I've written to a lot of folks in the last few years...and once to Cindy Sheehan. Last year, I noticed she was wearing a Tau cross - a symbol that is worn by Secular Franciscans. Since I know a little something about the Franciscans, the Prayer of St. Francis popped into my mind. So, I sent it to Cindy and gently reminded her of the need to seek real peace. She never responded.
Cindy and I share something else beyond our familiarity with St. Francis. Both of our worlds were rocked in April 2004. Cindy's son, Casey, of course, was tragically killed in that month. It's also the month that the Abu Ghraib scandal hit. In a different way, our family also went through Hell then and in the following months. For our son, it was because of knee-jerk decisions that were made by a chain of command under attack by politicians and media who salivated at the chance to unseat the commander-in-chief. For us, it was because of the vitriol that was slung at the military in front page stories accompanied by photos of the "man on the box."
So, to some extent, I feel close to Cindy's pain.
I do hope that the Peace Mom comes across this prayer again someday:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
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;
O Divine Master, grant that I 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.