On this memorial day, as we pause to reflect, to remember and to pray, may we not stay at the level of admiring those brave women and men who so readily risk their lives for others, but also take this opportunity to recall the horrors of war and violence in our world and work to protect our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines by speaking out against those things that lead to the condition for war and violence.

War doesn’t just happen, it arises from selfishness, greed, economic and political grounds. May our day of remembrance extend to include not just those who have lost their lives willingly on the battlefield of war, but also those — usually the poor, unnamed and forgotten women and children — casualties that committed no crime but to be born in a place upheaved in violence. May we be vigilant about working not for an empire of earthly domain, but the just and righteous Kingdom of God, where there is peace and not violence, forgiveness and not revenge, love and not hate.

A Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

— Sister Ruth Fox, OSB



  1. This prayer was written by Sister Ruth Fox, OSB, of Sacred Heart Monastery, Richardton, ND. She composed it in 1985 for a Dickinson State University graduation breakfast. I think she should receive proper attribution for it.

  2. Thanks, Br. Dan. Now, even though I’m sure Francis would agree with the prayer’s sentiments, don’t you think it should be retitled, eg., “A Benedictine Prayer for Memorial Day”?

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