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February-World Interfaith Harmony Week

“Dialogue is born from an attitude of respect for the other person, from a conviction that the other person has something good to say. It assumes that there is room in the heart for the person’s point of view, opinion, and proposal. To dialogue entails a cordial reception, not a prior condemnation. In order to dialogue, it is necessary to know how to lower the defences, open the doors of the house, and offer human warmth.”

Pope Francis

Reading: Proverbs 8: 1-11

Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,

where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
‘To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all humanity.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

Reflection: Stephanie Beech, Communications Officer

A few years ago, I spent a significant amount of time in India where I met people of all different Faith  backgrounds. I witnessed people’s real passion for their faith and how it represented a huge part of their everyday lives. Many families had a designated prayer space in their house and prayer was a common daily ritual. I was continuously inspired by the people who I met. 

I became good friends with a Hindu woman who regularly attended her local temple. Yet, she lived opposite a Catholic church. She told me that she liked to go and sit in the church sometimes, to light a candle and pray. She enjoyed the peace and quiet that she found there. This reminded me that there is a common thread among people of different faiths and it doesn’t matter where you choose to pray but we are all people of God.  

Prayer: Numbers 6: 24- 26

May the Lord bless you and keep you;

May the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.