Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

6/12/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Like his namesake, Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis is an instrument of peace.

This prophetic and historic meeting happened in the Vatican on Sunday. Francis told those in attendance - Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare, the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity". We  call upon God in an act of supreme responsibility before our consciences and before our peoples.  We cannot bring about peace on our own, and that is why we are here. Because we know and we believe that we need the help of God. We have heard a summons, and we must respond.  It is the summons to break the spiral of hatred and violence, and to break it by one word alone: the word brother"  But to be able to utter this word we have to lift our eyes to heaven and acknowledge one another as children of one Father.

This Pope believes in the power of prayer. He also carries in his heart a burden for peace in the Middle East. He knows there is an indispensable connection between the two. He wants to unleash the Love of God, the most powerful weapon we have against the growing scourge of violence in the land where the Prince of Peace walked, talked, loved, lived, died and was raised.

This Pope believes in the power of prayer. He also carries in his heart a burden for peace in the Middle East. He knows there is an indispensable connection between the two. He wants to unleash the Love of God, the most powerful weapon we have against the growing scourge of violence in the land where the Prince of Peace walked, talked, loved, lived, died and was raised.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/12/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, President Shimon Peres, President Mahmoud Abbas, Peace, Rome, Vatican, Miracle, Holy Land, Jerusalem, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - After the celebration of Mass in Manger Square, Bethlehem, on the morning of Sunday May 25, 2014Pope Francis issued the invitation:

"In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with Israeli President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace.  I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.

"I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer. In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace.

All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers. All of us - especially those placed at the service of their respective peoples - have the duty to become instruments and artisans of peace, especially by our prayers.

Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment. The men and women of these lands, and of the entire world, all of them, ask us to bring before God their fervent hopes for peace."

On the way back to Rome, Francis was asked about the invitation to the two world leaders by journalists on the plane. He responded:

"The most authentic gestures are those that we don't think about, those that come to us, aren't they? I thought about suggesting it during the trip, but there were many logistical problems, because each one has to consider the territory, and it's not easy.

So I thought about a meeting, and at the end, I came up with this invitation. It will be an encounter to pray, not for the purposes of mediation. We will pray with the two presidents; prayer is important, it helps. Afterwards, each person will return home. There would be a rabbi, a Muslim, and myself."


Like his namesake, Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis is an instrument of peace.  I remember with admiration and hope what occurred as a result of his call for a day of global prayer on September 7, 2013. The world was invited to pray for peace, in Syria, the extended Middle East, and around the world.

In a heartfelt cry the Pope used his Sunday Angelus address of September 1, 2013, to implore the parties engaged in the atrocities in Syria to cease, crying out with prophetic voice, "War begets war, violence begets violence."

He then announced that, on Saturday, September 7, 2013, he would lead a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world. He did what he said and the circumstances changed. That is because God is real - and prayer is powerful.  Pope Francis knows both of these truths and is unafraid to act accordingly.

While US warships were being deployed to the Red Sea in the event of military action taken against Syria - and the US Congress prepared to debate authorizing the use of such force - the leader of over 1.2 billion Catholics asked Catholics and all Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will, to deploy the weapons of peace, prayer and fasting.

This Pope believes in the power of prayer. He also carries in his heart a burden for peace in the Middle East. He knows there is an indispensable connection between the two. He wants to unleash the Love of God, the most powerful weapon we have against the growing scourge of violence in the land where the Prince of Peace walked, talked, loved, lived, died and was raised. 

This is the place where the Word Incarnate began the New Creation. This is the Holy Land. The escalating violence must come to an end. The love of God is the only real lasting means to authentic peace. This is true as individuals, as families, as a Church, - and as Nation-states and a global community.  In a world spiraling out of control, Christians are particularly called to become instruments of peace. Pope Francis is willing to do so.
 
At the Last Supper, Jesus spoke these words to his disciples: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid". (John 14:27)  The path to peace passes through prayer - because peace requires Gods assistance.

This prophetic and historic meeting happened in the Vatican on Sunday. Francis told those in attendance: Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare, the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity.

We  call upon God in an act of supreme responsibility before our consciences and before our peoples.  We cannot bring about peace on our own, and that is why we are here. Because we know and we believe that we need the help of God.

We have heard a summons, and we must respond. It is the summons to break the spiral of hatred and violence, and to break it by one word alone: the word brother.  But to be able to utter this word we have to lift our eyes to heaven and acknowledge one another as children of one Father.


The Israeli president Shimon Peres said: "It is within our power to bring peace to our children. This is our duty, the holy mission of parents." The Palestinian President Mahoumoud Abbas called on God to bring a "comprehensive and just peace" to the region. He also quoted St. John Paul II "if peace is realized in Jerusalem, peace will be witnessed in the whole world".

