Prayer of the Angelus Domini

ang

ANGELUS
August 15, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At the end of our Mass, we turn once more to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven. To her we bring all our joys, our sorrows and our hopes.

We especially entrust to her all who lost their lives in the sinking of the Se-Wol ferry, as well as those who continue to be affected by this great national disaster. May the Lord welcome the dead into his peace, console those who mourn, and continue to sustain those who so generously came to the aid of their brothers and sisters. May this tragic event which has brought all Koreans together in grief confirm their commitment to work together in solidarity for the common good.

We also ask Our Lady to look with mercy on all those among us who are suffering, particularly the sick, the poor and those who lack dignified employment.

Finally, on this day when Korea celebrates its liberation, we ask Our Lady to watch over this noble nation and its citizens. And we commend to her care all the young people who have joined us from throughout Asia. May they be joyful heralds of the dawn of a world of peace in accordance with God’s gracious plan!

Prayer for Justice and Peace in the Holy Lands

1Prayer for Justice and Peace in the Holy Lands

Lord our God, author of life and giver of peace,
the tragic events unfolding in Iraq, Syria, Israel and Palestine pain us.
We know that violence is not conquered by violence.
We remember all those forced from their homes in Iraq.
We entrust to your loving kindness those who have lost everything in Gaza.
We commend to your mercy those who have suffered violence and death in Syria.
We ask your protection for the people of the land of Israel.
They are all our brothers and sisters and they depend on us.
Teach us to live in solidarity with all those who suffer.
Let justice and peace rain down upon your people
living in the land of Abraham and in all of the lands we call holy.
Together with us, Jews and Muslims also look to the person of Abraham
as a model of unconditional submission to the will of God.
Watch over those who have lost faith and hope.
Comfort the sick, the imprisoned and all who suffer.
Console those whom mourn the loss of loved ones.
Grant shelter to those who have lost their homes and lands.
Watch over the Church’s Pastors and the entire community
of believers who live in your lands.
In the Church we are all members of a single body,
all mutually necessary, because each has been given a grace
according to the measure of the gift of Christ, for the common good.
May Mary, the Mother of Jesus, help us to understand and live every day
the fraternity that springs up from the heart of her Son,
so as to bring peace to each person on this our beloved earth
especially in your own lands.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer inspired by St. John Paul II and Pope Francis

Photo credit: A displaced woman and child flee violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar, Iraq, Aug. 10.  (CNS photo/ Rodi Said, Reuters)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at Invocation for Peace

abas

The President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, delivered remarks to the participants in the Invocation for Peace here at the Vatican on Sunday evening. Below, please find the full text, in English, of President Abbas’ prepared remarks.

In the Name of God, the Most Gracious and Most Merciful
Your Holiness Pope Francis
Your Excellency President Shimon Peres,
Your Beatitudes, Honorable Sheiks and Rabbis
Ladies and Gentlemen 

It is indeed a great honor for us to meet again with His Holiness Pope Francis in fulfillment of his kind invitation to relish his spiritual and noble presence, and listen to his opinion and crystal wisdom, which emanate from a sound heart, vibrant conscience, as well as an elevated ethical and religious sense. I thank your Holiness from the bottom of my heart for initiating this important gathering here in the Vatican. Simultaneously, we highly appreciate your visit to the Holy Land Palestine,  and in specific to our Holy city Jerusalem and to Bethlehem; the city of love and peace, and the cradle of Jesus Christ. The visit is a sincere expression of your belief in peace and a truthful attempt to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

Oh God, we ever praise you for making Jerusalem our gate to heaven. As said in the Holy Quran,

“Glory to Him who made His servant travel by night from the sacred place of worship to the furthest place of worship, whose surroundings We have blessed.” You made pilgrimage and prayer in it as the best acts the faithful can make in your praise, and made your truthful promise in your say:  “Let them enter the Masjid as they did for the first time.”  God Almighty has spoken the truth.

O, Lord of Heaven and Earth, accept my prayer for the realization of truth, peace and justice in my country Palestine, the region, and the globe as a whole.

