The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Under-reported News

Persecution of Indian Christians. Perhaps one of the most under-reported news stories involves what is happening to Christians, and particularly to Catholics, in India. It's especially sad that this persecution is taking place in a nation frequently referred to as the "world's largest democracy" and is often carried out with the assistance of local police.

How bad is it? In just the past few weeks over 100 Christians have been murdered, 180 churches have been destroyed, and 4,500 homes have been burned to the ground. This has generated over 50,000 Christian refugees who are treated like criminals by the local police agencies.

Hindu fundamentalists are behind this persecution, which has apparently become almost methodical and even continues within the refugee camps set up to house the dispossessed Christians.

Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in India, and pray for their persecutors.

For more details, read the story on AsiaNews.it -- click here.

Pope Benedict's Scripture Reading Marathon. On October 5, Pope Benedict XVI began a non-stop 7x24 Bible reading marathon that was fully covered on Italian television. While the Pope kicked off the marathon by reading Genesis 1, he was followed by over 1,200 different readers from all walks of life. Readers were not exclusively Catholic but also included those from a variety of Christian denominations as well as Jews and Muslims. The reading went on for six days. Click here for the CNS story.

When I first read the article about this wonderful event, the thing that immediately came to mind was that beautiful scene from Nehemiah 8 where Ezra and the Levites read the Scriptures to the Jews living in post-exilic Jerusalem. The result? The people listened and wept, and then, filled with remorse for their sinfulness and that of their fathers, they repented and confessed their sins. Ezra continued the readings during the seven days of the Feast of Booths. I suspect that our Holy Father had Ezra in mind. Let's pray that it may lead to similar results.

Tomorrow Diane and I join the diocese's other deacons on a continuing education weekend. I expect it will, as usual, be a valuable and pleasant experience. Keep us in your prayers.

Praise God for all things...

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