Kargador at Dawn

Kargador at Dawn
Work in the Vineyard

Friday, July 29, 2016

Badal: Blessed Charles de Foucauld

Badal: Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916)

·      Birth: September 15, 1858     

·      Death:  December 1, 1916.  He lived for 58 years

·      Personality:  He was Proud, Aesthete, Temperamental, Pleasure-Loving, Hardheaded, Impetuous and Self-Centered.   But He was also Sensitive, Generous, Kind, Honest, and Single-minded.

·      Career:  He was A French Military Officer, Explorer, Monk, Porter at Nazareth, Priest and a Little Brother to the Tuaregs.

1.     He began as an agnostic.  In his unbelief and as a colonial soldier and Officer to Africa, He became “captive” of the black continent and fascinated by Islam.  He became truly present in the continent – explored it and learned its peoples and languages.

2.     He came back to his Catholic Faith through Islam.  It was a powerful experience of conversion.  He lived in utter simplicity, became truly poor and lived a monastic life.  He went back to the East, the Holy Land and became a Porter at Nazareth.

3.     He discovered FRATERNITY/FELLOWSHIP as the essence of Jesus’ Caritas.

4.     From the Holy Land, He went back to Africa … to be a “little” brotheramong the Tuaregs… and spent a monastic life almost like a hermit in the desert… in prayer and “welcome” to the pilgrims.

5.     Killed in his hut…

6.     Beatified – December 16, 2005 in Rome, Italy

At Tamanrasset in the southern Algerian desert Fr. De Foucauld realized that he needed to know and understand the Touareg people in order to truly live with them. In fact he wanted to assimilate himself into their way of life, in a sense to “become Touareg”. Not only did he allow himself to eat what those to whom he dedicated his life ate but he learned their language as intimately as they knew it, as well as their history, traditions, folklore, poetry and beliefs. ”To make oneself understand is the beginning of everything, in order to do something good”, he wrote. “It isn’t enough to pray for the salvation of others, nor even to lovingly give oneself to them, but to offer oneself body and soul for their souls”. 
“This is how Fr. De Foucauld saw the sacrifice of Jesus at Golgotha; Christ so loved humanity that he offered himself as a voluntary victim for the expiation (Badal) of the sin of the world. “There is no greater proof of love than to give one’s life for those we love”, He told the apostles at the Last Supper. Substituting (Badal) himself for humanity, past, present and future, He had reconciled them to God for eternity. Yet the Passion of Christ, the mystery of the economy of Salvation, consumed and carried out once and for all, will last until the end of human history. Thus, if we truly love, only one way offers itself to us: to participate in His redemptive work and accept the sacrifice of ourselves”.

“Brother Charles’ impeccable logic brought him to this conclusion before which all human reason either resists or gives way; Before God, Christians must substitute themselves for others and take the burden of their sin or their blindness onto their own shoulders in order to participate in the liberation of captive souls...”

Brother Charles’ writings are filled with the theology of his time and yet his message remains profoundly revolutionary. By choosing to live as he did he defined and witnessed to a new attitude for Christians in the world. He defined lay Christians as apostles of Christ and demonstrated how they were to be shining witnesses to the Gospel message. He was a pioneer who planted the seeds for a transformation of monastic life as well as lay participation, by remaining paradoxically entirely faithful to the tradition and the Gospel message.

It is clear that Brother Charles’ life and witness will challenge those who enter into the Badaliyya prayer, and in creating this prayer in 1934 Louis Massignon was presenting a way to rise to that challenge. Our time and our world is both radically different and yet sadly the same. May these reflections serve to aid our prayer together and help us to open our hearts and minds to truly understand those of other faiths, traditions and cultures. May we be guided in planting our own seeds of hope in the world.
Bapa Jun Mercado, OMI
Divine Mercy Spiritual Center
July 28, 2016
Next Session: Badal - St. Francis of Assisi

Date: 29th August 2016 from 3 pm to 4:30 at the Divine Mercy Spiritual Centre (Tamontaka, DOS)

