Several years ago I purchased 2000 Years of Prayer, a collection of prayers from around the world, and it has been an incredibly useful resource.
While there are many prayers in there that I like and that have spoken to me in different times and situations, I bought it because when I first opened it, I read one specific prayer–and that prayer sent chills down my spine. It’s a prayer that I think is incredibly appropriate as we move into this weekend that commemorates the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The prayer was found beside the body of a dead child in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. I don’t know who wrote it–a guard? an inmate? It doesn’t really matter. It’s a prayer for–and from–all of us:
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us.
Remember the fruits we bought, thanks to this suffering: the comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of this; and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
Let it be so.