The Silent Genocide
During Armenian genocide, many Armenians we’re killed, while others fled the county. The countries that heard their cries welcomed them, Lebanon was one of them. Lebanon is a small country, never had many resources, but when Armenia cried, Lebanon did what it can to wipe away the tears. Growing up in Lebanon, one of the vivid images I often saw at the commemoration of ithe Armenian Genocide is an image of Armenian women hanging naked on the cross. Years later, the sound weeping has not been forgotten. It has not been forgotten because it was heard and people responded to that pain with a shelter.
“I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’” Matthew 25:35-36
No, this article isn’t particularly about the Armenian Genocide. It’s rather about The Silent Genocide we face today.
You see, there is a Lebanese proverb that says
“What the eye doesn’t witness will not make the heart ache.” Today, our society faces a major genocide that many of us do not account for, ABORTION. Abortion is the genocide we face today. Unlike the case of the Armenians the cry of the unborn cannot be heard. The weeping cannot be seen. There are no images of crucified/aborted individuals sacrificed on the alter of martyrdom.
Unlike the case above, destruction isn’t coming from a stranger, but rather a mother. She who across the world is regarded as the highest form of love possible, is the cause of displacement. Those children that are being murdered have no other choice. There is no where to flee, nor is there a place of refuge where they can settle. Why should their genocide be any different from the mass genocides of the past? Why do should it continue to be overlook? Well, it’s easy to ignore what we don’t see or hear. How can we hear the cries of those killed in a dark alley?
Yes, I know your probably thinking, “Rita what do you know about the difficulties that these women face? How dare you sit here judging them?” You’re right, I don’t know their difficulties, but I do know is that killing is not the way to solve problems. We have seen it in history over and over again, people assassinate others to get rid of the problem. They want that problem to go away rather than find other solutions. In today’s world, the child is the problem.
As for judging, I pray that this is never the case. God’s mercy and forgiveness changed my life. He did not judge me, I pray that I do not judge either. However, an action that it’s erroneous does not change its status. It remains wrong. Sacrificing others has and always been wrong through different cultures.
However, let’s say these women do not have an abortion, the problem has not be solved. These women are still living in poverty. They are still struggling to get by. If not abortion then what is the solution? Many people say why don’t people adopt these children. That is a good solution, but with the amount of abortions done today it seem very unrealistic. But what if there is another solution? What if instead of funding the abortion industry that money is used to fix our welfare system? What if instead of having three months of maternity leave, the women can have a year like other countries do? Then maybe these women would not feel like they don’t have a choice. If we as a society acted to fix our social system then maybe we there would be no need for abortions. I don’t believe that these women are heartless, I believe that they are oppressed. I don’t believe that there is anyone out there that would want to kill their child for the sake of the self. I think these women feel that they do not have a choice. So Pro Choice is actually pro-lack-of—choice.
If you had an abortion, I want you to know that you are loved the way you are. You have been forgiven and your sins washed away with the blood of the Lamb. God loves you and so do I! I hope that you do not find my statements to be a judgement, but rather a sisterly advice. I am praying for you and I ask you to please pray for me.
Silence between strangers meeting for the first time is awkward. Silence between those in love is profound. It’s the moment when love is not shared through words or demonstrated by actions, but rather transmitted straight through the heart. It’s like a Bluetooth, when I turn my car on, my phone and my car automatically connect to each other. They know each other by name. We call that pairing.
So the Bluetooth in my car and that of my phone connect to each other, but there is one key factor, the device has to be available for the pairing to occur. It cannot be paired to another device.
In silence God can speak to our hearts, because silence between us and God is not awkward, but profound. Just like the Bluetooth device He picks up our hearts in silence and we pick up His grace through the Holy Spirit. Just like the Bluetooth device, our hearts have to be available to connect with God or else His message may not enter our hearts.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24
The silence I am speaking of doesn’t have to mean the absence of noise, but rather the absence of everything that distract me from God’s voice. There were time where in the middle of a party, He spoke to my heart. There are times when I pray and listen to secular music and still I feel Him guiding me. I am not a noteworthy example, but rather a humble one.
With a quite heart, pair with Christ, let His love be transmitted to the world through you!
I missed something yesterday! I went to mass, but there was a no mass. Some people where working on the church. Today I went to mass, at a different church, and there was no mass because the father had an emergency. At this occurrence this verse came to mind: “'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Matthew 26:31 Today, I saw this verse comes to life.
