This week, no words from an editorial in a newspaper can give any real insight into the pure evil of ISIS and its terrorist actions in Paris. We weep with the people of Paris, and we pray for the souls of the dead, the healing of the injured and the consolation of those who mourn.
We also pray that more and more people will wake up to the clear and present danger that ISIS and other extremist groups pose in the world, particularly in our own city and nation, as well as for the safety of the Holy Father and the Vatican.
Pope Francis responded with a strong and meaningful statement that such terrorism could never be justified. He calls for a swift and decisive response.
Last week, the world was outraged over the fact that Starbucks was dropping any references to Christmas and using just a plain red cup, seeing it as an assault on Christianity; it is trivial compared to threat of ISIS to religious freedom and to civilization in itself.
ISIS, in its hateful actions, has made a supreme attack on not just Paris, but indeed the world, and not just Christianity (although one cannot deny or downplay their hatred of Christianity as an impetus to attack), but indeed all faiths.
As people of faith, we pray: to Christ, the Prince of Peace; to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy; and to St. Genevieve, the patroness of Paris; and to St. Joan of Arc, the patron of France.
From the litany of St. Joan, written by Louis, Bishop of Saint Dié, we pray for Paris and the world:
“Let us pray: Oh God, Who hast raised up in an admirable manner, the virgin of Domremy, Saint Joan of Arc, for the defense of the faith and country, by her intercession, we ask Thee that the Church (may) triumph against the assaults of her enemies and rejoice in lasting peace; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.”