Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 08 May |
home iconChurch
line break icon

Vatican to Muslims as Ramadan begins: Let us be bearers of hope

MAX ROSSI / POOL / AFP

Pope Francis (R) talks with Egyptian Grand Imam of al-Azhar Mosque Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed al-Tayeb (L) during a private audience at the Vatican on May 23, 2016. Pope Francis met the Grand Imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque at the Vatican on Monday in a historic encounter that was sealed with a hugely symbolic hug and exchange of kisses. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / MAX ROSSI

Aleteia - published on 04/16/21

As a sign of our spiritual fraternity, we assure you of our prayer, and we send best wishes for a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan, and for a joyful ‘Id al-Fitr.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue released a message addressed to “all Muslim brothers and sisters” to show solidarity and friendship as they start their month of Ramadan and look ahead to ‘Id al-Fitr.

Adressing “all Muslim brothers and sisters,” the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue’s Message for the month of Ramadam and ‘Id al-Fitr begins by passing on “fraternal good wishes for a month rich in divine blessings and spiritual advancement.”

Here is the full text:

Dear Muslim brothers and sisters,

We at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue are glad to offer you our fraternal good wishes for a month rich in divine blessings and spiritual advancement. Fasting, along with prayer, almsgiving and other pious practices, brings us closer to God our Creator and to all those with whom we live and work, and helps us to continue walking together on the path of fraternity.

During these long months of suffering, anguish and sorrow, especially during the lockdown periods, we sensed our need for divine assistance, but also for expressions and gestures of fraternal solidarity: a telephone call, a message of support and comfort, a prayer, help in buying medicines or food, advice, and, to put it simply, the security of knowing that someone is always there for us in times of necessity.

The divine assistance that we need and seek, especially in circumstances like those of the current pandemic, is manifold: God’s mercy, pardon, providence and other spiritual and material gifts. Yet, what we need most in these times, is hope. At this time, then, we think it fitting to share with you some reflections on this virtue.

As we are aware, hope, while certainly including optimism, goes beyond it. While optimism is a human attitude, hope has its basis in something religious: God loves us, and therefore cares for us through his providence. He does this in his own mysterious ways, which are not always comprehensible to us. In these situations, we are like children who are certain of the loving care of their parents, but are not yet able to comprehend its full extent.

Hope arises from our belief that all our problems and trials have a meaning, a value and a purpose, however difficult or impossible it may be for us to understand the reason for them or to find a way out of them.

Hope also carries with it belief in the goodness present in the heart of every person. Many times, in situations of difficulty and despair, help, and the hope it brings, can come from those whom we least expect.

Human fraternity, in its numerous manifestations, thus becomes a source of hope for all, especially for those in any kind of need. Thanks be to God our Creator, and to our fellow men and women, for the quick response and generous solidarity shown by believers and also persons of good will with no religious affiliation in times of disaster, whether natural or man-made, like conflicts and wars. All these persons and their goodness remind us believers that the spirit of fraternity is universal, and that it transcends all boundaries: ethnic, religious, social and economic. In adopting this spirit, we imitate God, who looks benevolently upon the humanity he created, upon all other creatures and upon the entire universe. This is why the growing care and concern for the planet, our “common home”, is, according to Pope Francis, yet another sign of hope.

We are also aware that hope has its enemies: lack of faith in God’s love and care; loss of trust in our brothers and sisters; pessimism; despair and its opposite, unfounded presumption; unfair generalizations based on one’s own negative experiences, and so forth. These harmful thoughts, attitudes and reactions must be effectively countered, so as to strengthen hope in God and trust in all our brothers and sisters.

In his recent Encyclical Letter Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis speaks frequently of hope. There he tells us: “I invite everyone to renewed hope, ‘for hope speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning. Hope speaks to us of a thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life of fulfilment, a desire to achieve great things, things that fill our heart and lift our spirit to lofty realities like truth, goodness and beauty, justice and love… and it can open us up to grand ideals that make life more beautiful and worthwhile’ (cf. Gaudium et spes, 1). Let us continue, then, to advance along the paths of hope” (No. 55).

We, Christians and Muslims, are called to be bearers of hope, for the present life and for the life to come, and to be witnesses, restorers and builders of this hope, especially for those experiencing difficulties and despair.

As a sign of our spiritual fraternity, we assure you of our prayer, and we send best wishes for a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan, and for a joyful ‘Id al-Fitr.

From the Vatican, 29 March 2021

Miguel Ángel Cardinal Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ

President

Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage

Secretary

Tags:
Islam
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
3
MOTHER OF ASIA - TOWER OF PEACE
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
4
FIRST LOOK
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
5
OUR LADY OF FATIMA,SUN
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for healing and strength
6
CHURCH
Philip Kosloski
What are the 4 different parts of the Mass?
7
SAINT Januarius
J-P Mauro
Watch the blood of St. Januarius liquefy in May 2021
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.