Pray for Lebanon; Pope Emeritus Benedict Sick?

The devastation that occurred in Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, August 4, is staggering. The explosion that occurred affected an area that, were it to have happened in our New York area, would have an impact from Newark to Nassau County, Long Island.

The time to come together to aid these people is now. We can worry about the “how” and the “why” of this horrible situation later, but now is the time to deal with the “what,” and the “what” is thousands wounded, hundreds killed and even more missing.

What can we do to help locally? First, we can pray; through the intercession of St. Charbel, the Lebanese Maronite Catholic monk, we pray for the healing of the injured, the repose of the souls of the dead, and the finding of those who are lost. We also pray for justice and peace in this area and throughout the world.

We need to be united with our brothers and sisters around the world and to see that if one hurts, we all hurt. May Christ the Healer spread his healing balm on the men and women of Beirut.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo: CNS/Sven Hoppe, pool via Reuters)

Pope Emeritus Benedict Sick?

As Mark Twain once wrote: “The reports of my death are highly exaggerated.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is an elderly man, one who is infirm, who is suffering from the shingles virus, which manifested itself on his face. This is a painful illness for anyone of any age, and it is all the more painful for a man of advanced age.

Besides, the Pope Emeritus is mourning the recent death of his brother, Msgr. George Ratzinger. Pope Benedict contracted the sickness on his way back from the visit to his brother’s deathbed in Germany.

Despite news reports stating that the retired pope does not have long to live, his private secretary, Msgr. George Ganswein, affirms that, although he is ill, he has the health of a man of his years.

This week, offer a prayer for Pope Benedict — for his health, his healing, and the repose of the soul of his brother, whom he greatly mourns. Think of the countless hours of prayer and service that the priest and bishop, Joseph Ratzinger, offered for the Church Universal and pray a Hail Mary for this good man.

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