So many times I have undervalued the importance of religious life. The truth is, without them, there would be no place to call home. There would be no church.
In the church we have mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. We have a family. Mothers and fathers take care of the house! They keep it open and clean. Brothers and sisters become the cool aunts and uncles that every kid loves having. Those who chose marriage vocations are exactly like siblings who got married while there other siblings are still at home.
Without my Heavenly family on earth, I wouldn’t have a home to call my own. Outside the church’s walls, I am a vagabond. I go from place to place. I tell the world of God’s love and mercy, but none of it is my home.
They say the choice isn’t taken until I have a wedding ring on, that may be true, but so far the choice I made is to follow Jesus no matter where He leads me. Yet, I cannot be more thankful for the family that he gave me. They take care of the house. I come back, there is food on the table. Then I go back out to the field, sleeping in tents and doing his work always knowing that no matter where I go, I have a place to call home.
To all who chose religious life, thank you for making my life better! Thank you for keeping my home clean, so that when I come back from the battle field of the world, I can be washed of my sins in the fountain of mercy, at the sacrament of reconciliation. When I come back home from the craziness of the world, I can find a quite moment, where I know that my siblings will be there to listen, to help me take care of my problems despite having their own.
For so many years, I have been told I should be a nun. With the pressure of so many years I have grown apart from religious life. I have grown to resent something that people have been trying to force me to do, that I never got a chance to consider it’s beauty. I never got to consider that my heavenly family has an extension on earth, that all the saints I love so much weren’t always classified as saints. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers some lived in Our Fathers home on earth, other lived in small families that mirrored my father’s home. All equally as beautiful.
For the first time in my life, I look at religious life and I see family. I see those who chose to stay at home to make sure our home grows in beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I never had anything against the religious, but I never had anything for them. In fact, I have judged them more often than I’ve thanked them.
Cheers to a new perspective on family and may God place us where He needs us.
So You Prayed
I read a story today about a girl who converted into another religion because her father died of cancer and Jesus didn’t answer her prayers. She took the decision to say that she will no longer be Catholic because her father died and God seemingly did not interfere.
First that leads us to question, what is the point of a Christian’s life? Well, the answer is found in Romans 14:8
“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” The point of a Christian’s life is to be with the Lord, in living we are with him and in dying we are with Him.
So you prayed and God didn’t seem to be answering, or maybe you prayed and things got worse. So you started to wonder where did you go wrong? Or what did you do to God that He is letting all these bad things happen to you? You may also have doubted the power of Jesus as did the girl from the story.
The truth is God did answer that girl, jus not in ways she expected. She prayed for healing and her father healed eternally. Sometimes our prayers are selfish, we want physical healing, but we aren’t prepared to acknowledge that healing comes in other forms. Healing sometimes comes through pain that sanctifies. I mean isn’t that how all Christians were healed of the pain of sin? Was it not through the pain of Jesus on the cross that we were spared?
So, that pain we are so annoyed with may be the reason we are sanctified. If you read my writing or watch my videos, I hardly speak of the times where He didn’t answer as I had expected and of the times thing got worse, but trust me, these times excite and are more frequent then you’d think.
Yet, these are the times I am so thankful for. I so thankful for every time He didn’t answer the way I expected Him. Because of that, conversations between God and I became deeper and more intellectual. The reason is, when I stopped demanding a particular answer, He was able to answer freely. He was able to communicate with me as He would like. Think about it this way, communication with a screaming child or a child refusing to eat their vegetables is a lot harder than communication with a child that is calm and willing to hear what their parents have to say.
When we stop demanding a particular answer from God, we start realizing that our pain makes us stronger. I know it’s cliché, but very much on point! The woman from the story, refused to see that her father’s death is God’s gracious answer to her prayers because she was insisting that God answers her in a certain way. When He didn’t, she left Him. That to me is not love. In any case, today I invite you and myself to think, what is the answer we are expecting from God? How is the answer He has given us any different?
God bless you and please remember me in your prayers!
Ever encountered a situation where you thought “I just can’t talk to this person, they wouldn’t understand!” I have. Didn’t you wish there was something or someone that can make this conversation easier?
Well, it turns out there is, the Holy Spirit!
