The Antichrist in Muhammad: Praying Never to Know Jesus as Lord
Regardless of the reason or reasons for the Muslim resistance to conversion, and regardless of whether we succeed or fail in our efforts, we are called to preach the Gospel to all nations, and baptize all of them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15) It is uncontrovertible that this mandatum of Christ includes--perhaps even a fortiori in our day--the Muslim nation, the Mulsim umma.
Until God's spirit works in the Muslim lands and among the Muslim peoples, however, and Muslims are given the grace of conversion, it seems that we as Christians ought to do a number of things.
First, invoke the prayer of Jesus on the Cross for Muslims: "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) I believe, as do those missionaries who work among Muslims, this is true for a huge number of Muslims.
Second, pray to the Blessed Trinity and the entire heavenly court of saints, particularly the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christians martyred by Islam, for the conversion of Muslims, perhaps even seventeen times a day. I have seen where one visionary in France advocated praying the Rosary for the conversion of Muslims, adding the prayer, "For the Holy Wounds of Jesus and the Tears of Your Mother," on the large beads, and "Gentle Father, let them know your Son," on the small beads as a means to that end. Regardless what form is used, and none is prescribed by the Church, we ought each day be praying for the conversion of Muslims to Christ. For this appears to be an instance where for "man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matt. 19:36)
Third, we should nurse within our selves a love for Muslims (to be distinguished from Islam), and we should make sure never to develop any sort of hatred of them. Befriend them. The only hatred we are allowed against Muslims is what used to be called odium theologicum, a theological hatred, which is a hatred of the antichrist doctrines of Islam only, and which must exist without even the least residual upon the Muslim person himself. An odium theologicum should never translate into an odium Mussulmanorum, a hatred of the Muslims themselves. If you begin to hate Muslims, get out of the fight until you lose your hate.
Fourth, fast for the conversion Muslims, for it seems that the spirit of antichrist under which they burden is the sort of stubborn spirit that comes out only with prayer and fasting. Perhaps a more rigorous fasting on Fridays for their conversion would be a valuable practice. (Mark 9:29)
Fifth, we should imitate St. Paul and not be ashamed of the Gospel; rather, we should be eager to share our Gospel--even if it includes, as part of it, discussion of those tough truths that Muslims do not like to hear, including the immorality of their supposed prophet, the falsity of his doctrine, and the errors in the Qur'an--knowing with the assurance of faith that the Gospel is "the salvation of all who believes," and that no one is excluded from its blessings. (Rom. 1:16)
Sixth, as part of this proclamation, we must follow the advice of St. Peter: "Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame." (1 Pet. 3:15) This means that we should not only know our own faith, but that we should also familiarize ourselves with Islam. Muslims are often as ignorant of the Gospel--especially the Gospel as it is understood by the Catholic Church--as we are as ignorant of their religious tenets.
Seventh, be forewarned. Speaking to Muslims about the Gospel and criticizing the Muslim faith is often the situation of being like sheep among wolves. Muslims seem to suffer from a strange joinder of an inferiority complex and chauvinism, so that they are overly sensitive, sometimes even irrational, to criticism and overly aggressive, sometimes even irrational, in stating, defending, or vindicating their position.
To be sure, most of what they do is inspired by a sincere belief, however erroneous, that they are defending the honor of God and of his supposed prophet, whom they hold in as dear regard as we do Jesus. (Although some of it is just old fashioned human pride and base emotion.) Therefore we should be wise as serpents, yet innocent as doves. (Matt. 10:16)
Eighth, we must see to it that our freedom of speech in matters religious never be impaired, either by secularists or by the Islamists seeking to impose, directly or indirectly, the standards of Shari'a. The ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Muhammad, antichrist, prayer, salat, conversion, Andrew M. Greenwell
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