Heard it on the Radio: A Bruce Springsteen Hymn for Peacemakers

Driving through Camden on the way to work this morning, Bruce Springsteen’s “Into the Fire” came on the radio. I knew the song, but I have never listened closely until today.

One of the reflective tracks from his post-9/11 album “The Rising,” “Into the Fire” remembers the service and sacrifice of New York’s firefighters that September morning:

The sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust
Up the stairs, into the fire…

But it was the refrain today that caught my ear. Repeated over and over, like a Taize chant, it struck me as the prayer of a person overwhelmed by sorrow, but unwilling to give up.

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

It’s a perfect hymn for all those working to protect human life at all stages and to build a more just and peaceful society.

May your unwavering strength inspire us to keep walking with the poor and vulnerable, God.

May your faith in us renew our faith in you, and our belief that you are always by our side, God.

May your hope that the world will become more like heaven give us hope even in the most challenging moments.

And may your love for the world and your children most in need soften our hearts whenever we are tempted by cynicism.

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