POPE FRANCIS, PERES AND ABBAS PRAY TOGETHER: now what?
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.
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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.”
“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 . . . .”
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven . . . .”
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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?