(From a prayer read in the House of Representatives on April 12, 1962, Wednesday in Holy Week)
Almighty and merciful God, Father of all, Creator and Ruler
of the Universe, Lord of History Whose designs are inscrutable,
Whose glory is without blemish, Whose compassion for our errors is inexhaustible,
in Your will is our peace.
Mercifully hear this prayer which rises to You from the tumult
and desperation of a world in which You are forgotten, in which
Your name is not invoked, Your laws are derided, Your presence
Because we do not know You, we have no peace.
Help us to be masters of the weapons that threaten to master
us. Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war
and destruction. Show us how to use nuclear power to bless
our children’s children, not to blight them.
Resolve our inner contradictions that now grow beyond belief
and beyond bearing. They are at once a torment and a blessing:
for if You had not left us the light of conscience, we would not
have to endure them. Teach us to be long-suffering in anguish
and insecurity. Teach us to wait and trust. Grant light, grant
strength and patience to all who work for peace.
Grant us Prudence in proportion to our power, Wisdom in
proportion to our science and Humaneness in proportion to
our wealth and might. Bless our earnest will to help all races
and people to travel in friendship along the road to justice,
liberty and lasting peace.
Grant us above all to see that our ways are not necessarily
Your ways, that we cannot fully penetrate the mystery of Your
designs and that the very storm of power now raging on this
earth reveals Your hidden will and Your inscrutable decision.
Grant us to see Your face in the lightning of this cosmic storm,
O God of holiness, merciful to all. Grant us to seek peace
where it is truly found!
In Your will, O God, is our peace! Amen.
–by Thomas Merton, from “The Non-Violent Alternative“, edited by Gordon C. Zahn. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1980. pp. 269-270.