Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fight Off Evil Of Terrorism

What do we do when evil lashes out and when innocent human lives are taken so tragically? It is a time for Catholics to gather and fight evil. The terrorist attack in London today brings back memories of the attack on September 11. It changed the nation and the world in many ways, hopefully for the better.

I found below an article from St. Anthony's Messenger in light of the 911 attack. It offers the Christian community the essential tasks of faith in response to terrorism.

A time for prayer.
We pray for the victims and their families; for our president and national leaders; for police and fire fighters; postal, health care and relief workers; and for military men and women. We pray for an end to terror and violence. We also pray for our adversaries. We call on Catholics to join in a community prayer for peace.

A time for fasting.
As long as this struggle continues, we urge Catholics to fast one day a week. This fast is a sacrifice for justice, peace and for the protection of innocent human life.

A time for teaching.
Many Catholics know the Church's teaching on war and peace. Many do not. This is a time to share our principles and values, to invite discussion and continuing dialogue within our Catholic community. Catholic universities and colleges, schools and parishes should seek opportunities to share the Sacred Scripture and Church teaching on human life, justice and peace more broadly and completely. In a special way we should seek to help our children feel secure and safe in these difficult days.

A time for dialogue.
This is a time to engage in dialogue with Muslims, Jews, fellow Christians and other faith communities. We need to know more about and understand better other faiths, especially Islam. We also need to support our interfaith partners in clearly repudiating terrorism and violence, whatever its source. (See Joint Statement of Catholic Bishops and Muslim Leaders, September 14, 2001). As the Holy Father recently said, dialogue is essential for ensuring that "the name of the one God become increasingly what it is: a name for peace and a summons to peace." (Remarks to Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, November 6, 2001).

A time for witness.
In our work and communities, we should live our values of mutual respect, human dignity and respect for life. We should seek security without embracing discrimination. We should use our voices to protect human life, to seek greater justice, and to pursue peace as participants in a powerful democracy.

A time for service.
Catholic Charities throughout the United States is providing assistance to families, parishes, neighborhoods and communities directly affected by the attacks on September 11. Catholic hospitals in these cities are also in the forefront in caring for those injured in these attacks. Catholic Relief Services is providing critical aid to Afghan refugees and doing invaluable work throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. This is a time for generous and sacrificial giving.

American Catholic servicemen and women and their chaplains are likewise called conscientiously to fulfill their duty to defend the common good. To risk their own lives in this defense is a great
service to our nation and an act of Christian virtue.

A time for solidarity.
We are not the first to experience such horrors. We now understand better the daily lot of millions around the world who have long lived under the threat of violence and uncertainty and have refused to give in to fear or despair. As we stand in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks and their families, we must also stand with those who are suffering in the Middle East. We stand with all those whose lives are at risk and whose dignity is denied in this dangerous world.

A time for hope.
Above all, we need to turn to God and to one another in hope. Hope assures us that, with God's grace, we will see our way through what now seems such a daunting challenge. For believers, hope is not a matter of optimism, but a source for strength and action in demanding times. For peacemakers, hope is the indispensable virtue. This hope, together with our response to the call to conversion, must be rooted in God's promise and nourished by prayer, penance, and acts of charity and solidarity.

Our nation and the Church are being tested in fundamental ways. Our nation has a right and duty to respond and must do so in right ways, seeking to defend the common good and build a more just and peaceful world. Our community of faith has the responsibility to live out in our time the challenges of Jesus in the Beatitudes – to comfort those who mourn, to seek justice, to become peacemakers. We face these tasks with faith and hope, asking God to protect and guide us as we seek to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these days of trial.


Blogger 4HisChurch said...

Thanks for that post. It helps to be reminded of what we can "do" when something like this happens. Prayer and fasting are concrete things that really have an affect.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

You're very welcome. Yes, prayer and fasting are indeed what Our Lord Jesus did when the devil was tempting Him. So we must also do the same in His Holy Name, in order to fight evil in this world.

God bless.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Denice Hanley, DPM, M.Div. said...

We are all Britons today! We stand in solidarity with Britain in the aftermath of the multiple bombings in London. It's only a matter of time before al-Qaeda or another militant Islamic terror group targets more innocents. But, we know that our Lord is stronger than this evil. With Him we stand. We must remember that even war can be averted through prayer and fasting!

6:35 AM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Amen Denice!

4:04 PM  

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