Scottish Bishops call Day of Prayer for Peace in Middle East

The Scottish Catholic Justice and Peace Commission with the approval of its President, Bishop Moran and the approval of Cardinal O'Brien and Archbishop Tartaglia, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, joins in the wider call for a Day of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East on 4 December. This is the feast of St John of Damascus (676-749), who lived and worked under the early Muslim Caliphate which had its capital in Damascus.

Speaking on behalf of the Commission, spokesman Tim Duffy said: "We would ask Catholics, along with all people of good will, to spend some time next Tuesday, praying and reflecting on the need for peace in the Middle East; of the need for respect of universal human dignity and the priority of human wellbeing over ideology; for consolation for all those who have suffered loss and are forced to live in fear; and for a renewed effort by all parties to resolve differences by negotiation and bring about a just peace to the region."

Mr Duffy added: "Recently, Pope Benedict pointed out that 'hatred and violence are not the solution to problems' and called on all those involved to 'take courageous decisions in favour of peace' we echo and endorse these calls and pray that they will be heard"

Scotland's Justice & Peace Commission will send copies of the prayers below to each of Scotland's eight Dioceses and to all J&P diocesan representatives:

Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

We come to you, God Creator.
You are the source of life and beauty and power.
Your son Jesus is the way of faith and hope and love.
Your Spirit is the fire of love, the fount of wisdom, the bond of unity.
You call us at all times to be people of the beatitudes, Witnesses to the
Gospel of peace and love and forgiveness.
You call us at this time, when war and rumours of war, weigh heavily on the
peoples the Middle East.
Their lives are already broken by suffering and violence.

We renew our acceptance of your call.

We promise to work:
To bring the light of the Gospel to those living in darkness, To bring the
hope of the Gospel to those living in despair, To bring the healing of the
Gospel to the lonely, the disadvantaged, the marginalized, And to bring the
peace of the Gospel to a divided world.


Pax Christi prayer

God Our Creator, who made the earth a peaceful garden, help us restore that
peace wherever it has been broken by terrorism and injustice, especially in
the Middle East.
We repent for the times when religious language has fostered hatred and
division. . . .
Bring healing to those whose lives
have been shattered by violence.
Instill a renewed spirit of reconciliation in those who lead our people
politically and religiously. . . . Amen

Bidding Prayer:

Lord God, remember all your children, particularly in the lands which saw
the birth of the three great faiths of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and
Islam. Help them to overcome fear and violence, to live in mutual respect
and harmony and to feel the fullness of the Peace /Shalom / Salaam at the
root of their traditions.

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