In the midst of the escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine and the worry fearing that if war breaks out between these two countries it would engulf parts of Europe and would exacerbate global problems at a time when the world is still searing under the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic which wreaked havoc on global economies leading to poverty, unemployment, violence, crime, and a future bereft of hope, calls have been made from various sources for lifting up prayers seeking the Prince of Peace, namely Lord Jesus’ care intervention and mercy that would entrench peace, common living, and stability worldwide.
The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan, that issues the abouna website (en.abouna.org), has earlier called for dedicating prayers for world peace, particularly in light of the prevailing tension between Russia and Ukraine and the fear for the eruption of war between the two countries.
On the other hand , as the winds of war threaten Eastern Europe, the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, has called on Christians in Poland, Russia and Ukraine to join in fervent prayer that armed conflict might be averted.
In a letter, the Archbishop of Poznań states that “any war is a tragedy for humanity. Thousands of people die. Many of them on both sides remain handicapped and millions carry inner wounds that are difficult to heal.”
Archbishop Gądecki adds that Ukrainians and Russians are both Christian and Slavic peoples adds to the tragedy: “From both the human and divine point of view, he says, these two peoples should have much in common and tend not to hatred, but to mutual respect and friendship. However, an indispensable condition is respect for the rights of peoples, including the right to self-determination and territorial integrity”.
Reflecting on the world today Pope has said, “Humanity still seems to be groping in the dark.” During the Sunday Angelus, February 20, on the Gospel passage in which Jesus tells His disciples to love their enemies, Pope Francis lamented, “How sad it is when people and populations that pride themselves on being Christian see one another as enemies and think of waging war against each other!”
In his Message for the World Day of Peace of 2000, His Holiness Pope Saint John Paul II said, “In the century we are leaving behind, humanity has been sorely tried by an endless and horrifying sequence of wars, conflicts, genocides and “ethnic cleansings” which have caused unspeakable suffering: millions and millions of victims, families and countries destroyed, an ocean of refugees, misery, hunger, disease, underdevelopment and the loss of immense resources. ” He adds, “Wars generally do not resolve the problems for which they are fought and therefore, in addition to causing horrendous damage, they prove ultimately futile. War is a defeat for humanity. Only in peace and through peace can respect for human dignity and its inalienable rights be guaranteed.
With the onset of the year 2022 it is important to take time to maintain our hearts in prayer, trusting in our loving Lord Jesus Christ who has promised to be with us always. As our world seems on the brink of a state of instability including wars, racial hatred, terror attacks, one should not lose hope while the words of Lord Jesus Christ echo in our hearts. “I am with you always until the end of this world.” (Matthew 28:20)
Lord Jesus, we ask you to give us all around peace in our mind, body, soul and spirit. We want you to heal and remove everything that is causing stress, grief, and sorrow in our lives. Please guide our path through life and make our enemies be at peace with us.
Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org