About Pax Christi Toronto
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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 - 12 March 2008

Opening Prayer

All:                       In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Leader:              The Peace of the Lord be with you all.

All:                  And also with you.

Leader:          Let us pray

Together:       O God, you have given us a beautiful earth—

Grant us the wisdom to use it well. Lead us to an inner life in which we can rejoice. Speak peace to us, that we may live in peace. May your mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other, surrounding us with your light.
Help us know true prosperity, and be gentle with your Earth. Guide our feet in the ways of peace.

In the name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Scripture Reading:   Psalm 122

Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. - A Song of Ascents, of David.

    I was glad when they said to me,
         "Let us go to the house of the LORD."
    Our feet are standing
         Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
    Jerusalem, that is built
         As a city that is compact together;
    To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the LORD--
         An ordinance for Israel--
         To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
    For there thrones were set for judgment,
         The thrones of the house of David.
    Pray for the  peace of
Jerusalem:
         "May they prosper who love you.
    "May peace be within your walls,
         And prosperity within your palaces."
    For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
         I will now say, "May peace be within you."
    For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
         I will seek your good.

The word of the Lord.           R. Thanks be to God.

Reflection:      

In this world of violence and trouble, everyone is searching for peace but few can seem to find it. In this brief psalm, we can see how David gives us a pattern to find peace. The Hebrew word for peace in this psalm is shalom. The etymology of this one word is interesting, because it is often used to inquire of a person’s health and to ask how events were unfolding. The Hebrews believed that peace implied health and success. And so it is today.

Our society is flooded with all kinds of illnesses, syndromes, neuroses, and suffering. The reason for this is that we have neglected the peace of the Lord. We are so busy and so anxious that we never allow God to give us real calmness. We need to learn how to return to the peace, the shalom, of God - not only for our mental well-being, but also for physical health and success in our endeavors. When we are filled with thoughts of turmoil and trouble, this will affect every part of our being.

In order to find peace, the first thing we must do is go to the Lord. It is like that bumper sticker that says, "No God, No Peace. Know God, Know Peace!" We cannot find calmness and serenity separate from God. We need to get in the habit of spending quiet times alone with God - times of prayer, Bible reading, and meditation. During these times, the Lord will calm us and give us his rest.

Jerusalem is symbolic of a stronghold or refuge. It was a refuge against bandits and a stronghold against enemies. When trouble was in the area, people could find safety behind the walls of the city. It is interesting to note that Jerusalem means "foundation of peace." As we stand firm for God, we find that God is our Jerusalem, our foundation for peace.

We must be bound firmly together with God. When wood glue is attached to two pieces of board, the glue soaks into the wood and actually binds parts of each board together. The binding of the glue actually becomes stronger than the individual boards. It is the same when we are bound with the Lord.

If we want to find genuine peace, we must seek goodness or righteousness. As long as we follow sinful impulses or delight in doing wrong things, we will find no repose. Our life will be in turmoil, and we will seem to go from one crisis to another. We must seek to do good. When we are doing what’s right, we are acting the way God intended us to act. Our actions build up our mind, our spirit, and our soul.

If we want to find true peace in every situation, let us follow the advice from this psalm. Go to the Lord - Stand firm in our faith - Be bound firmly together with God- Give thanks - Be willing to be examined by God - Pray for peace - Know that God promises peace - Be concerned for others - Seek goodness.

(Brief moment of silence)

Leader:          Let us pray

God of Peace, over the ages you have called us to live as peacemakers. You have called us to be a “Shalom” people. Listen to our voice as we raise up our prayers to you.

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

God of mercy, open the hearts and the minds our world leaders to recognize that the wars they fight will be in vain, as they have experienced in ages past, and will gain only empty victories, and a peace that cannot last.

We pray to the Lord …

For earth's peace and man's salvation can come only by Thy grace, give your wisdom to our leaders that peace cannot be achieved through bombs and missiles. Give them the understanding that peace on earth cannot be won with arms and swords.

We pray to the Lord …

Let the rich and mighty countries abandon their arrogance, to be humble in the face of the Lord, and realize to share their wealth with the poorer nations.

We pray to the Lord …

God of mercy, a lot of people have turned their eyes away from you to go their selfish way, and serving money, power and pleasure as their gods. Turn back our trust from the power of man-made things, and bring back our minds to your love and mercy and compassion.

We pray to the Lord …

Oh, Father in heaven, stir and wake our sleeping souls, renew our faith and lift us up, and give us higher goals.

We pray to the Lord …

Leader:          Dear Lord, hear this fervent prayer, so that the people of all nations may be united in thy care, living in harmony, in respect, and mutually giving and loving each other.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All:                       Amen.

Our Father …

Leader:          Let us pray

Heavenly Father, you have seen what is happening around us. We ask you to eradicate all the misery in the world:
that understanding triumph over ignorance,
that generosity triumph over indifference,
that trust triumph over contempt, and
that truth triumph over falsehood.
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.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing:       

May the Lord bless us all, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.