Reflection and prayer from Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller
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The following official response to the recent acts of terrorism was released today, Feb. 17.
My heart is burdened by the horrific violence that is being inflicted on the world by terrorists who show no regard for human life. Their acts are certainly a vile assault on all humanity, a distortion of religion and offensive to people of all faiths.
The most recent beheading of 21 Christians has stunned the sensibilities of people of goodwill. Our sadness and outrage should not be limited to the martyrdom of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Regardless of their religion, race, or homeland, mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, and innocent children cry tears of unspeakable and unexplainable loss.
This is a time when the world needs the strength of the Holy Spirit to quiet the temptation to permit anger and vengeance to replace our sadness. We must seek solutions that will stop this irrational violence against all humanity, now. These tragedies call us to pray unceasingly so that we will not lose heart in our efforts to work intentionally for peace.
We pray for all those who are suffering the loss of their loved ones in the face of terrible cruelty.
We pray that, through the power of your Holy Spirit those who commit such violence will experience a transformation of their hearts.
We pray for a peace that seems so distant, may we, as instruments of your love, bring healing to this wounded world.
Lord, you are a source of our hope, may our faith in you never be shaken.
May Mary, Queen of Peace, hold all those who are suffering so they will feel the warmth of her loving embrace and find hope.
And may the souls of the victims of terrorism, and all the faithfully departed, through your mercy, rest in peace. Amen