Accompanying Francis throughout the time of encounter and prayer was his friend, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I. The two walked together throughout the recent visit to the Holy Land. Again, the joining together of Simon and Andrew was a prophetic sign of the times in which we live. Christian unity is an essential part of any real peace in the place where Jesus walked.

This event was not only historic, it was courageous. It has also met with numerous and differing responses, from utter rejection and opposition, to hope for success, to various brands of criticism. In the Catholic and broader Christian community, it is being parsed and debated, increasingly becoming fodder for theological disputations and endless postings in the blogo-sphere. Some of the discussions are helpful and sincere, others are not.

Thank God for the Pope who is willing to pray and risk for peace in the Middle East.

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Middle East

Hundreds rescued as Kurdish forces punch through Islamic State siege Watch

Image of Kurdish Peshmerga forces have fought through an Islamic State siege which held hundreds of Yazidi minorities trapped on Mount Sinjar.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the ongoing war with the Islamic State, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have reported a victory in northern Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Kurdish military says it has recaptured territory near the Sinjar Mountain, the site of the dramatic airdrops that ... continue reading


Islam is the religion of peace? You'll reconsider when you read the laws of true Islam Watch

Image of A crucifixion in the Islamic State.

By Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch

How refreshing it would be if some of the people, Muslim or non-Muslim, who insist that the Islamic State is not Islamic would show how this penal code is contrary to Islam and Sharia. But they will not do so, because they can't. "Islamic State (ISIS) Publishes Penal ... continue reading


In the wake of the Taliban's brutal attack in Pakistan, Christians come together in show of support and solidarity Watch

Image of 132 school children were killed by Taliban gunmen when they attacked an army school in Peshawar province.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the abominable and devastating attack on a Pakistani school by Islamic gunmen, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church has condemned the massacre. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Taliban jihadists attacked an ... continue reading


U.S. GROUND FORCES ENGAGE ISIS - No U.S. casualties reported Watch

Image of U.S. troops firing a 60mm mortar.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. ground forces have finally clashed with the Islamic State in Iraq and defeated them handily, aided by F-18 fighter jets. The clash took place Sunday following an attack on an Iraqi airbase where American troops were stationed. Several enemy fighters were killed, ... continue reading


SOLD! In a unprecedented move of barbarity, the Islamic State authorizes rape of underage girls Watch

Image of Women captured by the Islamic State are put onto the slave market where they serve as a source of income for the state and as wives for fighters.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has released a new pamphlet that gives instructions on the taking of sex slaves, selling or giving them, and having sex with prepubescent girls, and has circulated the pamphlet among fighters in occupied Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamist State releases video that shows drone's eye-view of Kobane Watch

Image of The footage depicts the Kurdish half of Kobane, in a battle scene that has become a test of the efficacy of the U.S.-led air campaign to defeat ISIS.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Islamist State jihadists are keeping the propaganda war fresh and stylized: They've just released a video, easily available on YouTube which shows a drone's eye view of the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobane. By inference, they've portrayed the ongoing conflict ... continue reading


A world at war: Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, united how much destruction could they cause? Watch

Image of Taliban fighters have waged a war of insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A study from the BBC and the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) has revealed that in November alone, over 5,000 people died as a result of Islamic violence, or nearly seven every hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamic State BEHEADS four CHRISTIAN CHILDREN when they refused to renounce Christ and convert to ISLAM Watch

Image of A man breaks down in tears. Millions of men across the Middle East, from Israel and Palestine, to Syria and Iraq, know nothing but sorrow as conflict rages across the region, consuming their children.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State terrorists have beheaded four children who refused to convert to Islam according to the British Vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Canon Andrew White, Islamic State terrorists have beheaded a man's four ... continue reading


American hostage Luke Somers killed in rescue attempt in Yemen Watch

Image of Luke Somers, who was born in Britain but had American citizenship, was working as a translator for the National Dialogue Conference when he was kidnapped last September.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A militant jihadist reportedly "relieving himself" spotted U.S. forces in Yemen - who altered his superiors, whereupon American journalist Luke Somers along with South African hostage Pierre Korkie were killed by al-Qaeda operatives. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Bad move: Netanyah's re-election plan may lead to political suicide Watch

Image of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have just committed political suicide by calling for March elections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the Jerusalem Post has found that a large majority of the Israeli population does not want Benjamin Netanyahu to be re-elected as prime minister. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The poll was conducted on December 3, just a day after Netanyahu ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
2 There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:3-4, 5-6, 16-17
3 Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:5-25
5 In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 19th, 2014 Image

St. Nemesius
December 19: Martyr of Egypt. He was burned alive in Alexandria, Egypt, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter