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  In his encyclical “Be Praised” (Laudato Si) the Pope Francis cited a ninth century mystical Muslim poet Ali-al-Khawas while emphasizing the presence of God in this world.  Pope wrote that a ‘mystical meaning’ should be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dew drop, in a poor person’s face. (Pope Francis’ words remind me of Gerard Manley Hopkins … the world is charged with the grandeur of God …).




   Pope Francis pointed out that he picked up the concept of ‘mystical meaning’ from the Sufi Ali-al-Khawas. The Sufi Ali-al-Khawas stressed an intimate connection (or closeness) between ‘every creature of the world and the interior experience of God’. Pope Francis cited him directly: “The initiate will capture what is being said when the wind blows, the trees sway, water flows, flies buzz, doors creak, birds sing, or in the sound of strings or flutes, the sighs of the sick, the groans of the afflicted.”



   Alexander Knysh, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Michigan, explained: “According to (the idea), God actively and constantly reminds his servants about his immanent presence not just by means of various phenomena but also by various sounds and noises—rustling of leaves, thunder, rainfall.” (



   The Pope shows the way to find God in all things of the world. I expect one day while writing on ‘interior life’ the Pope quotes the Sufi Saint from India ‘Sharafuddin Maneri’!


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