Toss a rock into a still pond, and the ripple caused by the splash will eventually reach the point from which the rock was tossed. This may be a salient analogy for what much of the world has been focused on since Thursday, February 24.
On that unfortunate day, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s Armed Forces to begin the invasion of their neighbours, Ukraine, as had been feared and sadly, foretold. For over a month since, global media networks with their teams of embedded journalists have been reporting from the conflict zone on the devastation and displacement caused.
Ukrainians naturally were the first to feel the immediate repercussions. Then European countries experienced the wave caused by this splash of war. The G7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and other NATO countries have been involved in attempts of diplomacy with one hand, while offering military and financial support to beleaguered Ukraine with the other.
Although we here in Trinidad and Tobago are more than 9,000 kilometres away from the war zone, we too will eventually be negatively affected by the “madness”, as described by Pope Francis, with food prices expected to rise.
Our government has decried the invasion at the recent special United Nations meeting, and many citizens are against the conflict and stand in solidarity with the thousands of husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandparents, and children forced to fight or flee for their lives.
While it may seem there is not much else we here can do, we can surely pray for a ceasefire.
Pope Francis, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord Friday, March 25, invited bishops to join him in consecrating all of humanity, in particular the two warring nations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“…I solemnly wish to bring to the Immaculate Heart of Mary all that we are experiencing: to renew to her the consecration of the Church and of all humanity and to consecrate to her, in a particular way, the Ukrainian people and the Russian people, who with filial affection venerate her as Mother. It is not a magic formula, no, it is not that; but it is a spiritual act. It is the gesture of the full entrustment of her children who, in the tribulation of this cruel war and this senseless war that threatens the world, have recourse to the Mother. Like children, when they are frightened, they go to their mother to cry, to seek protection.”
The Inter Religious Organization of Trinidad and Tobago has called for a Day of Prayer and Fasting on Friday, April 8. Archbishop Jason Gordon has invited Catholics, in the midst of this Lenten season, to participate by raising their hearts and minds to God on that day.
We can only hope that prayers for our people, society, country, and fractured and violent world will create a ripple of a different kind with the true Rock, Jesus Christ.