‘One day, in Aleppo, the rebels came to the district where a lot of us live. At that moment we were chatting on Facebook. Worry, anger… we all had different feelings. One, full of fear wrote, “You see, even God is against us.” “No, He is crying with us.” “But these people have ruined my life.” “Let’s try to love them too.” “But how?” “By praying that they find love as well.”
In the end we accepted the challenge to love even those who were hurting us.
‘To tell the truth,’ writes Mira from Aleppo, ‘I didn’t always manage to live the Ideal of unity the way I would like to. All the hate around me managed almost to get into my heart, but it didn’t win. I got to the point that my view of life was really pessimistic. I asked myself: how was Chiara Lubich able to live in the middle of the war when the Movement began? But then I said to myself, “If she could do it, then maybe I can too. This made we want to carry on, to start again. Sometimes I feel that we have to try and live as Jesus would in our place in Syria, which is why we are trying to help other people, even though we may only be able to do it in small ways.
‘I would like to ask everyone to pray because, believe me, your prayers give us a lot of strength. I hope that none of you goes through dark moments like these and sees what we see. I’m sorry I’ve written so little, I’m trying to write quickly before the electricity goes off. Let’s ask the Lord to give us peace in our hearts.’
This chain of prayer already involves people across the world. It is the ‘Time Out’, which takes place at 12 noon every day wherever people are. The idea came just before the First World Supercongress (1987), the big get-together of Youth for Unity. It was suggested by a young basketball player.
Chiara Lubich liked the idea so much that during the Gulf War she asked for ‘permission’ to use it for a chorus of prayer for peace. In December 2012 Maria Voce suggested it again, saying, ‘Only God can satisfy humanity’s need for peace. We have to have a truly powerful prayer… with renewed faith that God can do it, that if we ask in unity God will satisfy our need.’
Source: Gen 3 magazine, no. 1/2013