Sometimes I am not so sure about the wisdom of watching news reports from around the world because if the world's media is to be believed the earth is filled with innumerable hostilities and very little love.
However we also have the paradox that in the midst of those seemingly endless news stories every once in a while there is a glimmer of hope!
Watching the extreme contrast between the tears of anger, confusion, refusal, on the part of some of our Jewish brothers and sisters, and the tears of a burden of duty upon the faces of the young soldiers and police who had to drag people from their sanctuary - contrasted with the tears of welcome, joy, love upon those in Germany welcoming Pope Benedict - both became my focus of meditation and prayer today.
A priest must have not simply a heart, Christ's heart, on fire with love for everyone but a priest's heart must willing gather the burning tears of all who suffer.
The Holy Land is peopled by our Jewish and Arab brothers and sisters, children of Abraham by blood and amongst them, some Jewish, some Arab, some for virtually every nation on earth, living in the Holy Land or elsewhere, as we Christians, for whom Abraham is our father in faith.
The chaos and anger, the violence and hate, the sometimes unwillingness, other times perhaps because of the weight of history, inability to see, to hear, to understand, one another with the resultant wars, terror, fear is the same root cause of so much blood being spilled be it through the slaughter of a pre-born person in the womb, the murder of a person or the larger scale horrors of civil war, terrorism or global war.
Brother Roger of Tazie understood only the fire of love burning in a heart at the service of others can wipe away the burning tears. That a disciple of Christ who sheltered our Jewish brothers and sisters from the Nazis, who worked so hard not only for Christian unity but for understanding between all religions and races should have been murdered when the youth of the world is gathering with the shepherd of the world frankly shows not the power of evil but its impotence.
Yesterday I received a letter from a dear friend who quoted this from the Servant of God Catherine Doherty: " Love is not an abstract thing....Love is a fire...it must spend itself in service. Service is the dry wood to love that makes it into a bonfire that reaches out to eternity and burns there....."
As Pope Benedict urged the youth of the world and through them all of us today: " Open wide your hearts to God! Let yourselves be surprised by Christ!....."
We Are a People of Hope
1 month ago