The Antichrist in Muhammad: Praying Never to Know Jesus as Lord
never be muzzled, especially where it contradicts the doctrines of secular humanism or political Islam.
In dealing with Islam, there is no room for false irenicism, unrealistic ecumenism, or foolish optimism. You cannot always presume good faith or a deep knowledge on the part of the Muslim or the Islamic leaders. The Muslim ethic is extremely result-driven, and so the end often justifies the means. I have found there to be much dishonesty or just plain falsity in the arguments of Muslim apologists or religious leaders and in their efforts at proselytism. After all, the Muslim may believe that "Allah is the best of deceivers," (Qur'an 3:54) and among certain Muslims (particularly the Shi'a) taqiyya (calculated dissimulation or hiding the truth) or half-truths might be ethically practiced. At the same time, do not generalize. I have met Muslims who are wonderfully cordial and forthright.
In studying Islam, one also has to be aware that some scholars, even in the West, are deeply compromised by their reliance on the petrodollars of Islamic countries, especially Saudi Arabia. Many of the Middle Eastern and Islamic studies programs in the United States and elsewhere have been endowed by Muslim money, a lot of it. Follow the money. You cannot believe all you read, and often, those with least financial resources and those most maligned by the Western media, end up having the most truth.
Eighth, develop a thick skin because, in a land where multiculturalism and secular liberalism (where there is no truth but what is relative) reigns, you are sure to be called a bigot, Islamophobe, or intolerant, or worse. You will be maligned for defending Christianity, for criticizing Islam, and suggesting--what is the great liberal secular heresy and sin of those in the liberal West--that there may be an objective truth when it comes to religion. In Muslim countries, as we all know, the reaction against criticism of Islam or its supposed prophet can get close to irrational, maniacal, and even--frankly--demonic. This is also calculated to prevent criticism and challenge to Islam.
But Islam has to be challenged. The Lord commands it. The good of the individual Muslim demands it. Caritas Christ urget nos. The love of Christ urges us to challenge Islam. (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14)
Modernly, the Church is presented with two huge challenges: Islam and the loss of faith in the secular West. The New Evangelization is focused on the loss of faith in the West. Rome under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI seems to be beginning to focus on Islam. Recently, for example, the Vatican announced that Arabic will be used as one of the languages in the Pope's weekly addresses. Pope Benedict XVI has continued dialogue with Islam, as for example in his Regensburg Lecture, and has insisted on the use of reason in criticizing and identifying "pathologies of religion." He has also insisted on religious freedom and the freedom of conversion. He has recently gone on pilgrimage to Lebanon. He baptized a Muslim convert, Magdi Allam, in a highly-publicized way. The Church has had a synod specifically focused on the Church in the Middle East and has issued a post-synodal exhortation. This is all well and good.
But more needs to be done, particularly to those Muslims among us to whom we can evangelize without fear of reprisal from the law of an Islamic state which restricts the spread of the Gospel and makes conversions from Islam, in some cases, punishable by death. The pope, because of his public office, must tread gingerly. How many hundreds of thousands of Christians would die if he issued an encyclical against Islam? Why issue an encyclical to state truths we already know?
We laymen and laywomen, however, are not so constrained by the burden of a universal office. We can stomp about a little less gingerly and a little more boldly without inviting repercussions to the Church or to innocents. We ought to invoke the courage of St. Francis who personally went to the Sultan to spread the Gospel at the risk of his life.
Unfortunately, the Church has not prepared an official prayer for the conversion of Muslims. It ought to. But since the Church has not, I have therefore drafted one for my benefit and the benefit of the readers of Catholic Online. I intend to pray it every Friday during 2013. I hope some of you will join me.
Prayer for the Conversion of Muslims
Heavenly and Merciful Father, we come to the throne of your grace on behalf
of our Muslim brothers and sisters,
We ask that you free them from the spirit of antichrist,
We ask that you may open their hearts and minds to the light of truth,
and infuse them with the Light of Christ,
We ask that you might forgive them for they know not what they do.
We ask that they may be open to the saving truths of the Gospel,
We ask that they may reject the falsehoods of the Qur'an and of their misdirected prophet,
Muhammad, falsehoods which keep them away from you, the one God whom they seek.
We ask that you might teach them of the mystery of the one God they seek, the God who is Love.
We ask that you might let them see that the one God which they seek is Trinity:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We ask that they may learn that there is one God, and that Jesus Christ is his only begotten Son.
We ask that you might teach them the mystery of this Jesus Christ,
That Jesus is more than mere prophet, but that he is also the Son of God,
That Jesus is the one mediator between God and men,
That Jesus is also their Redeemer,
That Jesus is also their Savior,
That Jesus suffered and died on the Cross for them, so that they may be freed from their sins, and
That Jesus rose again from the dead, so that they might rise again from the dead.
We ask that they might see that God is not reached through law, but by grace and faith.
We ask that they may be given the grace of faith to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord,
that they might be baptized into His Body the Church,
and that they be freed from the sin of Adam and receive the Holy Spirit and sanctifying grace.
Send forth your Spirit among the Muslim lands and the nation of Islam, Oh Father God,
Fill their hearts, and kindle in them the fire of your love,
and they shall be created, and you shall renew the ends of the earth.
Allow them to see that there is no east or west in Christ, no Jew or Gentile.
Allow them to worship God in spirit and in truth and in freedom.
Allow them to see that violence in the service of religion is not willed by God,
but is rather a pathology of religion.
Allow them and their rulers to see that men and women must be free to accept the religion
that is true, and to follow that religion which, in his or her conscience,
he or she believes is true.
Allow them and their rulers to allow the spread of the Gospel in their lands, even unto the
steps of the Ka'aba in Mecca.
Allow them and their rulers to stop the persecution of the Church and of Christians in their lands.
Allow them to see that faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises
to the contemplation of truth.
Teach them to pray, as Jesus taught us to pray, so that we might pray the Lord's Prayer together,
so that the wolf and lamb feed together, the lion eat straw like the ox,
and only the snake shall eat dust (cf. Isaiah 6:25).
Allow us to gather together around the Lord's Table, and offer the one true sacrifice of the
Lamb of God on the Cross to the one-only God, in which we all may
share in peaceful communion.
Where we have sinned against them, either in charity or in truth or by the example of our lives, forgive us.
Where they have sinned against us, Oh Lord, we ask that we might forgive them their trespasses,
as you have forgiven ours.
On their behalf, we ask for the intercession of Mary, mother of all Muslims
as she is Mother of all nations and mother of the Church,
We ask all these things from you, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ your Son,
Who lives reigns with you, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas and practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at email@example.com.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Muhammad, antichrist, prayer, salat, conversion, Andrew M. Greenwell
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