'Lord, make me an instrument of your peace'

In the wake of the assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald G. Trump, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley released the following statement Jan. 7.

The beginning of the Prayer of St. Francis is familiar to most of us: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace." And it is peace we need in our nation today, united by the common good of our people. The violence witnessed in our nation's capital yesterday serves only to inflame our divisions and pit citizen against citizen at a time we need to be united. We reject all forms of violence including the acts of those who stormed our Capitol. We pray for those who lost their lives and for their loved ones and for the injured. We live in a divided nation and the challenges our nation faces are significant.

Our recovery from yesterday's assault will require the best talents of our civic leaders. Very soon President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in to lead our country. In the spirit of what makes America a beacon of light and democracy for the entire world we must set aside our divisions and together go about the work of helping to lift people out of poverty, healing the sick, welcoming the immigrant and address systemic racism, and many other tasks.

Let us heed the words of St. Francis' simple prayer: "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."