Talking about the “things that matter most” on August 16
4:00 – Why Catholicism Matters: How Catholic Virtues Can Reshape Society in the 21st Century: Now in Paperback!
Talking about the “things that matter most” on August 16
4:00 – Why Catholicism Matters: How Catholic Virtues Can Reshape Society in the 21st Century: Now in Paperback!
If the bad Muslims are just a tiny minority, why don’t the good Muslims get rid of them?
Aug 15, 2013
|Bombing this spring: Al Qaeda threatens total chaos in Iraq|
An al Qaeda man in the Gaza Strip made modest headlines across the United States last week by warning Americans: “Islam is coming, and there is no other choice. This is something that no one can prevent. We will raise the Islamic flag on every point on earth where Muslims live, and we will chase all enemies of Islam wherever they are. Even in the West, in Europe, and in the United States.”
The speaker was Abu Saqer, a leader of the extremist Muslim group Jihadiya Salafiya, and he was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” over WABC in New York. While he did not suggest Islam would take America by violence, he did mention that when the jihadists finish off President Bashar Assad in Syria, they would next turn their anger on Israel and the United States because both are “enemies of Islam.”
Far from dying, al Qaeda is more alive than ever Several points are of interest here. He is, for one, evidence that al Qaeda is not quite so dead as was pronounced by the U.S. administration before last fall’s election. A year before that, Praveen Swami, diplomatic editor of London’s Daily Telegraph who covered Asian security issues for almost 20 years, assessed al Qaeda’s power as far greater than it had ever been before, and it has been steadily gaining strength ever since. Today it is at the center of violence in Pakistan and Syria and last week was described by the Washington Times as “driving Iraq towards chaos.”
Yet in August of 2008, Peter Bergen, a fellow of New York University’s Center on Law and Security, could confidently write: “Today al Qaeda in Iraq is dead.” Well, it wasn’t, and it is so far from dead now that it was named by the U.S. State Department as the chief reason for shutting down some 30 diplomatic posts in the Middle East this month. What becomes ever more unnerving, however, is the determination of the U.S. not to recognize the self-evident fact that they are in a religious war.
See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/532&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=12ea24451c-TCH-Issue0093-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-12ea24451c-57142977#sthash.bFJRt9BP.dpuf
With the election of Pope Francis, people are clamoring to learn more about his chosen namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. Paraclete Press has published a new way for children to familiarize themselves with St. Francis of Assisi in Saint Francis and Brother Duck. It is the first graphic novel adaptation of the real life of St. Francis of Assisi. The author, Jay Stoeckl, a secular Franciscan, was inspired to use his skills as a cartoonist in his first book.
You might be like me and thinking a graphic novel (comic book style) about St. Francis of Assisi and a Duck? Huh? And in truth, it is an adorable book that easily relates the story of Saint Francis in a colorful, visual way to young readers.
The description reads…
See Saint Francis come to life as never before in this colorful graphic novel set in the hill-towns of Italy. Francis saves the life of an innocent duck, the only fictitious character in the story, and the two become each other’s inspiration. As they grow in faith and friendship, Francis recognizes in Brother Duck everything that he desires in living the life of the gospel: humility, poverty and a childlike imagination.
When we received Saint Francis and Brother Duck, my nine year old son picked it up instantly due to his curiosity of a graphic novel about a Saint he was familiar with. The added bonus that made him sit down to read it immediately was the humor brought to the story by the fictional character of Brother Duck.
Read the rest here: http://catholicmom.com/2013/08/15/st-francis-and-brother-duck/
While the dogma was only made definitive by Pope Pius XII in 1950 (Munificentissimus Deus), the tradition of Mary’s assumption after her death at Ephesus is an old, old one that, as demonstrated by early-fourth century Ethiopian apocrypha (Liber Requiei Mariae (The Book of Mary’s Repose), pre-dates the Bible.
But I’m not interested in apologetics or in re-arguing sola scriptura, an idea which, ironically enough, is also not found in scripture. I believe in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary not because my church tells me to, or because I am particularly pious. I believe it because of scripture and science, and frankly, for me science has the edge in the argument, because of microchemerism. I’ve written about this these past four years; learning that every child leaves within his mother a microscopic bit of himself — and that it remains within her forever — made the dogma of the Assumption a no-brainer for me.
In Psalm 16 we read a curious reference to body and soul:
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your Holy One know decay.
Christ’s divine body did not undergo corruption. It follows that his mother’s body, which forever contained a cellular component of the Divinity — and a particle of God is God, entire — would not be allowed to corrupt as well, but would be taken into heaven and reunited with Christ. Mary was a created creature and moral. But she was no mere mortal; she could not be, once the particles of God had entered her chemistry.
In receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, we share a small portion of Mary’s larger reality, but it is a temporary portion — the Christ-food goes into our digestive system and is fed into our blood and our cells, but our blood and cells live and die and are ultimately sloughed off as new ones are created: this Eucharistic unity cannot last, and this is why we seek repeated reception of this Divine Meal — if we’re not lazy, we seek it every day, so this supernatural Sustenance and Presence can remain with us. But for us it will never be as it was for Mary, who lived every day of her life, from the moment of the Incarnation until her death (or, as our Eastern brothers and sisters say, her Dormition) with the very cells of the Living God dwelling within her own flesh. Do we bury God, even on the cellular level? Christ’s own resurrection says no. The Holy One will not undergo corruption.
In the the book of Revelation we read (as explained by Father Dwight Longenecker) about the place of the Ark of the Covenant in cosmic design:
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm. A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. (Rev. 11:19a)
We bible-believing Christians understand that there is an ongoing supernatural battle taking place all around us — a pageant of good and evil, things seen and unseen — and that all things will be revealed in God’s own time, when we will finally comprehend all of what seems to us mysterious and unknowable, today. But scripture, science and common reasoning (if it is undertaken) all serve to inform us that Mary is no bit-player meant to bear God himself to the world and then exit, stage right, with no further relevance to this great drama.
The Reuters news agency, and several other agencies are reporting, though not the Holy See as yet, that Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria killed Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, 59, who was kidnapped on 29 July.
Pope Francis mentioned his name at Mass on the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola on 31 July.
For the past 30 thirty years Father Dall’Oglio has been leading a religious and cultural life at the Monastery of Saint Moses (Deir Mar Musa).
The Monastery and its community was known to be an interfaith center devoted to Muslim-Christian friendship. Rebuilding this 6th century but abandoned monastery was Father’s and his small community’s attempt at preserving Syrian Christian establishments. One of the stunning pieces of Syrian religious patrimony Dall’Oglio preserved was an 11th century fresco of the Last Judgment.
Father Dall’Oglio was ordained as a Syrian Catholic priest; he spoke Arabic and studied Islamic theology and philosophy. His doctoral studies and writing at the Gregorian University concentrated on the virtue of hope in Islam.
Father was expelled from Syria in 2012, though he would sneak back into the country from time-to-time.
More recently his voice has been heard in calling for the deposition of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and some Islamist rebel groups.
Parenting is hard . . . but it’s not impossible. As a parent, you know that raising children presents greater questions every day. Aristotle has the answers . . . you just have to know how to find them. Conor Gallagher masterfully weaves Aristotle’s ancient philosophy, scientific studies, pop culture, and parenting tales together making If Aristotle’s Kid Had an iPod a funny, rich, and informative read, and an indispensable guide for any parent who wants to pass on the secrets of a happy life to their kid.
Dr. Ramez Atallah, director of the Bible Society of Egypt, writes today (August 14, 2013):
I have just received the sad news of the complete burning and destruction (by Muslim fundamentalists) of our Bible Society’s bookshops in Assiut & Minia (the largest cities in Southern Egypt). These were both very beautiful, fully equipped bookshops. Fortunately we were closed today, fearing such an attack, so none of our staff were injured. The attackers demolished the metal doors protecting the bookshops, broke the store windows behind them and set the bookshops on fire. They did the same to many stores on those streets as well as demolishing many parked cars.
Similar incidents are taking place across the nation and to date 15 churches and 3 Christian schools have been attacked and some set on fire.
Dispersal of Sit-ins
Most of you know by now that the Egyptian police, supported by the army, have dispersed the demonstrators from one of the big sit-ins of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) protesters and are working now to evacuate the other, larger one.
To understand why most residents of Cairo feel that these sit-ins should not continue, you should imagine how long residents of New York – or your own city – would tolerate the following scenario:-
Imagine more than 10,000 protestors camped for six weeks in Times Square in New York. No traffic can go through the square and, as a result, all other traffic in the area becomes congested, especially at rush hour. People and businesses in the surrounding buildings have their lives completely disrupted – they can hardly get access to their shops or homes and cannot stand the stench of 10,000 people in the middle of summer using the street and sidewalks as housing. In addition these strangers have set up their own shops and facilities in the middle of the streets. So it is a very scary scene. Add to this the non-stop onslaught of speeches blaring from loudspeakers all day long, and those living in Times Square will neither rest nor sleep as long as the sit-in continues!
In retaliation for the government dispersing the sit-ins, this morning Muslim Brotherhood leaders called for nation-wide protests. In response to these calls, Muslim fundamentalists all over Egypt have gone on a rampage of violence; some of it aimed at Christian targets, but also targeting government institutions, police stations and private property especially parked cars.
One of the reasons why the government has been so reticent in dispersing the sit-ins was precisely because of the MB’s many threats of retaliation. So most Egyptians expected the violence. Nevertheless, it is heartbreaking to watch on TV this bloodshed between fellow-Egyptians unfolding before our eyes.
Trusting God for the future
It is important to underline that — while some Christian properties have been the victim of this violence — they are by no means the only ones targeted. This is an attack against the State by a violent minority in an attempt to destabilize the Nation.
