U.S. Army, soldiers celebrate Catholic Easter Mass inside St. Elijah’s Monastery in April, 2010 (AP photo)
Through all the history of our Catholic faith, physical buildings to worship our Lord, have come and gone. Our faith and our Lord Jesus Christ remain. The physical building of St. Elijah’s Monastery of Mosul may no longer stand, but we do in Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ. One day, in His time, God willing, worship of our Lord may resume in that exact spot, just as it has time and time again through all the world, time and time again.
In listening to Bishop Robert Barron’s podcast Homily for this weekend, as Catholics, we are called to remember where we came from. We are to never forget that it is our Lord who has built the wall and is the bridge in our faith. Remember that not only was are Lord persecuted and put to death but He also resurrected!
Praying for my brothers and sisters all over the world, facing the same persecution as did our brothers and sisters through all history. Along with the conversion of hearts of those responsible. Finding myself pondering our Lords words, with that of St. John Paul II: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Along with do not abandon yourselves to despair. “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” – St. Pope John Paul II
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
For today’s Novena, please CLICK LINK
As a survivor of a violet crime, I have seen what can take place to a person first hand, who has fallen deeply into things that carry no respect for self, nor others through actions that no human being with the fear of God could ever carry out. It was by the grace of our Lord that I survived, and by the grace of our Lord that I could forgive and move closer to Him, as I know it was Him who carried me out and through it. It is that same grace today that I praise Him. It is that same grace He offers to ALL of us, to be accepted or denied. Forgiveness does not mean we allow violent criminals to walk free from the harm they have caused, but allows the healing of that crime that was committed to begin.
I can never support the death penalty as it does not open a door for repentance in this life, for the survivor or the criminal. Nor does taking the life of another take away the harm, pain and suffering it has caused. It happened and I have to live with it. The only recourse, be it for me or them, is to forgive them so both can keep walking with the same ability to turn toward our Lord and seek forgiveness through repentance. It is not for me to ponder nor spend any time worrying if my attacker has repented or not, as we both, one day will have to face our Lord. I pray for my attacker as I pray for everyone. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
I have written about my attack and the early aftermath here. Please read: The Power Of Forgiveness