I beseech You, O Lord, on behalf of my people, the people of Palestine – Moslems, Christians and Samaritans – who are craving for a just peace, dignified living, and liberty, I beseech you, Oh Lord, to make prosperous and promising the future of our people, and freedom in our sovereign and independent state; Grant, O Lord, our region and its people security, safety and stability. Save our blessed city Jerusalem; the first Kiblah, the second Holy Mosque, the third of the two Holy Mosques, and the city of blessings and peace with all that surround it.

Reconciliation and peace, O Lord, are our goal. God in His Holy Book has addressed the faithful: “Make peace among you,”  Here we are, O God, inclined to peace. Make firm our steps and crown our efforts and endeavors with success. You are the promoter of virtue and preventer of vice, evil and aggression. You say and you are the most truthful, “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower.” In the saying of Prophet Muhammad, “Spread the peace among you. “

Today, we reiterate after Jesus Christ addressing Jerusalem: “If only you had known the path of peace this day” (Luke 19:42). As well let us remember the words of Saint John Paul II when he said?: “If peace is realized in Jerusalem, peace will be witnessed in the whole world” Simultaneously, in our prayer today, we repeatedly call after those who advocate peace:  “Blessed are the peace makers,” and “Call for the peace of Jerusalem”  as came in the Holy Scriptures.

Accordingly, we ask You, O Lord, for peace in the Holy Land, Palestine, and Jerusalem together with its people. We call on you to make Palestine and Jerusalem in particular  a secure land for all the believers, and a place for prayer and worship for the followers of the three monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and for all those wishing to visit it as it is stated in the Holy Quran.   

O Lord, You are the peace and peace emanates from You. O God of Glory and Majesty grant us security and safety, and alleviate the suffering of my people in hometown and Diaspora.

O Lord, bring comprehensive and just peace to our country and region so that our people and the peoples of the Middle East and the whole world would enjoy the fruit of peace, stability and coexistence.

We want peace for us and for our neighbors. We seek prosperity and peace of mind for ourselves and for others alike. O Lord, answer our prayers and make successful our endeavors for you are most just, most merciful, Lord of the Worlds.

Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks to peace gathering

PERES

The President of Israel, Shimon Peres, delivered remarks at the Invocation for Peace gathering in the Vatican on Sunday evening. Below, please find the full text, in English, of President Peres’ prepared remarks.

Your Holiness Pope Francis,
Your Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas,

I have come from the Holy City of Jerusalem to thank you for your exceptional invitation. The Holy City of Jerusalem is the beating heart of the Jewish People. In Hebrew, our ancient language, the word Jerusalem and the word for peace share the same root. And indeed peace is the vision of Jerusalem.

As it is said in the Book of Psalms:

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.

During your historic visit to the Holy Land, you moved us with the warmth of your heart, the sincerity of your intentions, your modesty, and your kind ways. You touched the people’s hearts – regardless of their faith or nation. You emerged as a bridge-builder of brotherhood and peace. We are all in need of the inspiration which accompanies your character and your way.

Thank you.

Two peoples – Israelis and Palestinians – still are aching for peace. The tears of mothers over their children are still etched in our hearts. We must put an end to the cries, to the violence, to the conflict. We all need peace. Peace between equals.

Your invitation to us to join you in this momentous ceremony to call for peace, here in the Vatican garden, in the presence of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Druze leaders, graciously reflects your vision of the aspiration we all share: Peace.

On this moving occasion, brimming with hope and full of faith, let us all raise with you, Your Holiness, a call for peace between religions, between nations, between communities, and between fellow men and women. Let true peace become our legacy soon and swiftly.

Our Book of Books commands upon us the way of peace, demands of us to toil for its realization.

It is said in the book of Proverbs:

“Her ways are ways of grace, and all her paths are peace.”

So too must our ways be. Ways of grace and peace. It is not by chance that Rabbi Akiva captured the essence of our Torah in one sentence: “Love your neighbor like thyself.” We are all equal before the Lord. We are all part of the human family. For without peace, we are not complete, and we have yet to achieve the mission of humanity.

Peace does not come easy. We must toil with all our strengths to reach it. To reach it soon. Even if it requires sacrifice or compromise.

The Book of Psalms tells us:

“Whoever loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.”

