January 16, 2011.

Dear Friends,

We will gather together for our Badaliya Prayer on Sunday, January 16, 2011 from 3 pm to 4:30 pm at St. Pauls 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.

It seems fitting at the start of this New Year 2011 that we be reminded of some of the original goals for the establishment of the Badaliya in Egypt in 1934, and the means by which Louis Massignon suggested they be fulfilled. In the Statutes that were written in 1947 Massignon describes both the plight of Christians living in Muslim countries and his understanding of their role in salvation history. Given the tragic news of a recent attack on a Coptic Church in Alexandria on New Years Day 2011 and the difficulties facing the survival of our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, Massignon's prayer and his guidance encourages us to remain faithful to the call to Badaliya and through it, to our faith in the God of Abraham and Our Lord and brother Jesus Christ.

The Original Goals (1947)

1. The Badaliya is addressed to Christians in the East.

2. It comes from the awareness of a particular responsibility of these Christians towards their Muslim brothers among whom they live. They have a providential mission in relation to them
and would like to fulfill it.

3. Moreover having suffered and suffering still through them, they wish to practice the highest Christian charity towards them following the precept of our Lord,”To love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you”. (Mt.5:44) and according to His example:
“When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him by the death of his Son...”. (Rom.5:10)

4. Thus, counting on divine grace, these Christians wish to consecrate themselves to the salvation of their brothers, and in this hope of salvation, to give faith, adoration and love to Jesus Christ in the name of their brothers, whose imperfect knowledge of the Gospels prevents them from giving it themselves.
Salvation does not necessarily mean exterior conversion. It is already gaining a lot that a greater number belonging to the soul of the Church (members of the Badaliya) live and die in a state of grace........


6. There are three means: prayer, charity, and personal holiness as a witness.

7. Prayer: without any strict obligation the members of the Badaliya offer the three Angelus and their Friday Communion for their brothers.

8. Charity: Charity consists of an attitude entirely kind, affectionate, considerate, and truly fraternal, as much as prudence permits, in relation to the souls that Providence puts on the path of each one.

9. Personal Holiness does not consist of any particular means, but it must tend to make the members of the Badaliya living Gospels, in order that Jesus Christ manifests himself through them and that they give witness to Jesus Christ by their lives and, if God wills, by their death.

10. While the Badaliya does not propose exterior action, its members always look for ways to devote themselves to their Muslim brothers and they will volontarily enter into active organizations that are able to animate the spirit of the Badaliya.

I was reminded by one of our members, our dear friend Father Maurice Borrmans, that we have to be faithful to the three daily Angelus as Massignon suggested. Massignon wrote a series of meditations over some years on the three prayers of Abraham for Sodom, Ishmael and Isaac that he related to the custom in Europe in his time of praying the Angelus at the sound of the church bells calling the faithful to this prayer three times a day. He saw it as a way to pray for all three Abrahamic faith traditions through the intercession of the Virgin Mary. The famous painting by Jean François-Millet of a farming couple standing with heads bowed in prayer in the fields is an image that reminds us to pray throughout the day, along with our Muslim brothers and sisters who stop to Praise Allah five times a day. I have included the Angelus below for your own meditation.

Father Maurice Borrmans is Emeritus professor of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome (professeur émérite du Pontificio Istituto di Studi Arabi e d'Islamistica de Rome) and the editor, along with Françoise Jacquin, of the French edition of Louis Massignon's letters written to members of the Badaliya from 1947-1962 , a publication by Editions CERF that is appearing this month in France.

Peace to you in this New Year 2011.

The Angelus

Verse:       The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
Response: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Verse:       Hail Mary, Full of Grace!
      The Lord is with thee.
      Blessed art thou amongst women
      And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

Response: Holy Mary, Mother of God,
      pray for us sinners
      now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Verse:       I am the servant of the Lord,
Response: Let it be done to me according to Your word.

Verse:       Hail Mary........
Response: Holy Mary.....

Verse:        And the Word became flesh
Response: and dwelt among us.

Verse:        Hail Mary.....
Response: Holy Mary.....

Verse:        Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
Response: that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

      Let us pray.

      Pour forth we beseech Thee O Lord, thy grace into our hearts,
      that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Your Son was made
      known by the message of an angel, may, by His suffering and
      death be led to the glory of His resurrection.