Kargador at Dawn

Kargador at Dawn
Work in the Vineyard

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rivers of Fire...

Rivers of fire which pass before the Presence like stream of water mingled with fire…

“A quality of holiness, a quality of power,
A quality of fearfulness, a quality of sublimity,
A quality of trembling, a quality of shaking,
A quality of terror, a quality of consternation,
Is the quality of the Garment of Zoharariel YHWH, God of Israel,
Who comes crowned to the Throne of god,
And of no creature are the eyes able to behold it,
Nor the eyes of flesh and blood, and not the eyes of his servants
And as for him who does behold it, or sees or glimpses it,
Whirling gyrations grip the balls of his eyes,
And the balls of his eyes – send forth torches of fire,
And these enkindle him and these burn him…”
(A Kabbalah Poem)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

'Id-ul-Mubarak! A Blessed feastday to all Muslims as they celebrate the end of Ramadhan. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 21, 2006

PCID Message for the end of Ramadan...

MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN‘Id al-Fitr 1426 H. / 2006 A.D.

Dear Muslim friends,

1. I am happy to address this message to you for the first time as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and to extend the Council’s warmest greetings as you celebrate the conclusion of the fast of Ramadan. I wish you peace, tranquillity and joy in your hearts, your homes and your countries. These good wishes echo those which His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI expressed personally at the beginning of Ramadan to the diplomats accredited to the Holy See from countries with Muslim majorities, to those from other countries that are members and observers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and to representatives of Muslim communities in Italy.

2. It is good to be able to share this significant moment with you in the context of our ongoing dialogue. The particular circumstances that we have recently experienced together demonstrate clearly that, however arduous the path of authentic dialogue may be at times, it is more necessary than ever.

3. The month of Ramadan which you have just completed has also undoubtedly been a time of prayer and reflection on the difficult situations of today’s world. While contemplating and thanking God for all that is good, it is impossible not to take note of the serious problems which affect our times: injustice, poverty, tensions and conflicts between countries as well as within them. Violence and terrorism are a particularly painful scourge. So many human lives destroyed, so many women widowed, so many children who have lost a parent, so many children orphaned … So many wounded, physically and spiritually… So much, which has taken years of sacrifice and toil to build, destroyed in a few minutes!

4. As Christian and Muslim believers, are we not the first to be called to offer our specific contribution to resolve this serious situation and these complex problems? Without doubt, the credibility of religions and also the credibility of our religious leaders and all believers is at stake. If we do not play our part as believers, many will question the usefulness of religion and the integrity of all men and women who bow down before God.
Our two religions give great importance to love, compassion and solidarity. In this context, I wish to share with you the message of the first Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), which echoes the most characteristic ‘definition’ of God in Christian Sacred Scriptures, “God is love” (1 Jn 4: 8). Genuine love for God is inseparable from love for others: “Anyone who says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, is a liar, since a man who does not love the brother he can see cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 Jn 4: 20). In recalling this point, the Encyclical underlines the importance of fraternal charity in the Church’s mission: love, to be credible, must be effective. It must come to the aid of everyone, beginning with the most needy. True love must be of service to all the needs of daily life; it must also seek just and peaceful solutions to the serious problems which afflict our world.

5. Believers who are engaged in helping people in need or seeking solutions to these problems, do so above all through their love for God, ‘for the face of God’. Psalm 27 (26) says: ‘I seek your face, O Lord, hide not your face from me …’(vv. 8b-9a). The month of fasting which you have just completed has not only brought you to give more attention to prayer, it has also rendered you more sensitive to the needs of others, above all to the hungry, fostering an even greater generosity towards those in distress.

6. Everyday worries together with the more serious problems faced by the world call for our attention and our action. Let us ask God in prayer to help us confront them with courage and determination. In those places where we can work together, let us not labour separately. The world has need, and so do we, of Christians and Muslims who respect and value each other and bear witness to their mutual love and co-operation to the glory of God and the good of all humanity.

7. With sentiments of sincere friendship I greet you and entrust to you my thoughts for your consideration. I beseech Almighty God that they will contribute to the promotion everywhere of the relations of greater understanding and co-operation that have arisen between Christians and Muslims, and thus offer a significant contribution to the re-establishment and strengthening of peace both within nations and between peoples, in accordance with the profound desires of all believers and all men and women of goodwill.

Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata

Paul Cardinal Poupard

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Night of Power...

The 27th night of the month of Ramadhan is celebrated as the "Night of Power" - the night the Holy Qur'an is revealed.
As Muslims all over the world celebrate the "night of power" with light, I invite everyone to PRAY with our Muslim bothers & sisters on the night of power on the night of the 19th of October 2006.

