Monthly Archives

November 1999

1999, Articles, Raiati

The Stupid and You / 28.11.1999

Most people are not evil, they are stupid. And stupidity is difficult to cure. However, we have to deal with them, and this needs a lot of patience because the man will remain stupid today and tomorrow. It is difficult to educate him, but it is important to communicate and live with it because your Lord could guide whoever he wants. Descend to his level in order to raise him little by little. He might be enlightened for a moment, so make use of this to give him his consciousness and take him with you towards understanding.

We have no doubt that love carries energy for guidance. Perhaps if he recognized that he is loved, his brain would grow. Do not put off a sparkle that appeared in his mind. Walk step by step perhaps this glance would become glances, however, expect a setback as the stupid loves isolation because he is afraid.

The stupid considers you stupid. Look beyond that because your purpose is to gain him for God. You find the ignorant in all social groups: you find him between the aged and the elder, between the greats of the world, between people in charge. The book of Ecclesiastes talked about that and said: “Woe to you, O land, whose king is a child” (10: 16). The problem is when you are wise, and the person above you is an ignorant. Pray to God so that he doesn’t send you a lot of stupidity.

You will walk for days alone and spend years surrounded by ignorant people, and you will be sad because you cannot do anything but wait for them to die. The problem is that if you were intelligent, your successor might be ignorant. In this case, your memory will be erased from the land of the living. And your experience might be to say with the book of Ecclesiastes: “I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun” (2: 18 – 19).

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament has a lot of sadness. However, we, who love Jesus, have only a small place and time for sadness. The truth is that your wisdom doesn’t vanish. Maybe someone you don’t know and have never seen, took from you the light and spread it. However, the scent must be smelled by someone and the light must shine. Do not get desperate from the number of the ignorant. Do not become disturbed because of them. “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life” (John 6: 27). The important thing is not for people to see this. This is preserved for you in heaven, and here, on earth, someone will carry on with the torch.

The world is not a rank always achieved by the intelligent. It is the mixture of those who know and those who don’t, of the people that have good intentions and bad ones, of the pure hearted and the impure ones, of people that love power wanting to shine and the humble people that surround them. And humanity will stay this way until God captures everyone in death.

Yes, it is sad that the world is not white as snow and shining as the sun. Darkness is more spread because “people loved darkness over light”. This shouldn’t lead you to despair, because you don’t work for someone but for your Lord that sees your humility in secret and declares you a bright man in the last day.

One of your condolences is that the stupid are better than the evil. The evil have the intelligence of demons and will follow their demons. Continue your journey alone in Christ’s brightness. Follow his face to reach the Father’s face in the last day where stupidity vanishes and God’s wisdom becomes in you and in all Saints.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “مع المسيح صلبتُ” –Raiati no48- 28.11.1999

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1999, Articles, Raiati

A Return to Parish Councils / 21.11.1999

An objector to this title might say: Your eminence, we would be exaggerating if we talked a lot about parish councils. My answer would be: Isn’t it an exaggeration to be worried by some villages with this story? I am starting a story now. A while ago, I was sitting with the faithful in a civilized village where a lot of people got educated in colleges. And I had assigned, days before, its parish council. An enlightened young man initiated towards me and criticized the incomplete representation, and objected saying that mixing opinions was not wide enough. He also reminded me that I should have been more precise in the issue.

I tried to clarify that this incompleteness comes from the law before coming from my administration or from my assistant that prepares the lists. What does the “agreement between the parish and shepherd” mean? Who would be the mouthpiece of the parish if the parish didn’t express through electing, i.e. through democratic referendum?

I suggested this process and a lot objected saying that it strengthens conflicts as the municipality elections in another village did. In addition to the difficulty of gathering people and electing and the name lists…etc. The question that results from the law is the following: Who are those that the bishop should take their opinions? Are they the heads of houses? Why the heads and not their children who might sometimes have more jealousy towards the church and a greater commitment? Moreover, are families the nucleus of the Church? And is this our teaching? Or it is that every individual is a member in the body of Christ without passing through his family? Do we surrender in front of the familial approach?

I confess that we need a lot of wisdom and slowing down in our selection. Although we are trying to do this, we never get a council that satisfies all the faithful. We must do mistakes in selecting people sometimes because we are not from the locality and we don’t live in it. Perhaps changing one third of the members every two years, as it was stated in the law before being edited, achieves a greater equilibrium and limits mistakes. I believe that nothing prevents us from sticking to the old law in managing this issue in the archdiocese without editing the text. Also nothing prevents the bishop from cancelling a council before the four years pass if he saw that this is better to calm feelings down and to ward off dangers.

There is no perfect law on this earth. Laws vary in their badness. But the beautiful thing is that people with pure hearts and that can criticize constructively can deal with the existing council with its incompleteness and weakness if it didn’t have real bad people. Perfect people are not from this world. We desire to have them, but they are a wish. The jealous and pure people are a support to the council and an enforcement for it at the same time; they are a power that puts a pressure on the council. A believer doesn’t quit from monitoring the responsible and from giving them advices and revealing their mistakes for us and encouraging them when they should. Church issues are given to all the faithful together. Changing doesn’t mean being ungrateful to someone. It is only a try to train people to work and strengthen them in the spirit of responsibility.

Therefore I hope that you accept the assigning that happens so that you don’t make me give a lot of my time to the issue of councils which is very tiring. Accept the assigning if it wasn’t a tragedy so that our selection would be more mature in the coming four years and cooperate in service and in giving new opinions through the spirit of creativity and sacrifice.

The important thing in all of this is to renew your minds and to focus on the essential thing which is helping the priest, enhancing his situation, serving the poor, spreading spiritual education, fighting the enemies of faith if they penetrated into you, investing in church property in a scientific way, having transparency in the accounts, writing reports, controlling the records and thinking about enhancing all facilities so that the service won’t be blamed as the apostle says.

Let us leave the spirit of complaining and nagging which is a lesion in our country and go to the spirit of cooperating to build the body of Christ and to reject familial conflicts. Do not mix political parties with Church issues. This partisan that differs from you in the policy of the nation might have good morals and be a lover of God. Church gathers the faithful in Christ even if they differed in earthly issues. The only law that unites us is the law of love.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “عودًا إلى مجلس الرعيّة” –Raiati 47-

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “عودًا إلى مجلس الرعيّة” –Raiati 47- 21.11.1999

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