By Father Bernard Holzer, aa
During his Apostolic Journey to Malta, on April 2 and 3, Pope Francis asked us to continue to pray for peace.
« There is the wind coming from the east, which often blows at dawn, which is why Homer called it “Eurus” (Odyssey, V, 349.423). Yet from the east of Europe, from the land of sunrise, the dark shadows of war have now spread. We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats were grim memories of a distant past. However, the icy winds of war, which bring only death, destruction and hatred in their wake, have swept down powerfully upon the lives of many people and affected us all. Once again, some potentate, sadly caught up in anachronistic claims of nationalist interests, is provoking and fomenting conflicts, whereas ordinary people sense the need to build a future that, will either shared, or not be at all. Now in the night of the war that is fallen upon humanity, please, let us not allow the dream of peace to fade!”
“May the Lord accompany you, and Our Lady keep you. Let us now pray to her for peace, as we think of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in war-torn Ukraine, which continues to be bombarded in the sacrilegious war. May we be tireless in praying and in offering assistance to those who suffer.”
Let us pray with Pope Francis asking the Lord for forgiveness and peace, with a prayer written by an Italian Bishop:“Forgive us for war, Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.
Lord Jesus. Born under the bombs of Kiev, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, dead in his mother's arms in a bunker in Kharkiv, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, sent to the front lines at twenty years old, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, who still see armed hands in the shadow of your cross, have mercy on us.
Forgive us, Lord. Forgive us if, not content with the nails with which we pierce your hand, we continue to drink the blood of the dead torn by weapons.
Forgive us if these hands you which created to protect have become instruments of death.
Forgive us, O Lord, forgive us if we continue to kill our brother, if we continue, like Cain, to take the stones from our field to kill Abel.
Forgive us if we continue to justify cruelty with our fatigue, if with our pain we legitimize the violence of our actions.
Forgive us for war, Lord. Forgive us for war.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, we implore you. Stop the hand of Cain. Enlighten our conscience, do not let our will be done, do not abandon us in our actions.
Stop us, Lord, stop us. And when you have stopped the hand of Cain, take care of him. He is also our brother.
O Lord. Put an end to violence. Stop us, O Lord, Amen.”