Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/28/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Francis spoke with deep emotion - Never again, Lord, never again!

"Adam, where are you?" (cf. Gen 3:9). Where are you, o man? What have you come to? In this place, this memorial of the Shoah, we hear God's question echo once more: "Adam, where are you?" This question is charged with all the sorrow of a Father who has lost his child. The Father knew the risk of freedom; he knew that his children could be lost. yet perhaps not even the Father could imagine so great a fall, so profound an abyss! Here, before the boundless tragedy of the Holocaust, That cry - "Where are you?" - echoes like a faint voice in an unfathomable abyss. Adam, who are you? I no longer recognize you. Who are you, o man? What have you become? Of what horror have you been capable? What made you fall to such depths? - Pope Francis

Francis of Rome at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 26, 2014

Francis of Rome at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 26, 2014

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/28/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Shoah, Holocaust, Yad Vashem, Pope Francis, Jorge Bergogio, Israel, Never Again, Catholic, Jewish, Vatican, Memorial Day, Deacon Keith Foourniert


JERUSALEM,Israel (Catholic Online) - On May 26, 2014, citizens throughout the United States paused and prayed, in memory of those who died in service to their Nation. They prayed together in cemeteries and houses of worship. They honored hose who sacrificially serve in her armed forces.

All such actions are honorable. They continue to reflect the goodness of the American spirit, even if such goodness seems increasingly swallowed up in our own moral decay.

However, they also touch upon a deep mystery, revealed in an existential question. Why do men and women, made in the very Image of the God of Love, continue to war with one another and commit egregious acts against the true common good?

The answer to this existential question can only be found with reference to our common human history and the continuing effects of sin and evil.

On this same day, a Prophetic Bishop of Rome named Francis, spent the day at another Memorial. There, in both word and deed, he spoke to the whole world.

This Memorial is called Yadd Vasham. It is located in the Holy City of Jerusalem. It is the official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was formally established by an act of the Knesset, the Parliament of Israel, in 1953.

The name Yadd Vasham is taken from the promise made by the Lord through the Prophet Isaiah: I will give in my house and within my walls  a monument and a name  better than sons and daughters; I  will give them an everlasting name which shall not be cut off (Isaiah 56:5)

Francis prayed before a crypt filled with the ashes of the victims of this evil. He laid a wreath of yellow and white flowers at the Hall of Remembrance. Then, in a moving and prophetic gesture, Francis of Rome kissed the hands of six survivors of the Holocaust.

He did so, one by one, as he listened to their stories of survival and heard of the death of their loved ones during that dark and evil time.

Francis spoke with deep emotion, "Never again, Lord, never again! "Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man - created in your own image and likeness - was capable of doing."

Then, he repeated those words, writing them in the memorial guest book. To them he added these words:

"With shame for the fact that man made himself the owner of evil; with shame that man made himself into God and sacrificed his brothers. Never again!! Never again!! Francis. 5.26.2014."

I offer below the prophetic and powerful reflection given by Francis. At the beginning of the reflection, he paused in intentional silence to emphasize the reality which he tried to capture as he shared from his heart.

*****

The Reflection of Francis of Rome at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 26, 2014

"Adam, where are you?" (cf. Gen 3:9). Where are you, o man? What have you come to? In this place, this memorial of the Shoah, we hear God's question echo once more: "Adam, where are you?"

This question is charged with all the sorrow of a Father who has lost his child. The Father knew the risk of freedom; he knew that his children could be lost. yet perhaps not even the Father could imagine so great a fall, so profound an abyss! Here, before the boundless tragedy of the Holocaust,

That cry - "Where are you?" - echoes like a faint voice in an unfathomable abyss.

Adam, who are you? I no longer recognize you. Who are you, o man? What have you become? Of what horror have you been capable? What made you fall to such depths?

Certainly it is not the dust of the earth from which you were made. The dust of the earth is something good, the work of my hands. Certainly it is not the breath of life which I breathed into you. That breath comes from me, and it is something good (cf. Gen 2:7).

No, this abyss is not merely the work of your own hands, your own heart. Who corrupted you?

Who disfigured you? Who led you to presume that you are the master of good and evil? Who convinced you that you were god? Not only did you torture and kill your brothers and sisters, but you sacrificed them to yourself, because you made yourself a god.

Today, in this place, we hear once more the voice of God: "Adam, where are you?"

From the ground there rises up a soft cry: "Have mercy on us, O Lord!" To you, O Lord our God, belongs righteousness; but to us confusion of face and shame (cf. Bar 1:15).

