Tomorrow, for Syria and peace

As many will know by now, Pope Francis called for a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace in the world, with a special focus on Syria. In last Sunday’s Angelus address he said:

pope francis“I have decided to proclaim for the  whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of  Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and  throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow  Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to  participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.

On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00,  we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift  of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict  and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and  to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to  fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.”

I highlighted two lines which are especially noteworthy or important. In praying for peace we need not hide behind our identity as Catholics. Here we can reach out to and join with all other believers, and even those who do not believe. We are all Gods creation, and we can all turn towards Him, whatever differences may exist between us.

And humanity needs to see and hear the desire for peace, as well as the trust and faith so many have in their Creator. The debates around a possible intervention in Syria tend to limit themselves solely to the political arena, and the human element gets snowed under. But this is not a matter of prestige, political gain or even personal conscience; no, this is about human lives and the future of countless thousands.

As part of Creation, let us display solidarity with another part of that same Creation. Fast, pray, and allow the peace of the Lord to take root and bear fruit in Syria and everywhere in the world.

The Dutch bishops have recommended the following intercessions for tomorrow’s intentions:

“That God, who has said that they who bring peace are called His children, grant us the willingness to work ceaselessly for justice, which is the ony guarantee for a lasting and true peace. Let us pray.

That God, who cares for us like a father, may make us one family in peace, united forever in a spirit of fraternity. Let us pray.”

Photo credit: AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Published by

incaelo

I'm a 37-year-old lay Catholic from the diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden. I write about the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. I not only enjoy bringing selected developments to the attention of readers, but I also think that it is sometimes important to allow a wider audience to read about the state of the Church in the Netherlands. That's why a fair number of posts about that topic will be translations of Dutch articles, episcopal writings and whatever else.

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