Bells are ringing

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It’s wonderful to be woken up by the bells of Fatima first thing in the morning.  From the balcony of our hotel room, I could see the steeple of the Cathedral.  Every hour, the bell chimes the song of El … Continue reading

Forgiveness in Action – March Monthly Peace

The monthly Peace Challenge for the month of  March 2013 is about Marching Towards Forgiveness. 
Forgiveness is just a not a word for me.  I can only forgive through action.  I can think about it, I can meditate about, I can wish about it; none of these would work for me.  I can only show it.  And here is a great story about forgiveness. 
As John Paul II took the hand of his would-be-assassin, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness. 
One of the bullets that struck John Paul II remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal. 
 
By Brother Randall J. Meissen, LC
4/27/2011 JohnPaulMoments.com (johnpaulmoments.com) 
ROME, Italy (John Paul Moments) – On December 27, 1983, as John Paul II sat in a bare, whitewashed jail cell of Rome’s Rebibbia prison, he was unprepared for the question voiced by an unshaven prisoner to his side, “So why aren’t you dead?”  
Why aren’t you dead? 
Death had appeared all but certain to bystanders when three bullets fired by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca tore through the pope’s flesh on May 13, 1981, staining the pope’s white cassock with deathly scarlet. 
Ali Agca was a professional assassin, he had aimed at close range, and he had aimed well.  But somehow, the bullets missed lethal targets, one grazing the pope’s right elbow, and another deflecting off his left index finger before passing through his abdomen, a fraction of an inch from a major artery.  
By John Paul II’s assessment, “It was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path,” and permitted that “the dying Pope. stopped on the threshold of death.”  The assassination attempt had taken place on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and the pope had no doubt that his survival was due to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
In gratitude, the Pope gave one of the deadly bullets to the bishop in charge of the shrine at Fatima, Portugal.  To this day, that bullet remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary housed at that shrine. 
However, as John Paul II sat at the side of his would-be-assassin, Ali Agca expressed fears that this Lady of Fatima might come after him next.  The pope stated the contrary; he himself had come to forgive, not to harm.  But Ali Agca did not ask for forgiveness.  
Thus, as the pope took the hand of the gunman, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness.
 
Source: Catholic.Org