Fasting with Pope Francis for Peace

Pope Francis has called Saturday September 7 to be a day of fasting and praying for peace in Syria.

The Associated Press reported the following about his address last Sunday from St. Peter’s Square:

“With utmost firmness, I condemn the use of chemical weapons. I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart,” the pope said, in an apparent reference to photos and TV images of victims of chemical weapons in Syria.

“There is the judgment of God, and also the judgment of history, upon our actions,” he said, “from which there is no escaping.”

Usually soft-spoken, Francis raised his voice as he declared, “War brings on war! Violence brings on violence.”

Pope Francis has invited all to join in. I am joining him. Let’s make Saturday a day of fasting and praying for peace.

Wait…are you Catholic?

Nope. I am not Catholic. Pope Francis has invited people of all faiths and all people of good will to join in.

I cannot think of a better cause. Even if you are an Atheist, Agnostic, or just not into prayer and fasting, join us. This is not about converting anyone to religion, it is about solidarity for peace.

The Catholic Herald reports that in the Catholic tradition, on fast days, adults eat only one full meal. This sounds very similar to the Mormon tradition of fasting by skipping two meals (Yes, I am a Mormon).

How you fast or pray does not matter to me. I am just hoping you do on Saturday.

Must one be be opposed to the Obama administration plan or the use of military means to participate?

I do not think that is the case at all. In fact, I am not completely sure myself what to make of everything this is going on. Even if you think there may be need for military action in Syria, surely a resolution to the conflict which does not involve U.S military involvement would be preferably.

Will it make a difference?

The only thing certain to fail is indifference. Will that petition you signed make a difference? Will that call you made to your Congressional delegation make a difference? Will that debate you had on Facebook make a difference? No, that won’t (not every question can be rhetorical).

By coming together in prayer and fasting, we can send a unified message about our desire for a more peaceful world. Not everyone will march. Not everyone will attend a rally. This is something anyone can do to some degree.

What next?

How you decide to pray or fast is completely up to you. Maybe instead of prayer, you will send good vibes or take part in meditation. I just invite you to make it part of your Saturday.

Will you join me? Are you in?

Commit to be part of this day of prayer and fasting in the comments below. Thank you.

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About Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!

  • Loyd Ericson

    Count me in!

  • Ron_Madson

    Thank you Pope Francis. You are a voice of His Kingdom on this issue–”violence begets violence”—I am in

  • Joel Hancock

    I’m happy to join you.

  • Timo Virtala

    Thanks Chris, well written, I’m in.


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