Vigil for Peace

The refugee crisis in Europe has escalated to a very worrying degree that we can no longer ignore it. Many of us were at a loss when thinking how to respond. Recently we encouraged everyone to pray for the refugees, trusting that our prayer is effective even when we do not know its direct fruit. In this way we welcome people in need into our hearts, as we offer their need to God in prayer.

The Church’s Ministry of Healing: Ireland was looking for ways to further our call to prayer and so we decided to organise a Vigil for Peace. We would like to invite you all to join us.

The Vigil will take place on Thursday 8th October 2015 in the Nave Chapel, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. It will start at 10am with Morning Prayer and conclude with Choral Evensong at 6pm. Various contributors will give prayerful reflections on the hour. The schedule is as follows:

10.00 Morning Prayer
11.00 Linda Chambers from the United Society
12.00 Carmelite Friars (OCD) from Clarendon Street
12.45 The Eucharist with prayers for healing. The celebrant is the Very Rev Dermot Dunne, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral
14.00 Lydia Monds from the Bishops’ Appeal
15.00 Greg Fromholz on the experience of refugee camps in Lebanon
16.00 Church’s Ministry of Healing: Ireland
17.00 Stephen Collins from the Irish Refugee Council
18.00 Choral Evensong, Emma Lynch from Tearfund Ireland 

You will be welcome to light a candle and say a prayer all throughout the day.
There will be opportunity to donate to the Bishops’ Appeal. Donations will continue to be directed to the needs of 12.2 million people in Syria and 4 million refugees in neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon as well as to NGOs and community initiatives responding to the needs in EU countries.

We hope you will join us in this day of prayer for peace and the refugees.
All are welcome to attend.



A call to pray for the refugees

2015-08-09 19.12.35-2

“You have to understand, no one would put their children in a boat unless the sea is safer than the land,” wrote the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire in her poem about the refugees leaving their home country. But we are well aware that the sea is not safe. 

The refugee crisis has escalated to a very worrying degree, and we can no longer ignore it. Refugees from Syria, Libya, Iraq and other countries are on the Europe’s doorstep. While some responses to the crisis are encouraging, there are many stories that are in fact disturbing. What can we do? First of all, pray. This may seem like an easy way out or an insufficient response, but it is neither. 

We Christians believe in a God who was a refugee himself. Jesus, when he was still a child, had to flee to Egypt with Mary and Joseph, because it was not safe for them to stay in their home country. Jesus knows on a very personal level what the refugees are going through. In prayer we can ask Jesus to help them as they seek refuge from war. An act of prayer involves trust: we have to believe that our prayer is effective even when we do not know its fruit. We will not know how our prayers in this situation are going to be answered, but we are still called to entrust the people in need to God’s loving care. Maybe our prayers are going to give strength to those who are helping the refugees on the ground, or even inspire action that will create a very practical response. Maybe the prayers will comfort someone who lost a family member in their desire for survival.  

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40)”. Prayer does not exclude action, on the contrary, a heartfelt prayer often inspires it. Yet even in itself, prayer is valuable. In this case, it has a potential to comfort and sustain people fleeing from war-torn countries not to give up. For many of us even reading the news has been quite overwhelming and it may seem like we are unable to pray vocally. Even sharing in the pain through our heartfelt compassion, with the loving posture of our heart, is a prayer. God can see what is in our hearts, even when words don’t come. 

We would like to invite each of us to keep the refugees and those who have the power to help in your daily prayers. Make the prayer as specific as the Spirit leads you. Maybe even write a list of intentions you will pray for, or simply stand before God with an open heart. 

If while praying, within your heart you recognise stirring to do something, if a prayer leads you to act, may God be your guide. If we each do our little bit, we can do a lot.

Iva Beranek
Dr Iva Beranek is the Ministry Facilitator for the CMH: Ireland

The change of seasons

Japanese gardens, Kildare Nov 2014

As the autumn sun warms our streets, we are beginning to cross a threshold into another season of the year. Sometimes the external seasons point towards the seasons of our hearts, the internal ones. While we encounter moments of eternity in our daily living, moments when God shows us His presence among us, a lot of our lives is actually seasonal. 

Try and notice the season you are in, give it a name. Any name. It could resonate with summer, autumn, winter, spring, but it could also be a season of joy, new beginnings, growth, or even a season of grief. Often these seasons overlap. Summer hardly ever finishes on a one day, and lets the autumn start on the next. A dance of seasons is very common, in nature and in our lives also.  

What is the healing that you might need today? Perhaps your prayer is for a deep cry of your heart to be comforted with God’s love. Or maybe it is a gentle desire for rest, a desire for peace, or for something else. Spend some time in the silence of your heart and talk to Jesus about what you need. Wherever there is a need for healing, usually there is an invitation for growth as well. Be attentive to the areas of growth where God is calling you at this moment. 

May the dance of the seasons be gentle for your soul, and may you dance with the Spirit who is always leading you deeper into the fullness of life. 

Iva Beranek
Dr Iva Beranek is the Ministry Facilitator for the CMH: Ireland