Religion Today has an amazing post online, quoting a pastor from Syria who expresses why he stays amidst the threat of violence:
I weep for my country! I am so sad and speechless…
They advise me to leave my country … to emigrate. I respond saying:
- I’m staying … for the church of Jesus … that the message of Jesus may remain a light guiding those who are lost and afraid.
- I’m staying … because the harvest is plentiful … and the suffering is huge … a deep wound, a sense of despair.
- I’m staying … to follow in the footsteps of my Master who went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil.
- I’m staying … because I’m busy in the ministry of saving souls (or can someone like me run. … Lord give me strength).
When I read this pastor’s comments, I’m struck by how many of us might say the same things about the challenges of practicing our faith today, even in the United States. We face no threat of violence that could any way help us to emotionally relate to the plight of Christians in Syria, yet many of those “I’m staying” quotes above could be uttered from the lips of American Catholics.
Visit Religion Today for the rest of the article, including this pastor’s poignant prayer.
A question for you: Did your parish priest mention the crisis in Syria in yesterday’s homily? Have you been keeping abreast of the situation?