the events of history to goals of salvations, we acknowledge your Fatherly love when you break the resistance of mankind and, in a world torn by strife and discord, you make us ready for reconciliation.

All:          Renew for us the wonders of your mercy; send forth your Spirit that He may work in the intimacy of hearts, that enemies may begin to dialogue, that adversaries may shake hands and peoples may encounter one another in harmony. May all commit themselves to the sincere search for true peace which will extinguish all arguments, for charity which overcomes hatred, for pardon which disarms revenge.

Prayers of Confession

Leader:    God of Peace, over the ages you have called us to live as peacemakers. You have called us to be a “Shalom” people. You have called us to be Children of God.

Left Side:  We confess that we have not always lived out this calling.  We do not want to face the difficulties of being called your disciples.  We take the easy way out. We avoid controversy.  We don’t speak out when we know we should.  For these things we ask your forgiveness.

Right Side:  We confess that we are too tolerant of war and violence.  We depend on our own power and position to settle differences instead of asking for your wisdom.

All:           Forgive us, Gracious God. We ask that your Spirit guide us to act with loving grace and peace. Be with us in our continuing efforts to be peacemakers. Amen.

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 2:2-4

In days to come, The mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.

All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: "Come, let us climb the LORD'S mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples.

They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. 

O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

- The Word of the Lord

All Respond:   Thanks be to God!

Prayers of Petition

(From the United Methodists Womens Council, the Syrian Clementine Liturgical Litany for Iraq, and the Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy prayer group on the Gulf War)

Leader:    Please give our leaders creativity, ingenuity, and a desire to resolve conflict peacefully.  Please keep all people free from war, terrorism, violence of all kinds.  Help us to rise above our weak, violent tendencies so that you may bring your kingdom here are earth.  

(Each member in turn leads – all respond: Lord, hear our prayers)

1. Dear God, we your children, do not understand all that is happening in our world.  We pray that through your Divine Intervention, you can help us to live together and learn to love each other regardless of our differences in our faiths. We pray to the Lord…

2. We pray for freedom from the uncertainty, fear and anxiety that pervades our world and for the healing of nations and peoples, that comes only from you.  We pray to the Lord…

3. We know you as a Giving God, but today, Lord, we ask you to be a Taking God.  Take away our need for a false security at any cost.  Take away our greed and selfishness that lead to hoarding and using more than our share.   We pray to the Lord…

4. For lasting peace in those ancient lands where your Son walked among us.  We pray to the Lord…

5. For comfort for families separated or bereaved and all those who are suffering in war.  We pray to the Lord…

6. For the release of captives and all who are imprisoned because they followed their conscience and their beliefs. We pray to the Lord…

7. For continuing faithfulness of the churches of each land to your teachings and for tenacity of spirit for all small Christian groups working to bring the peace of your Kingdom.  We pray to the Lord…

Muslim Prayer for Peace

Leader:     Heavenly Father, since our differences in Faith have been used as an excuse to fight so many times, we pray to you as our brothers and sisters of the Islamic faith do, calling on your mercy

Left Side:   In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful, praise be to the Lord of the universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations.

Right Side:   We are different that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other.

Left Side:   If the enemy incline towards peace, let us also incline towards peace, and trust God, for the Lord is the one that hears and knows all things.

Right Side:   And the servants of God, Most Gracious, are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say "PEACE."

Closing Prayer (from John Paul II)

Leader:   Holy Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace, help us!

All:     The name of the child you bore is "Jesus," which means "God saves."  In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited.  We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.  For them, O Mary, for their future, we ask you to move hearts hardened by hatred to be open to love and so that revenge may give way to forgiveness. Mother of Humanity and Queen of Peace, pray for us!   …AMEN!