In the face of danger, the uncertain future, and against the evil of war and terrorism, "powerful weapons are prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament."
In the Monastery of St. James in Qarah (city between Damascus and Homs), the resident community — an ecumenical community that welcomes 20 men and women religious of 8 nationalities and of different Christian denominations — dedicate their days to pray without ceasing. Fr. Daniel Maes, a Belgian Catholic priest, head of the community, told Fides that today and in the coming days the priests and nuns will give life to a night of Eucharistic Adoration, "aware of the power of prayer and faith in the Providence of God." The community currently also houses some Muslim families (about 20 people) who have sought shelter at the convent because of the ongoing civil conflict.
But currently the whole monastery is in danger: "So far we have been saved from the war because both government forces and opposition groups have somehow protected and safeguarded us, knowing our life of prayer and hospitality. Terrorist and jihadists groups are becoming more numerous and powerful, and as we were told, we could be the target of an attack at any moment. But where can we go? The whole community has decided to stay and pray. With confidence and hope," says Fr. Maes to Fides, who lives in the monastery next to monks and nuns from Belgium, France, Portugal, the United States, as well as Syria, Lebanon, Chile, and Venezuela.
In this delicate moment, while a military attack by Western powers seems imminent, the ecumenical community of Qarah launches an appeal for peace, so that "the West acts with intelligence, responsibility and according to truth," says Fr. Maes.
"A military attack ," he stresses, "is never a solution that generates peace, but only more hatred. Syria should return to the values that have always lived in centuries of history: coexistence and harmony among ethnic groups and different faiths, kindness, hospitality, solidarity have always characterized the Syrian society."