This is to say, we are commanded to pursue after peace. All year. Every day. We greet each other with this blessing. Shalom. Salam. We must be worthy of the deep and demanding meaning of this blessing. Even when peace seems distant, we must pursue it to bring it closer.

And if we pursue peace with perseverance, with faith, we will reach it.

And it will endure through us, through all of us, of all faiths, of all nations, as it is written:

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

The soul is elated upon the reading of these verses of eternal vision. And we can – together and now, Israelis and Palestinians – convert our noble vision to a reality of welfare and prosperity. It is within our power to bring peace to our children. This is our duty, the holy mission of parents.

Let me end with a prayer:

He who makes peace in the heavens shall make peace upon us and upon all of Israel, and upon the entire world, and let us say Amen.

Pope Francis’s Words to Presidents of Israel and Palestine at Invocation for Peace

Francis

Pope Francis delivered remarks to the Presidents of Palestine and Israel, Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres, along with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and delegations representing Jews, Christians and Muslims, all of whom were gathered in the Vatican Pentecost Sunday evening to pray for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father’s prepared remarks.

Distinguished Presidents,

I greet you with immense joy and I wish to offer you, and the eminent delegations accompanying you, the same warm welcome which you gave to me during my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

I am profoundly grateful to you for accepting my invitation to come here and to join in imploring from God the gift of peace.  It is my hope that this meeting will mark the beginning of a new journey where we seek the things that unite, so as to overcome the things that divide.

I also thank Your Holiness, my venerable Brother Bartholomaios, for joining me in welcoming these illustrious guests.  Your presence here is a great gift, a much-appreciated sign of support, and a testimony to the pilgrimage which we Christians are making towards full unity.

Your presence, dear Presidents, is a great sign of brotherhood which you offer as children of Abraham.  It is also a concrete expression of trust in God, the Lord of history, who today looks upon all of us as brothers and who desires to guide us in his ways.

This meeting of prayer for peace in the Holy Land, in the Middle East and in the entire world is accompanied by the prayers of countless people of different cultures, nations, languages and religions: they have prayed for this meeting and even now they are united with us in the same supplication.  It is a meeting which responds to the fervent desire of all who long for peace and dream of a world in which men and women can live as brothers and sisters and no longer as adversaries and enemies.

Dear Presidents, our world is a legacy bequeathed to us from past generations, but it is also on loan to us from our children: our children who are weary, worn out by conflicts and yearning for the dawn of peace, our children who plead with us to tear down the walls of enmity and to set out on the path of dialogue and peace, so that love and friendship will prevail.

Many, all too many, of those children have been innocent victims of war and violence, saplings cut down at the height of their promise.  It is our duty to ensure that their sacrifice is not in vain.  The memory of these children instils in us the courage of peace, the strength to persevere undaunted in dialogue, the patience to weave, day by day, an ever more robust fabric of respectful and peaceful coexistence, for the glory of God and the good of all.

Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare.  It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity.  All of this takes courage, it takes strength and tenacity.

History teaches that our strength alone does not suffice.  More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it.  That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God.  We do not renounce our responsibilities, but we do call upon God in an act of supreme responsibility before our consciences and before our peoples.  We have heard a summons, and we must respond.  It is the summons to break the spiral of hatred and violence, and to break it by one word alone: the word “brother”.  But to be able to utter this word we have to lift our eyes to heaven and acknowledge one another as children of one Father.

            To him, the Father, in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, I now turn, begging the intercession of the Virgin Mary, a daughter of the Holy Land and our Mother.

            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 quarreling 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.

 

INVOCATION FOR PEACE Vatican Gardens, June 8, 2014

Pope Francis prays in front of the Israeli security wall in Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)

Below you will find the full texts for the Invocation for Peace ceremony in the Vatican Gardens on Pentecost Sunday evening.  Pope Francis, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinain President Mahmoud Abbas and their delegations will take part in the ceremony. Salt and Light Television will begin coverage of the ceremony at noon (ET). Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB will host the broadcast.

INVOCATION FOR PEACE
Vatican Gardens, June 8, 2014

INTRODUCTION
Musical meditation

Announcement

May the Lord give you peace!

We have gathered here, Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, so that each of us can offer his or her own that each of us can express his or her desire for peace for the Holy Land and for all who dwell there.

