During my younger years, one of my favorite ‘little’ books was Dag Hammarskjöld’s Markings. He died too soon and was in a plane crash on his way to the Congo to broker peace talks between rebels and their government. Almost immediately, people declared him ‘a secular saint’, impressive has been his life of dedication to service, integrity of character and a spirituality uncommon for men of his stature.
Today, he is again the news. Apparently, his plane crash was no accident, but ‘may have been caused by an aircraft attack’. The world situation has become even more precarious than it was during his time. He once said, “Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build for man a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just.”
Indeed, if there is one more gift he/I/we would ask of God. It would be peace on earth.
Here is one prayer from Markings, which to me is his cri de cœur:
Give me a pure heart that I may see Thee.
A humble heart that I may hear Thee,
A heart of love that I may serve Thee,
A heart of faith that I may abide in Thee.