Just before the 1991 Gulf War Pope John Paul II offered this prayer:
O God, great and merciful,
Lord of peace and life, God of all,
You, whose designs are for peace and not for affliction,
condemn wars and devastate the pride of the violent.
You sent your son Jesus to proclaim peace to those near and far,
to reunite people of all races and descent in a single family.
Hear the unanimous cry of your children,
the sorrowful entreaty of all humanity:
Never again war, adventure without return;
Never again war, spiral of struggle and violence;
Never this war in the Persian Gulf,
threat to your creatures in the sky, on earth and in the sea.
In communion with Mary, the Mother of Jesus,
we continue to implore you:
Speak to the hearts of those in charge of the destiny of peoples;
Stop the logic of retaliation and revenge;
Suggest with your Spirit new solutions,
generous and honorable gestures,
spaces for dialogue and patient waiting,
which are more fruitful than rushed deadlines of war.
Grant to our times days of peace.
No war ever again.
We could change only a few words and pray it today, in the face of threatened attacks by the US on Syria.
No to war! No to attacks on civilians by any party! No to US bombs on the Syrian people!
Yes to peace! Yes to nonviolent solutions! Yes to active compassion for the victims of war!
I’ll be praying and trying to fast from solids as I go out to the countryside to be with two meetings of sectors of the parish. I’ll be asking them to pray with the rest of the world for peace in Syria – but also for peace in Honduras, where violence also abounds.