Together with Pope Francis, who greatly desired this moment, Patriarch Bartholomaios of Constantinople and all those present, Presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas will join in this calling, voicing the desire of their respective peoples to invoke to God the common longing for peace.

This evening’s meeting will consist of three parts, followed by a conclusion.
Each part will be devoted to an invocation by one of the three religious communities, in chronological order: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Each part will itself unfold in three moments. The first moment will consist of an expression of praise to God for his gift of creation, and for his having created us as members of the human family.

In the second moment, we will ask pardon from God for the times we have failed to act as brothers and sisters, and for our sins against him and against our fellow men and women.
In the third moment, we will ask God to grant the gift of peace to the Holy Land and to enable us to be peacemakers.

Each of these three moments will be framed by a brief musical interlude. A musical meditation will conclude each of the three main parts.

FIRST MOMENT
JEWISH COMMUNITY
Prayer (in Hebrew)

Psalm 8
To the leader: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.

O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 147
Praise the LORD!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The LORD lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
He grants peace within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs—
who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the LORD!

Brief musical interlude

Prayer (in Hebrew)

Psalm 25
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD,
and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!
Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who are they that fear the LORD?
He will teach them the way that they should choose.
They will abide in prosperity,
and their children shall possess the land.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
O guard my life, and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.

Psalm 130
A Song of Ascents

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the LORD
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.

Prayer from the Yom Kippur
(Day of Atonement) service

Your servant David said before you: “Who may discern errors? Cleanse me from hidden faults”. Cleanse us, O Lord our God from all our transgressions, purify us from our impurity and cast pure water on us and purify us, as is written by Your prophets: “I will cast clean water upon you, and you shall be cleansed from all your impurities and from all your contamination I will purify you”. And it is said: “Take words with you and return to the Lord; say to him, “Take away all guilt; accept that which is good, and we will offer up the fruit of our lips.” You are merciful, accepting those who turn back to You, and with regard to repentance You promised from the beginning , and with regard to repentance, our eyes look hopefully to You. And out of Your love or us, O Lord our God, who loved Israel Your people in Your mercy, and in Your compassion with which, You had compassion on the children of Your covenant, You granted us forgiveness of sin and the pardon of transgression and the atonement of iniquity.

Brief musical interlude.

Prayer
(in Hebrew)

Prayer of Nahman of Breslav

Lord of Peace,
Divine Ruler, to whom peace belongs!
Maker of Peace, Creator of all things!
May it be Your will to put an end to war and bloodshed in the world,
and to spread a great and wonderful peace over the whole world,
so that nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.
Help us and save us all,
Let us merit to cling tightly to the virtue of peace.
Let there be a truly great peace
between every person and his fellow, and between husband and wife,
and let there be no division among people not even in the heart.
Let every person love peace and pursue peace
Always in truth and integrity
Let us never cling to division
Not even when it comes to those who do not agree with us.
Let us never shame any person on earth, great or small
And may we merit to truly keep the commandment
to “love your neighbor as yourself,”
with an entire heart, body, soul and possessions.
And let what is written be fulfilled in us:
“I will grant peace in the land,
and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid;
I will remove dangerous animals from the land,
and no sword shall go through your land.”
God who is peace, bless us with peace!
Prayer for Peace from the Daily Service
Grant peace, goodness, blessing, grace, lovingkindness, and mercy;
on us and all your people Israel and on the world.
Bless us all as one by the light of Your countenance our Father.
For by the light of Your countenance,
You have given us O Lord our God, a Torah of Life, loving kindness,
and righteousness and blessing and mercy and life and peace.
May it be Your will to bless us all with Your Peace.

Jewish musical meditation.

SECOND MOMENT
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

Prayer

Psalm 8

A reading from the Book of Isaiah 65:17-25
For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord–and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent– its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

Pause in silence

Let us pray:
Almighty God and Father,
we gather here together,
we, your children, Jews, Christians and Muslims,
all recognizing you as our Creator.
We come to give you thanks
for the beauty and wonder of Your creation.
It is You, Creator God, Father of us all,
who has placed us in the Holy Land,
especially blessed among all the lands
because there the history of our salvation has unfolded.
May our shared thanksgiving for all Your blessings remind us
that we are brothers and sisters,
beloved of One God our Father,
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Brief musical interlude.

