Pope at Ground Zero

If you live in the US you know that the Pope is due here tomorrow. He will be visiting Washington, DC and New York City. He will also turn 81 on Wednesday. I hope I have half of his energy when and if I turn 81. Anyway on his schedule is a stop at ground zero for a small prayer service. The Vatican has released the text of his prayer. In this prayer he prays for the conversion of the terrorists. I find this very interesting and fitting with the prayers that we Orthodox pray in the Proskomide and also in the Liturgy of St. Basil. We pray for those who love us and for those who hate us. These words always strike me when I pray them. It is always interesting to pray for ones enemies but we must. Here is the text of the Holy Father’s prayer:
“O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions, who gather today at this site, the scene of incredible violence and pain.

“We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all who died here — the heroic first-responders: our fire fighters, police officers, emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel, along with all the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy simply because their work or service brought them here on September 11, 2001.

“We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those who, because of their presence here that day, suffer from injuries and illness.

“Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope. We are mindful as well of those who suffered death, injury, and loss on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

“Our hearts are one with theirs as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering. God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth.

“Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred. God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront such terrible events.

“Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so that the lives lost here may not have been lost in vain. Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.”

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