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"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012
The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
.- Brother Jean Pierre Schumacher is one of two monks who escaped death in the massacre of Thibirine, Algeria in 1996. Since then, he has not ceased praying for the conversion of the Muslim extremists who killed seven members of his community.
The Trappist monk granted an interview to the Spanish weekly Alfa y Omega following the debut of the film “Of Gods and Men,” runner-up at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The film recounts the last three years of the French Trappist monks at Thibirine, who were kidnapped and beheaded by members of the Armed Islamic Group
Brother Schumacher, who today lives at a Trappist monastery in Morocco, escaped death because the kidnappers did not see him.
The monk was the monastery's porter at the main entrance when nearly 20 armed men broke into the building. The men entered through a different door, grabbed the security guard and forced him to guide them to the brothers’ cells.”
The monks of Thibirine were “a contemplative community,” Brother Schumacher recalled. “We did not have social lives. We worked in the fields and the garden.”
He also noted that they got along well with their Muslim neighbors. “We lived on the mountain and our relations with them were positive and very fraternal. We were like a family. The monastery was cloistered, but there was a janitor entertained the guests. We attended religious services and funerals, whatever the people wanted. We had very good relations with them,” he added.
“We had a small gardening association together with four parents who worked with us. Each one had a small plot and sold their crops. At the end of the year, we shared the sales. It was a beautiful way of living together as a family. We didn’t talk about religion much, but we had good relations, and it was a way for us to communicate with their families,” Brother Schumacher said.
Although he doubts his Muslim neighbors were fundamentalists, Brother Schumacher said the community was vulnerable because they were surrounded by Muslims on the mountain.
When the situation became dangerous because of the advance of extremist groups, the monks decided not to leave the monastery because their vocation was “to be with them and share their lives.”
The Trappist monk emphasized that Algeria had strong “relations between Christians and Muslims.” He noted that in the world today, if there is conflict in between cultures and religions, “it is because we don't know each other well enough. When we mutually know each other, we are like brothers,” he said.
Brother Schumacher said he prays that the world may “progress towards universal brotherhood, that despite the differences between religions, nationalities and cultures, we may learn to know each other and mutually help each other.”
“We must forgive. God calls us to love each other,” he continued, noting that the community’s prior, Father Christian, forgave his assassins.
“Do I want to be a martyr? Not at all. We are here to live with the people, not to be killed,” he added
Important Christian Literature
- "Cyberdesert" the Fathers on Prayer & the Christian Life
- "On Inmages" (Hilary of Poities John Damascene
- Abandonment to Divine Providence (Jean-Pierre de Caussade
- Ascent of Mount Carmel (John of the Cross)
- Augustine Baker (home page)
- Augustine Baker OSB "Sancta Sophia"
- Conferences of St John Cassian
- Confessions & Enchiridion (S> Augustine)
- Life of St Benedict (S. Gregory the Great)
- On St Symeon the New Theologian (i-pod)
- On the Gospel of St John and the "Epistle to the Hebrews (S. John Chrysostom)
- Paradise or Garden of the Holy Fathers vol. 1 (S. Athanasius)
- Paradise or Garden of the Holy Fathers vol.2. (S. Athanasius)
- Revelations of Divine Love (Julian of Norwich)
- Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of he Gospels, Sermons on the Gospels (S> Augustine)
- Spiritual Canticle of the Soul
- St Dionysius "Mystical Theology"
- St John of the Cross "The Dark Night of the Soul."
- The City of God (S. Augustine)
- The Cloud of Unknowing
- The Divine Names & Mystical Theology (S. Dionysius the Areopagite)
- The Inarnation (St Athanasius)
- The Life of St Teresa of Avila OCD
- The Practice of the Presence of God (Br Lawrence)
- The Rule of S. Benedict
- Works of Suplicius Severus, S. Vincent of Lerins, and S. John Cassia
Orthodox Monasteries Throughout The World
Benedictine Order -website
Orthodox Monasticism in Patristic and Monastic Studies
My Blog List
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