#2 - February 2, 2003

Dear Friends of the Badaliya,

On Sunday, February 2, 2003, the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, we had our second gathering of our Badaliya prayer group. We welcomed a new member and began our prayer by lighting candles to remind us of the traditional blessing that honors Christ as the light of the world in keeping with the feast day.

We are continuing to explore the meaning of the badaliya by deepening our understanding of Louis Massignon's original intent. In our time we are called to a different expression of it yet realize that we also need to be grounded in the essence of badaliya as a spiritual call.

The readings included excerpts from a translation of a summary of a recent dissertation by a Spiritain Father, Jonathan Murray that appeared in the winter edition of the Bulletin of the Association of the Friends of Louis Massignon. Pierre Rocalve, a member of the Association, both summarized and commented on this theological investigation of Louis Massignon's Badaliya. It provided a basis for our own reflections as we struggle with recreating the Badaliya both theologically and spiritually.

Grounded in the weekly prayer gatherings of the original Badaliya, Massignon grew to more and more involvement in the Muslim community and its well being. Beyond the Christian/Muslim dialogue and founding a shared pilgrimmage that survives to this day, he volunteered for thirty years to teach French and Mathematics to Algerian political prisoners and finally in his late seventies marched in the streets of Paris for an Independant Algeria in the 1950's and early 1960's. Today we are challenged to allow the Badaliya to open our hearts to welcome our Muslim and Jewish neighbors and move us towards reconciliation through mutual trust and understanding. One member pointed out how we must begin with our own conversion of hearts.

Father David Michael, the Catholic Chaplain at Brandeis University has graciously invited us to hold our Badaliya gatherings in the Bethlehem Chapel on the campus. Father Michael has been a representative of the Archdiocese in promoting Interreligious dialogue for many years. We will discuss this opportunity to invite participation and become a presence in the midst of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim student and faculty population at our next gathering on Sunday March 2nd.

We welcome the many folks from around the world who are joining us in spirit at each of our gatherings held on the first Sunday of each month. Please remember to join with the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, in the spirit of Charles de Foucauld, by praying for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East and the Holy Land in whatever way you wish every 1st Friday.

Peace to everyone.
Dorothy C. Buck