Today I randomly opened the Bible to Acts 2:7-13. This is where the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples. Those standing there marveled at their ability to understand the apostles even though each of them spoke a different language, yet they were able to communicate.
The same thing could happens in our lives as well. Sometimes, communication even with the dearest people becomes impossible. These are people that verbally speak the same language we do, but somehow we aren't able to understand each other. It is at those times (and all times) that we can ask the Holy Spirit to guide our conversations. If those who stood there with apostles could understand each other thought the Holy Spirit, then the same could happen with us. We too can marvel at the work of the Holy Spirit as He fixes the broken situation between us.
If today you don’t know what to say to someone, pray and trust in God’s mercy. The Holy Spirit will guide your heart and He will bless the conversation. Alway remember that reconciling the differences starts with God, He can open our minds to understand each other even when what is spoke is foreign to our ears.
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20
Love, Loves On!
I have always said, the guy I will marry will be the love of my life, but God will always be the love of my eternity, as if the love of my life will end when I pass away. Today I learned something different. As I walked the Stations of the Cross, Jesus taught me that there is more to my statement. I have one life and one eternity, they are not separable. I only live once! #YOLO I will simply pass from one place to the other. There I will still love. The love of my life will continue to be the love of my life, but with a pure form of love. Love doesn’t stop loving. Jesus didn’t stop loving me after he ascended into heaven. He his love continued, because love loves on.
What we begin on earth we will continue in heaven. Look at the saints, what they began on earth they continued after their passing. From the silence of a hermitage ST. Charbel began his Journey of love, he sowed the seeds in his life time and reaped them in his eternal home. His love didn’t stop, today and everyday it seems that my brother ST. Charbel has a new miracle that is attributed to him through the grace of God. Love doesn’t stop, love continues eternally.
ST. Helena, the queen that shook her son's kingdom with love, the love she had sown then I felt a few weeks ago. I felt it when I held the relic of the wood of the cross close to my heart. There and then I felt my heart beat as if never had before. As I held the cross I learned that it alone is the source of my life. I was able to do that because the love that ST. Helena began in earthly journey continued for a thousand plus years. It continued and grew until it reached me.
Love doesn’t stop, love changes to become pure love after we pass to His arms. It becomes more aware because we see things as they truly are, but it doesn’t stop it continues.
So, to the man I will one day marry by the grace of God I say, “I love you today and I will love you eternally, there not as your wife because Christ said we will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but with the love that Christ will transform in my heart.”
To my family and to everyone that I love... I love you today, and I will love you eternally, because “God is love”. Therefore, love comes from Him and love will return to him.
To all those who have ever hurt me and to those who will hurt me, I say "thank you for being the reason I turn to God." I love you today, and by his grace I will love you eternally.
Love remains, today, tomorrow, and forever.
“Who is she?” They murmured as she walked by with her beads in her hands.
“Holy Family was trinity on earth which in a certain way represented the Blessed Trinity itself” ST. Francis de Sales.
Dr. Scott Hahn explains in his book Joy to the World - How Christ's Coming Changed Everything (and Still Does), that “Joseph, in his earthly relationship with Jesus, was an earthly image of the Heavenly Father"(p. 153-154 )
That brings us back to, Saint Joseph...
A few days ago my sister and I were talking about what I had learned about the Virgin Mary and she asked me "what about ST. Joseph? Why don't we hear much about him?" I gave her a quick answer, but to be honest I needed more information. Today as I was reading Dr. Hahn’s book, it made sense to me that Joseph was the image of the Heavenly Father within the Holy Family. Therefore, His silence made sense as well.
If a father and his son both work in the same industry, the father will step aside and let his son take all the work. Any loving father puts his son first. If given the choice between him and his son without a doubt the father will choose his son! So, the father will step back in joy, he will observe his son’s work in silence, and he will pull all the stings he has in order to insure that his son grows in the industry without anyone noticing that he is pulling these strings.
Saint Joseph... why don’t we hear much from him or about him?
Well, if he mirrors God the Father in the Holy Family then ST. Joseph is working in silence to insure His son grows in His ministry. He was always vigilant over Jesus, he worked behind the scenes to ensure that God’s plan for salvation is carried out in the way God wishes it to be. ST. Joseph got up in the middle of the night to ensure the safety of the Holy Family. In silence he worked wishing that the center of the family is always Jesus, much like God the Father does in the New Testament. In the Old Testament God the Father spoke to the prophets by means of revelations, He conversed with them. In the New Testament we only hear the voice of the Heavenly Father when He is pointing to Jesus as His son.