Prayer (in Italian)
A reading from the prayer of Saint John Paul II

Let us turn with trust to God our Father,
who is merciful and compassionate,
slow to anger, great in love and fidelity,
and ask him to accept the repentance of his people
who humbly confess their sins,
and to grant them mercy.

Let us pray that contemplating Jesus,
our Lord and our Peace,
Christians will be able to repent
of the words and attitudes
caused by pride, by hatred,
by the desire to dominate others,
by enmity towards members of other religions
and towards the weakest groups in society,
such as immigrants and itinerants.
Let us pray for all those who have suffered offences
against their human dignity
and whose rights have been trampled.

Pause in silence.

Most merciful Father,
your Son, Jesus Christ, the judge of the living and the dead,
in the humility of his first coming
redeemed humanity from sin
and in his glorious return he will demand
an account of every sin.
Grant that our forebears, our brothers and sisters,
and we, your servants, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit
turn back to you in whole-hearted repentance,
may experience your mercy and receive
the forgiveness of our sins.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Pause in silence

Let us pray:
Almighty God and Father,
give us the grace to come before you in humility
and beg your forgiveness for our offenses
against You and our brothers and sisters.
We have not been custodians of Your creation
and especially in Your Holy Land we have waged wars,
engaged in violence,
taught contempt for our brothers and sisters
and thus deeply offended You, Father of us all.
Give us the grace to recommit ourselves to “do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Brief musical interlude

Prayer (in Arabic)

A reading from the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And 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.
Pause in silence.

Let us pray:
Almighty God and Father,
gathered here together we ask You
to make us instruments of Your peace,
seeking justice, agents of pardon
and builders of reconciliation.
Open our hearts to be filled with Your spirit,
open our eyes to see Your image in everyone we meet,
open our hands to join with those of our brother and sisters
to build together a world in which all can live in peace.
Pour down your blessing on the Holy Land,
so that from there this peace
can spread to the ends of the earth,
in the name of Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Christian musical meditation

THIRD MOMENT
MUSLIM COMMUNITY
Prayer (in Arabic)

Praise be to God, who created the heavens and the earth, made darkness and light, brought everything out of nothing, created us as the best part of creation, formed us in the best of forms, bestowing on us hearing, sight, intelligence, and heart. Blessed be God, best of creators.

Oh God, to you all praise, O Lord, to you all praise, O Creator of the heavens and the earth, O You who know the unknown and the manifest, O Lord of everything and its sovereign, we testify that there is no god but You alone and You have no partner, we seek refuge in You from the evil in ourselves and the evil of Satan, his partners, his godlessness and his whispering, and we seek refuge in You from godlessness and want, and we seek refuge in You so that we do not bring evil upon ourselves or bring it upon anyone else.

O God, to You all praise, much praise, good and blessed, we praise You for all the grace bestowed upon us, seen and unseen, in religion or in the world, for Your graces cannot be counted or calculated, and we ask You, our Lord, that they last forever, be preserved and blessed, and that they might help us to remember You, thank You and worship You better, until we worship You, remember You and thank You as You desire, and to You all praise, O Lord, as befits the splendor of Your face and the greatness of Your power.

O God, You are all able and we are unable, You possess all and we have nothing, You know all and we know nothing, You know hidden things, we praise You, we thank You for all that You have showered upon us and all You have done so well for us in religion and in this world, to You praise, our Lord, in first things and in the hereafter, to You praise in good times and bad, to You praise until You are gratified and to You praise when You are satisfied, to You praise after satisfaction, there is no power and no strength but in You.

Brief musical interlude

Prayer (in Arabic)

O God, our Lord and our God there is no god but You, You created us and we are Your servants, and we are committed to You as best we can, we take our refuge in You from the evil we have done, we return to You by the grace You bestow on us, and we return from our transgressions and our sins, forgive us, for there is no one who forgives sins except You.

