Pope Francis and Thomas Merton

At the Thanksgiving mass I listed four Americans that Pope Francis mentioned when he spoke to Congress. One of those was Thomas Merton whom he held up as an example of a man who worked for Peace through dialog. Our world faces enormous challenges because of the many wars and conflicts going on in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Mali, Nigeria and in other places. Merton stands as a man of dialog and a promoter of peace between peoples and religions. The Pope sees him- self as a bridge builder like Merton and this was in evidence in his recent trip to Africa where he reached out to Muslims in their mosque in the Central Republic of the Congo. He brought Christians and Muslims together and tried to broker peace and understanding between them. He believes that we can practice our faiths and live in harmony with each other; where there are differences we can resolve them peaceably by dialog. We are not to demonize a whole relig- ion by the actions of a few. As we journey into Advent we continue to pray for peace as well.

-Fr. Gene