Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recent Terrorist Attacks

There have been so many terrorist attacks in recent years. They seem to have become more prevalent since 2001, but it is worth remembering that, often, the Western Media reports selectively. There are acts of terrorism going on all the time and it is the duty of of every Christian to pray against the forces of darkness that seek to instil terror.

In addition to the terrible attacks in Manchester on Monday evening, there have been terrorist attacks in the Philippines.

With regard to Manchester, where we do have a parish, Bishop Damien Mead has issued this statement.

But, lest we forget, Bishop John-Benedict in the Philippines has written this:
Dear Friends,

I'm sure if you've been watching the news, you will know that Mindanao, one of the Philippine Islands has been placed under martial law by President Duterte due to increasing terrorist attacks from Islamist Radicals. Be clear, this is not Muslim attacks, but radical, extremist terrorists. A hospital was burned, a Catholic Church's priest and some parishioners were taken hostage among other atrocities.

There are five parishes in the Diocese of the Philippines on Mindanao. I have not heard from them but am assuming that they are OK at the moment. I will try to make contact tomorrow.

Please pray for us. I will keep you informed as I know more. All the parishes outside of Mindanao are safe, as am I.

Many of the people in Mindanao still have traumatic memories of martial law in the 70's and 80's. Pray that the horrors they experienced then are not repeated.

If you do not wish to be updated, please let me know and I will be sure that you are removed from my list. If you received this message more than once, it is because of the deplorable condition of my address book and I apologize.

Thank you for your prayers.

To those of you who will ask: No, I am not going to come home unless required by the governments. This is my home now.

The Rt. Reverend John Benedict McDonald, CGS
Bishop Ordinary, Diocese of the Philippines
Governor General, Congregation of the Good Samaritan

What should we be praying?

First, let's not limit our prayers to our own people or churches, or even for the Christian religion. I often see so many people focus their prayers and charity on those who fall within their own jurisdiction, or Protestant denomination. I see so many people restrict their prayers only for Christians.

Fortunately, I know many more who are much more generous with their prayers and money, and seek to give to all whether they are Christian or not.

Second, let's not limit our prayers to the victims of terrorism, vital and nature though it is to pray for the dead, the dying, the missing, the injured. and their friends and families. If anyone needs the most prayer, it is those who have been deceived into thinking that their act of terrorism will somehow make their world better. They have been deceived even as we are deceived. They have succumbed to this deceit through some inherent weakness. They have willingly allowed this Evil to take possession of their wills and desires. Yet, the horror is that no matter how much evil they commit, they are still beloved creations of God - they are still good! Given that they have an immortal soul, they will find themselves with an existence that they derive from God Himself, and yet find themselves in complete separation from Him. The Hell that they are choosing to manufacture for themselves is that of this tension between the good and evil tearing their very being apart in Eternity. They need our pity. They need our prayer. They need this Evil driven out of them, even as we ourselves need exorcism from that evil which blights our lives.

Third, let us never despair of the mercy of God. Terrorism wants a darkness to fall upon the souls of men. We know that the Light of the World is with us through the blessed incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Lives lost to this world are by no means lost to the hands of the Divine. Justice exists beyond the confines of this world. It is a justice which can and will call even the suicide bomber to account even if we cannot. Our prayers penetrate and transcend even our own utterances as they are borne by the angels in the power of the Holy Ghost. In our prayers, we stand in complete solidarity with all those who share our common humanity - a humanity that is redeemed and saved through Christ. The is the light that cannot be extinguished by acts of terrorism. We battle not men but powers that exist beyond our strength, but not beyond the strength of the Cross of Christ. Our weapon is prayer which comes from a faithful heart in humility and enveloped by the Truth. Let us learn to use it in charity for all who receive their humanity from God Himself.

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