Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/28/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they prosper who love you! (Psalm 122:6)

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. 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.-Pope Francis

Pope Francis, the Man of Peace

Pope Francis, the Man of Peace

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/28/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Pope Francis, President Mahmoud Abbas, President Shimon Peres, Jerusalem, Paalestinian authority, Israel, Peace of Jerusalem, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis is back in Rome. However, his presence in the Holy Land reverberates. One of the comments he made after he had presided at the Open Air Mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem on the second day of the visit is sending out shock waves around the world:

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.

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.


Both leaders have accepted the invitation to visit with Francis in Rome for this time of prayer for peace. Many in the Media discount the possibilities of such an encounter. Still others see it as a nice, sentimental gesture. I don't share their assessment.

I see it as a prophetic act of a Christian being led by the Holy Spirit, a Pope who knows the power of God.

Francis knows the real power of real prayer. It is time for such prayer to begin to be raised from the faithful throughout the whole world.The kind of prayer that can change history.

On the way back to Rome, Francis was asked about the invitation he gave 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.


I remember what occurred as a result of his call for a day of global prayer back on September 7, 2013. The whole world was invited to undertake the urgent task of praying 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 announced to the faithful 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.

The horrors inflicted against the innocent in Syria had filled our media. Francis was well aware of the growing calls for a military response.

So, he invited us to employ the most powerful action a Christian can engage in, real prayer.

The circumstances surrounding the impending violence significantly changed.

While US warships had already been 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 other Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will, to deploy the weapons of peace, prayer and fasting.

Now, he calls us all to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, by praying for peace in the Middle East. I am not naive. I am well aware of the history of continual violence, strife and war in the Holy Land. However, I also know the power of God. 

History records that a brutal dictator named Joseph Stalin once mockingly asked "How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?"

Well, the truth is there is no more powerful force in the universe than the power of God and His power is made manifest when His people pray!

So, once again, Francis is calling out the heavy artillery of real prayer. We need to respond to the call. 

This Pope carries in his heart a burden for peace in the Middle East. So does the Lord whom he serves with such simplicity and sincerity.

So should we.

The words of the Psalmist David invite our response in this hour - Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they prosper who love you! (Psalm 122:6)

Pope Francis hopes to unleash the most powerful weapon we have against the growing scourge of violence in the land where the Prince of Peace walked- the the Love of God.

The love of God is the only source and means to authentic peace, in us as individuals, in our families, in the Church, in our Nation-states and in this global community to which we are joined. 

In a world which is spiraling out of control, we who bear the name Christian are particularly called to live the Love of God - and become instruments of true peace.

At the Last Supper, right before he walked the Way of the Cross for each one of us, 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)

We need to hear these words in that place which the Bible calls the heart. The path to peace passes through prayer. His entire time with the disciples was an instruction in Prayer.

He showed them the pattern of living in a continual communion with the Father. He invited them - and he invites us - into the communion of love which He has with the Father, in the Spirit.

This is  an invitation into a whole new way of living, a life of continual communion with the living God.

We also need to hear these words of Jesus, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Mt. 5:9)

Are we sons and daughters of God? Do we believe that the path to peace passes through prayer? 

It is time to begin praying, RIGHT NOW, for the peace of Jerusalem. We need to pray for this visit in Rome to occur and bear fruit. We need to pray for the intervention of heaven in the land where Jesus walked - in the land where he still walks - because He is has been raised!

Let us take the words which Pope Francis spoke to President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres as our invitation to enter into a season of focused prayer for peace in the Middle East.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they prosper who love you! (Psalm 122:6)

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Baltimore bloodshed continues with unbelievable violence over the holiday weekend Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

May has proved to be the most dangerous and deadliest month Baltimore has witnessed in more than 50 years. There were more than two dozen shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone; city police have never been busier. Community leaders hope the members will come ... continue reading


BACKWASH: California water officials consider repurposing sewage into drinking water Watch

Image of Unlike non-potable reuse, where treated sewage is used to irrigate crops, parks or golf courses - direct potable reuse takes treated sewage effluent and purifies it so it can be used as drinking water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading


Gallup poll shows that one in four Americans not gay Watch

Image of Only 3.8 percent of Americans self-identify as gay, lesbian or transsexual.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading


World's oldest woman reaches 116-years-old! Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading


The mystery behind brains discovered in the streets of St. Lawrence County Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How would you react if you unexpectedly and inexplicably found nine brains on the side of the road while on your early morning run? Like most people, you may find yourself shocked and completely clueless on the origins of the brains. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Died in Service. Thank Those who Serve. Pray For the Nation Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Chaplains - A Reminder that We Are One Nation Under God Watch

Image of

By Fr. Randy Sly

The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Honor Our Nation with Heroic Sacrifice Watch

Image of Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you and your families.  Godspeed, and come home soon.

By Jennifer Hartline

Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading


MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading


UC Santa Barbara massacre survivor speaks on the day's events and his journey to recovery Watch

Image of www.thisischriswhite.com

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fateful night of May 23, 2014, Antoine Cherchian managed to survive being shot by the virgin killer, Elliot Rodger, during his killing spree at UC Santa Barbara. While Cherchian sustained fatal injuries, along with six other students murdered, he is thankful for ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 42:15-25
15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2015 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece ... 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