Caricature of God

Recently I heard a sentence that hurt me very much: “Islam is a religion of Satan.” It is even more difficult for me, because it was not said by any of my rebellious students, but by a Catholic priest. Paradoxically, at the same time, Pope Francis was meeting in Egypt with the imam Ahmad al-Tajjib, and together they reminded the world that there is no place for violence in any religion.

Last week our bishops wrote a really nice letter about the fact that true patriotism has nothing to do with nationalism. Meanwhile, on Saturday the nationalists walked through the streets holding the cross and shouting “death to the enemies of our nation.”

Why are there still people who turn around God’s teaching so much, that instead of preaching the Good News, they make a weapon out of it? They are showing people a caricature of God. All I can do is pray for their conversion, and hope that when they come face to face with the true God, they will be able to forgive themselves all the evil they have done. As for the mercy of God, fortunately I have no doubt.

In this sad reality, however, there is a little spark of hope. It shows up gently and whispers, that you and I can build good everyday by showing that the one that is different is not our enemy. We can remind everyone, that every human being is a child of the same God, who created the world as good.

During the long weekend in Poland I have the opportunity to participate in a Ignatian retreat for students and witness how they meet with the living God and experience his love. My heart is smiling at such a sight. A few days earlier I heard that Christians in Egypt are organizing something in the form of spiritual exercises, but for the followers of Islam. The Muslims come out of them uplifted, saying that they never felt so close to Allah. That is powerful! That is the Church and the world I want!

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