Praying For Peace During These Summer Days

ljimageThe days of summer have allowed all of us to slow down a bit from the hectic pace of life and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us at this time of the year. Perhaps you have been able to take a vacation or get away for a couple of days. Swimming, leisure reading, a cookout, a bike-ride, taking in a baseball game, or a trip to the islands might be the order of the day. Hopefully we’ve spent a little more time with the people who are important to us. I trust that in the midst of everything that summer brings we have remained faithful spending time each day with the Lord in prayer.

In the midst of these days of fun and relaxation the reality of war and violence seems to have intensified. The nightly news has brought into our homes the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy – as well as increased fighting in the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine. Not to mention the tension along the southern border of the United States.

In his Angelus Addresses during July, Pope Francis, asked everyone to join him in praying for peace throughout the world. He even pleaded with leaders of nations at war, “Please stop! I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please.”

These events reminded me of a piece that was written in the September/October 1996 publication, Salt of the Earth.

A reporter covering the war in Sarajevo saw a little girl shot by a sniper. He rushed to the man who was holding the child and helped them both into his car.

As the reporter stepped on the accelerator, the man holding the bleeding child said, ‘Hurry, my friend, my child is still alive.’ A moment or two later, ‘Hurry, my child is still breathing.’ Finally, ‘Oh, my God, my child is getting cold!’

When they got to the hospital, the little girl had died. The man turned to the reporter and said, ‘This is a terrible task for me. I must go tell the father that his child is dead. He will be heartbroken.’

The reporter was confused. He looked at the grieving man and said, ‘I thought you were the father, that she was your child.’ The man looked back and said, ‘No, but aren’t they all our children?’”

God’s reign of peace begins only when we realize that we belong to one another as brothers and sisters of the same God who is Father of us all. Only when we realize that we cannot love the God we cannot see if we fail to love those we can see.

As the tragedy of war and violence touches us during these summer days, perhaps our prayer should be that all of us embrace the vision of God – to recognize every human being as belonging to us as each one of us belongs to God. That vision will bring peace into our world, and into our hearts.

To slow down my life a little, through Labor Day I will be blogging every other week – so my next blog will be on August 20th.

A reminder to those who live around Saint John Bosco Parish in Parma Heights – our International Festival is from Thursday, August 14 thru Sunday, August 17. For the Festival Poster and complete details go to our parish website. I hope to see you at the Festival.

Question – Are you willing to share with us the impact that the violence the world has experienced during these summer months has had on your prayer life?

 

 

August 7th, 2014 |