Called to Peace

by Sister Nancy Miller OSF

The third in a series on active nonviolence from the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa (

peace dove cross


“Lord, make me a channel of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow your love.” These heartfelt words from the popular prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi have widespread appeal to people everywhere.* “May the Lord give you Peace!” was the greeting Francis extended to everyone and to every creature that he encountered.  What a wonderful gift to give to another person, to another creature, and to our world!  In his own Testament 23, Francis was clear that it was God who gifted him and revealed to him a “greeting of peace.” He, in turn, beckoned his followers to pay it forward!  Francis desired to live out Jesus’ often repeated message of “Peace be with you” in the turbulent times in which he lived.  We too, are called to live this Gospel of Peace in our time and place – our current social location – wherever we find ourselves.

The real work of peace engages us in active nonviolent ways.  It causes us to open our hearts to a spirit of peace that in turn spews outward.  It is purposeful and deliberate activity.  It engages our heart and whole being to look at our relationships at all levels.  As Francis wrote in his Canticle of the Creatures, we are sister and brother to all and we are connected.

Inspired by Francis and his followers, I propose another verse to the Peace Prayer.  “Make us a channel of your peace; open our hearts to active nonviolence. May the spirit of Peace fill our hearts and may our world be united as one.”  Although these are lofty thoughts, they call me to ponder how different our world would look if we followed Jesus’ and Francis’ lead in extending a greeting of peace to each other.  And then I realized their greeting and their lives of peace have already changed the world!!

I have been trying to extend a greeting of peace to everyone I meet (not just in church).  It has been met with mixed reviews and with many surprising responses, and it has changed me. Join with me to pay it forward. Try it, and let me know how it goes for you.

Peace and all good,

Nancy Miller, osf

* The prayer’s origin is traced back to 1912 and was found in France.  The author is unknown.  It was widely distributed in English in the U.S. during and after WWII.

Published in: on June 25, 2015 at 10:00 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Peace & ALL Good to you as well, dear Nancy!

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