Sunday, March 01, 2015

Anxiety, concern for the missing, the kidnapped, the refugees, the martyred.

They no longer have a 'worship space'.

“Unfortunately, there is no cessation in the dramatic news ..." - Pope Francis

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 Radio
I 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.


  1. Your post just cuts right to the heart of the matter. This morning Father said watching the news makes us fearful and it almost seemed he was suggesting that we not do that. But then how can we know what to pray for and whom to pray for? I want so much to help with prayer and didn't know how - but your post inspired me in how I should pray for the persecuted. Thank you.

  2. "When Terrorist forced him to reject Jesus Christ as God, looking at his Christian friends he replied, “their God is my God“ so the terrorist beheaded him also."

    Let this be the faith we proclaim unto death. As hard as it is right now, we must endure to the end in hope and in prayer for the sake of our many persecuted brothers and sisters.

    May we be their hope, their prayer, their supplication.

    I just read this wonderful bit of news and am passing it along:

    1. Thanks for that story Yaya.


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