#8 - February 8, 2004

Dear Friends of the Badaliya,

Friday Feb. 7th is the First Friday of the month. This is an invitation to join with the International Union of Brothers and Sisters of Charles de Foucauld by praying for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East and the Holy Land,every First Friday. The invitation is to offer your prayer in any way that you wish. Louis Massignon made First Fridays a day of fast as well. By joining in solidarity with the Union which has members in 52 countries we share in Foucauld and Massignon's vision of the spiritual communion of saints and their belief in the strength and unity of prayer.

The Boston Badaliya prayer group will meet on Sunday, February 8th at the Catholic Chapel at Brandeis University at 3pm. We are discussing how we can create opportunities to form relationships with our Muslim brothers and sisters as we begin our second year as Badaliya Boston.

Louis Massignon has much to teach us about the idea of what we call "inter-religious dialogue". The meaning of Badaliya,(substitution) helps us to recognize that Massignon's experience of other religions, and believers of all spiritual traditions, was coming out of his intense relationship with God, and that called him to understand compassion,friendship and non-violence as the basis for mutual respect and openess to others.The current issue of the Bulletin published by the Association of the Friends of Louis Massignon is dedicated to the subject of interreligious dialogue.In these articles his friends today struggle to grasp the enormity of this man's spiritual and intellectual genius and our responsibility to dare to pass on his way of living his vocation which was dedicated to "sacred hospitality", and took root in his passion for justice and compassion through a fervent life of prayer. In re-creating the Badaliya for our time we are challenged by Massignon to try to open our hearts and let the Spirit move us towards authentic engagement with others of different faiths.

Please join us in our prayer for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East and the Holy Land on February 8th and in our First Friday fast and prayer for world peace in solidarity with the Union of Charles de Foucauld on Friday February 6th.

Peace to you.

Please note the following:

The Archdiocese of Boston has had an ongoing relationship in the form of dialogue and discussion with both the Muslim and Jewish communities for many years. The following website has very interesting information about their inter-religious events and point of view which is very helpful for us as we consider new directions.

Some of us will also be attending the symposium described below.If you are living in the Boston area you may also want to do so.The website above also has more information about it.

Christian Perspectives On Interreligious Relations
An Ecumenical Symposium
Saturday, March 27, 2004
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, at the Pastoral Institute, Archdiocese of Boston

Co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston, the Massachusetts Council of Churches, and many other ecumenical partners

Keynote speaker:
Rev. Thomas Ryan, CSP

Director, Paulist North American Office For Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

Over the years, interreligious relations have become an increasingly major item on the ecumenical agenda. This event is designed for Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox clergy and laity to explore the implications of our various teachings, to see where we are in agreement, where we diverge, and why.