The Stones Cry Out

Millions of Christians from all over the world are expected to visit the Holy Land this year to celebrate the Millennium. In place after place, they will find, besides ancient shrines and churches, the evidence of archeologists at work patiently probing the past for insights into the world in which Jesus lived and died and began his church. In one sense, the stones are crying out. right: Mount Sinai, February, 2006

For non-experts, of course, the Holy Land can be a bewildering experience. How can anyone in a few days or weeks, speeding along in a tourist bus, penetrate this complex place where Abraham once led his nomad tribe long ago? How grasp dates and facts, the long unfolding history of this land that has seen so much? Yet thousands come to see the place where Jesus walked.

Christian visitors to this land also bring their own imagined gospel, influenced by the mystics, artists and preachers who have stirred their souls. Can a western Christian, for instance, consider the Last Supper without imagining DaVinci's Last Supper, or the birth of Jesus without remembering the serene splendor of a medieval Nativity miniature? Visiting the Holy Land challenges one to imagine the gospel again.

In this issue of Compassion we will visit the Holy Land and explore some of its familiar places. Our opening article, Remembering Whose We Are, is by Fr Donald Senior, C.P. whose love and knowledge of this sacred land has inspired over the years so many people who have visited the holy places with him. For the rest, we will let the stones cry out.

Victor Hoagland CP, Editor

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