What can I say? It worked! I believe we have received an answer to our prayers for peace. The plan which the U.S. and Russia have worked out and that Syria has agreed to will turn over all chemical weapons for destruction. I guess it’s up to the U.S. and Russia to figure out a way to neutralize the nerve gases which already have killed over a thousand Syrians.
For the moment, the threat of a new conflict which would have drawn in Russia on the side of Syria, has been avoided. A sense of relief has come over the world.
The rebels in Syria, though are not pleased because the agreement will not bring an enduring peace to Syria. The civil war in Syria continues.
The work of peace is unending. It is the work of the Church to promote peace in our world, the peace that Jesus commended when he said: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.” (Mt 5,9)
However, for the moment a world crisis has been avoided by the grace of God. It’s time now to offer Him thanks for hearing the prayers of a sinful world.
We Christians know, however, that a peace that lasts will come only when we work toward justice for the poor throughout the world. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice…” (Mt.5, 6)
At the Eucharist, Mathew’s beatitudes sounded especially moving this morning: “Blessed are the peacemakers” and, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”.
There were more people in church today, too, than on any ordinary Saturday. I think they were as much affected by that reading as I was.
We are asking for a miracle. Is it possible that the world’s leaders could set down at the table in a communion of hearts, if not of minds? Can we ask insurgents and an oppressive government to come to some kind of an agreement for the sake of the poor, for the sake of peace?
The answer is, of course, to follow the commandment of love. I think the Koran issues the same command.But, we sinners are notoriously disobedient to God’s commands.
This time maybe with half the worlds hearts beating for peace, the other half will hear the call to peace in their hearts, too.
Our Holy Father asks that on Sept 7, Catholics throughout the world pray and fast for peace in Syria.
Pope Francis continues to urge dialogue between the Assad regime and the rebels.
The United Nations through its secretary urges that the U.S. refrain from striking Syria with selective missal launches. He insists nothing will be accomplished by acts of war against Syria.
John Kerry, our U.S. Secretary of State is determined to get Congress to pass a resolution proposed by the Obama administration to send missals into Syria to strike at crucial military installations in order to weaken Syria’s ability to gas its own people.
I thought Kerry was clear and at times eloquent this past Tuesday in his appeal to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as he answered in detail the concerns of that body.
I tend to agree with Kerry: Sometimes you have to act because not acting is complicity. He urged the senators to get behind the Obama decision to weaken Assad’s ability to use inhumane methods to control dissent. To do that we have to strike the Assad regime in a way that they understand.
I’m going to fast and pray this Saturday for peace in the Middle East. I can’t see how we can teach the Assad government that violence is self-defeating by using violence as our teaching tool. I’m going to try to join the millions of Christians who still believe that grace can triumph over evil.