Brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.
Have you prayed yet about how you will participate?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Go to Confession: We cannot speak of peace amongst our brothers and sisters if we are at war within our own hearts. So go to confession and surrender your heart to God’s grace and His mercy. Imagine what would happen if every baptized Catholic went to confession this weekend! I think we’d be well on our way to world peace.
Pray a Rosary: Who better to turn to in our appeal for peace than Mary, Queen of Peace? Consider getting a group of friends or your family together on Saturday to pray a rosary for peace.
Offer Something Up: Catholics are called to participate this Saturday by fasting for the day (one regular meal, or two small meals for the whole day). But you can consider offering something else up as well. Skip out on your cup of coffee for the day. Go meatless. Clean the house without being asked.
Whatever you decide, offer to God on the altar of your heart some small act(s) of sacrifice for the cause of peace in Syria, the Middle East, and the world.
Prayer is powerful. I think Pope Francis has given the Church and the world a beautiful opportunity to come together and be united in prayer this Saturday, and I believe that God, in His Providence, will bless it.
I am confident that God is calling you to participate this Saturday in some way. Take some time this week to listen to Him.