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Let us pray together for Berlin, and for the whole world

Odd Andersen via AFP
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As Advent draws to a close and Christmas approaches, the world is in great turmoil, but we are not without resources

A very large truck has plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin. At this writing nine people are known to be dead, with at dozens injured. A sort of attack feared just weeks ago has occurred.

Reports are still very early — the story broke just shortly — and so details are still forthcoming, and as always early reports tend to be error prone. What is known at this point, however, is that authorities, quite unusually, are already calling this a terrorist attack. [Update: a suspect has been taken into custody]

In an unrelated incident, three people were shot near an Islamic center in Zurich, and a Russian Ambassador has been assassinated in Turkey.

The rough beast continues to roam among us, and there is still no “genius cluster” to address it. Unfortunately, these words are still true:

Western culture has become staunchly secular, and believes itself to have figured everything out; there are no longer “things seen and unseen” and this is why, as former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker has said, “we don’t understand real evil, organized evil, very well.”

If a “genius cluster” is to emerge in our time, it will have to come forth from leaders who are courageous enough to withstand the predictable ridicule of their peers, acknowledge all they do not know about what is seen and unseen, and then ask Heaven for assistance. They’ll have to be bold enough to put aside service to the limited gods of secularism in order to petition and serve the unlimited God who is the All-in-All.

We have always at our ready the use of prayer and prayer has power; it is the subversive oppositional response that nothing can stop. So, in this late Advent season, just a few days before Christmas, let us pray, an invitation to the Wonderful Counselor, to the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. Let us pray together, urging the action of the Prince of Peace, with the eloquence, beauty and power of the O Antiphons we chant this week:

Come! O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!

For the people of Berlin, under attack, we pray for the consolations of heaven;
for the unrest throughout our world, we pray for wisdom beyond our human gifts;
for those who are in grief at this time…

Lord, have mercy,
Christ, have mercy,
Lord, have mercy.
O Mary, Mother of God, pray for us;
Saint Michael the Archangel, Champion of God’s people
Saint Joseph, terror of demons, pray for us;

Saint Hedwig, Patroness of Berlin, pray for us
Saint Otto, Patron of Berlin, pray for us
New Coptic Martyrs of Cairo, pray for us,
Father Jacques Hamel, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, give us peace.
Amen.

He shall take his place as shepherd
by the strength of the LORD,
by the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
And they shall dwell securely, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth:
he shall be peace.
(Micah 5:3-4)

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