Beirut is our tear

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Beirut is our tear

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader

We again view with amazement the gravity of the traumatic events that might snowball into inflicting harm on individuals, groups, a city, or a country. What happened in Beirut is difficult to classify, as it is a "mysterious" explosion, according to a statement by Maronite Patriarch Bishara Boutros Ra'i. It is an explosion that claimed dozens of martyrs, thousands of wounded people, in addition to those missing whose families hope to hear the consoling news about their whereabouts.

At a time when this country suffers from successive crises--the most important of which is the recent stifling political and economic crises, in addition to the coronavirus crisis that perplexed the entire world--today we pray that the Almighty God would grant eternal rest unto the martyrs. We also pray for the healing of the wounded, the return of those missing as well as safety and security of the children who were dominated by fear and panic over the horrific explosion, which is considered one of the most massive explosions in history, resulting from the huge amount of explosive ammonium nitrate that ripped through Beirut and made it shake violently.

We, in Jordan, convey wishes to His Majesty King Abdullah II who cabled Lebanese President Michel Aoun and expressed solidarity of the Jordanian extended family with the Lebanese in this serious affliction. We also reiterate the statement issued by His Holiness Pope Francis who called for prayers for the victims and for having Lebanon surmount this painful ordeal. Likewise, we recall the statement issued by the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land who prayed for the stability and prosperity of Lebanon, and expressed their solidarity with all its citizens in these difficult times. As for Lebanon, at the time when Patriarch Rai called weeks ago for Lebanon's neutrality and distancing from regional and international conflicts which made international repercussions, the Patriarch appealed to the world, its institutions and humanitarian associations, to come to rescue Lebanon and Beirut specifically.

Whenever something happens to fraternal Lebanon, we reiterate what poet Mahmoud Darwish said, namely: “Beirut is our tear and Beirut is our castle.” We also reiterate what Pope John Paul II said that “Lebanon is more than a country. It is a message to the world." We also repeat the prayer that Pope Saint John Paul II had prayed one day for Lebanon, “O Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Lebanon, watch over this country and its people, help this country with Your motherly tenderness, so that we can be the worthy heirs of the saints of our land, and so that Lebanon would bloom again. This country is part of the holy places that the Lord loves, because He came to make a home for Himself and to remind us that we have to build the earthly city while our eyes are focused on the values of the Heavenly Kingdom.” Amen.

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