FOR THE PEACE!
Consecrated men and women united in prayer and gestures of peace
Faced with the drama caused by the war in Ukraine, Pope Francis has called to pray and fast for Peace on the first day of Lent. Religious men and women from all over the world have accepted this invitation. From the Dicastery that deals with consecrated life in Rome, the Cardinal Prefect, Msgr. João Braz de Aviz, and the Archbishop Secretary, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, have sent us a letter of adherence to this initiative of the Pope, and of communion together in these dramatic moments for so many people.
Dear consecrated men and women:
What we feared has happened: the war has returned, once again, through the streets and among the people; he has returned to a continent that seemed to have learned from the atrocities of the past; it has returned bringing with it the danger of a new world conflict. It has returned and has once again presented before our eyes the drama that millions of people are experiencing in other parts of the world.
Let us unite with the men, women and children who live in Ukraine and in all countries deeply wounded by wars, or by internal confrontations and acts of violence. Let us entrust to the Mother of God the suffering, life and death of so many of our brothers and sisters who are affected by the horror and senselessness of war and let us make our own the call of Pope Francis "to make next March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace» (Appeal, February 23, 2022).
The more we share your pain, the more we intensify our prayer to the God of peace who has become close to our lives, has compassion on the fate of wounded humanity (Pope Francis, Angelus, February 14, 2021).
We know it well: there will never be winners or losers, only men, women and children devastated by the conflict. Our prayers are for the salvation of all, following the example of Christ, who on the cross embraced the just and the sinner, "who wanted to be united both to those who are right and to those who are guilty, who embraced everyone with the same love … not with understanding, but with compassion” (Antonij Bloom, exarch emeritus of the Moscow Patriarchate for Western Europe).
Following in the footsteps of numerous founding saints and foundresses, of so many consecrated men and women, we believe in the power of prayer, because "we must always pray, even when everything seems in vain, when God seems deaf and dumb and we seem to lose control." time. Even if the sky darkens" (Pope Francis, General Audience, November 11, 2020). Let us pray for the end of the war, so that an economy that kills does not triumph, so that love replaces hate, solidarity replaces indifference, so that dialogue is stronger than weapons.
We especially ask the contemplative sisters, who, surely, at this time are already offering their lives for peace. May incessant prayer be the burning heart of each one, of each one, and of all. Let us pray in solitude, in our communities, let us become promoters of moments of prayer, let us do it - wherever possible - together with the brothers of the Christian churches, going to them to express our desire for fraternity and let us invite others to the experience of prayer .
Let's not get tired of praying. With that same passion, let us make gestures of peace wherever we are, together with all men and women of good will; let us allow ourselves to be converted by the Holy Spirit to carry out works of peace, so that our lives speak and be, with meekness and truth, testimony of the mercy that the Father gives us.
To Mary, Queen of Peace, we entrust together all of Europe and the entire world.