Pandemic: For a prayer made to God by all the leaders
composed by a part of invocation that Pope made alone in St. Peter
Lord God of peace and of health, hear our prayer!
The pandemic exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties
around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities.
It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things
that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities.
The pandemic lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls;
all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us,
but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots
and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us.
We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.
In this pandemic, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos,
always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging,
of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.
In this world, that you love more than we do,
we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything.
Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste.
We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world,
nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet.
We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.
Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord! Deliver us from Pandemic.”.
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms.
How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried…
But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid!
Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace.
Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”;
“With war everything is lost”.
Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love,
you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters.
Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace;
enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.
Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace,
our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation.
In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”,
“hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman.
Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands.
Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of:
Shalom, Peace, Salaam!