The prayer service in Rome held by Pope Francis in June showed promise of opening new doors to diplomacy: Jews, Muslims, Christians all meeting in the neutrality of the Vatican gardens, listening to prayers from their traditions, and then — all facing each other, eye to eye, shaking hands. The hope was that by praying together, talking together, they could all go home and try anew.
But instead foolish people listened to Satan, the only one who prospers and rejoices when mankind suffers. And in the span of a month:
– 3 Jewish boys were kidnapped and cruelly murdered;
– hundreds of Palestinian men were searched, questioned, jailed, and some even died from the stress;
– a Palestinian boy was burned alive (how could anyone do that!) and his American cousin badly beaten;
– and Hamas crazily opened fire with rockets onto Israel. Again. Not having learned from previous air attacks that Israel’s Dome would stop 98%;
– and Israel responds, blasting narrow Gaza apart, telling people to evacuate before each strike, but they had nowhere to go because while Hamas was busy building tunnels to raid Israel, they never bothered to build air raid shelters for the civilians who voted them into power, and once again left their own families and friends to suffer in the streets and jam UN buildings with families and donkey carts trying to escape the horror;
– and crazy men, led on by Vladimir Putin’s desire to restore the Soviet-Tsarist Empire of Russia past, and armed by him, and given military veterans to lead them by him, shot down an airliner filled with vacationers, families heading home or to reunion, AIDS physicians, and an ordinary flight crew doing their job. The earlier phone calls intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence and confirmed by American sources show that they first rejoice at blasting yet another Ukrainian plane and killing yet more fellow Ukrainian citizens, only to quietly say “Zivil” – “Civilian.”
If he is a local Ukrainian “freedom fighter”, why does he wear a black wool balaclava over his face in 90 degree F heat? Only someone who is afraid to be recognized does.
I cannot say enough of Vladimir Putin who so callously destabilized Ukraine rather than have a Russian-speaking democracy grow on his borders after the successful Maidan revolution overthrew Yanukovych and his years of graft and abuse of power, and so has merrily lied to his own people and the world while invading and seizing Crimea, and doing the same thing in eastern Ukraine – only to come up against this horrible episode. Now what?
That the “pro-Russian separatists” not only left bodies rotting in the sun while not holding church services for their souls, these supposedly Orthodox supporters, and looted the bodies and luggage right down to wedding rings, and shove around the damaged fuselage, shows how far down they and their Russian handlers have sunk. Their children left toys near the bodies of the children killed on the plane, and left rotting in the fields by their elders, and their mothers stood and wept. but the fighters muscled their way around inspectors with their machine guns in hand. These separatists only got these missiles and everything else direct from Russia – where could they buy them and with what kind of money?
I invite people to buy today’s Wall Street Journal, or go to your public library for it, and read Bret Stephens’ op-ed on page A9, “Seeing Putin Plain.” He says it all, better than I.
Mass at Holy Family Latin rite parish, Gaza City
And Gaza’s 2,000 Christians are waiting to suffer more: 1,500 Greek Orthodox; maybe 500 Catholics; 80 or so Baptists – when Muslim jihadists suffer at the hand of a stronger power, be it Israeli or Western then they inevitably blame the local Christians for their troubles. Why not? Christians cannot be armed, or serve in the armed forces or police and so learn self-defense, and they continue to follow Jesus Christ, the prophet of peace: something Mohammed definitely did NOT preach. So the Christians wait in dread, while missiles pour down upon them too, and their children, and the charities they run for disabled and poor Muslims. But when jihadists look for revenge, they never think about Christian schools, clinics, hospitals, kindergartens, and hospices that serve Muslim people – they just scream “crusader” and strike out with rape, arson and murder.
More than 650 Palestinians are dead, and over 4,000 wounded – but if Hamas did not put its own civilians at risk by locating artillery and bases in mosques, schools, neighborhoods, houses, they would not be dead. Yes, it is horrible and Israel has greater military power – but who really is at fault? Those who tunneled, but did not build one air raid shelter underground.
Greek Orthodox altar servers, St. Porphyrius church, Gaza City. The parish dates to the 100s of the Christian era.
Witness Iraq: Mosul has had a Christian bishop since before 410 AD, and Christian worshippers since the time of the apostles – and today not one believer remains, all expelled. And the lone Muslim who defended them – executed by the “caliphate.” Remember Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a law professor who lectured
on pedagogy at the University of Mosul and decried the IS caliphate’s outrageous demands on Christians as un-Islamic. And now he is dead, a witness to the brutality of jihad. Don’t tell me jihad means “struggle” for one’s soul – I know that. But right now, jihad means a war of no mercy, and anyone with a Christian or Jewish background – even if they don’t believe in God anymore – is doomed who is in their path. God, the God of Abraham, have mercy on us.
Meanwhile, Satan and his evil minions dance for joy in Hell while Palestinian children are traumatized and perhaps resolve to punish Israel when they grow up; while Jews go into shelters wondering if a rocket will pierce the Dome and kill them and maybe it would be better to flatten Gaza after all; and long-suffering Arabic-speaking Christians wonder should they abandon their homes where their families have lived for 3,000 years, or pack up and move to the secular West and perhaps lose their souls while saving their lives.
And the Pope weeps.
And Satan dances.
Jesus won the war on the Cross, but Satan fights on to lead souls into ruin.