By Johnny Zokovitch, Pax Christi USA Executive Director
God of peace, our hearts are with those are always most affected when the decision to wage war is made. We lift up all of the men, women and children who only want to go about their lives in safety and peace but who will bear the suffering of decisions made to drop bombs and fire guns. We pray for peace knowing how our sisters and brothers will suffer and die if the back-and-forth retaliation, the cycle of violence isn’t arrested here and now. We pray that our leaders will choose the path of prudence that leads to peace, that they will pursue diplomacy and take action to de-escalate tensions instead of inflaming them. In the wake of this crisis, Pope Francis implored, “In many parts of the world, there is a terrible tension. War brings only death and destruction.” We call on our government to pursue the path of dialogue and to exercise the self-control that is the hallmark of wisdom. As people of faith, we say no to war, no to violence, no to the dehumanization of our sisters and brothers wherever they may be — in the Middle East, at the border, in prison and everywhere that the dignity of the human person is threatened. We believe in a God of peace who calls us to be peacemakers and act nonviolently to create a better world for all of us. We stand on the side of peace and we pledge to work for that peace today and in the days ahead to avert war and the death and destruction it brings. Amen.