Friday, April 27, 2012

Mar Musa #3- Easter message in the midst of Conflict

This post is #3 in my new from afar acquaintance with the Mar Musa monastery community in Syria. How I would love to visit it in reality some day. Here are excerpts from the Easter message from the community there. The whole message is here: . The website is   which can be translated into 6 languages.

Mar Musa (Andres Rump)

To our dear friends on the occasion of Easter 2012

Easter comes after a year of untold suffering, unpredictable and
unimaginable for most of us. Unfortunately, what we wrote on the same
occasion a year ago still applies to the current situation of our
unhappy country. At that time, we had expressed our solidarity with
the victims of the conflict and our participation in the expectation
of those who were hoping for a deep reform of Syria without falling
into the logic of violence, and fearing the explosion of civil war and
loss of national unity. Misfortune has reached us and we fear the
The spring has returned, and the Merciful gives us the grace to remain
witnesses to the vocation of the Syrians, their divine destiny to live
as good neighbors in spiritual harmony, mutual religious esteem,
participation in the same civilization, social solidarity and unity in
the good and bad days. Of course, we live in anguish as all. We are
united with our families who are suffering heavy losses, and we share
the disappointment of many people, especially our generous youth. We
invoke mercy on those killed, and are plunged in grief before our
fellow citizens whose humanity is in so many ways spoiled by hands
that have not been ashamed to dirty by pouring the blood of their
brothers and sisters, and even children.


Where to flee, as we celebrate with this feast the same scene which
violates every day the innocence of our children: violence ugly and
ignorant, whose images are used in the media to stir up the conflict.

We hope to see everyone in this region,
oppressors and oppressed, gathered by the paternity of the
Compassionate in one people, enjoying the goods of the earth in the
pluralism of a fraternal understanding.
In our calls for reconciliation between sons and daughters of God, we
experience the living Christ, risen from the dead in us, forgiving our
sins, effectively present, also through our intercession and yours, in
this our world of poor people.
The citizens of our country are divided and fighting each other. It is
not easy to achieve harmony of opinion, not even within the monastic
community. We warmly thank all those who felt with the suffering of
our people and expressed their solidarity with our support for the
reform. We hope that once the crisis passed, we shall remember it as
an opportunity that has enabled us to discover the path of acceptance
of the other, the path of respect of his conscience beyond our
differences, be it at the monastery, in the family, in the nation or
We thank all those who gathered the Syrians in laboratories of
dialogue in various places abroad, so that they may send us messages
of hope on how to understand each other and heal the wounded hearts.
The monastery was almost emptied of visitors and tourists in a year.
These days, however, we are happy to welcome many local families who
came to picnic on Friday, expressing their desire for peace.
We naturally consider it our duty to stay at the monastery in spite of
the circumstances, and we chose to do so. After a particularly cold
winter, we celebrate the resurrection among the flowers of a spring
shy. Trusting in God, we pledge to maintain a presence at Deir Mar
Musa, in the relatively safe region of Nebek which hosts a number of
refugees from the cities of the armed conflict, as well as at Deir Mar
Elian in Qaryatayn.
Throughout the year, we continued to work on our research, publishing
and development projects. Few people were able to come to the
monastery, but more than ever we could touch how the symbolic complex
of the monastery has an impact on the Syrian society, in the region
and around the world. Many regard the monastery as a model at the
service of civil peace and brotherhood of believers, sons of Abraham.
This pushes us to always give more.
From the heart, wherever you are, we wish you to rejoice in the
splendor of the light of the empty tomb.
Al-Khalil Community

Bruder Jihad, a monk who lives at Mar Musa (Andres Rump)

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