Prayers for Hiroshima Day

God our creator and sustainer, we gather to pray in the midst of a broken people who today remember the darkness and the shadow of death and destruction caused by nuclear weapons.

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We know that we deal falsely with the world and with ourselves, healing wound too lightly by saying " peace, peace" when there is no peace.

Let there be sown is us anew the unity, the light and the peace which passes all understanding. Be with us today and keep our minds and hearts in you and in your peace

We remember the 300,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who died as a result of the atomic bombs: May they rest in peace.

We remember all those who died in the war with Japan, especially those who perished in the prisoner of war camps.

We remember those who gave their lives to help those suffering after the bomb and who died of radiation sickness. May their faithful and loving witness inspire us to compassion.

We remember the people of the Middle East - in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Israel. Each day brings news of more violence. We pray that nonviolent solutions may be found to heal wounds, bring justice and lasting peace to them.

We remember those who were able to forgive the suffering inflicted on them by their enemies in war. We pray for the same greatness of heart.

We will remember the peacemaker visionaries who have come before us, and we will give thanks for their witness and their commitment to life.

Today is also the feast of the Transfiguration. We hear the Gospel reading and pray that we may be transformed by God and witnesses to the peace message of Jesus.

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Poem: Transfigured and Transfixed

Noon in Galilee, Dawn by the Japanese sea.
The Spirit hovers silently, while the Enola Gay drones away.
Four men on a mountain top; 350,000 down in the valley.
The Son of Man and a bomb Christened 'Little Boy'.
Silently the cloud descends; just as silently a parachute unfurls.
Four men see nothing but Jesus, while 75,000 are never seen again.
Whiter than any new bleached cloth the face of Christ,
brighter than a thousand suns the flash.
"This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him."
This is the nuclear age, be very afraid.
And the clouds weep their atomic rain.
Christ transfigured and the world transfixed,
the dawning of the light of Christ,
the beginning of the nuclear winter.
The date of both - August 6.

Fr Rob Esdaile

Source: Pax Christi UK - http://paxchristi.org.uk/

For more information on events marking the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, see the ICN Listings page, or visit: ICN 2 August 2015 - Events to mark 70th anniversary of first use of nuclear weapons www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=27988

See a short film dedicated to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki here: https://vimeo.com/135355477