Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/28/2014 (6 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 (6 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'


© 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 U.S.

A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


Pope Francis, the real architect behind the U.S.-Cuban thaw Watch

Image of With personal appeals, letters, and hosted meetings, the Vatican and Pope Francis can accurately be called the masterminds behind the recent thaw between the U.S. and Cuba.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba took the world by surprise, but perhaps one man was not as shocked as the rest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A senior official with the White House reported that Pope Francis made personal appeals to both President ... continue reading


Looking forward to your tax refund this year? Don't hold your breath. The IRS suffers after extreme budget cuts. Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heavily stricken with budget cuts and new tax-related laws, the IRS considers implementing its own temporary shutdown. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Congress has recently cut the IRS budget by $346 million. The IRS' budget has been cut a total of $1 billion since ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... 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, 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