The Prayer of St. Francis has been on my mind these days. The specter of violence filling our television screens, computer monitors and our minds is overwhelming. In Syria, Gaza, Iraq, Nigeria and now even at our own door in Ferguson, families and children who have nothing to do with the political unrest around them are at risk and are directly in harm’s way. As anger, fear and death rages in our world and in our own city’s streets, I wonder how we could have gotten to this point. And then I hear the words of St. Francis in my mind, “where there is hatred, let me sow love, where there is injury pardon.” I am searching my heart for the ways in which I have turned my head when there has been injury and injustice. Each little act of racism, judgment and most of all my own inaction, contributes to my growing tolerance for gross acts of anger, violence and injustice on a much larger scale. It is easy for me to see the misdeeds of others and blame the “system.” But St. Francis’ words are calling me, calling us, to find ways to become instruments of peace, compassion and healing. In the days ahead, let’s try to find ways to pray together and work together, actively seeking” to console rather than to be consoled, to pardon rather than to be pardoned,” to truly become instruments of peace. Our world, our city and the future are depending on it.