In solidarity with Pope Francis’ Vigil that begins at 1 p.m. EDT, I penned a prayer this morning:
O God, author of peace, you handed over your Son to this world of violence that He, by embracing the Cross in non-violent love, might heal the gaping wounds wrought by sin, reconciling fallen humanity into one family, O Peaceful Father. Graciously hear our prayers of peace this day for the people of Syria, and for the whole Middle East, that land your Son once sanctified by His sojourn on earth might be freed from terror and bloodshed. Send your Spirit of Peace upon this land, O Lover of Humanity, and by His life-giving power flowing from the wounded Heart of Christ, transform thoughts of hatred and death into thoughts of mercy and pardon. Hear our prayer, O Kind Father, through the intercession of the saints of Syria and the whole Middle East who lived as peacemakers worthy to be called your children. And may the Mother of God, our Queen of Peace, bear again her Son into our war-weary world to turn our swords into plowshares, our spears into pruning hooks and our blood-soaked clothes into fuel for love’s eternal flame. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.