Thursday, October 27, 2005

We sure need St. Francis!

It is said of that great friend of God and Desert Father, Abba Anthony, that he saw the future, perhaps our own era, and stated that a time was coming when human beings would go mad and that when they would see someone who was not insane like them they will attack.

Just when you think we could not possibly go more insane on this earth another rant is all over the media calling for the destruction of Israel.

Of the three monolithic religions on earth, Judaism, Christianity and Islam it is our Jewish brothers and sisters who are the first children of Abraham and therefore our elders in faith.

Every decent believer in the One True God should shudder in the depths of our being and raise our voices to condemn hate in all its forms, but most especially religious and racial hatred.

Christians in particular must be in the forefront of resistance to such evil.

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Son of David – the very night He offers Himself up for us gives us the command: “ This is My commandment, love one another as I love you. “ [Jn.15:12]

The “one another” allows for no ‘except in the case of…’, indeed earlier Jesus made it very clear that we are to “ love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute “ us, precisely so that we may be children of our heavenly Father. [Mt.5:44.45]

The Vatican noted the other day that Pope Benedict ‘improvised’ at the end of his prepared text for the weekly General Audience, urging all of us to truly conform our attitudes, thinking, deciding, acting according to Christ Jesus – in a word to love one another in our attitude, thought, decisions, actions as Jesus loves us.

There is no wiggle room for a Christian standing before any of our brothers and sisters – either we love them or we are choosing not to love Jesus.

Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi the following peace-prayer I urge everyone to pray before our hatreds have us rushing blindly into a global conflagration of which hatred, as in the past century of blood, is always the igniting spark:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love.

Where there is injury, let me bring pardon.

Where there is division, let me bring union.

Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.

Where there is lie, let me bring truth.

Where there is despair, let me bring hope.

Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

Where there is darkness, let me bring light.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.

For it is in the giving that we receive. It is in the pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in the dying that we are born to eternal life.

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