In a recent Veterans Day homily, as reported in the publication “Catholic Review”, Bishop Richard Spencer of the Archdiocese for U.S. Military Services called on Catholics to never forget our veterans. He has a great sensitivity toward veterans since his father and mother both were veterans. He stated, “We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who fought in all of our past wars and conflicts.” He said that while not everyone is a military veteran, everyone can be a “veteran for God and country” by following four points outlined by St. Paul. The four points are being prepared for death, fighting the good fight, finishing the race, and keeping the faith.
This need to remember our veterans is reflected in the following excerpts from a prayer by author Jean M. Heiman, taken from her publication, “Catholic Fire”:
“We ask for blessings on all those who have served their country in the armed forces. We ask for healing for the veterans who have been wounded in body and soul, in conflicts around the globe. We pray especially for the young men and women who are coming home…..with injured bodies and traumatized spirits. Bring solace to them, O Lord; may we pray for them when they cannot pray. We ask for, echoing John Paul II, an end to wars and the dawning of a new era of peace.
Have mercy on all our veterans….Bring peace to their hearts and peace to the regions they fought in. Bless the soldiers who served in non-combative posts. May their calling to service continue in their lives in many positive ways.
Give us all the creative vision to see a world which, grown weary with fighting, moves to affirming the life of every human being and so moves beyond war.
Hear our prayer O Prince of Peace. Amen.”