Friday, July 18, 2014

Instruments of peace

Four tiny butterflies (Pearly Crescents) were lunching companionably on a single stalk of butterfly milkweed on the prairie Thursday, the afternoon of a day when elsewhere a passenger jet with 298 aboard had been shot from the skies over Ukraine and Israeli ground forces were invading the Gaza Strip.

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union ...

Nearby, purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) was nearing the height of its seasonal bloom, as it has in this spot for millennia --- long before careless humans reduced natural habitat to a scrap of ground unsuitable for corn or soybeans.

"... where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope ...

Amid all that purple, a single stalk --- just one --- of white prairie clover (Dalea candida). A miracle? (It isn't necessary to walk on water, you know.)

"... where there is darkness light; where there is sadness, joy.

A month ago, wild indigo (Baptisia alba macrophylla) was coming into full bloom. Now the cycle continues as blooms fade and seed pods form.

"Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.

Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) is coming into full bloom just now --- of primitive demeanor but highly practical (Native Americans used its root to treat snakebite; it's fiber, to make shoes).

We've come as a culture to think of prayer as a cosmic shopping list, when instead it is a call to individual and collective action.

"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. Amen."

Practicing peace is how peace is made. Would that we all were better at it --- and had the perseverance of the prairie.

"A Prayer attributed to St. Francis" is No. 62 among "Prayers and Thanksgivings," Book of Common Prayer, Page 833.


norm prince said...

Frank, (not sure what happen with the first comment)
Even before reading the blog, my first thought when seeing those four butterflies on the flower was peaceful coexistence. And the prayer you offered I recite each morning as I complete my daily meditation. Love your prairie photographs each time you share your fortune with the rest of us.

Frank D. Myers said...

Thanks for the comment, Norm! I've deleted the first (incomplete) version.

Brenda said...

Amen. Beautiful post.