A great evil has befallen us, such as never happened under the heavens (cf. Bar 2:2). Now, Lord, hear our prayer, hear our plea, save us in your mercy. Save us from this horror.

Almighty Lord, a soul in anguish cries out to you. Hear, Lord, and have mercy! We have sinned against you. You reign for ever (cf. Bar 3:1-2). Remember us in your mercy.

Grant us the grace to be ashamed of what we men have done, to be ashamed of this massive idolatry, of having despised and destroyed our own flesh which you formed from the earth, to which you gave life with your own breath of life. Never again, Lord, never again!

"Adam, where are you?" Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man, created in your own image and likeness, was capable of doing.

Remember us in your mercy.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Middle East

Mad Max style missile strike destroys ISIS suicide bomb truck Watch

Image of ISIS suicide truck destroyed (Youtube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Footage captured Kurdish fighters destroying a Mad Max-like scrapyard ISIS suicide bomber truck in Syria in an amazing missile explosion. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The footage caught an ISIS suicide bomber truck driving along a dirt road when suddenly a ... continue reading


Deadly tension erupts in Iraq - but DOESN'T involve ISIS? Watch

Image of Religious-fueled fighting has been breaking out among areas free of ISIS.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fighting in Iraq leads to 12 dead - but ISIS had nothing to do with the gunfire. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - News of ISIS-related acts of terror including bombings, rape and even threatening social media have splashed headlines for quite a while, but what else ... continue reading


Documents reveal who is buying the most ISIS oil - and you won't guess who it is! Watch

Image of ISIS relies on oil sales to fund its operations. Just who is buying all the oil is surprising.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Wall Street Journal has published their report on documents released by the U.S. government detailing the raid that killed ISIS's top money man. Abu Sayyaf was the official oil man for ISIS, generating over a million dollars a day for the terror organization, even ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia's $10 billion gambit isn't for friendly purposes Watch

Image of Obama is eager to appease the Saudis, but this may not be in the best interest of the American people.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Saudi Arabia is taking out a $10 billion loan to offset losses caused by collapsed oil prices, a condition the conservative Islamic monarchy has created for itself. Saudi Arabia is beginning to consider changes to its economy that will shift the nation away from oil. ... continue reading


How is the U.S. going to help Christians in danger of genocide? Watch

Image of Christians are in danger of genocide in the Middle East (America).

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Now that the U.S. has declared that the Islamic State is waging genocide against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, what will be done to help the victims move forward? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - That was the question at an April 19 congressionalWill the ... continue reading


ISIS brutally butchers 250 women for refusing to become sex slaves Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two-hundred and fifty women have been brutally slaughtered by the Islamic State for refusing to become sex slaves to the terrorists. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After refusing to accept the "temporary marriages" and the "sexual jihad" being forced on them the ... continue reading


'I wish it was me not you,' Mother mourns over daughter's lifeless body Watch

Image of Syrian mother grieves for her daughter, who was killed during an air strike in Aleppo (barry Newsa/YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Air strikes in Syria continue to eat away at the ISIS population - but they have been destroying civilian lives as well. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A mother recently lost her daughter in a missile strike of Aleppo, Syria.The woman was recorded crying and ... continue reading


'When was it written?': Ancient grocery lists reveal truth about Bible Watch

Image of Literacy among the ancients may have been more widespread than previously believed (Michael Cordonsky/Israel Antiquities Authority).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Historians often argue about the age of the Bible. For all they've learned from the text, several questions remain. Was it written as events were happening or were stories passed down and eventually recorded? When, exactly, were the books of the Bible ... continue reading


MASS EXECUTION: ISIS slaughters 175 of their recent captives Watch

Image of ISIS continues its rampage across Syria.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS is reported to have kidnapped 300 cement workers outside Damascus, Syria. Of the 300 workers, new reports indicate 175 have been killed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, an unknown source told state-run news agency SANA, "employees and ... continue reading


Fr Tom's older brother speaks out on heartbreaking ISIS kidnapping Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As the entire world anxiously awaits a safe return of the ISIS kidnapped priest, Fr Thomas Uzhunnalil, his older brother continues to worry about the safety of Fr Tom. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Living alone with no access to media, Mathew Uzhunnalil, 73, ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
1 Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, 'Unless ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all nations your power ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:23-29
23 Jesus replied: Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
10 In the spirit, he carried me to the top of a very high mountain, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 1st, 2016 Image

St. Marculf
May 1: Marculf is also known as Marcoul. He was born at ... Read More