Read the rest of the letter here: http://willemjdewit.com/2013/08/14/bookshops-egyptian-bible-society-burnt-destroyed/
The Bible Society of Egypt
|Bobbie Joe Clary and Geneva Case
Photographer: LOUISVILLE POLICE DEPT,
WLKY, FAMILY PHOTO – KY Post
Geneva Case, 49, does not want to testify in a Louisville court against her partner, Bobbie Jo Clary, 37, who is accused of beating George Murphy, 64, to death with a hammer in 2011 and then stealing his van.
Prosecutors say Case must testify because of her value as a witness, since she heard Clary admit to the slaying and also saw blood on the interior of the victim’s van after the killing.
Clary says Murphy used a hammer to sexually assault her, and she defended herself by hitting him over the head.
Clary is also charged with tampering with evidence to cover up the crime. If convicted, Clary could face the death penalty.
Under Kentucky law, a person cannot be called to testify against his or her spouse. Most states have a similar type of law.
But Kentucky is not among the 13 states that have legalized gay marriage. In 2004, it amended the state constitution to define marriage as being a union between a man and a woman.
Susan Sommer, an attorney for Lambda Legal, a national legal organization for the protection of gay rights, said she was not familiar with the details of the Kentucky case, but Lambda believes gay couples should have the same legal protections as other married people.
“Spousal privilege is one part of the tremendous bundle of protections for a committed couple that come automatically with marriage,” Sommer said.
Case and Clary were joined in a civil union in 2004 in Vermont. Vermont first allowed civil unions in 2000, but did not legalize same-sex marriage until 2009.
“Kentucky’s marital privilege law does not give Ms. Case the right not to testify in a murder trial,” said Stacy Greive, assistant commonwealth attorney for Jefferson County. “And the reason marital privilege does not apply to Ms. Case in her relationship with the defendant is because it is our opinion and our belief that they do not have a marriage that is recognized under Kentucky law.”
August 11, 2013
Pope Francis on Sunday urged Christians and Muslims to promote mutual respect , especially through the education of new generations. His remarks came at the end of his Angelus address when he sent greetings to Muslims throughout the world who have just celebrated the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Listen to Susy Hodges’ report:
Text of report below:
Pope Francis spoke to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square about how God’s love is our greatest treasure. He said today’s gospel reading from St Luke talks to us about our desire for a meeting with Christ, calling it a key aspect of human life. All of us, the Pope said, “have this desire in our hearts, be it explicit or hidden.” In St. Luke’s account of Jesus walking with his disciples towards Jerusalem, Christ reveals to them what is really important for him at that time. The Pope says Jesus’s thoughts include a distancing from earthly goods, faith in the providence of the Father and his interior vigilance while awaiting the Kingdom of God. This gospel account, he continues, teaches us that a Christian is someone who carries within him a deep desire to meet the Lord together with his brethren and his companions along the way. All this can be summed up in Jesus’ words: “for wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.”
Addressing the pilgrims directly, Pope Francis asked them two questions, “do you have a heart with a wish or do you have a closed heart, a sleeping heart, a heart that is anesthetized.” His second question for the pilgrims was: “Where is your treasure”, what for you is the most important and precious reality that attracts your heart like a magnet?” “Is it” he asked, “God’s love which is the desire to do good to others and live for the Lord?” Pope Francis went on to describe how God’s love keeps a family united and gives meaning to our daily tasks and also helps us to face up to the big challenges. This, he declared, is the true treasure for mankind. God’s love isn’t something vague and generic, “it has a name and a face, Jesus Christ.” The Pope said “God’s love gives value and beauty to every human activity” and it gives meaning to negative experiences. That’s because God’s love allows us to move beyond those experiences and not remain prisoners of evil but also be open to hope and the final destination of our pilgrimage.
Before reciting the Angelus prayer the Pope recalled today’s feast of St. Clare of Assisi who left everything to consecrate herself to Christ in poverty, following in the footsteps of St. Francis.
He said this saint gives us a beautiful witness of today’s gospel and she helps us, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, to live it out, each one according to their own vocation.
After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis departed from his prepared remarks to recall that this coming Thursday is the solemnity of Mary’s Assumption into Heaven and said on that day we will honour Her. He then said he wished to send greetings to Muslims, our brothers, throughout the world who have just finished celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan . Referring to his earlier message released to mark this event, the Pope said he hoped that Christians and Muslims will strive to “promote mutual respect, especially through the education of the new generations.”
He concluded his remarks by greetings all the pilgrims and groups present and reminding them of the words which were the motto of the recent World Youth Day gathering in Rio: “Go and make disciples among all nations.”
Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/08/11/pope_francis_greets_muslims_and_urges_both_christians_and_muslims_to/en1-718872
of the Vatican Radio website
By GREG MOORE, Associated Press | August 10, 2013 | Updated: August 11, 2013 5:28pm
Photo By Las Ultimas Noticias
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Hannah Gastonguay, holding her baby Rahab, is followed by her husband Sean and the
couple’s 3-year-old daughter Ardith, as they disembark in the port city of
San Antonio, Chile, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.