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- GERMANY: The archbishop of Cologne, cardinal Meisner, has forbidden in December 2006 to the Catholic pupils of his diocese to attend inter-religious celebrations, while praying in common with children of other religions, such as Moslem or Jewish children. "They lack the necessary capacity of differentiation to understand religious celebrations", explained the cardinal, who is the symbol of conservative Catholicism in Germany. The minister for integration of Rhineland/north-Westphalia, Armin Laschef, retorted: "I believe that our time needs not less, but more common actions between religions". He referred to the pope's recent visit to Istanbul, affirming to have been very impressed by the prayer of Benedict XVI in the Blue Mosque. One clearly can see here how dangerously are interpreted ambiguous religious signs, even if those who commit them may have done this in a quite innocent way, in this case our Holy Father. One of the regional parliamentarians even criticized the cardinal cynically in public: "Eminence, please chase those Relics (of the 3 Kings) from the cathedral (of Cologne), send them back to the desert from where they came! They were presumably Persian or Chaldean astrologers, surely not Catholics!" The cardinal retorted: Christians and Moslems can certainly pray in one same room, but separated into two groups: they cannot pray together in one celebration. You pray your God, I pray mine. I respect this difference scrupulously. It's precisely what the pope recently did in a mosque of Istanbul." Monsignori, one would say that the religious liberty invented by Vatican II starts to fall back on your heads! Is it necessary to recall that, according to the psalmist, the prayer to idols is an abomination in God's Face? - (ru; cf. IC Dec. 13)


- UNIVERSE: The main actuality of the Advent ? It's prayer. As a little help for prayer, while preparing us to Christ's arrival on Christmas, please find hereafter a few simple quotations that we repeat here with joy:

* "The prayer is the biggest consolation of life. The world can take everything from me, but will remain to me the prayer." (Father Rafael of Saint Joseph OCD)

* "Our prayers will go up all the more quickly to the ears of the divine Goodness, that is big the devotion of charity with which we pray one for another." (St Gregorius the Great)

* "To pray means, to draw the grace of the Holy Spirit from the immensely mild source of the Holy Trinity." (St Bonaventura)

* "By only one Our Father, pronounced from the bottom of the heart, one can expiate all venial sins of a full day." (St Augustin)

* "I tell you, the one who knows how to pray, knows also how to live well." (St Augustin)

* "As someone prays, so he is: good or bad." (St Philippe Neri, Mgr H.J. Schmitz)

* "The prayer transforms men, because it illuminates the blind ones, fortifies the weak ones, sanctifies the sinners." (St Laurentius Justiniani)

* "Love is precisely the exercise of prayer, and prayer the exercise of silence." (St Exupery)

* "One is as near to God as one is near to his neighbor." (Fr. Evely)

* Saint Ignace of Loyola gives us the following recommendations for prayer:

- first stop everything, calm yourself;

- then ask the SAINTS AND ANGELS to help you to pray God (call the holy patrons and angels who are close to you, one by one, while finishing with the Very Holy Virgin Mary);

- with them address yourself to Jesus, to THANK him (for all, friends, graces...);

- with Jesus address yourself to the Father to ADORE him, in the love of the Holy Spirit;

- before God's Holy Face, formulate some INTENTIONS of prayer;

- make the TOTAL GRANT of yourself for the day, to the trinitary God;

- after the prayer and under its influence, organize your DAY.

All this in 2 minutes or in 2 hours; with or without words; sitting, standing or on the knees.

During the day the prayer may continue and can become a state. - (ru-cf. ru 51/1999, dec.99).

- - O.A.M.D.G. - -

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