O God, our Lord, God whose name is sanctified in the heavens, Your command is in the heavens and on earth, as Your mercy is in the heavens, so let Your mercy be manifest on earth, forgive us our transgressions and our sins, You are the Lord of those who are good, pour down upon us Your mercy, Your pardon, Your goodness and Your healing, Most Merciful of the merciful.
O God, inspire us to tell the truth, to do good, to instruct in virtue, to put an end to what is forbidden, seeking Your generous face, O Master of splendor and honor, so that we do only good for the good of all, all people, removing injustice from the oppressed, so that we may receive Your mercy which encompasses all things, and help us, O Lord, to do right with what is right, in matters of justice and charity, and put an end to indecency, all that is forbidden, evil, injustice and aggression.

O God, we seek refuge in You from going astray or being led astray, from slipping or causing others to slip, from doing wrong or suffering wrong, from committing aggression or having aggression committed against us, forgive us for whatever sins we have committed in all of this, O Most Merciful of the merciful, for our hope is in Your mercy, and we fear Your retribution, do not put us among the unjust violent ones, O Lord of the worlds, help us to come to the assistance of the unjustly oppressed, so that we are granted in this Your mercy, Your pardon and Your satisfaction.

Brief musical interlude

Prayer (in Arabic)

Praise to God, merciful, compassionate, king, holy, peace, faith, sovereign, precious, mighty, proud, creator, maker, former.

O God, You are peace, and peace is from You, and to You peace returns, You are blessed and You are glorified, O Master of splendor and honor, inspire us, O Lord, with peace and reveal to us peace and make us dwellers in the realm of peace, among those who do not live in fear or sorrow.
O God, we seek refuge in You from injustice and oppression, from illegitimate aggression, and we ask You, our Lord, to make us rightly guided, not going astray nor leading astray, believing in You and trusting in You, guide us, O Lord, to the most preferred of words, guide us, O Lord, to the most perfect of acts, guide us, O Lord, to the best of morals, for no one can guide to this except You, and You are able to do all things.

O God, make us, O Lord, keys to all that is good, locks to all that is evil, we ask of You what is good and proper, that You provide us with safety, peace, security and faith, for us and for our peoples, our families, our fathers and mothers, our sons and daughters, and for all humanity and all nations, and all creatures in Your great creation, give us, O Lord, in this world good, and in the Hereafter good, and protect us from the torment of the fire.

O God, bring about peace in the land of peace, O Master of splendor and honor, and remove injustice against the oppressed in this land, feed its people who hunger, and secure them against fear, and keep them from evil and evil doers, from unjust aggressors, O Lord of the Worlds.

Muslim musical meditation

FINAL MOMENT

Announcement

Let us now listen to the words of Pope Francis, followed by those of the two Presidents, each calling for peace for peace.

The two Presidents and the Holy Father will conclude by shaking hands and by planting a small olive tree together as an enduring symbol of the mutual desire for peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

Invocation of the Holy Father Francis

Invocation of President Peres

Invocation of President Mahmoud Abbas

Sign of Peace

Structure of the Invocation for Peace Event (Sunday 8th June, Vatican Gardens)

Pope Francis prays in front of the Israeli security wall in Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)

Watch live Sunday June 8th at 12:00 pm ET / 9:00 am PT


Before the ceremony

The two Presidents will arrive at the Vatican within 15/20 minutes of each other (18.15- 18.30).

They will be welcomed at the entrance of the St. Martha Residence by the Holy Father.

The Holy Father will hold a short colloquium with each President.

At the end of the colloquia all three will meet in the St. Martha Hall and the EcumenicalPatriarch will also meet with them. (The Patriarch will be in Rome from Saturday evening).

The four will leave the St. Martha Residence and enter a car.

The car will stop close to the place in which the event takes place. They will walk approximately 50 metres.

The four will all take their places.

