Unbearable Anguish -- A boy cries as he stands amid rubble of collapsed buildings at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in Aleppo March 6. CNS photo/Hosam Katan, Reuters
Unbearable Anguish -- A boy cries as he stands amid rubble of collapsed buildings at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in Aleppo March 6. CNS photo/Hosam Katan, Reuters

As a Cold War chill threatens to settle in surrounding developments in the Ukraine, it is the beleaguered, seemingly hopeless Syrian people, who have already paid so dearly in their country’s violent war, who stand to suffer the greatest losses.

Syria, which has already been a source of dissent between the United States and Russia, can all too easily descend into a flashpoint for growing hostility and potential conflict between the two major powers.  While that would be a tragic dynamic for obvious reasons, it would be cataclysmic for the people of Syria.

According to the United Nations, the three-year-old conflict that has seen more than 100,000 people killed, more than 2 million flee the war-ravaged country and another 4.5 million internally displaced. Of those killed, 10,000 are children, humanitarian reports indicate.

Despite these horrifying numbers, Syria seems to be fading from our national consciousness.  The images and reports out of Syria have become too disturbing to really look at any longer for many people.  There are those among us who suffer from the fatigue that comes when we see something unbearably painful and don’t see much that we as individuals can do to change it. 

In our 24-hour news cycle, our attention is easily diverted to the tragedy of the day, and everything from missing airplanes, gas explosions and Russia’s aggression toward its neighbor all too easily obscure the heart-wrenching scenes that unfold everyday in Syria.

Any reasonable person can see how difficult this situation is for our government leaders to address.  Many feel that action should be taken by the United States to help the people of Syria, but the fix is not so cut and dry as some political leaders would have us believe.  We feel helpless as we hear stories of the killing, starvation, atrocities and complete destruction of the lives that whole regions of people had once known.

While there may be little we can do to bring about change in Syria on a political level, we, as people of faith, know that the most troubling and tragic circumstances can always be put in God’s hands to resolve. We know that no matter how dark the night may have become, one thing we can always do is to raise our voices in prayer to God to help the people of Syria. 

We might consider joining the Holy Father in his prayer that “the Lord touch the hearts of everyone so that, by exclusively seeking the greater good of the Syrian people, who have been greatly tried, they spare no effort in urgently bringing an end to the violence and conflict, which already has caused too much suffering.”

No matter what else is going on in this world, let us not look away from images like the child in the picture shown on this page. Let us not stop talking about the need for the violence to end.  Let us pray without ceasing until the people of Syria can once again lead normal, peaceful liv