BBC News – Pope Francis: Muslim leaders should condemn terrorism

BBC News – Pope Francis: Muslim leaders should condemn terrorism.

Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders around the world to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam

"Pope Francis was returning to Rome after his three-day visit to Turkey when he made his latest commentsChristians have been targeted by Muslim hardliners in Iraq and Syria in recent years, with a violent campaign of persecution by Islamic State militants this summer when they captured the Iraqi city of Mosul.

In their joint declaration, the two Church leaders said: "We express our common concern for the current situation in Iraq, Syria and the whole Middle East.

"Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have been forced violently from their homes. It even seems that the value of human life has been lost, that the human person no longer matters and may be sacrificed to other interests. And, tragically, all this is met by the indifference of many."

The pontiff and the patriarch also called for peace in Ukraine.

The violent conflict in Ukraine this year has accentuated differences between its large Orthodox and Catholic communities.

The Pope and the patriarch said: "We pray for peace in Ukraine, a country of ancient Christian tradition, while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony."

As his visit drew to a close, Pope Francis met Turkey’s chief rabbi, whose flock has diminished to just 17,000 people.

At the Blue Mosque on Saturday, one of the greatest masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, the Pope turned east towards Mecca, clasped his hands and paused for two minutes as the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran, delivered a Muslim prayer."

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Graphic Witness -“What I witnessed during my abortion still hits me like a sledgehammer”

How the Nine Days of Prayers Comforted Me While I Fought Demons……

January 19, 2013 By The Crescat

… With the upcoming March For Life, the topic of abortion seems to be every where at the moment. Because of this it’s been on my mind daily. Perhaps these daily reminders is what triggered the event that happened this morning.

My first waking thought hit me like a sledge hammer and I was instantly transported back ten years. I was standing alone in a sterile room wearing a hospital gown. In my hand was the sheet that I had pulled back off the portable suction machine that sat in the corner. Memories I thought I had drown bubbled up despite mentally wrestling with myself for years to un-see them.

What I am about to write next is horrifically graphic. I’d been debating with myself all day whether or not I should share this memory or just stuff it back down in the murky recesses of my addled brain but then I was reminded of something Elizabeth Scalia wrote.

And somehow, I can’t imagine that any of our elite female voices — the ones who, in every election year, can be counted on to take up the fake “war on women” mantras and tape PSA’s about “keeping abortion legal” because it “empowers women” — have any sense of the realities of these under-inspected, under-reported hell-holes, where the only ones being empowered are the profiteers.

And a hell hole it was. There is no way to advocate what I am about to describe. None. There is no reason, no exception, no situation in which what I saw could possibly be rationalized away as a “reproductive right” or an acceptable choice.

**** If you’re post-abortive what you are about to read might be too graphic and upsetting.****

I encourage you only to proceed with great caution. Please know I don’t write this to cause you any pain. I write this post so that people who advocate abortion can read what it is exactly they are advocating.

The vacuum. Read the rest here

Today marks the beginning of the 9 Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage sponsored by USCCB.

The Visit

In flight
Into Egypt
Hungry,
Hurried,
Yet at peace.

You pass my way.
Because you are holy
We are worlds apart.
Yet you touch me
By your plight.

You must eat.
You must drink.
Rest a moment
Under my tent.

Holy visitors,
Let me wash your feet.
Your smiles
Enter my heart
As a symphony

Stay the night.
Bring the star
From heaven
To light my adobe.

Dwell forever
Here in Spirit
Though you must hurry
On your way.

Journey on,O, Protector,
O Mother, O Child.
With me,
In your hearts,
Now, I wait
For you forever.

I tucked a little rattle
Under His blanket.
Perhaps, He’ll hear me
In the sounds,
A remembrance,
Like a prayer,
In the rattling of beads.

By Joann Nelander

Sweetly Count Our Hours

Lord, I’ m offering You a new day.

Already, You know,

‘this isn’t going to be pretty.’

I count on You to do what You have always done.

Take the morsels which Your hand has touched.

As for the rest,

with one mighty exhalation of  Holy Breath

Spirit the chaff away.

At day’s end,

as with all my yesterdays,

I will lay my head upon Your Breast,

and sweetly count our hours.

 

By Joann Nelander

I Dream of Heaven

Night and day, I dream of heaven.

O, not the dream that slumber brings,

that mirage that is tortuous,

with struggles and comings and goings,

jumbles and journeys

taking me far, far from home.

No, I speak now of the dream of my heart.

I dream of heaven, the cry of my heart.

With longing and yearning and surety of soul,

I labor in love for a home that I know.

Through all life’s long journey,

my days are replete

with a pilgrim’s desire,

that sheds light ‘to my feet.

Though weary, and broken, I no longer doubt,

That all heaven is waiting to welcome with shout,

one miserable sinner, it can’t do without.

By Joann Nelander