Fr. Paddy’s Blog

People meeting with people, discussions held round tables decorated with flowers, microphones adjusted for clarity of sound and a fine meal together in the evening. The formal setting of the art of the diplomatist. Ed McCurdy’s song, first recorded in 1950 and since covered by many well-known singers including Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel and Johnny Cash reflects on this theme. The song became the anthem of the late 20th Century peace movement.

Last night I had the strangest dream I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room, the room was filled with men
And the paper they were signing said they’d never fight again
And when the papers all were signed and a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads and grateful prayers were prayed
And the people in the streets below were dancing round and round
And guns and swords and uniforms were scattered on the ground
Last night I had the strangest dream I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war

We all have dreams and aspirations, and these five verses reflect on our long sought-after dream of peace among the people of our common planetary home. Promises are made, treaties and agreements signed, hands shaken and elbows grasped against a background of national flags, ready made for television news. Until the next time. Promises made, promises ignored, distrust sown. The never-ending request for more sophisticated weaponry echoes round our houses as the international insecurity is spoken of again and again. Alliances are made, only to be broken with the first light of dawn. It is somewhat ironic that on arrival in a foreign country the Pope is often greeted with an armed guard. Since 1945 there has scarcely been a week go by when war was not being waged somewhere on this earth. Our respect for the prince of peace wears thin with the passing years. The current G7 talks have taken place at the rebuilt city of Hiroshima in Japan, the site in August 1945 of mankind’s first nuclear outrage. We can only hope and pray that our strangest dream is reality as the build-up continues on the plains of Eastern Europe threatening further conflict and loss of life.

Peace Prayer

St. Francis of Assisi, Peace Prayer 

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. Amen.