As Associates and Religious of the Sacred Heart, we watch with horror and heart break the scenes of violence and tragic loss of innocent lives in the Middle East. As people inspired by the Gospel we condemn war and join Pope Francis in demanding that the attacks and weaponry cease.
We know that terrorism and war do not lead to resolution of issues, but to death and suffering. We stand in solidarity with the victims of brutality and people of faith choosing nonviolence, reconciliation, and care for the most vulnerable across lines of division. We commit ourselves to be people who believe that peace is possible.
We endorse the statement from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and encourage our members and Associates to choose the peaceful path of Jesus and exercise all of our rights and duties as citizens to urge our leaders to act as responsible members of the world community. We call upon world leaders and the United Nations to activate those mechanisms necessary for an immediate ceasefire and the negotiation of peace, so that justice may prevail.
Let us be consistent and intentional in praying for peace.
God of mercy and compassion, of grace and reconciliation,
pour your Spirit upon the peoples of the Middle East:
Jews, Muslims and Christians, Palestinians and Israelis.
Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all.
And please teach us to be peacemakers.
Guide us in our pursuit of justice and the common good.
Inspire us to perceive the world through your eyes,
so that we might find hope and joy each day,
supportive of each other,
for the sake of your Kingdom. Amen