“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Nowadays the poor are often called,” says the Head of the Church, “socially unprotected people, and modern society, economy, politics regard them as a problem. Politicians often try to use or buy those people, so they could build their political success on their grief. Very often success of a society is measured, first of all, by the fact to which degree both the law and authorities defend the needs of poor people. But we, Christians, in a needy man must see not a problem but the Living God present among us – our Savior Jesus Christ Who Himself said about Himself: I am a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,” asks to ponder the Head of the Church.
“We, Christians,” emphasized the hierarch, “regard it as a duty to serve the poor, not because of some ideological, economic or other human motives. Our ministry to the neighbor, in particular, to the needy is a necessary part of the Divine Liturgy – our ministry to God. A true Christian can see God present in a needy person. A wise Christian can see that a stretched arm of a beggar is God’s hand of mercy, which is stretched towards us.”
There are moments in life when some believers are just so angry that the only person they feel safe talking to is God. And that may be a healthy response, new research suggests. A study exploring how prayer is used to cope with hostility found that talking to God appeared particularly effective when dealing with intense, lasting anger involving family members.
When a sense of anger seems overpowering, “prayer may be an effective, safe, and easily accessible way for adults to manage these negative emotions,” researchers from Northern Illinois University and Boston University reported in the Review of Religious Research.
Researchers in the Northern Illinois and Bosnia studies encouraged physicians and pastoral and secular counselors to be sensitive to religious and spiritual issues such as the role of prayer that may need to be addressed to promote healing.
And while scriptural authors may not have anticipated the often ill-considered, hateful and divisive nature of much of the commentary on social media today, research on the value of talking to God first during times of rage may also give new relevance to the advice in the well-known biblical proverb:
“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.”
The Catholic-Muslim Forum, established in 2008 by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (P.C.I.D.) and the Signatories of the “Open Letter” (A Common Word) to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian Leaders, held its Fourth Seminar in Berkeley (CA, USA), from 6th to 8th November 2017 on the theme, “Integral Human Development: Growing in Dignity. Catholic and Muslim perspectives.”
The Seminar, hosted by Zaytuna College, was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, Coordinator of the Muslim side of the Forum, and that of His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the P.C.I.D.
The theme was studied under three sub-themes, treated respectively from the Catholic and the Muslims viewpoints: 1) “What does it mean to be human?”; 2) “Integral human development”; and 3) “Obstacles and opportunities to integral human development.”