Between Mercy and Misery

Between Mercy and Misery

By Fr. Rifat Bader/ CCSM director

Twenty years ago, I started writing articles in Al Rai daily. Prior to that, I was a writer in the magazine "Al Kalema" and Al Quds daily newspaper due to the fact that I was pursuing my studies in Beit Jala, Palestine. What made me write articles in Al Rai daily is a comment which was written on the shirt of an Israeli soldier which reads "Born to Kill". That was the opportune moment to write my first article by commenting on and criticizing violations of human dignity not merely by considering the victim but rather by considering the murderer who deforms the human creature of God through brutal acts.

After ten years, I wrote an article in Al Rai daily titled, "Are Humans Born to be Killers?" I referred in this article to the brutal ways which humans "improvise" in murdering others, that at the time involved using "drill" machines to damage heads of innocent people.

Today I look back reviewing hundreds of articles, lectures and "Sunday" homilies as well as radio and television interviews. I also view the human family which has made scientific and technical achievements, including the fields of telecommunications and transportation, whereby direct transport has been availed through means of networking communications and sometimes through social “infighting”. Yet, humans have not made moral progress as has been the case in the field of science, whereby killing has become a daily issue--not merely confined to counties that have local wars or wars with others on their territories or outside their borders--with reports relevant to brutal killings becoming an expression of uncontrolled brutality that is sometimes committed in the name of morality, of religion and even in the name of the Almighty God.

As I look back, I go ahead and read after two decades a new Apostolic Letter released a few days ago by Pope Francis titled, "Misericordia et Misera”. This letter emerged as a coronation of the Year of Mercy which has been abounded with activities at the local and international levels, and involved numerous issues relevant to the forcibly displaced and the refugees.

There is definitely misery in the world of today. The most outstanding phenomenon of this is neither poverty nor illiteracy, but demolishing human culture which calls on humans to accept their brethren.The issues added to this phenomenon, in the current century and in the third millennium, involve adopting innovative methods in killing, torturing and disseminating such practices on social networking sites. On the other hand, "mercy” does exist as well, since there are people and institutions whose utmost endeavour is to help their brethren who are mostly in need and who are going though very painful times. The past years have witnessed an upsurge in acts of violence and forcible displacement of people on the one hand, and an increase in voluntary acts that involved giving aid to the needy on the other which instilled a culture of voluntary work, solidarity and mercy.

After two decades of writing in this invaluable newspaper, I convey my greetings to all its editors-in-chief. I also convey good wishes to all those who had read my articles and expressed appreciation, or other who criticized them and failed to accept the view of others. I convey my greetings to everybody. We have to always shoulder the responsibility of alleviating the miseries wherever they are, and to promote the culture of mercy wherever we can.

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