“A true Way of the Cross amid blood and tears, darkness, sorrowful memories, and mothers mourning their children.” This is how Cardinal Charles Bo described the situation in Myanmar, more than two months after the military coup broke in the country.
In a message on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, the cardinal recalled how the coup and the bloody crackdown by security forces exacerbated the already dire situation in the country. Even before the coup, millions were starving because of the pandemic, he said. (Read: Myanmar Bishops Condemn Killings of Anti-Coup Protesters)
“You really walked a true Way of the Cross… For many of you, the thirteenth station of the Cross of our Mother crying over the dead body of her Son, became real,” said Cardinal Bo, who is president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Myanmar (CBCM).
“We live in a country where hundreds of mothers live with inconsolable tears and their hearts wounded, like our Mother Mary, with the sight of their sons and daughters tortured and killed,” he added.
Cardinal Bo prayed that the grace flowing from the heart of Jesus heal each one of them from those sorrowful memories. (Read: Catholic Nuns, Priests Join Anti-Coup Protests in Myanmar)
Church Raids in Myanmar
According to figures documented and compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), as of April 11, 706 people have been confirmed killed by security forces. The NGO said the actual casualties could be much higher as many cases await verification.
Even churches and places of worship are not being spared from the violence. In Kaichin state, wherein most of the 1.7 million locals are Christians, religious sites are being subjected to continuous raids and violence by the military. (Read: Legazpi Bishop Saddened As Vandals Wreck Padre Pio Church)
Sources confirmed that Baptist Christian, Catholic, and Anglican churches in Mohnyin city have been raided. The military is also targeting Buddhist monasteries and temples across the country.
Overcoming Darkness With Mercy
As an antidote to Myanmar’s dark times and challenges, Cardinal Bo called for good deeds, words, and strong prayers, which Jesus urged for in His several revelations to St. Faustina — the Polish nun who was greatly instrumental in popularizing the devotion to Divine Mercy.
“Mercy starts with good deeds,” the cardinal said. “Today, more than ever, our community stands in need of mercy,” when most of the people are starving. “We need to share our resources. However poor we are, we could share something. That is the sign of Divine Mercy.”
The cardinal added that prayers are also needed to overcome the “two big mountains” of the pandemic and the coup that are suffocating the people. (Read: Pope During Mass With Prisoners, Refugees: ‘Mercy is Christianity’)
“Have faith, pray unceasingly. If you have the faith of a mustard seed and ask this mountain to move, it will move,” the cardinal said, echoing the words of Jesus.
Article originally published on vaticannews.va.