Pray for peace and well being!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace dwell in your hearts & within your walls!
Because of my relatives and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you"!
Because of the house of the Lord, our God, I will pray for your good & prosperity.
(Inspired by Psalm 122)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Approaching Religious Plurality...

In their encounters with neighbours of other religious traditions, many Christians have come to experience the meaning of a "common humanity" before God. This experience is rooted in the biblical affirmation that God is the creator and sustainer of all creation. "The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it" (Ps.24.1).

God called the people of Israel to be witnesses among the nations while, at the same time, affirming that God is the God of all nations (Ex.19: 5-6). The eschatological visions in the Bible anticipate all nations coming together and the creation being restored to the fullness that God intends for all. This conviction is reflected in the affirmation that God is not without witness among any people or at any time (Acts 14.17).

When relating to people of other faiths, Christians must be aware of the ambiguities of religious expressions. While religious traditions reflect wisdom, love, compassion, and saintly lives, they are not immune to folly, wickedness and sin. Religious traditions and institutions sometimes support, or function as, systems of oppression and exclusion. Any adequate assessment of religious traditions must deal with their failure to live in accordance with their highest ideals. Christians are particularly aware that history testifies that our own religious tradition has sometimes been used to distort the very meaning of the gospel we are called to proclaim.

As witnesses, we approach interreligious relations and dialogue in commitment to our faith. At the heart of Christian belief is faith in the triune God. We affirm that God, the Father, is creator and sustainer of all creation. We hold the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the centre of God's redeeming work for us and for the world. The Holy Spirit confirms us in this faith, renewing our lives and leading us into all truth.

We are convinced that we have been called to witness in the world to God's healing and reconciling work in Christ. We do this humbly acknowledging that we are not fully aware of the ways in which God's redeeming work will be brought to its completion. We now see only dimly, as in a mirror, for we now know only in part and do not have the full knowledge of what God has in store (cf. 1 Cor. 13.12-13). (Part 1 of the WCC Declaration on Interreligious Dialogue)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dhikr for the 28th week in ordinary time (B)...

Text: “As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10: 17)

Meditation: We often ask what we must do to inherit eternal life… but like the young man in the gospel narrative, we, too, are NOT ready to embrace the radical imperative of the Gospel.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Remembrance of God in good work...

Lesson 4: Dhikr as Remembrance of God in GOOD WORK

Remembrance of God is the foundation of good deeds. Dhikr is a form of Sadaqa (generous charity). Sadaqa is the generous sharing of one’s life and property.

Dhikr leads to being charitable in all the senses.
  • To become charitable and generous in our knowing and eeing…
  • To become charitable and generous in our hearing and in our utterances...
  • To becoming charitable and generous in our feeling and loving…
  • To becoming charitable and generous in our reaching out to our neighbors…

Sunday, October 08, 2006

St.Francis' Spirituality...

St. Francis of Assisi
(Feast: October 4th of each year)

Last October 4th, I wanted to post something in the Badaliyya web page on St. Francis. In the early postings, we have taken note that St. Francis occupies a special niche in the Muslim-Christian dialogue movement, particularly among the circles of Badals. No doubt, St. Francis remains a Badal (ransom) par excellence.

I am posting today, a reflection on the spirituality of St. Francis…

The core of St. Francis’ spirituality is “being passionately in love with God who is LOVE. His spiritual tradition is built on this principle of a love relationship between God and humanity and between God and the entire creation. God is the author of all creation, God is present in all God’s creations.

St. Francis, likewise, taught his disciples to praise God in all creatures by means of all creatures. Saint Francis wrote the Canticle of Brother Sun for his fellow brothers to recite daily. This simple, joyful poem entreats all to revere the whole creation as brother and sister, since God made them and find them to be good. It praises God for the beauty, virtue, and utility expressed in the creation of Nature.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Huwa - He/She... remembering his/her name. Posted by Picasa

Frequency of Dhikr (the Remembrance of God)...

Lesson 3: Frequency of Dhikr

Dhikr (the remembrance of God) is the life of the heart, that is, Dhikr is as necessary for the heart as water for the fish. Dhikr induces love for God. He/she who seeks access to the love of God should do dhikr profusely. Just as reading and repetition is the door of knowledge, so dhikr of God is the gateway to His love.

Dhikr involves muraqaba or meditation, through which one reaches the state of ihsan or well being, wherein a person worships God as if he/she is actually seeing Him. By virtue of dhikr, the person doing dhikr is blessed, as also the person near to him.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Spending the month of Ramadhan in prayer and Qur'anic Reading... Posted by Picasa