The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Women’s Day, March 8, by sending out a reflection on the eighth of every month. We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information concerning the voice of women that you would like to share to:
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
April 8, 2022
LORD OF PEACE, HEAR OUR PRAYER
Continuing to Honor International Women’s Day
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The destruction of the people and city of Bucha is criminal. The arbitrary murder of people in their homes is heart-breaking and cruel. The slaughtering of children and the raping of girls and women are unspeakable crimes against humanity. Every civilized Nation in the World must condemn this unjust Russian aggression against the Ukrainian people. Action must be taken before the beautiful Nation of Ukraine and its people are completely annihilated.
This month marks the time of the Holy Convergence. The observance of Ramadan, Passover, and Easter intersect on Good Friday. As we converge to honor the great Abrahamic faiths with love, respect, and mutual understanding, we must hear the cries of the mothers of Ukraine who lament the killing of their children. We must hear the laments of the Ukrainian women who are witnessing the destruction of their Nation. We must sustain the fast of justice until we can enjoy the feast of peace. We, precisely as religious people, must rise up against the forces of tyranny, authoritarianism, and destructive nationalism. We must stand with the people of Ukraine for injustice anywhere calls us to rise up in the cause of justice everywhere.
The governmental and religious leaders of the World need to speak out against the assault on the Ukrainian people. Nothing justifies these atrocities. The Russian aggression against Ukraine is based on lies, propaganda, and the lust for power. We pause in the heart-break of this moment to hear the wisdom of one woman from Irpin, Ukraine. Her words are striking, pointed, generous, and courageous. Her voice is the voice of humankind at its best. Alyona Zub-Zolotarova speaks of the generosity of those who came to her aid:
“It’s a sin for me to complain. I was received by a wonderful Polish family. This family gives me food and a place to sleep and something to eat and warm socks. But I’m very worried about the people who stayed in Ukraine, who don’t have food, who are being shot at. My husband stayed in Kyiv to defend his right to live in his country. We have to be strong for his sake. I pray all the time. But I don’t have the right to cry.” (Source: The New York Times, March 20, 2022)
Alyona is grateful in the midst of catastrophe, generous as she suffers terribly, gracious as she lifts up her heart in prayer. May the example and strength of this woman inspire us in this time of Holy Convergence to seek peace based on justice before anyone else is hurt or killed.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for practicing peace in all the affairs of your life. Thank you for the tears you shed over the plight of another. Blessings to you for blessing others with your heart.