Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace: 23 February 2018
Especially for People of Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan
Pope Francis has called on all local Churches to join him in a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, on 23 February (Friday of the first week of Lent). On 4 February he said:
“In the face of the tragic protraction of situations of conflict in different parts of the world, I invite all the faithful to a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace next 23 February, Friday of the First Week of Lent. We will offer it in particular for the populations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of South Sudan. As on other similar occasions, I also invite non-Catholic and non-Christian brothers and sisters to associate themselves to this initiative in the way they consider most opportune, but all together.
Our heavenly Father always listens to His children who cry to Him in sorrow and anguish, who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). I make a heartfelt appeal so that we also listen to this cry and, each one of us in his/her own conscience before God, ask ourselves: “What can I do for peace?” We certainly can pray but not only: each one can say concretely “no” to violence in as much as it depends on him or her. Because the victories obtained with violence are false victories while working for peace does everyone good!”
Daily Prayer for Healing from Racism
Loving God, You hold us in Your hands
for we are all made in Your image.
Help us to celebrate our differences.
Help us to use our diversity
to share with each other
the richness of our many cultures,
languages and backgrounds.
Help us to dissolve racism
still found in our hearts
and in the Church
and help us work for a loving society
in which none are despised
and discriminated against
by virtue of their colour.
We ask this through Jesus, our Lord,
who taught His disciples
to see beyond all human division
and reach out to the good within each person.
In the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever.