"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Church that Connects Bridges

Following his predecessor the servant of God John Paul II, our present Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting the Holy Land and meet both the Jewish and Palestinian leaders.

Before the advent of the new Millennium the late servant of God John Paul II was given strength by his Master to see for the last time the land he trod and commissioned his 12 disciples to “preach the Gospel to all Nations.”

This coming May, the Holy Father will be seeing the same land where Jesus walked lived with his family and friends until he was accused of blasphemy (which he never recanted), put to death and rose again from the dead. I hope this is just the beginning of his mission to build bridges to rivaling groups profaning the Holy Land.

We, Catholics should be praying for our Pope’s effort to bring peace to the Holy Land and the World. We should be praying for every human person he will be meeting for the sake of those helpless innocent residents both in Palestine and in Israel—the aged, women, children, sick, and those who have lost their loved ones after the recent exchange of rockets from both sides.

We, Catholics should be praying for the Palestinians through its leader Abu Mazen and his selfless efforts to unite the Palestinians under one flag, one leader and one nation. We should pray also for those Palestinians who neither wanted peace nor doing any effort to reconcile with Mr. Abbas. We pray for extremists who uses intimidation and terror against it’s own people just because they differ in religion. We also have to pray for those Palestinians in general who refused to recognize the State of Israel (and I am not politicizing) who are waging perpetual war against Israel. We must pray for Palestinian fighters who are outside Palestine living in democratic countries that they may make use of their God given rights to foster peace, not war and hatred. Let’s consider the beautiful message of Fatima “Pray for Peace” pray the Rosary for peace.

We, Catholics should pray for the State of Israel and its leaders. We pray for tolerance and vigilance against any threat of violence for the sake of the God our father Abraham has worshipped in the “Promised Land.”

Mostly, let’s pray for every human person the Holy Father may have touched. May the Holy Spirit be with him and protect him while he’s trying to build bridges for the sake of peace.

I urge our separated brethren in the Protestant Church to pray for us in this historical moment when we Christians should be offering our peace to those who don’t have it. And if we need to offer the other cheek, let’s offer it with respect, tolerance, charity. And above all, let’s offer it our of our Love for the Christ who disguises as our “enemy.”
(Further Reading: Bridge Builder by David MacDonald)

Picture Credit: Thanks to Rome Reports

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