Kargador at Dawn

Kargador at Dawn
Work in the Vineyard

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Badal: St. Francis of Assisi

Badal: St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis remains the Model of Christian Witness in the world of Islam…The offer of St. Francis before the Sultan at Damietta – the “Test of Fire” and his “crucifixion” at Mt. Al-Verna are, today, read in the spirit of Badal (Ransom)…

Frs. Charles de Foucauld and Louis Massignon traveled “mystically” the path of Badal as inspired by St. Francis…

Francis of Assisi

1.     It is enough to utter his name and everyone knows who he is.  St. Francis was a man of God.  And because he was a man of God, he always lived what was essential.  So he was a simple, courteous and gentle to everyone, like God in his mercy.

2.     The Phenomenological Manifestations of our epoch…

·       Emptiness.  It is born of a feeling of impotence.  There is very little we can do to change our life, our community and society. Finally there is really nothing important…

·       Loneliness. It is an experience of lack of contact with nature and others in terms of friendship and gentleness. There is the lack of courage to commit oneself.

·       Fear.  It is the fruit of objective threats to life, to employment, to collective survival of humanity in general.

·       Anxiety. It has its origin in imagined fear, ignorance as to what one ought to do, in whom to trust, and what to expect.  When anxiety grips an entire society it means that the whole society feels threatened and senses its approaching end.

·       Aggressiveness without objectives.  It reveals a rupture with the norms of relationship without which a society cannot be built or defended.  What results is anonymity and the loss of the meaning of the self, that is, the worth and sacredness of human person.

From the above, Two consequences ensue… first is Emptiness and second is Loss. It is the loss of language of everyday communication, the loss of meaningful relationship and the lack of vital relationship with nature and habitat.

3.     St. Francis and the New Ethos…  It is a new way of life with many and varied relationship to nature, to others, to religion and to God.  In St. Francis, it was through Pathos – Sympathy and Eros – fraternal communication and tenderness.  Manifestations are:
·       His Innocence
·       His enthusiasm for nature
·       His gentleness to all beings
·       His capacity for compassion with the poor and “confraternization” with all elements and even death itself.

4.     To Be Saint … in the case of Francis…
·       To be Saint, it is necessary to be human.
·       To be human, it is necessary to be sensitive and gentle.

“Man knows as much as he does.” Francis’s gentleness was demonstrated, especially in his human relationship.  He broke the rigidity of the feudal hierarchy and called all persons as brothers and sisters.  He himself was called “little brother” (fratello). He wanted to unite great and small, to treat the wise and simple with brotherly affection, to bind with tie of love those who were held at a distance.  He treated everyone with outmost courtesy, even Saracens, Infidels and thieves.

5.     Peace…  One of the global values lived by Francis was Peace.

·       The World is the “regio dissimilitudinis” and behind these dissimilarities are camouflaged injustices and violence.
·       Every time Francis began his preaching, he invoked Peace… saying: “the Lord gives you peace.”  It is Peace and all good.  His group carries out a true mission of peace – “Legatio Pacis”.
·       The peace that is proclaimed in word ought always to be present in the heart.  Let no one be provoked by us to anger or scandal, but rather let all through your gentleness, be led to Peace, Tranquility and agreement.  “BE KINDER WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS.”

6.     The Role of Mediation…  During the Crusades, Francis had a profound impact on the Sultan. Francis gave a vote of confidence to the liberating capacity of kindness, gentleness, patience and understanding.  Peace in his own PERSON manifested in his words, poetry and song. 

Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1. Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2. Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3. Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Solemnity of Christ the King

Short Reflection on the Solemnity of Christ the King (A)

Readings: Ezekiel 14: 11-12; 15-17; 1 Corinthians 15: 20-26; Matthew 25: 31-46

Gospel Passage: “Lord, when did we see you hungry and fee you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you stranger and welcome you or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Matthew 25: 37-40)

Meditation: In the end, the real test of discipleship is ‘believing and doing’, that is, caring for and ministering to people in need, especially the least of our brothers and sisters. The real fellowship at the table of the Lord is when we are able to break bread with the poor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dhikr on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Readings: Proverbs 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31; 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6; Matthew 25: 14-30

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30)

Selected Passage: “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 25: 29)

Meditation: Every gift we receive from God has corresponding responsibility. It must bear fruit in plenty so that others may also share in the blessing.  Each one receives gives according to the measure one is capable… We become responsible and accountable for that gift else we become half-hearted servants.  Pope Francis reminds us that “only one whose gaze is fixed on that which is truly essential can renew his yes to the gift received.”


Dhikr is an Arabic word which means REMEMBRANCE.
1st step: Write the text in your heart.
2nd step: Let the text remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the text silently as often as possible...
3rd step:  Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the text in your life.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

November 9: The Feast of St. John Lateran

Note: This year, in the place of the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, we celebrate the feast of the Dedication of Lateran Basilica in Rome, the cathedral of Rome, originally dedicated to the Savior, but then to St. John the Baptist.

Readings: Ezekiel 43: 1-2. 4-7; 1 Corinthians 3: 9-13; John 2: 13-22

Selected Gospel Passage: “He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, "Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace." (John 2: 15-16)

Meditation: The community of believers – the assembly of two or more in the name of Jesus- is the true living house of the Father. Have we, too, transformed God’s Church into a marketplace?  Beware…!



Dhikr is an Arabic word which means REMEMBRANCE.
1st step: Write the text in your heart.
2nd step: Let the text remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the text silently as often as possible...
3rd step:  Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the text in your life.