CJ OPINION

BOOK REVIEW: FR. ANTONIO MARIA ROSALES’ “THE ENCOUNTER THAT CHANGED MISSIONS FOREVER”


By JAMELA SANI
BOOK REVIEW: FR. ANTONIO MARIA ROSALES’ “THE ENCOUNTER THAT CHANGED MISSIONS FOREVER”
DIALOGUE MUST START WITH THE SMILE OF FRIENDSHIP, OF WELCOME, OF ACCEPTANCE.

ASSALAMU ALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAHI WABARAKATUH!

Greetings!

“The Encounter that Changed Missions Forever” by Antonio Maria Rosales, OFM, greatly informs the reader about the life of St. Francis of Assisi and his contributions that could inspire every reader regardless of his or her religion.
In the [book], Fr. Rosales informs the readers the significance of the encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Melek-El-Kamel in Damietta in 1219 in the midst of war between Christians and Muslims. The book captures how the encounter encouraged and inspired St. Francis to be more committed in seeking peace with the Muslims despite of the chagrin he received from his superiors and even from his own followers.
BOOK REVIEW: FR. ANTONIO MARIA ROSALES’ “THE ENCOUNTER THAT CHANGED MISSIONS FOREVER”
Through this book, we learn not only the well-known incidents in the life of Saint Francis but also the value of peace making which in the early times and even until today has a great importance for both Christians and Muslims who despite the differences in political and religious convictions must work together for [the] common goal of justice and peace that every individual deserves.

The book also [informs] us how Saint Francis [viewed] death and how he [dealt] with it. This is one of my personal favorite parts of the book, "We cannot negotiate with death, because we all have our 'expiration date'. Our life's clock starts ticking the moment we are born. And when it is time to go, so be it. When we die it is simply because it is our time. I leave everything up to the Lord regarding the when, where and how of my death." This just shows that like Saint Francis, we should not fear but welcome it instead.
BOOK REVIEW: FR. ANTONIO MARIA ROSALES’ “THE ENCOUNTER THAT CHANGED MISSIONS FOREVER”
Overall, “The Encounter that Changed Missions Forever” is a timely and relevant book in our time today. Fr. Rosales' account of the meeting of Saint Francis with the Sultan and the effects of such to the Saint's life resonates with what's happening to our world today. The book shows how one chapter in the life of Saint Francis can become useful in understanding the differences, conflicts and violent acts between our brothers and sisters in Islam, Christian and other religions or seculars through having a religious dialogue.

This book gives us new light on the life of Saint Francis and his remarkable commitment of reconciliation despite of the presence of religious conflicts and differences.

Insha'Allah, this book could [inspire] many people to become part of a dialogue which is respectful without compromising one's belief like Saint Francis of Assisi.(CJ)
BOOK REVIEW: FR. ANTONIO MARIA ROSALES’ “THE ENCOUNTER THAT CHANGED MISSIONS FOREVER”


-, November 21, 2017


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