In a biblical letter attributed to St. Paul: Colossians 1:24-26, and from a Lenten prayer:
Last but not least, the anniversaries of the Marian liturgy on Aug. 14-15th, September 8th, and September 19th, allowed us to deepen our reflections on the rule of life demanded of members of the Badaliya by a Marian spiritual orientation, as presented in our letter # IV: "All the intensity and the modesty of our vow of abandonment" was taught to St.John by the pierced, virginal Heart of MARY at the unique moment, in the inner life of the nascent Church, when the words of Christ on the Cross, "Woman, behold your son - behold your mother," prepares them both for the thrust of the spear. "The adoptive Son took Her into his home."
This is the central mystery of our Badaliya about which we went to Ephesus for further reflection on September 19th (feast of our Lady of La Salette). According to St. Grégoire of Tours and St. Willibald of Eichstatt (in 723-726), it is in this mountainous area "near Ephesus", that St. John loved to pray for long hours for the Christian people. How could he have prayed in any other way than by uniting himself to the sorrowful compassion of his adoptive Mother and to her interior outcry, about which St. Ignatius speaks in his epistle addressed to Ephesus (XIX). [St. John was thereby] "substituting" himself for Her who had survived [Jesus' death] for the sole purpose of forming this new son in the suffering image of her Only One. It is to this harrowing yet hope filled meditation that the members of the Badaliya are invited according to our vocation.
In my letter in March I asked for your prayers for Christian Peacemaker Tom Fox and his family. He lost his life working with the Iraqi people for peace in the midst of the crisis in their homeland. In a posting on the internet before he was abducted, he wrote:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church...
May I die daily, and accept death with a holy Indifference, and do Penance for my sins and for the sins of others, that I may contribute What is lacking of suffering in Your Mystical Body. My suffering is yours and yours is mine.
In a "letter" that one of our members, Christian Peacemaker Sheila Provencher, wrote to Tom after he was killed, she described a discussion about the risks they were taking in Iraq and Tom's response:
The ability to feel the pain of another human being is central to any kind of peacemaking work, but this compassion is fraught with peril. A person can experience a feeling of being overwhelmed.....It seems easier somehow to confront anger within my heart than it is to confront fear, but if Jesus and Gandhi are right I am not to give in to either..... and if Jesus and Gandhi are right I am asked to risk my life and, if I lose it, to be as forgiving as they were when murdered by the forces of Satan.
Martin Luther King in "Where do we go from Here?Chaos or Community" p. 223 (in Mahatma Gandhi by Deats)
You wrote a statement of conviction that included the
words, "If I am ever called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice in
love of enemy, I trust that God will give me the grace to do so."
You did it, Tom. You were faithful until the very end. I imagine
that even when you were about to die, you looked with forgiveness at
the man who would kill you.
You bore in your own body the sufferings of everyone who has also
been tortured and killed.
God, help us to be as faithful.
And from the Gospel according to John 4:7,8,12:
[Love is] the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality...that force that all the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle.
Peace to you.
Let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. He who does not love does not know God for God is love....If we love one another, God abides in us and God's love is perfected in us.