November 15, 2009.

Dear Friends,

We will gather together for our Badaliya Prayer on Sunday November 15, 2009 at 3pm at St. Paul's Church in Cambridge, in the small chapel located in the Parish Center. Please join us in person or in spirit as we pray for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East and especially in the Holy Land.

On October 24, 2009 we attended the 11th annual International conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation in Washington DC at the John Paul II Cultural Center. Presenters from all three Abrahamic faith traditions spoke on panels and individually of their experience and the needs of those living in the midst of conflict in the Holy Land. The HCEF dedication to seeking peaceful resolutions and productive dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians while supporting the "Living Stones" attempting to stay and thrive in this biblical land is an inspiration for all members of the Badaliya prayer movement.

On November 13, 1983 the foundress of the Bethlehem Carmelite Monastery in Palestine, Maryam of Jesus Crucified was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Well before this event Louis Massignon wrote that the "Little Arab" , as she had come to be known, should become the patron saint of the Holy Land. When the Badaliya was re-established in 2002, we took his words to heart and named her the Patroness of our Badaliya USA.

There are now three Carmelite Monasteries in the Holy Land, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth. During our pilgrimage to the Holy Land in May we visited both the Carmel in Jerusalem that cares for the Shrine of the Pater Noster (The Lord's Prayer) and the Nazareth Carmel. We received prayer cards from the Carmelite Sisters with a photograph of Blessed Maryam and a small relic, and took photos of the statues and paintings dedicated to her in the Carmelite chapels, the Greek Melkite Church and the Chapel of Adoration in Nazareth, where Blessed Charles de Foucuald prayed for three years. The Chapel is cared for by the Little Brothers of the Sacred Heart living the spiritual legacy of Brother Charles who was also beatified on November 13th in 2005. In honor of both of these witnesses to God's love let us listen attentively to their own reflections.

" I saw our Lord Jesus poor, sad, suffering and searching for a lodging, and He said to me: "I am searching for a lodging, a home and nobody wants to receive me. As soon as I present Myself, they chase me away. Even you sometimes drive Me out from your heart...Oh, if only I could find someone who would work solely for My glory, I would do everything for him"!
(Blessed Maryam)

In her heart Blessed Maryam heard, "It is to the extent that you love your neighbor that I know how much you love Me. If you do not love your neighbor, by that I know that you do not love Me". She said, "Every time you consider your neighbor as a creature without Jesus, you fall very low".

Blessed Maryam's Prayer:

Holy Spirit, inspire me,
Love of God, consume me,
On the true path, lead me.
Mary, my mother, look upon me;
With Jesus, bless me
From all evil , from all illusion,
From all danger, preserve me.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld wrote in Chapter XX of his Directory:
"Love all people as Jesus has loved them, wishing them as much good as He has wished for them, doing all that is in our power for their good, devoting ourselves to their salvation, ready to give our blood for the salvation of each one of them; love them in front of God, as much as He wishes, as He wishes, neither for us nor for them, but for Him".

In a foreword written in 1996 for the publication of the life and thoughts of Blessed Maryam, the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelite Order wrote:

"Blessed Mary also challenges us to keep present in our Carmelite consciousness our roots in the Land of the Bible". As Christians we are all invited to "keep present in our consciousness our roots in the Land of the Bible".

Please pray for the "Living Stones" in the Holy Land, for Peace and reconciliation, and for the canonization of these two spiritual giants, Blessed Maryam of Jesus Crucified and Blessed Charles de Foucauld.

Peace to you.