‘Prayer’ Category Archives

11
Jun

POPE FRANCIS, PERES AND ABBAS PRAY TOGETHER: now what?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, God, History, Multiculturalism, Prayer

Last Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas visited Pope Francis at the Vatican in order to pray together.

The previous day, the Pope tweeted, “Prayer is all-powerful. Let us use it to bring peace to the Middle East and peace to the world.”

Within moments, his message was re-tweeted and favourited all around the world.

* * *

How can these men pray together?

What have they in common?

Well, the prayers of the three faiths are so beautiful — among the most beautiful words known to mankind.

The prayer of the Jew going something like this:

“It is our duty to praise the Master of all, to ascribe greatness to the Author of creation . . . . We bow in worship and thank the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed is He . . . . The Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below. There is no other.”

The Muslim:

“Praise be to Allah, Lord of Creation, the compassionate, the Merciful, King of judgment-day. You alone we worship and to you alone we pray for help. Guide us to the straight path . . . .”

The Christian:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven . . . .”

* * *

All magnificent sentiments.

We must teach our children such prayers — and somehow convince them to live by what they say.

Consider the phenomenon of suicide bombing — a dreadful problem that peace-desiring Muslims, and the rest of us, seem unable to solve.

What is taught in Islamic schools (and all schools) must include a love for what is in common to our faiths . . . .

Plus a love for those whose faith is different from ours (yet with so much that is good that we hold in common).

If all adherents of all three religions were to say (and mean) the words of the Pope’s tweet at least once a day . . . .

Might that be the start of something good?

 

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1
Jun

SUICIDE: taboo or not taboo?

by Arnold Jago in Death, God, Prayer

There was a time when suicide was considered so upsetting that people felt too uneasy to discuss it.

Which was understandable.

There was a time when suicides weren’t buried in the normal part of the graveyard.

Suicide was considered an act of defiance of God who has lovingly given us our life, and it never being right to throw away a loving gift.

Yet we know that many people committing suicide aren’t in full control of their reason and so not fully responsible.

Might the deeper, secret part of a person’s soul still believe in God and hope in God and love God — even while the surface part is driving them to an act of despair?

While suicide is a terrible mistake, we know that, whatever sin a person commits, if we regret and feel sorrow for our sin, God will pardon.

Only God sees and judges our hearts.

In our prayers it is right always to pray for the souls of the departed.

That is something we can do every day.

 

 

16
May

SILENCE IS GOLDEN: spiritual silence is even better

by Arnold Jago in Lifestyle, Money, Prayer, Saints, Silence

General Motors put their latest car — the new Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid — on the American market in December 2013.

It goes 50-odd km before its 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery goes flat.

One attraction is its silence – silence maximised by features like extra thick window glass, sound-damping insulation etc.

The ELR costs $78,000.

Noise pollution is something people will pay to avoid.

* * *

Noise stops you thinking properly.

Supermarket music helps you to buy things which a little silent thought might lead you to leave on the shelf.

But isn’t the most distracting noise of all the “noise” we create inside our own heads — broodings regarding money, popularity, power etc?

Saint Mary MacKillop loved to spend time in silence with God.

She was a woman of action — yes, but to her, activity was a “less agreeable duty” which mustn’t interfere with her primary interest, the contemplation of God.

When too preoccupied to stop her worldly duties, she tried to make all her life, even when most busy, a prayer.

She wrote to Father Woods, “God’s presence seems to follow me everywhere and make everything I do or wish to do a prayer . . . .

 

 

31
Dec

POPE FRANCIS’S CHRISTMAS PRAYER: with implied New Year Resolutions for all, believers and otherwise

by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, Prayer

In his first Christmas message as Pope, Pope Francis focussed his prayer on the Christian message of “Peace on Earth”:
“Prince of Peace, in every place, turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue.
“Child of Bethlehem, touch the hearts of those engaged in human trafficking that they may realise the gravity of this crime against humanity.
“Grant that migrants in search of a dignified life may find acceptance and assistance. May tragedies like those witnessed this year with so many deaths at Lampedusa never occur again.
“Help and protect all the victims of natural disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by the recent typhoon.”
* * *
In addition, the Pope commented that peace “is not a balance of opposing forces . . . .
“Wars shatter and hurt so many lives . . . the many children who are kidnapped, wounded and killed in armed conflict . . . all those who are robbed of their childhood and forced to become soldiers.
“Peace calls for daily commitment starting from God’s gift from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.
“I invite even non-believers to desire peace . . . a desire that widens the heart.
“Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace.
“Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God the Father, who has given us Jesus . . . .”

24
Dec

A PRAYER FOR CHRISTMAS: more love, less hate.

by Arnold Jago in Prayer

Loving Father,
Help us to remember the birth of Jesus,
That we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the wise men.
Close the door to hate, and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings. Teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be your children and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts . . . forgiving and forgiven.
For Jesus’s sake
Amen
(from: www.acatholic.org/advent/christmas-prayers)

29
Mar

GOOD FRIDAY? GOOD?: why believe any of that?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Jesus, Modern Church, Prayer, Truth

On the Friday corresponding to today in the year AD29 or 30 (approx.) a Jewish itinerant preacher was crucified at Jerusalem.
As a result, millions of us today attended liturgies, marched through streets and prayed a lot — and called it “Good Friday”.
That makes sense if this Jesus was, in fact, God incarnate.
If not, it’s more of an indulgence in nostalgia, wishful thinking etc.
* * *
Was Jesus God?
Can such a thing be proved?
What kind of evidence “proves” anything?
Can you prove that the earth goes round the sun?
Few people have the expertise to do so.
The rest of us believe because impressive people say it does — second-hand evidence at best.
But it satisfies us that the earth almost certainly does go round the sun. (The experts only know it second-hand, too, if you think about it.)
There’s second-hand evidence that Jesus died and rose again. Those best placed to know whether it was true continued saying it was despite knowing they’d killed if they persisted.
* * *
There’s a comfortable world out there based on capitalism, media brainwashing and celebrity-worship — which is threatened by the existence of a unique Christian religion.
If all religions are equal, that’s acceptable. All equally true means all equally false – i.e. equally irrelevant.
But Christ didn’t do equality.
“No man comes to God except through me,” he said.
Meaning what exactly?
You must decide that for yourself.
But it certainly means that those who need to dominate your mind and that of your children need the Christian faith to disappear.
It won’t disappear while people think seriously about Christ and his death and resurrection.