.- Pope Benedict XVI asked the cloistered religious of the Carmel of Quart, the monastery he visited near his summer retreat in the northern Italy on Sunday, to pray for peace in the Middle East and for the conversion of terrorists.
Sister Maria, one of the ten religious of the Carmelite community of Quart told Italian Journal, “La Repubblica,” that the Pontiff told them, while referring to the conflict of the Middle East, “also pray for the terrorists because they don’t know that they are doing evil not only to their neighbor but to themselves as well.”
According to the nun, the Holy Father visited the Carmelite Monastery after learning that missiles from the terrorist group Hezbollah had struck the Israeli city of Haifa, which sits at the foot of Mount Carmel, the spiritual center of the world wide Carmelite Order.
“Now we se that the conflict has extended to Lebanon but also in many parts of the world there exists people who suffer from hunger and violence,” Pope Benedict told the religious.
“The contemplative life,” he added, “is rich in charity because it opens heaven to mankind who needs it so badly, because in today’s world it hardly seems as if God exists. And where there is no God, there is violence and terrorism.”