Watani International

God’s voice rings clear


The horrifying incident of the martyrdom of Father Arsanius Wadid, priest of the church of the Holy 9irgin and St 3aul the Apostle in .armouz, Alexandria, at the hands of a lost soul who stabbed him to death on April, has shaken us all. The stabber now stands before Mustice. I wrote then on the incident, expressing my feelings towards the Egyptian nation and Church, and quoting the words of condolence extended by Egypt s leadership and public, Muslims and Christians. Their words expressed genuine sympathy and shocked outrage at the reoccurren­ce of such a crime now that a climate of conciliati­on, modernisat­ion and citizenshi­p has prevailed for close to a decade.

Faced with the pain and wrath of so many Copts, and the reMection and denounceme­nt of the crime by so many Muslims, I found myself contemplat­ing the right thing to do. Do I pour oil on the fire of pain and anger Or do I attempt to absorb the raging emotions through holding the heinous crime within its actual limits, and shedding light on how to comprehend God s will in everything that happens in our lives. This would help curb the impulse by some to counter violence with violence and hatred with hatred, implicatin­g thus the nation in pointless, tragic conflict that can only bring waste and ruin.

I still had to offer a good answer to those who asked Are we back to the time of terrorism Have we lost our sense of security How do we cope with the fear, pain and loss efore I venture on answers to these questions, let me stress that I am fully confident that Mustice will be achieved.

I was spellbound, however, at a spiritual message I received on April from a dear friend who aptly sends me a daily spiritual message for which I am endlessly grateful. It is my innate feeling that these messages reflect a Divine care that constantly addresses my need in every situation it never ceases to awe me how apt and timely they are. They indisputab­ly convey the redeeming love of God that fulfils every need in all situations. /et me share with you the message I received on April, following the stabbing of Fr Arsanius

““ eloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. ut reMoice inasmuch as you participat­e in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overMoyed when His glory is revealed 3eter .

“The numerous and various forms of suffering dealt to us by this world are no longer for Christians nonunderst­andable or a source of debate. It is not acceptable for a Christian to ask why do I suffer all this pain , why does God allow my oppression and humiliatio­n , or why all the trials and distresses

“3ain is the lot of every human it is normal for everyone to suffer pain and sorrow. ut for Christians especially the suffering has become a means to express their love, compliance, faithfulne­ss, patience and hope in Christ through them they earn the heavenly kingdom. Christ s pain and death on the Cross, and His Resurrecti­on, are the answer to why God allows pain, illness, sorrow, and death

We will perceive pain and sorrow as meaningles­s and pointless, and will find no definition or explanatio­n to them, until we accept and welcome them as Christ the /ord did. Only then will we discover a new dimension of pain, and only then will we stop looking for an explanatio­n to it. Rather, we will find that our acceptance of pain in contentmen­t and peace is the wondrous means that leads us to grasp the sublime meaning of love. Then will we realise that there is no greater reward for the pain, sorrow, sickness, distress or inMustice that we undergo and tolerate, than the sense of transcendi­ng them. The pain and suffering correctly depict the world as it stands today those who tolerate them with thankfulne­ss and Moy triumph over the entire world.

I believe the message received from my friend is a timely one from the Heavenly Father Himself to answer an urgent need, calm our souls, and sooth our troubled senses. I pray for the /ord to bestow on us the wisdom to stand together during this hard time, to testify to our faith, and to defend our beloved nation.

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