“For peace in the whole world, the well-being of the holy churches of God and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.” (Litany of Peace, Byzantine Liturgy)
Many emotions and thoughts rushed at me yesterday morning, when I heard the news of the horrible terrorist attacks. But alongside the complicated geopolitical implications, which I understand very little, it was a sobering reminder of one simple truth: human powerlessness.
In fact, there are two issues that seem to display human powerlessness more than any other, be it in the social, political, ecclesiastical, or personal spheres. And those two issues are: 1. “Peace in the whole world,” and 2. “The union of all.” So these are among the very first things we pray for at the beginning of Divine Liturgy, handing them over to God’s mercy. We appeal to Him for help, where we can’t seem to help ourselves. And yet I must confess that I usually do not pay enough attention to this petition.
Today let me not take for granted the blessings of peace, for which we desperately need the Lord’s help and mercy: “For peace in the whole world, the well-being of the holy churches of God and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.”