As we begin Lent, our 40-day season of prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving in preparation for the celebration of Easter, I would suggest we offer our sacrifices and prayers for the people of Ukraine. We watch in horror as peaceful communities are turned into arenas of violence, families are separated, and young men young fathers pick up weapons. We see missiles destroy places of refuge and safety, and lives are abused, wounded, and lost, including innocent children. Millions must flee their homes with just the clothes they can carry. We all want to do something to help! And we can! As we begin our Lenten traditions, let all of us remember that prayer is powerful. Pray for peace! Pray for Ukraine. Ask God to pierce Putin’s heart.O God, author and giver of peace,
in whose image and likeness each of us has been created
with a human dignity worthy of respect on earth
and destined for eternal glory,
Listen to the cry that rises from every corner of this fragile earth,
from our human family torn by violent conflict:
Give peace in our time, O good and gracious God,
that peace which, as your son Jesus Christ told us
and as we have experienced in these days,
is a peace which the world cannot give.
To world leaders grant the wisdom
to see beyond the boundaries of race, religion, and nation
to that common humanity that makes us all your children
and brothers and sisters to one another.
To those who have taken up arms in anger or revenge
or even in the cause of justice
grant the grace of conversion to the path of peaceful dialogue
and constructive collaboration.
To the innocent who live in the shadow of war and terror,
especially the frightened children,
be a shelter and strength, their haven and hope.
And to those who have already lost their lives
as victims of human cruelty,
open wide your arms and enfold them all
in the embrace of your compassion, healing, and everlasting life.
Grant this through Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord.
Mary, Mother of all and Queen of peace, pray for us.
- Peter J. Scagnelli