Praying for peace

The people of Ukraine have paid a terrible price for not bending to the murderess dictates of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

More than five million have fled the carnage so far seeking refuge in neighbouring countries while those that stayed behind in besieged towns and cities have had to take their chances. Those fending for themselves and who have avoided injury or worse, have faced starvation and disease. It has been difficult to watch the destruction of a sovereign nation unfold on the various news services.

In a Lenten letter to confreres and mission lay partners, Redemptorist Oceania Provincial John Hodgson CSsR said the human suffering was hard to fathom.

“As we mark the sign of the cross our foreheads in ash, we enter immediately into the paschal mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, entering into the terrible conflict in the Ukraine, the cost of human suffering of people everywhere, and the brazen body-mindedness of leaders, bullying their way to power,” he said.

“We enter into life’s ongoing stupidity and its choices for violence and conflict over dialogue and respect. And we also enter into that mystery of sickness and suffering where we can find no easy target to blame – flooding, bushfires, drought, pandemics, misfortune, cancer, death and so on.

We bring these experiences – where abundant life has turned to ashes – into this season of Lent and with great courage and discipline allow Jesus to disciple us into people of faith, hope and love.

“The cost of this discipleship will be to uncover and face the uncomfortable part we play in colluding with evil and to die to that collusion. The joy of this discipleship comes in participating in the power of faith, hope and love to change the world. If we are going to die and rise this Lent, let us do so bravely and honestly.”

In March to mark the feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis and bishops throughout the world consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying for an end to the war. The Pope added that war reminds us of our “helplessness and our inadequacy,” as well as of our need for the “closeness of God and the certainty of His forgiveness.”

God alone can eliminate evil, disarm resentment, and restore peace to our hearts, said Pope Francis.

 

Personal Prayer for the Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

 

Most glorious Mother,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
To you do we turn in our time of need.

Your Heart is most pure,
Your virtues overflow in superabundance,
You are the Immaculate Conception,
You are our Mother and Queen.

In the face of grave evil,
In this time of war,
In this time of devastation and chaos,
We entrust all to you.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Please pray for us,
Cover us with your mantle of protection,
Free us from violence,
Free us from war.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Call us to repentance,
Open the eyes of sinners,
Pour down your Son’s mercy,
Pour down His abundant grace.

We consecrate to your Immaculate Heart this day,
Ourselves and our loved ones,
Our families and churches,
Our communities and countries.

Most Immaculate Heart of Mary,
In union with the Holy Father in Rome,
With the bishops throughout the world,
With all the faithful at prayer,
We consecrate Russia and Ukraine to you.

Receive them into your Immaculate Heart,
Bring healing and peace,
Strength and wisdom,
Love and compassion,
Mercy and forgiveness,
Reconciliation to all.

Through the powerful mediation of your Immaculate Heart,
Bind satan and all demons,
Thwart their evil plots.

St Michael the Archangel,
All angels and saints,
Pray for Ukraine,
Pray for Russia,
Pray for peace in the world,
Pray for peace in every heart.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Pray for us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You!

Amen.

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