Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians sends a message asking us to unite ourselves to the request of Pope Francis to make February 23, 2018 a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the world, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Syria, and for many other parts of the world.
I am writing this message to ask you to unite yourselves to the request of Pope Francis to make February 23, 2018 a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the world, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Syria, and for many other parts of the world. I ask for an intense prayer for the Middle East where the bombardments have again increased in recent days in Syria. We are in communion with many Countries of the five Continents where we are present and where the people are suffering due to the lack of peace. We feel the responsibility to implore the Lord together for the gift of peace.
Violence increases poverty. Poverty generates a sense of exclusion, anger, and sometimes even, aggressiveness, and is one of the strongest causes of migration in the whole world. If the world would decide to put an end to the building of weapons and to the threat of nuclear war, there would be no more conflicts among peoples. Faith in the God of Life leads to respect for human life and for human dignity.
Peace begins in the heart of every person and therefore, in each of us, in every young person, in every family. We are educators and have the responsibility to educate the young to the culture of peace beginning with our personal and community experience.
I invite the whole Institute to make February 23, 2018, in communion with Pope Francis and with the entire Church, a day dedicated to peace, sharing it with the young, with the educating community, with every person with whom we come into contact.
Every community has certainly already organized this strong time of prayer. I think that Eucharistic Adoration and praying the Rosary are especially indicated to help us make our cry of the poor rise up to the Lord through the mediation of Mary, as we place all our trust in the Father’s loving attention. In silent adoration, we let ourselves be reached by Jesus, Prince of Peace. He, the Meek, the Gentle One, the innocent Lamb immolated for us, asks for our collaboration. We are His hands today, His feet, His heart that can give continuity to His thirst for peace for all of humankind. In the Rosary, every bead prayed with Mary and like Mary, makes us more like her Motherly heart that always wants the good of all her children spread throughout the world.
We join gestures of peace to our prayer, so that the whole Institute may breathe peace and may radiate it in concentric circles that are ever broader.
Pope Francis has widened the invitation to include our non-Catholic and non-Christian brothers and sisters as well, so that they may join this initiative in the way they hold most opportune.
We are all invited to this day of prayer and fasting for peace.
Both prayer and fasting being, above all, from us. Not only material fasting, but fasting from judgments, negative words and thoughts. There can be violence in words and looks as well. We want to purify our heart, our gaze, our thoughts, our words, and make gestures of peace, thinking of the many people who suffer their lack, sure that “our Heavenly Father always listens to His children who cry out to Him in their suffering and anguish, ‘Heal the broken-hearted and bind up their wounds’ (Psalm 147: 3)” (Words at the Angelus, February 4, 2018).
My affectionate greetings. I am in communion with you. God bless you.
Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, FMA
Superior General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians