Monday, September 17, 2012

Lucia Pope Benedict's message to the Middle East

On a purely material level, I am amazed at the Holy Father's courage, and yet, at the spiritual level, I can only nod in agreement that going to Lebanon, despite the rise of anti-Western violence in the Middle East, was the right thing to do.

Trusting in Our Lord completely makes a person fearless, and you can certainly see that fearlessness and total immersion and trust in God in Pope Benedict XVI. His message to the people there was one of hope, love and peace - such a difference from the hate-filled mobs venting their anger because of their perceived offense. It takes the stronger person (and culture) to react with restraint rather than all-out violence.

(Reuters) - Pope Benedict urged Arab leaders on Sunday at a huge open-air mass in Lebanon to work for reconciliation in a Middle East riven by Syria's civil war and blazing with fury over a film mocking the Muslim Prophet Mohammad.

"May God grant to your country, to Syria and to the Middle East, the gift of peaceful hearts, the silencing of weapons and the cessation of all violence," the pope said in a prayer after a mass that organizers said was attended by 350,000 people.


Addressing worshippers on the Mediterranean seafront, close to the front line of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, Benedict said Lebanese people "know all too well the tragedy of conflict and ... the cry of the widow and the orphan".

"I appeal to the Arab countries that, as brothers, they might propose workable solutions respecting the dignity, the rights and the religion of every human person," the 85-year-old pontiff said.


"In a world where violence constantly leaves behind its grim trail of death and destruction, to serve justice and peace is urgently necessary," Benedict said.

Related link: Pope urges Arab leaders to work for peace in raging Middle East ~ Reuters

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