Peace in the Middle East
God of mercy and compassion,
of grace and reconciliation,
pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East:
Jews, Muslims and Christians,
Palestinians and Israelis.
Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all.
- Reverend Said
Reconciliation in the Middle East
After almost a century of mistrust and fratricide,
you inspired Jews, Christians, and Muslims
to take the path of reconciliation in the Middle East...
We ask for your forgiveness, O God,
yet we find it hard to forgive our past enemies.
May Your Words touch those who still stray
in the wilderness of vengeful violence,
forgetting your command to "forgive and overlook,
till God accomplish His Purpose;
for God hath power over all things."
- Abdelwahab Hechiche
Peace in Syria
O God of Mercy and Tender Compassion,
We cry out to you in this time of crisis.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria.
Bring healing to those suffering from violence
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
O God of Hope,
sustain those who labor for peaceful and just solutions.
Inspire leaders and decision makers to choose the way of peace over the way of violence.
Deliver all your children from the threat of war
and teach us to encounter one another with reverence and love.
-Sr. Deborah Harmeling, O.S.B.
For the People of Syria
Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
The promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
Bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
And comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria's neighbors
In their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
And strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
Your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inpsire leaders to choose peace over violence,
And to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
-Adapted by the USCCB from Catholics Confront Global Poverty
Peace and Strength
Holy One of blessing
We pray for the soldiers
who are called to defend the people of Israel.
Keep them safe. When they are weary
give them strength.
When they are scared give them courage.
May they find strength and faith in the days ahead.
Holy One of blessing,
We pray for the people of Israel
Who long to live under the canopy of peace.
Keep them safe. When they are threatened
protect them from harm.
When they are wounded and bereaved
grant them healing and comfort.
May they find strength and courage in the days ahead.
May our voices carry prayers of hope
that the people of Israel know that they are not alone.
-Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar
A Reading from an Angelus Homily of Pope Francis
Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to add my voice
to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world...
from the one great family which is humanity.
It is the cry for peace!
It is a cry which declares with force:
We want a peaceful world; we want to be men and women of peace ...
and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict,
that peace break out!
There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry,
but in these days my heart is deeply wounded by what is happening in Syria
and by the dramatic developments which are looming.
I appeal strongly for peace ...
How much suffering, how much devastation,
how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake ...
I think of many children who will not see the light of the future!
With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons.
There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which is inescapable!
Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake.
War begets war; violence begets violence.
What can we do to make peace in the world?
As Pope John said, it pertains to each individual
to establish new relationships in human society
under the mastery and guidance of justice and love.
All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace.
I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church,
and also to every Christian of other confessions
as well as to followers of every religion
and to those brothers and sister who do not believe:
Peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs to all of humanity.
I repeat forcefully:
It is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict
which builds harmony with and between peoples,
but it is a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue;
This is the only way to peace.
May the plea for peace rise up and touch the hearts of everyone
so that they may lay down their weapons
and let themselves be led by the desire for peace.
Bring Justice and Peace
God of all creation, bring justice and peace to our world.
Teach us to be peacemakers. Guide us in our pursuit of
justice and the common good. Inspire us to welcome all, forgive
all, and love all. Direct us as we walk in the shadow of Jesus: the
Way, the Truth, and the Life. Inspire us to perceive the world
through your eyes, that we might find hope and joy each day,
supportive of each other, for the sake of your Kingdom. Amen.