Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Who Do We Turn To?

This is the report I read on November 12, 2013:

Damascus (AFP) – Nine children were killed and 27 people wounded when mortar rounds hit a school and a  school bus in the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday, state television  reported.

“The toll in the  terrorist targeting of the St. John of Damascus school with mortar  rounds has risen to five dead, all of them children, and 27 injured,” a  news alert on Syrian state television said.

Another four students  were killed when a mortar hit the vehicle they were in, in the central  Bab Sharqi district of the capital, state news agency SANA said, adding  that the driver was also killed.

Six others inside the bus, including four more students, were wounded in the “terrorist attack,” SANA said.

Has the world gone mad?  And why aren't we?

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog, This is Nothing New, for the Sounding, an Orthodox blog that is part of Orthodox Christian Network, OCN  It wasn't harsh or angry.  It wasn't even challenging.  It was a nice way to say, "Hey, umm, people are suffering like they did in the earliest history of Christianity."  But you know what?  We have to wake up.  People are suffering because of their faith and this type of violent persecution (unlike the subtle persecution we face daily as we struggle against homosexuality, abortion, and pre-marital sex.) doesn't seem to be going away.  And it isn't just that people are being attacked, tortured and slaughtered because they are Christians, (as if that weren't bad enough)  but that it's happening in the most ancient Christian cities, where we have been present the longest.  What are we waiting for?  Another war threat on Syria? 

I'm not going to go into the politics of who America defends and who she ignores.  I'm talking about you, the person reading this post.  There has got to be a way we can raise our voices and be heard as we cry out "Someone has to protect the Christians!" 

But who would we be talking to?  Who is going to listen to us now that the elections are over?

We have to pray.  We have to stop and pray right now that the Virgin Mary, who protected the Christ Babe in her womb, will protect all of His children.  We have to cry out to her, daily, for help and protection.  Violence won't end violence. It can hold it at bay.  It can delay it.  But prayer and faith and mercy can change things for eternity. 

Let's commit ourselves to this prayer to the Virgin Mary from now until there is peace. 

Kondakion. Tone 2.
A protection of Christians unshamable,
Intercessor to our Holy Maker, unwavering,
Please reject not, the prayerful cries of those who are in sin.
Instead, come to us, for you are good; Your loving help bring unto us,
Who are crying in faith to you: Hasten to intercede and speed now to supplicate,
As a protection for all time,  Theotokos, for those who honor you.

And there are even more I want to share with you.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.
As You willed, O our Savior,
To dispense our salvation through Your economy inside the Virgin's womb;
You showed to all the people that she was our own guardian;
O the God of our fathers, blessed are You, our God.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.
 A shelter and protection and a wall unshaken,
Become, O Virgin., for those who flee to you,
A sheltered cover and refuge and a place of joy.

All those do you shelter, O Good One,
Those who in their faith flee unto you,
With your strong hand, you protect;
We who sin have no one else
Who intercedes for us
Before God, praying endlessly,
In ills and all dangers,
For us who are laiden with
Our many sins and mistakes;
Mother, of our God in the Highest
Therefore, we fall down to you, humbly;
From all the misfortunes, keep your servants safe.

For those
I n great sorrow you are joy,
And for the oppressed, a protection,
And for the hungry, their food,
Comfort unto those estranged;
You are a staff to the blind,
Visitation of all those sick,
And to those held by pain
Shelter and a comforting,
And to the orphaned, an aid;
Mother, of our God in the highest,
You who are the Spotless One, hasten,
Save your servants from their sin, we ask of you.

Plagal of the 4th Tone
Lady, do you receive,
From your servants, their many prayers;
And deliver all of us from all sadness and necessity.

Tone 2
My numerous hopes are placed before you, most holy One;
Mother of our God,guard me with care, within your sheltered arms.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Thank you for the invitation to pray with you and others. I put the picture of the icon as the background image on my desktop and taped a copy of the prayer to the shelves by my laptop. Dear Theotokos, hasten to intercede for those who are persecuted and live in violence or the fear of violence. Love you, Presvassi. Liz