Blog Entry #04 – Muslims and Christians
We are all aware of the number of murders that are occurring regularly in Europe by those who claim to be members of IS, ISIS or ISIL. One of the more recent events had a very powerful and uniting response.
On July 26, 2016 an 86 year old priest, Father Jaques Hamal was killed while saying mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, France. The priest, referred to as Father Jacques, was stabbed and had his throat slit while the terrorist filmed their murder. There were 5 others in the church who were taken hostage. One was stabbed and the others got away.
This attack came at a time when France was still grieving the loss of 84 people on Bastille Day by a terrorist attack. There have been many attacks in France and Europe in the last 18 months, about one every 2 months.
Pope Francis has been vocal recently and has claimed that there is a war in progress. He called it a piecemeal war, but one nonetheless. He emphasized that this is not a war of religions. All religions want peace, and that war is wanted by others.
The hopeful news was that the following Sunday, thousands of Muslims attended Catholic Church in France and Italy as an act of solidarity. This is an amazing way to send a message to all that this is not a war of religions. The powerful image of Muslims praying with Catholics on Sunday brings hope to all of us that peace can be achieved. We need more of this.
Members of the Muslim community attend a mass in the Catholic church of Santa Maria of Caravaggio on Sunday in Milan, Italy.
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images
Prayers in time of terrorism – we pray
for all Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews
whose hearts are consumed
by a zeal that has hardened them;
whose vision is partial,
whose mind is narrowed,
whose perceptions are simplified,
whose soul is poisoned.
we read of Jesus that
“zeal for your house consumed him”.
His life teaches us that
without the zeal of a burning love for you
that will endure through
the night-time of our enmities
we shall not see your kingdom come.
So we ask,
that you give us
a zeal that insists on acceptance
a commitment that endures in non-violence
and a patience that works for your coming;
and teach us to hate
only our tribalism and prejudice
which separate us
from those different to us.
We ask it in the name of the Prince of Peace,