April 18,2010.

Dear Friends,

We will gather together for our Badaliya Prayer on Sunday April 18, 2010 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.

For the next fifty days we are invited by the Church to unpack the mysteries that we have just experienced during the Triduum of Holy Week. Those adults who have been baptized at the Easter Vigil enter into the time called Mystagogia with us. In his writings Louis Massignon too gives voice to his own reflections for us to ponder as well. Perhaps his reflections will ignite our own, helping us to connect Holy Thursday to the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Pentecost and from there to our own call to Badaliya, the prayer of substitution.

In an article for Jesus Caritas, a publication by the followers of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, called "The Wound in the Side" he wrote:

"In every semitic tradition Blood is the sign of the Holy Spirit who gives life to all. Nothing is more mysterious in the Passion of the Savior than this blow of a lance post mortem, before the eyes of Mary and John, and the Magdalene. A wound that is no more able to affect through the humanity of Jesus, either his soul, which is already in the Underworld, nor his body which sleeps, incorruptible, supple and flexible, united to the divine nature. An infinitely precious blood mixed with water which, according to thomistic thought, gushes out, miraculously reserved and safeguarded.

The wound in the side doesn't alter the immensely holy body, it reveals and makes explicit his sacramental fecundity for all the elect: the same grace that had already suspended the combustion of the Fire in the Burning Bush before Moses, announces before three privileged witnesses, the effusion of the eucharistic beverage that intoxicates with eternal life". ("The Wound in the Side" published in Jesus Caritas #106, April 1957 in Louis Massignon: Écrits Mémorable, p, 122 Editions Robert Laffont, S. A. Paris 2009).

At the end of his life Louis Massignon clarified what he meant in his "Meditation on the vocation given to the Sons of Abraham" in relation to substitutionary prayer and the experience of Pentecost:

"... the "time" of the advent of the Spirit, the Advent of Pentecost, did not arrive for all generations at the Cenacle on the day that the Apostles experienced it; otherwise there would be no need for an apostolate.... In reality, since the Resurrection and Pentecost, within the non-baptized and all living non-believers, there exists a very strange groaning of the Holy Spirit who vibrates there without their suspecting it, but that we know very well; it is this that underpins our prayer of substituton for them". (Six, Serpette, Sourrisseau Le Testament de Charles de Foucauld: Jesus Caritas Librairie Arthème Fayard 2005. p. 205)

Please pray for the Church at this time, that the Holy Spirit will guide us in this crisis that we face and will lead us to the transparency, changes and healing that are necessary for the health and well being of all.

Peace to you in this Easter Season.