let us sow love

Here in Christchurch as I write it’s late evening on Friday 15 March, a day that will be forever remembered as one of our nation’s darkest days.

Last month on his visit to the United Arab Emirates Pope Francis met with Muslim leader Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb (pictured above). The encounter was a meeting of brothers at which these two leaders signed a declaration of fraternity  beginning “In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth and make known the values of goodness, love and peace;”

Yesterday afternoon following the Christchurch terrorist attacks Bishop Paul Martin expressed his horror at this violence and invited all people “wherever you are, alone or with family, workmates or friends, to pray together in the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.”

I now invite you to take up this invitation and to pray for peace, remembering especially all members of the local New Zealand Muslim community who are our brothers and sisters in faith in one God praying:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace:
where there is hatred, let us 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 we 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.

An Invitation:

  • Bishop Paul Martin of Christchurch will celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s pro-Cathedral this morning at 11.20am. If you are able to participate please do. If not, you might like to, wherever you are, take a few moments to pray for the Muslim community, for those who have lost their lives, for those who are struggling to survive, for our city, our country and our world.

17 Responses to "let us sow love"
  1. The events of yesterday in Christchurch were shocking and impossible to understand. Our only response can be a prayer for peace and for a united condemnation of such action by all New Zealanders. God be with us all.

  2. My heart is breaking for the families and friends of those who were killed so violently yesterday and for those suffering the injuries inflicted. May they all be held in God’s loving embrace. I pray that we as a city can find healing through seeking for understanding rather than retribution.
    My love to you all

  3. Thoughts and prayers to the Islamic Community, courage, strength and love to the people Christchurch. Let us sow love.

  4. A new day will come out of this terrible darkness. Perhaps there will be established an annual shared day for the three Abrahamic religions. Would not that be a suitable memorial?

    • It certainly would. What a lovely idea. Perhaps we can start it in our own communities and hope it spreads across the country
      Catherine

  5. With you a Wairua in Eucharist and prayer.
    Today’s Gospel (Mtt 5:44) is telling. “I say to you, love your enemies; pray for those who persecute you”.

  6. What the world needs now is love. Let’s be kind and gentle. Our hearts grieve but it is when we break that we grow strong

  7. Indeed it is New Zealand’s darkest day. But out of darkness light is born. As we stand in sympathy and compassion for all our Muslim brothers and sisters, may the Lord of Compassion bring unity, love, understanding and peace to our troubled world.

  8. My name is Martina and I live in London. I met father John last summer during his time in Italy.
    I want to send to you all, dear brothers and sisters, my and my family’s prayers.

  9. John, thank you for your message. Know that we are all with you in Spirit as we celebrate our Community Mass here shortly at 10.30am in the Home of Compassion, Silverstream.

  10. I am so deeply moved by my compassion for our Muslim communities that my tears tell tell me how alive Jesus is in my heart

  11. All during Advent and now during Lent my wife and I have read Father John’s message of Peace and Love. We have greatly enjoyed the comments of our fellow readers. The New Zealand faith community has given us a daily gift!! Waking this morning to the horrors in Christchurch was beyond shocking. Our prayers are with all of the wonderful people of New Zealand. St Francis of Assisi pray for us all.
    George and Kathy, Easton, MD USA

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