Watch thou, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight and give thine angels charge over those who sleep. Tend thy sick ones, Lord Christ, Rest thy weary ones, Bless thy dying ones. Soothe thy suffering ones. Pity thine afflicted ones. Shield thy joyous ones. And all, for thy love’s sake. Amen.
By Todd Starnes
Lilly Anderson (Courtesy Julie Anderson)
It turns out you can give thanks for a lot of different folks on the Disney Channel website – but you can’t thank God.
I received a Facebook message on Sunday from Julie Anderson, of Angier, North Carolina, a town located about 30 miles from Raleigh. Julie was writing to tell me about her daughter, Lilly.
Lilly celebrated her 10th birthday on Sunday. After church and a delicious lunch at the Golden Corral, the Andersons headed home – and Lilly made a beeline for the computer.
I do wonder what sort of message the Disney Channel is sending when they tell children that mentioning God in public is bad manners.Now, Lilly loves the Disney Channel – and as she was browsing the channel’s website she noticed a question. The Disney Channel wanted to know what she was thankful for. So Lilly typed in her answer.
“God, my family, my church and my friends,” the 10-year-old wrote.
Lilly pressed the return key and waited for her answer to appear on the website. But her response did not appear. Instead, a message written in red popped up on the screen.
“Please be nice!” the message read.
Lilly tried again and again with no luck – so she told her parents.
“It was Lilly’s idea alone to include God in her post,” Julie told me. “As a matter of fact she was in another room from me and she came and got me when it wouldn’t allow her to post.”
Julie retyped the message and the same red-lettered warning appeared.
“We together figured out that the word God was the problem,” Julie said.
Sure enough, when they removed the word “God” from the post – the Disney Channel approved Lilly’s message. And then – Julie contacted me.
So, I gave it a try, too. I tried posting what I was thankful for on the Disney Channel website.
And just like Lilly and Julie, Disney prevented me from posting any message that included the word “God.”
I reached out to Disney for an explanation. Their people tell me that God was not intentionally blocked from the channel’s website however at this point, they aren’t quite sure why it happened but they assured me they had a team working on it.
Julie is not very happy, though.
“I’m not at all anti-Disney but to shame a ten-year-old, to tell her to ‘please be nice’ for thanking god and sharing her faith with others is what is upsetting to me as a mother,” she said.
Disney certainly seems to be implying that thanking God is not nice. Well, neither is blocking the Almighty from a website.
Julie said her daughter is a very loving and accepting child who was raised to understand that not everyone believes in God.
“We’ve always told her that inevitably there would come a day when she would be discriminated against for her faith but we never thought Disney would be the source,” she said.
I do wonder what sort of message the Disney Channel is sending when they tell children that mentioning God in public is bad manners.
Read more: Why did Disney block God? | Fox News.
When you need a lift, this will help raise your spirits with the love of the Holy Spirit;
Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders around the world to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam
"Pope Francis was returning to Rome after his three-day visit to Turkey when he made his latest commentsChristians have been targeted by Muslim hardliners in Iraq and Syria in recent years, with a violent campaign of persecution by Islamic State militants this summer when they captured the Iraqi city of Mosul.
In their joint declaration, the two Church leaders said: "We express our common concern for the current situation in Iraq, Syria and the whole Middle East.
"Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have been forced violently from their homes. It even seems that the value of human life has been lost, that the human person no longer matters and may be sacrificed to other interests. And, tragically, all this is met by the indifference of many."
The pontiff and the patriarch also called for peace in Ukraine.
The violent conflict in Ukraine this year has accentuated differences between its large Orthodox and Catholic communities.
The Pope and the patriarch said: "We pray for peace in Ukraine, a country of ancient Christian tradition, while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony."
As his visit drew to a close, Pope Francis met Turkey’s chief rabbi, whose flock has diminished to just 17,000 people.
At the Blue Mosque on Saturday, one of the greatest masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, the Pope turned east towards Mecca, clasped his hands and paused for two minutes as the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran, delivered a Muslim prayer."
Pope urges Muslim leaders to condemn violence
Francis tells Turkish president attacks carried out in the name of Islam need condemnation from world’s Muslim leaders.
Pope Francis is the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics [Reuters]
Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders to “clearly” condemn violent attacks carried out in the name of Islam after returning from a historic three-day visit to Turkey.
The Catholic pope made the remarks on Sunday during a press briefing on board a plane carrying him back to Rome after wrapping up a three-day visit to Turkey.
I told the president that it would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people.
– Pope Francis
Francis said he had made the suggestion of a global condemnation of terrorism by Muslim leaders in talks on Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Francis several times condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group during his three-day trip.
“I told the president that it would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people,” he said.
Francis also said on Sunday that equating Islam with violence was wrong and that he understood why Muslims were offended by many in the West who automatically equated their religion with terrorism.
The Argentine pope, who has been trying to foster cooperation with moderate Islam in order to work for peace and protect Christians in the Middle East, said it was wrong for anyone to react to terrorism by being “enraged” against Islam.
“You just can’t say that, just as you can’t say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them [fundamentalists]. All religions have these little groups,” he said.
“They [Muslims] say: ‘No, we are not this, the Quran is a book of peace, it is a prophetic book of peace.’”
On the final day of his first visit to Turkey, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics also called for an end to violence against Christians by ISIL.
In a joint statement with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the leaders said they could not allow Christianity to be driven out of the region.
“We cannot resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians, who have professed the name of Jesus there for two thousand years.”
They said the “terrible situation” of Christians calls “for an appropriate response on the part of the international community”.
"O Lord, into Your hands, and into the hands of Your holy angels,
I commit and entrust this day, myself, my relatives, my
benefactors, my friends and enemies, and all Your Christian people.
By the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and all Your saints, keep us this day from all evil and unruly desires,
from all sins and temptations of the devil, from sudden and unprovided death, and from the pains of hell. Enlighten my heart with the grace
of Your Holy Spirit. Grant that I may ever be obedient to Your commandments and never let me be separated from You. Amen."
From a pastoral letter by Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop
The season of Advent
Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced at last to see. This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery. In his infinite love for us, though we were sinners, he sent his only Son to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of his grace, and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.
Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us. This holy season teaches us that Christ’s coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries; his power has still to be communicated to us all. We shall share his power, if, through holy faith and the sacraments, we willingly accept the grace Christ earned for us, and live by that grace and in obedience to Christ.
The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again. When we remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace.
In her concern for our salvation, our loving mother the Church uses this holy season to teach us through hymns, canticles and other forms of expression, of voice or ritual, used by the Holy Spirit. She shows us how grateful we should be for so great a blessing, and how to gain its benefit: our hearts should be as much prepared for the coming of Christ as if he were still to come into this world. The same lesson is given us for our imitation by the words and example of the holy men of the Old Testament.