The Word Among Us

Lent 2009 Issue

A Way for Peacemakers

An Examination of Conscience for Lent

Almost everywhere you look—in families, neighborhoods, workplaces, classrooms, and even in the church—you see a world torn by factions and divisions.

Clearly, we need God’s peace! The good news is that Jesus has reconciled us to God and to one another by “making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20). Now, because of his cross, Jesus is offering all of us the power to become peacemakers in this world.

How can we take up this high calling? As with just about everything else in the Christian life, it begins as we experience peace within ourselves—a peace that comes through being reconciled to Christ.

As you prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent, try praying through the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. As you examine your conscience, ask the Lord to help you see the ways in which you have been an instrument of his peace and ways in which you have fallen short. Ask yourself questions like, “Have I pardoned injuries? Have I been a light in times of darkness? Have I sought to be loved more than to love?” Through Confession, let Jesus become an instrument of peace to you. Then watch as his peace and reconciliation flow through you to the people around you.

Peace Prayer of St. Francis

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.

Divine Master,

Grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For in giving we receive,In pardoning we are pardoned,

And in dying we are born to eternal life.