High Price Paid by Fr. Hamel

What makes the gruesome killing of Father Jacques Hamel all the more frightening is the impossibility of preventing such crimes. An elderly priest saying morning Mass for a small weekday congregation could hardly be more vulnerable. His quiet Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray would never stand out as high risk. After previous outrages by terrorists claiming allegiance to Islamic State (IS) such as the attack in Nice earlier this month, French security measures were subject to minute scrutiny by politicians and the media, and by the security agencies themselves, to pinpoint mistakes and learn lessons. In this case, however, that is frustratingly hard to do. Although at least one of Father Hamel’s assassins was apparently known to the French security services, they must have hundreds of such suspects on their books, and it must be nigh impossible to watch them all effectively round the clock.

So it seems probable this 84-year-old curate was chosen by IS precisely for his vulnerability. Catholics have a particular sensitivity for those who suffer innocent death. That Father Hamel would have died defenceless within sight of a crucifix makes his murder all the more poignant and painful to contemplate. He paid the highest price that his vocation demands. Yet the thought of having to say Mass behind locked doors is repugnant. Most priests will prefer to face the risk.

Is there more they can do? Faced with atrocities of this kind, the usual response by Church leaders is to call for more dialogue. Yet the one thing that is sure about these so-called soldiers of so-called Islamic State is that they are not interested in, nor capable of,

The joint report by two parliamentary select committees into the collapse of the BHS retail chain could hardly have been more devastating. It was “the culmination of a sorry litany of failures of corporate governance and greed” – a judgement which neatly identifies both the systemic and the moral factors involved. Sir Philip Green, knighted in 2006 for his services to the retail industry, is accused of draining the financial lifeblood out of the company for his and his family’s personal enrichment, and then walking away leaving a deficit of more than £500 million in the company pension fund.

Yet it is not clear Sir Philip broke any rules, though his financial arrangements were complex. He is now coming under pressure to make good the pension deficit out of his personal fortune, which is considerably greater than the sum required and by which he supports an ostentatious lifestyle. Among the pressures on him is the threat to remove his knighthood, though so far his general attitude is defiant. It appears that any other business executive would be free, as the law stands, to do as he has done.

This highlights one of the more unexpected features of Theresa May’s package of policies that she launched prior to becoming Prime Minister and repeated since – her commitment to corporate governance reform. While most personal incomes in the United Kingdom have stagnated over the last ten years, the average income of company directors has rocketed. Clearly any kind of dialogue. Nevertheless dialogue, including building relationships across cultural boundaries, has a substantial role to play. Commentators on French community relations, including Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, have identified ignorance on both sides as a key factor that needs to be addressed.

A young Muslim, ignorant of his own faith and prey to radicalisation, may come to believe that Catholics are his sworn enemy. He may also be surrounded by other Muslims, less fanatical than he, who also have erroneous beliefs about Catholicism – that it has not changed since the medieval Crusades, for instance. They may know nothing about current Church teaching urging Catholics to respect members of other faiths, and to work together on shared projects for the common good. In such a climate, anti-Catholic fanaticism would not stand out as much as it should. It could go unchallenged. A person displaying it is unlikely to be reported to the authorities by those amongst whom he lives. Dialogue is about replacing false perceptions with true ones, and emphasising what is held in common. Effective communication with Muslims of goodwill may limit the impact of extremists.

The French Government has a large stake in improving community relations, and knows that the jihadists’ tactics are aimed at driving a wedge between sections of French society. The increasing popularity of Marine Le Pen’s Front National is an Islamist success story. Hence a political programme aimed at promoting national unity, preventing radicalisation and encouraging moderate Muslim leadership is all the more imperative. Ambivalence is not enough. 

(Source: The Tablet July 28)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Badal: St. Francis of Assisi

Badal:  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 lass 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.     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.

“A person knows as much as he/she 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 (Pax et Bonun).  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 and owing to his sympathy, tolerance and respect and love for peace.  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. 


