FOR THOSE WHO ARE STRIVING FOR PEACE
“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.”
Christmas Eve (Is 9, 2-6)
“I will spend Christmas in a small village that has been half burnt down by the Seleka rebels (400 huts burnt out), with people who have lost everything – house and home, beds and mosquito nets, seeds and clothing, and yet they have not yet lost their fear. I am going to spend Christmas with them, to weep or pray, to encourage them, to feel and to be with them, to recite the mysteries of the Rosary so that peace may enter through the pores of our skin and reach our hearts, and to tell them that tomorrow will be better, that calm will return after the storm, that the Lord and his Passion on Calvary is the key to understanding what is happening to us, the key to this and to all the tribulations of the world. May he continue to be our rock during the times of the “dark night … “
Mons. Juan José Aguirre, bishop of Bangassou
May this Novena be our support for all our brothers and sisters who by their efforts and dedication are striving so that in the Central African Republic – and in other parts of the world – Christmas may be not merely a commemoration, but a reality.
God is stronger than death, than hatred and war. This is what we believe. This is the root of their hope and their striving.
We also hope that the Central African Republic – a forgotten country that few people know – may become news: because it deserves to be, because it is a country full of beauty and of people who deserve not to be forgotten.
Aid to the Church in Need
Text by Maria Lozano, ACN International
Adapted by Amanda Griffin, ACN Canada
This concludes our Novena for Central Africa, though our prayers for her people go on in our hearts on this day representing the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for uniting with us in this time of prayer, reflection and love for those in desperate need of peace, and for continuing in your prayers with us, and other like-hearted people, for the poor and persecuted Church around the world.
We look forward to connecting with you even more in this way of prayer in 2014. May you be blessed, today on Christmas day, and every day. Wishing you peace, for this New Year.
Aid to the Church in Need, Canada