O God of many names
Lover of all nations
We pray for peace
in our hearts
in our homes
in our nations
in our world
The peace of your will
The peace of our need.
— George Appleton, The Oxford Book of Prayer (Oxford University Press, 1985)
Horrible, really horrible. I just saw Tony Blair give a speech in patent, unfeigned agony, as it is clear now that this is a series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks. (I drafted this entry last night.)
It is an awful way to be reminded of many uncomfortable things, such as that those who do such demonic things, and that is what they are, are the sworn enemies of all peaceable men and women, whatever their religious beliefs or none. I do not think the perpetrators of such atrocities as those unfolding in London right now could possibly have a RELIGIOUS belief…
I am glad to have returned my own thought earlier today to Amin Maalouf:
Let’s face it: this entire world is in total disarray. It desperately needs to be re-imagined, re-invented, in order to be rebuilt on sounder grounds. We need to overcome that sterile conflict of identities. We need to build a human culture which would include significant elements of each culture, so nobody would feel excluded. So nobody would indulge in hatred and self hatred, in destruction and self destruction.
Re-invent the world, re-imagine the future: that is not a task that should be left to political or religious activists. It is precisely the task of poets, essayists and novelists. It is up to the writers of the six continents to strike the right notes, to find the right balance between universality and diversity. Universality of fundamental human values, diversity of languages and cultural expressions.
It is ultimately up to us to determine whether our century will go down in history as the century of suicide or the century of imagination, the century of human folly or the century of human wisdom, the century of the bomb or the century of the pen.