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Day of Prayer and Fasting wonderful response to war

December 5, 2001

Dear sisters and brothers,

As Advent begins this year, our world is troubled by war and the ongoing threat of terrorism. Recent violence in the Middle East reminds us of the bloodshed of Sept. 11, and television brings images of bombs and tragedy into our homes.

At this tense moment in human history, as we await the coming of the Prince of Peace on Christmas Day, Catholics worldwide are asked to pray for global peace in a special way. In his Sunday Angelus message on Nov. 18, the Holy Father urged each of us to observe a Day of Fasting and Prayer on Friday, Dec. 14.

"The more insurmountable the difficulties seem and the darker the perspectives, it is then that our prayers must become more insistent to beseech God for the gift of reciprocal understanding, harmony and peace," the Holy Father said.

Bishop Gomez and I have asked each of our pastors, as their circumstances allow, to provide opportunities for shared parish prayer Dec. 14. I encourage each of you to take time from your day to pray alone, with your family or with your parish community for lasting peace. I also urge you to fast as a sign of our dependence on God and our desire for peace among nations.

Fasting is a powerful way to stand in solidarity with those who suffer from the consequences of terrorism and war and to imitate the suffering of Jesus Christ. Fasting also provides an opportunity to seriously examine our own hearts and seek conversion.

May God bless you and your families now and throughout this Advent season!

Your brother in Christ,

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver

 

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