Prayer Reflections

Red PoppyIn our northern climate, the month of November vividly reminds me of the letting go, the resting, the dying, that is the beginning of new life and resurrection. It is the month of all saints and of all souls – a reminder of our connection to the full communion of saints – and, in a more somber way, a month in which we remember those who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom and justice. 100 years after the beginning of "the great war to end all wars" we are still struggling to live in peace and to share the wealth of the earth justly.

As I write, the tragedy of this past week fills my mind and turns me towards God for solace and direction. A young soldier, who two days ago stood tall, focused on honouring his country and his compatriots by guarding the grave of the unknown soldier at our National War Memorial, was cut down violently. Tonight he has been carried home along the Highway of Heroes, to his home city of Hamilton while thousands mourned his passing. Another young man, one from a troubled past with a troubled mind, stirred to hatred and seeking to destroy, took his brother's life and further, rampaged in violence against all that stood for authority and order.

In death, the first was surrounded immediately by bystanders ministering to his wounds and attempting to comfort him in the dying moments of his life. The second was brought down in violence by the violence he precipitated. Two sons of a nation, two choices ... two paths chosen. It is so easy to praise the one and condemn the other.

I struggle with the mystery of their life and death and with how You, my God, see all this. You reveal yourself as mercy and forgiveness. Can I step aside from judgment and pray for your grace to be there for both? Even more, can I be a channel of your mercy, seeking to reach those struggling with life and its meaning? Can I help Love overcome hate, and sow the seeds of peace? Be with us Lord!

Sr. Nancy Hurren is a CND Sister from Western Canada.

In Canada the 'Poppy flower' is the symbol/logo for Canada's Remembrance Day, which is Veterans Day in the US, both celebrated on Nov. 11th.

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