The Ceremony (begins at 19.00)

Musical introduction
Reader/guide (English only): explanation of the structure and method of the first three parts of the celebration

First part: Jewish community (in Hebrew) – Prayer (creation)
– Brief musical interlude
– Prayer (invocation for forgiveness)
– Brief musical interlude
– Prayer (invocation for peace)
– Jewish musical meditation

Second part: Christian community
– Prayer (creation) (in English)Brief musical interlude – Prayer (invocation for forgiveness) (in Italian)
– Brief musical interlude
– Prayer (invocation for peace) (in Arabic)
– Christian musical meditation

Third part: Muslim community (in Arabic)

– Prayer (creation)
– Brief musical interlude
– Prayer (invocation for forgiveness)
– Brief musical interlude
- Prayer (invocation for peace)
- Muslim musical meditation

Reader/guide (English only): introduction to the final part

– The Holy Father (speech/prayer/invocation)
– The Holy Father invites each of the two Presidents to express their own invocation
– President Shimon Peres
– President Mahmoud Abbas
– At the end of the three invocations there will be a sign of peace (handshake…) with the participation of the Ecumenical Patriarch
– The Pope and the Patriarch will accompany the Presidents in planting an olive tree

After the Ceremony

After the ceremony, the four will remain next to each other and all the delegations will greet them.
They will then proceed to a nearby location (Casina Pio IV), a small building not far from where the ceremony took place.
Following the photo opportunity, the door will be closed and the meeting will continue privately.
At the end, the Presidents will leave the Vatican and return to their respective residences. The Pope and the Patriarch will leave for the St. Martha Residence.

Pray for Peace in the Holy Land with Pope Francis

Interfaith cropped

Pray for peace in the Holy Land with Pope Francis

By Oscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, SDB

June 4 2014

Pope Francis has invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the Vatican to pray for peace in the Holy Land this Pentecost Sunday.

On his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Pope said,  “All of us want peace.” Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers.

People of goodwill around the world are being encouraged to join Pope Francis, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres and pray for peace in the Holy Land. Pope Francis is inviting us to step outside of ourselves, of our habits, our petty hates, our prejudices and certainties  and to make space for the Holy Spirit.

First and foremost we must seek peace in our hearts and in our relationships with others. Only then can we look beyond our own horizons and truly experience the fire of the Holy Spirit. As Caritas we are many, but we are one.

We work in unity, but not in uniformity and we constantly seek harmony in the face of great challenges. We work in countries wracked by war and injustice. We witness first-hand the fallout of conflict and disaccord and it is tempting to fall into the mentality of “What can I do? ” .This problem is too big for me, for my organization and the global network.

But our mission is one of love and of encounter, one of going out into the streets and getting our hands dirty, in the spirit of the Church of Pope Francis.

I invite you and your communities to lay yourselves open to the Holy Spirit this Sunday. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can go out as messengers of peace.


Sign of Peace Abbas BethlehemShimon Pres & Francis

Pope Francis embraces Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Israeli President Shimon Peres (right).

IEC Day 2 – Br. Alois: A Passion for the Unity of Christ’s Body’


The following is the full text of the catechesis talk given by Brother Alois, Prior of the Taizé Community, at the Internation Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland in 2012

Passion for the Unity of the Body of Christ
Presented by Brother Alois, Prior of the Taizé Community

The Christ of Communion

The first day of this Eucharistic Congress wishes to deepen the meaning of our common baptismal faith. Mutual recognition of baptism among the various Churches is a great gift that God has given us in the last century. Despite the certainty expressed by the apostle Paul: “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4, 5), this recognition has not always been obvious. Definitively concluding a long period often marked by suspicion, the Second Vatican Council asserted confidently: “Baptism establishes a sacramental bond of unity which links all who have been reborn by it” (Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 22).

Can I allow myself today to illustrate the question of the meaning of our common baptismal faith by sharing with you our experience in the Taizé Community? The life we live in Taizé is intimately linked to the rediscovery of our common baptism as, in the words of Vatican II, a “beginning, an inauguration wholly directed toward the fullness of life in Christ” (ibid.).
[Read more…]

The “O” Antiphons: O King…


From December 17-23, I’d like to share with you these antiphons, that you will pray with them and they will help you continue to prepare for the Advent of our Lord. May they become part of your Advent tradition as they are becoming part of mine.

For December 22, the antiphon is based on Isaiah 2:4; 11:10, Psalm 47:8; Jeremiah 10:7, Daniel 7:14; Haggai 2:8, Romans 15:12 and Ephesians 2:14, 20.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

O King of all peoples and their hope, cornerstone uniting Jews and Gentiles in one people: Come, and save man whom You formed from the dust of the earth. [Read more…]