They no longer have a 'worship space'.
I am so grateful the Holy Father continually speaks about the persecuted, the homeless - forced from their villages and homes, separated from their families and livelihoods, only to be slaughtered or enslaved.
Pope Francis following the recitation of the Marian Prayer on Sunday remembered the people of Syria and Iraq saying “Unfortunately, there is no cessation in the dramatic news about violence, kidnapping and harassment against Christians reaching us from Syria and Iraq.
The Pope went on to say that those facing these situations were not forgotten and prayed that the intolerable brutality of which they are victims would soon be at an end. - Vatican RadioI prayed and prayed, bowing so low I couldn't get much lower. I offered my communion, asking Our Lord to show himself to those suffering so acutely - begging him to 'leave me - a sinful man' to go instead to console them, to manifest himself, to give them courage and peace. I feel completely powerless to help, so I trust in Jesus to surround them with his mercy, and Our Lady, our maternal refuge, to compassionate them and clothe them in peace.
I thought of Willy Herteleer and other pilgrims, who left home and possessions behind to go to a strange land, to pray and do penance. Pilgrimage is a sign that 'we have here no lasting home' ... pilgrimage is a sign of 'exile and dispossession' - hence it can be done as a penance and sacrifice in union and solidarity with the suffering Church elsewhere. In those moments of thanksgiving, I also prayed with and for Willy, and asked that he could now go to those most in need, the suffering, the lonely, the terrorized - to help distribute the grace and mercy Jesus wants to pour out upon them.
I can only offer the sacrifice of not knowing if my prayers can be felt, not knowing what happened to the kidnapped, not knowing if they are tortured or molested or slaughtered. Men. Women. Children. Little children so scared - not daring even to cry.
The Holy Father greeting the homeless.
Love the one(s) you are with - no matter what.
Love them so much - until your heart bursts.