In this season, we pray
— “…for the strength to work together to mold the world into a paradise of justice, righteousness and peace”
— “…Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon…”
— “…that we may strengthen the lives of our brothers and sisters.”
The period of Selichot [Penitence] in the Jewish calendar began on Saturday night (Sept. 4), with Rosh Hashana, Sept. 8-10. The 30 days of Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer and introspection in the Islamic calendar, are coming to a close, followed by Eid al-Fitr (Sept. 9-12). As September 11 approaches, Christians across the country are struggling to ensure that memorializing victims of violence does not become an occasion for hatred and disrespect to other traditions.
from (Conservative) Jewish tradition:
“Do not stand idly by your brother’s blood” commands the Torah.
“Remember you were strangers”
“Love your neighbor”
Who among us fully lived by those principles?
Who among us could not improve?
We have so much to share
–hopes, dreams, bread–
so much to offer and to do to assure each other’s well being….
In the fall, in the gtime of blood and dust,
we urgently pray for God’s special gifts:
we pray for the ability to see the world not only as it is,
but as it might be,
for the strength to work together to mold the world
into a paradise of justice, righteousness and peace…
— excerpted from The Hush of Midnight,
published by Adath Jeshurun Synagogue (Minneapolis, MN) and
Adas Israel Congregation (Washington, DC)
From Christian (Catholic) tradition:
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.
— Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi
From Muslim tradition (Islamic Society of North America):
I pray that in this month, we remember the blessings of Allah (swt*) and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh*). I pray He makes this time easy for you and accepts your prayers. Let us enter each day with pure intentions and go to sleep each night with Allah in mind.
There are so many around the world that can benefit from our good deeds, our patience, and our kindness. Let us use this month as an opportunity to multiply our blessings from Allah (swt*) through charity, prayer, and purification.
Let us rid ourselves of resentment and ask forgiveness for any wrong doings. Let us reach out to our community and celebrate its diversity. Let us share in our wealth with those who have less than us, so that we may strengthen the lives of our brothers and sisters and receive the merciful and multiplied blessings of Allah (swt*) in Ramadan. Let us increase our prayers and thanks to Allah The Almighty, The Forgiving, The Merciful.
— Ramadan prayer from ISNA president, Dr. Ingrid Mattson
*pbuh: peace be upon him
swt: subhanahu wa-ta’ala (glorious and exalted)
See also CBB founder Imam Yahya Hendi’s Ramadan Thoughts, posted earlier.