Bishop Denis having visited the Holy Land in January last, as part of the Holy Land Co-Ordinators Group, saw at first hand the issues of injustice that pertain in the Holy Land where Christ walks. The three P’s of his trip were Prayer, Pilgrimage and Persuasion. Pope Francis on his historic pilgrimage a few months back prayed very strongly for peace in that blessed land.

As we watch our news bulletins these summers evenings let us all pray in our homes and parishes for peace that will be lasting and just to all sides.

Bishop Denis encourages everyone to use the resources provided – Prayers for Peace

Prayers for Peace

Prayer for Peace by Pope Francis (8 June 2014)

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”. Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarrelling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!
Amen.

On Sunday 20 July 2014, Pope Francis called on all the faithful to pray for Christians fleeing the Iraqi city of Mosul, and to“persevere in prayer for those situations of tension and conflict that continue in different parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and in the Ukraine”

Might you attach these prayers to your fridge door during these weeks?

Remember a prayer for neighbours of other faith traditions who are sheltering their Christian friends during these dark days in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East.

Please encourage your children and godchildren, parents and godparents to pray for those who do not enjoy religious freedom, a good night’s sleep or the comforts which we take for granted.

12:00noon Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
…where there is injury, pardon;
…where there is doubt, faith;
…where there is despair, hope;
…where there is darkness, light;
…where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
…to be consoled as to console;
…to be understood as to understand;
…to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
…it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
…and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi

6:00pm Prayer for Persecuted Christians

May the Lord support us all the day long,
‘til the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over,
and our work is done.
Then in His mercy may He give us
a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

Night Prayer for Families

God our Father, I come to say:
Thank you for your love today
Thank you for my family
and all the friends you give to me.
Guard me in the dark of night
and in the morning send your light.
Amen.