So yesterday the former president, Barack Hussein Obama, who is just -- this is pathetic. Barack Obama, wherever he goes, is trying to claim credit for all of the good that is happening, primarily in the U. But wherever it is, Obama is asking people imitating Obama"I want you to remember where it started and who to thank.
Suddenly it seemed that Syria was all over the headlines; wherever I went everybody was concerned about Syria. Here in America Syria was being discussed because President Obama had yet to decide whether to intervene militarily, and it was being discussed because two Jesuit leaders, Pope Francis and Adolfo Nicolas, were making international calls for prayer and assistance.
I remember especially all the questions posed to me, as I if were a political analyst… What should be done?
Should troops be sent to intervene? How can the violence end? Everyone, it seemed, wanted my opinion. In my confusion I found myself replying not with policy analysis, but with another question: What was on my heart as I asked my own question was this: Normal people, everyday people.
And the questions that spin through my mind are about how to end the suffering of these innocent people, people who otherwise become just numbers — ever increasing numbers. I was afraid it would not stop without intervention. Sadly, it seems that my fears were well founded.
After all the discussion in the headlines and in conversations, after the waves of condemnations grew calm, still there has been no solution. And now the conflict in Syria seems to have reached a point of no return.
Now the conflict has become a question of survival, where none of the many sides are willing to concede anything because to them My living icon step back means a step closer to losing. Even writing such words feels like giving in to the cynicism of the situation. It is cynical to speak about winning and losing while the innocent people, the ones who were forced to quit their homes under the unmerciful fire, the ones who are the actual biggest losers, are ignored.
It seems like a small response to cynicism, yes. But, yes, again it is time for prayerif for no other reason than because through it we can practice believing that order can be brought to chaos; that there can be a better-than-before.
Again it is time for prayer. Only this time, I thought to myself, to overcome such cynicism I must pray with people, with faces — faces that have become the icons of the ones who have truly lost. It was the Washington Post who provided me, at just that time, 18 such icons to pray with. These icons are not ancient and did not take months to draw.
No, these modern icons are photographs of real people, people I hope are still alive, people who have names and stories to tell, stories of faith and hope and love — at least these are the stories I see as I look at these photos like icons.
It is not always easy for me to see faith and hope and love in these living icons — sometimes I just see suffering.
But the virtues are there, too, if I can see clearly. Which I why I would like to share with you three keys, three ways Mouneer and Khalid and Baraa have reminded me of what it is the cardinal virtues ask me to believe: The majority of Syrian refugees are, like the majority of Syrians, Muslims.
It is these Muslims who have taught me how not to lose faith in God. God is merciful, this is what Muslims believe, and since many have been abandoned without any support, they direct their cries to the one whose heart feels their suffering, you, God.
They know that, even if the world forsakes them, still, God, you will help them. This I see in Mouneer. I am Syrian, and I know my people well. Which is why I notice that in the stories we tell there is an optimism, a longing for a better future.
I see such hope in all those who wait for the moment they will be back home again, when they can rebuild, restore, and remember not only their exile, but also that God redeemed and protected them e.
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This I see in Khalid. The forgotten often feel not only that nobody is listening to them, but also that everyone support the others, that everyone is an opponent.
It is real this ferocity, but I am not afraid of it. Because simply it is not authentic.© living icon. all rights reserved.
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Parenting Living Icons. November 5, 0. 26 views Like. Dislike. 0 0. At the Missions Institute conference, Speaking to Secular America, Dr. Philip Mamalakis, the Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care at Holy Cross Greek School of Theology, gave an inspiring and thought provoking talk on raising children in the Orthodox Christian faith.
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