The Prayer of Philip Berrigan
Two months before he died, on December 6, 2002, my friend Philip Berrigan
wrote a reflection on prayer based on his reading of my book on Gandhi. His
call to prayer is urgently needed in these times. I recommend Phil's suggested
prayer intercessions for peace and disarmament as we begin the new year of
2003. -- John Dear
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"When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father
in secret." --Matthew 6:16.
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"I've been reading an excellent book on Gandhi, compiled by John Dear, S.J.
Gandhi himself prayed two hours every day, and he concluded that prayer was
nourishment for the soul, even as food was for the body, that prayer engendered
the essentials of faith and humility, and that prayer, sincerely done, was
more valuable than any action.
The following occur to me as worthwhile subjects of prayer:
-- Philip Berrigan
- that we disarm our hearts and our society;
- that the Holy Spirit subvert, stalemate, and expose preparation for
the invasion of Iraq;
- that God intervene in the ecological crises as Lord of Creation, because
we refuse to change our abuse of the earth;
- that Americans begin to understand and resist the three-pronged aims
for the Bush Administration: the trashing of civil liberties, perpetual
war, and world domination;
- that the swindle of 'foreknowledge' by the Bushites of 9/11 be fully
- that the 'crime' of 57 years of nuclear and its consequent wasting
of our lives and planet, be revealed;
- that Americans grasp that war is our #1 business; that we are a violent,
killer people; and that we know virtually little of the nonviolence of
Jesus and the Gospel;
- that the scourges of abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty will
- that the U.S. withdraw all economic and military aid from Israel;
- that the global war against children be lifted;
- that the rich West contribute medication and food to the global victims
of HIV-AIDS; and
- that each of us become people of fidelity, nonviolence, and justice."
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