Dona Nobis Pacem

“Grant us peace”

Last Sunday we sang this traditional Latin hymn in worship. I had never heard (nor sung) it before. The congregation were good sports about learning it and at the end of worship we sang it again in a round. I thought it was beautiful and moving… even if we don’t speak or sing Latin!

Peace may be as alien to us as the language in which we prayed for it on Sunday. Certainly we do not live in a world where peace reigns at any level… world, country, community.  Nor, frankly, has it ever! Peace has always been a dream, a hope, a wish. And elusive.

My sense at this stage of my life is that it will always be so. That only God can bring about peace in a world marked from its beginning by violence (who can forget the first siblings, Cain and Abel?). I applaud those who work for it in our world and especially those who do so out of their faith. But I confess that I don’t have much hope that human efforts will bring any lasting peace. They never have and I suspect they never will.

BUT this is not a note of despair – far from it. I sing and long that God would “dona nobis pacem.” In my life and relationships. In the wonderful church where I worship and live and serve. In my community. Most of all in me  –  in my heart and mind and interactions.

How different the world in which I live would be if this were so.

Dona nobis pacem… even so Lord, make it be.


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