Saturday, December 05, 2015
Friday, December 04, 2015
By John Pontifex
Christians in the Middle East are suffering the most but Western governments are ignoring their plight, according to a prominent priest working with Syrian and Iraqi Christians in Jordan.
In an interview with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Father Khalil Jaar, who works with an organization called the Messengers of Peace Association, also warned that extremist Islamists are infiltrating groups seeking asylum in Europe.
Father Jaar said Christians are being “eliminated” by ISIS, the terror organization that, he said, are focused on Christians as their main target.
The priest, who is providing shelter and schooling for thousands of Christian refugees flooding into Jordan’s capital of Amman, said that for this reason he was critical of Western countries, such as the UK, for proposing the resettlement in the West of refugees from the main camps that exclusively house Muslims.
He charged that Christians and other minorities are not given an equal chance of seeking asylum in Europe and the US.
Father Khalil said that some refugees entering Europe are ISIS sympathizers, citing evidence gathered from his many interviews with asylum seekers as well as reports he received from Syria and Iraq.
He spoke in terms of “a direct link” between the influx of Middle East refugees over the past few months and the Paris terrorist attacks Nov. 13, 2015.The priest also said that most of the refugees were not asylum seekers but economic migrants in search of a better life.
He said: “The West has totally failed to recognize what is going on in the Middle East.”
“Most of the refugees flooding into Europe are people looking for a better life. If they were genuine asylum seekers, they would have accepted to stay in the first available country offering them sanctuary. The real refugees are left far behind.”
“Why is the West not doing more for Christians and other minorities? They are the ones who are suffering the most. If the Christians stay in Syria and Iraq, they risk being eliminated by Islamic extremists and if they seek sanctuary abroad in the main refugee camps, they suffer abuse from those already there.”
He said Islamist groups are putting extreme pressure on Christians in Syria and Iraq to convert to Islam, pay the Jizya tax or risk being killed. He said such threats were being made by a number of marauding Islamist forces, including the al-Nusra Front, Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, in addition to ISIS.
According to the priest, “Whenever [the Islamist groups] seize any territory, one of their first aims is to eliminate the Christian presence.”
“The people most in danger are the Christians.”
With picture of Father Jaar with Christian refugee children (© ACN)
Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Picture source. I would recommend you reading Kim's blog post.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is one of two holy days of obligations in Hawaii.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 will open the Year of Mercy as proclaimed by our Holy Father Pope Francis.
Vatican's Jubilee of Mercy website
It is imperative that we participate as much as we can during this jubilee year. This is an opportunity to practice the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy and to evangelize. Take advantage of God's forgiveness and mercy by going to confession regularly. There will also be many opportunities of gaining plenary indulgences even if you cannot make it to the Vatican.
Reminder: on December 8th, there is also the Hour of Grace.
THE REQUEST OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE :
1. Day and time of the Hour of Grace: December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to be started at 12:00 noon and continuing until 1:00 p.m. for one full hour of prayer.
2. During this hour, the person making the "Hour of Grace" either at home or at Church must put away all distractions (do not answer the telephones, or answer any doors, or do anything but totally concentrate on your union with God during this special Hour of Grace).
3. Begin the Hour of Grace by praying three (3) times the 51st Psalm with out-stretched arms. (Psalm 51 appears below)
4. The rest of the Hour of Grace may be spent in silent communication with God meditating upon the Passion of Jesus, saying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way, or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other psalms, etc.
Please copy and distribute this message. Remember to pray for your country during this hour. The Blessed Virgin has requested that her important message be sent throughout the entire world. Please help her Mission: that all souls be drawn to GOD, and that JESUS will be loved in every heart. This is the perpetual song of her heart. Let it also be ours.
Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.
Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.
For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.
Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight That you are just in your sentence, blameless when you condemn.
True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.
Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my inmost being teach me wisdom.
Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter than snow.
Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt.
A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit.
I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.
Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power.
Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.
For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering you would not accept.
My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.
Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice, burnt offerings and holocausts; then bullocks will be offered on your altar.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Prayer can be found here.
You pray it 15 times a day until Christmas, asking for your personal intentions.