Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/28/2014 (3 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 (3 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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholics Come Home Launches Beautiful New Television Series for E.W.T.N. Watch

Image of Tom Peterson, the founder and CEO of Catholics Come Home

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I am happy to report to my readers that Catholics Come Home has produced a stunning and inspiring television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (E.W.T.N.). It began airing on Labor Day weekend. The series was filmed on location in various cities ... continue reading


Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... 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, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... 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