So "what about ST. Joseph?" Why don't we hear much about him?" Well, ST. Joseph mirrored God the Father within the Holy Family; therefore, His silence wasn't due to lack of importance, but rather a silence of a father paving the way for His child.
When I was a little girl, there was a movie on the Arabic Christian channel NourSat about the life of ST. Francis. At one point, the movie tells the story of when ST. Francis handmade a basket. He was so proud of that basket and so happy that he had made it. A few scenes later he was seen burning it. If I remember correctly, when he was asked why, he explained that this basket was the cause of his pride. Pride took him away from God and pointed to him instead.
A few days ago I asked God to help me be more humble. I asked Him to do so gently because I know sometimes events shock us to the point of humility. Then gently, like a whisper in the wind the opportunity came. Today I am given a chance to chose humility or to chose anger and pride, the first contributes to my sanctification and the second leads me away. By the grace of God the choice was apparent, hard, but apparent.
The choice is made, but that led to a series of questions. I am currently working on several evangelization projects. Am I ready to relinquish control over my ideas? When the time comes will I be able to present my gifts at the alter and walk away?
My pride says no, but my heart is willing.
The point today is that sometimes we come up with ideas and we begin to worship them. We get married to an idea that it becomes hard for us to give it to God so that He may do with it as He pleases.
After all he said, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
For our lives to be fruitful, we must be ready to relinquish control, so that the kernel will fall and die and produce.
‘Otherwise, you might say in your heart“It is my own power and the strength of my own hand that has got me this wealth. Remember then the LORD, your God, for he is the one who gives you the power to get wealth, by fulfilling, as he has now done, the covenant he swore to your ancestors. But if you do forget the LORD, your God, and go after other gods, serving and bowing down to themI bear, I witness to you this day that you will perish utterly.” Deuteronomy 8:17-19.
Even our most brilliant ideas are a grace granted through him. To Him all the glory belongs otherwise “pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverb 16:18
Today, I invite you to reflect on areas in your life where you have acted with pride and consider where that pride led you.
My brothers and sisters I love you, please pray for me!
I asked Him “where do you want me to go?” He whispered to my heart “just stay here with me.” In the moment where I was packed up and ready to go, I told GOD “I will go wherever you will send me.” I was hoping he would point me in a certain direction, after all, I was ready to walk. I had decided that it was time for me to move, but the truth is, my decision did not align with His timing. It never occurred to me that where He wants to send me is here. It is where I am today.
Over and over again I asked “now what?” I was looking at the horizon for where He wanted me to go. I didn’t realize that today, He just wants me to stay. It isn’t that He doesn’t want my life to change, but that the change I am expecting today, is not how He wants to transform my life. It isn’t that He wants me to stop preserving, stop growing, or stop chancing my dreams; it’s that He wants me to do that with His peace in my heart. When I formed that question, my heart wasn’t at peace, it was filled with anxiety.
I never thought that today I am where I am supposed to be. Yes, I had heard it. Yes, I had said it, but no, I hadn’t thought it. Four years ago, I graduated from university with my BA in Theatre and Film. Since then, I never considered that my degree was useful, but here I am today doing exactly what I went into theatre to do. I wanted to write. If you are reading this, then my degree has served its purpose. It never occurred to me that is had a purpose, so I asked God “now what?” I got a graduate degree and asked “now what?” I didn’t think that the “now what?” question actually beings with “now”. It begins not with what I would do tomorrow if…, but what I can do today with the resources that I have.
Yesterday I though about ST. Helena. Before she became a ST she held the earthly title of queen. She was Queen Helena. She used her resources to find the cross of Jesus. She used her resources to convert the kingdom. I thought, if only I could be where she was. If only I had the same resources that she had. It occurred to me then, that she used the resources that she had and did not seek what she could have been, but focused on where she was and what she can do with that. Had she been the daughter of a shepherd, I have no doubt that she would still be ST. Helena today, but with a different story.
So today, if you are asking “now what?” I say, close your eyes and leap towards Him. Leap with faith. Leap with joy. Leap with love. Today is a day that begins today. Today is the day to find the “what” in the “now”.
Hey! I am Rita A. Saikali. This is my humble experience with my wonderful Jesus. Thank you for reading.