People of all faiths, at one time or another, have prayed, heard or read the Peace Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi. It begins, "Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace." There wasn't much peace in the world when Saint Francis was alive. Today our world shares much in common with his, except that we are capable of doing even greater harm to ourselves and to our planet than people in his time.
In our time, people are still suffering from hunger, poverty, homelessness, inequality and unemployment while living in the midst of others who have so much. Many thousands of our sisters and brothers have died from diseases like AIDS and cancer and other life-threatening diseases. People of every color and creed under continue to struggle against hatred, intolerance, bigotry and violence. Women, people of color, the poor, the elderly continue to struggle for dignity and equality as well as for fundamental human and civil rights. Religious people still fight and kill one another, in the name of the One Creator: God, Jesus Christ, Yahweh, Jehovah or Allah. Brother still fights against brother in places far and near all over the world. Where in our world will we find peace? As Catholic Christians and Franciscans, we believe that true peace comes from knowing, loving and serving God and through faithfulness to the words and works of Jesus Christ, as revealed to us in the Holy Gospels and through the example set by the lives and ministries of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi.