The news is still breaking; the number of dead is still uncertain. We are weary of writing these words.
Only days ago, Pope Francis talked of the international community’s complicity in the three great genocides of the 20th century.
The 20th century was perhaps the deadliest for humanity, and nothing good can be said about its wars, its concentration camps, its late-century horrors of human hacking in Rwanda and elsewhere, but at least most of those forced to live through such events knew who their enemies were. They knew when soldiers were before them, and when danger was in their midst. In the 21st century we cannot identify the destructors among us. Terrorists go without uniforms; they do not discriminate in their capacity to bring death to anyone available — women, children, even their fellow citizens or co-religionists.
Let us pray for Istanbul, as we have prayed for Orlando, as we have prayed for San Bernadino, as we have prayed for Paris. Let us pray for the injured, the dead, the families, the responders, the people in leadership who seem to have no idea what to do next, because it is so very difficult to fight an enemy you cannot see.
And let us pray for ourselves, too — that we may not lose faith; that we may not lose heart; that we will not grow weary in our willingness to fight an enemy who lives in the shadows; that we will not flag, nor fail to uphold the sometimes hard-to-grasp truth that in the end, good does triumph. Because the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Let us pray:
God, come to our assistance
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and every shall be, Amen.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Our Lady of Ephesus, pray for us
Saint Michael, pray for us
Saint John, friend of Jesus, pray for us
Saint James, pray for us
Saint Luke, pray for us
Saint Jude Thaddeus, pray for us
Saint Barnabas, pray for us
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us
Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, pray for us
Saint Ephrem the Syrian, pray for us
Saint Nicholas of Myra, pray for us
Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us
Saint Charbel Makhluf, pray for us
Ven. Sophia Leeves of Turkey, pray for us
Trappist martyrs of Thibirine, pray for us
Coptic martyrs of Libya, pray for us
All holy men and women, pray for us, that we might persevere in faith until the scourge of terror is defeated. We ask in Jesus’ name, as we wait in joyful hope for his return.