How is 2013 like 1914?
In 1914, a horrible incident inflamed the passions of populations and their leaders. Leaders sought justice but found a horrible war. Once the war began, the leaders seemed to lose all control as events led to the deaths of millions, the ruin of nations and the near collapse of society.
Pope Francis has called for today to be a day of prayer and fasting for peace. I invite readers to join this effort to invoke the mercy of our Creator that we might find true peace.
First, admit that the world is not at peace. Syria is not at peace. Neither is it an easy matter to judge which side in the conflict is most legitimate. If the United States intervenes with force, we know that the violence will increase -- if only through our own "kinetic" actions. We are warned that military action will spread chaos further, and the war will expand to involve perhaps Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Iran.
When every choice is full of evil, then look for another option. In this case, instead of choosing to either punish an evil regime or else allow it to continue its crimes, look for a third choice. Pray for peace, pray for justice, repent of our own sins, fast, do penance, give alms for the poor, love our enemies. Have faith that the God who created us will have mercy when we turn to Him.