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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Twelve years ago today I found myself out by Dún Laoghaire harbor, and looked out to see the USS John F Kennedy. That was the most “American” July 4 for me, if only because that massive symbol of America in a foreign harbor reminded me of all my family that had served in the forces and who were celebrating the Fourth of July back home. So to celebrate this day, especially for our service members overseas, here’s an excerpt from a prayer by Venerable Master Hsing Yun that was posted on Buddhist Military Sangha.

Oh great compassionate Buddha!
May our armed forces:
Be able to understand
Both themselves and their opponents, and avoid danger;
Be well-versed
In the art of war and uphold justice;
Be able to exercise compassion and wisdom,
And achieve victory through martial virtues;
Be able to possess courage and kindness,
And win the war without fighting a battle.
May they defend the nation
With the spirit of fearlessness;
May they guard the people
With the courage of great compassion.

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About a month ago I was invited by the Muslim Student Association at my school to attend a talk given by a professor of Islam. The professor proceeded to give a beautiful image of Islam, its practices and meanings, its encouraging of pluralism over evangelism, and its humanistic values.

I had asked why Muslims were to pray five times a day towards Mecca. The practice itself is awe-inspiring, that upwards of 1 billion people perform this act of faith each day. He said, and reminds me that he has always said, “The nature of humanity if forgetfulness. We need reminders.” Prayer was one way of reminding oneself throughout the day about one’s faith and service to God. That it is done by so many people around the world in common spirit must also be a reminder of the communal fellowship that they all share.

That was all I needed to hear.

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