Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lebanon and Israel

The Washington Post comments here on the use of diplomacy:
As fighting in the Middle East continues, the Bush administration is coming under pressure to launch some sort of diplomatic initiative. These calls sound reasonable; the loss of innocent life in Lebanon and Israel is tragic, the dangers of further escalation are real and U.S. shuttle diplomacy has been instrumental in halting previous conflicts. The problem is this: The usual options in the State Department's playbook would hand to the extremists who launched this war exactly the results they have hoped for.

While the entire article is interesting, each of us can do one thing now, and that is to pray. The National Council of Churches offers Prayers for Peace in the Middle East here. Reverend John T. Pawlikowski, OSM of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago offers the following:
Lord God, we turn to you in these trying hours
when conflict is a daily reality for our sisters and brothers
in Israel and Palestine.

We promise you to work to our utmost
for peace and reconciliation in the region.
But we know we cannot do it alone.
We very much need the strength
of your presence in our midst
if we are to overcome the obstacles before us.

So our prayer at this moment is that
you add your support to our efforts,
that you show yourself as a tower of strength
in those moments when the barriers seem impassable.

Together we can become beacons of hope
for just and peaceful societies in the land so very dear
to the peoples of your covenant. Amen.