Bapa Eliseo “Jun” Mercado, OMI
Badaliyya – Philippines

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

Short Reflection for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) - Our Father Sunday

Readings: Genesis 18: 26-32; Colossians 2: 12-14; Luke 11: 1-13

Selected Passage:  "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11: 9-10)

Meditation:  We need to hold on to our belief that our God is a Merciful Father!  And we do not tire praying, asking, seeking and knocking… ‘Everyone who asks, receives; the one who seeks, finds, and the one who knocks, the door will be opened’! Cf. www.badaliyya.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

Short Reflection for the 16th Sunday of the Ordinary Time (C)

Readings:  Genesis 18: 1-10; Colossians 1: 24-28; Luke 10: 38-42

Gospel Passage:  “There is need only for one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10: 41)

Meditation:  Like Martha, we are, often, burdened with so many worries and we forget what is very important.  Often this means simply to accompany someone and listen with compassion and love. We are anxious about many things: what are we to eat; what are we to wear; and what are we to do? Mary has shown us the way, that is, being in communion with the Lord and listening to him. www.badaliyya.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C): The Good Samaritan

Short Reflection for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C): the Good Samaritan

Readings:  Deuteronomy 30: 10-14; Colossians 1: 15-20; Luke 10: 25-37 

"And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10: 29)

Selected Passages: "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.”

“But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.” (Luke 10: 30-34)

Meditation: The parable of the Good Samaritan challenges us to “REVISE” our understanding of neighbor. The person in need is a neighbor to us. And people who need us most are our special neighbor. And beware that we do not pass by on the opposite side when we see a neighbor in need.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Developing Christian Spirituality in the Muslim Context...

Badaliya - Philippines is happy to announce the successful re-launch of the Badaliyya Prayer Session at The Divine Mercy Spiritual Center, yesterday, July 1st, 2016.
The participants came mainly from the four communities of the Marian Hills: The Oblates of Notre Dame, the Marist Brothers Novitiate, the OMI Novitiate and the OMI Postulancy. We also highly appreciate the presence and active participation of Frs. Phil Estrella, OMI and Gene Gilos, OMI of the the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine in Binuligan, Kidapawan, Cotabato.
There were about 30 participants in the first session on developing Christian Spirituality in a Muslim Context. The first session was devoted to the introduction of the Badaliyya Movement and on the concept of Badal.
Conflicting schedules, make us do some adjustments in our continuing Badaliyya Prayer Session. The next session will be held on July 28th (Thursday) at the Divine Mercy Spiritual Center (Tamontaka) from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm followed by a simple snack.
The 30 or so participants may bring their friends to the session... Badaliyya Prayer session is highly recommended for ALL who live and work in a MUslim Context. 
Pax et Bonum!
Jun Mercado, OMI

Friday, July 01, 2016

Mercy without WORKS is DEAD!

The Holy Father reflected during his address on works of mercy, drawing inspiration from today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew 25:31.
“In fact, it is good never to forget that mercy is not an abstract word, but a style of life. It is one thing to speak of mercy and another to live mercy. Paraphrasing the words of Saint James the Apostle, (cf. 2:14-17), we can say: mercy without works is dead in itself. It is in fact thus!”
What renders mercy alive, he explained, is its constant dynamism in going to meet the needs and necessities of others.  “Mercy has eyes to see, ears to listen, hands to resolve,” he said.
The Pope lamented that so often, so many are unaware of the suffering and needs of others, or remain completely indifferent.
“Sometimes we pass before dramatic situations of poverty and it seems that they do not touch us; everything continues as if there were nothing, in an indifference that in the end renders us hypocrites and, without realizing it, it results in a form of spiritual lethargy, which renders our mind insensitive and our life sterile.”
Roll up Sleeves
“One who has experienced the Father’s mercy in his own life cannot remain insensitive in face of the needs of brothers,” Francis said, noting Jesus’ teachings do not allow for escapes, but call for helping those who hunger and thirst, the naked, the stranger, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt25:35-36),
(Source: Zenit 7/1/16)