Isaac Theil doesn’t know what to make of all the fuss, now that this photo has gone viral. We are a society hungry for heroes. Sometimes we even manufacture them for their celebrity value. Here, at last, is a man who puts a human face on the ordinary, sometimes unnoticed, kindess. מזל טוב, mazel tov, Isaac! May you survive the notoriety.
Robert Reilly, acclaimed author of THE CLOSING OF THE MUSLIM MIND, imagines a scene in Heaven: a Muslim catechized by Jesus Himself.
By Robert Reilly
Scene: Before the heavenly Throne.
Muslim (upon seeing Christ): “Is this a dream?”
Christ: “No. Something much better.”
Muslim: “I didn’t expect to see you here far above everyone. I thought you were coming back at the end of time to break the Cross, as we Muslims believe.”
Christ: “No, I’m not coming back to break the Cross. Rather, I was broken on the Cross, which is why you’re able to appear before me today.”
Muslim: “But we believe that the all-powerful God would not allow one of his prophets to be treated that way. That is why we refuse to believe you were crucified. It was some other man, or a shadow.”
Christ: “But I am not simply one of the prophets. I am God. I chose to allow myself to be treated this way to fulfill what the prophets foretold of the Suffering Servant.”
Muslim: “But God can’t do that! He can’t suffer and die.”
Christ: “Who are you to limit what God can do?”
Muslim: “But we are the true defenders of God’s absolute omnipotence. God is whoever is all powerful."
Christ: “So, right is the rule of the stronger?”
Muslim: “Yes. God decides because He is the strongest.”
Christ: “And He can decide anything?”
Muslim: “Yes, anything, and whatever He decides is just.”
Christ: “He is not bound even by His own word?”
Muslim: “No, not by anything.”
Christ: “But I am the Word. I am true to Myself. Pure will and power are arbitrary, tyrannical. I would be a despot.”
Muslim: “But we were taught that God cannot be confined by our human ideas of justice.”
Christ: “From where did you think you got those ideas of justice in the first place, if not from Me?”
Muslim: “I don’t know. Islam tells us to submit without questioning. The great al-Ghazali taught us that, ‘the mind. . .once it testifies to the truthfulness of the prophet, must cease to act.’”
Christ the Redeemer by Andrea Mantegna, 1493
Seventy to one hundred thousand pilgrims came to the Cova da Iria.
It was pouring down rain and everything was very muddy. My family was very uncertain and feared that if the miracle did not take place; the people would want to kill the three children.
Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and pray a Rosary. Soon after that there was a flash of light, and Our Lady appeared above the oak tree. Lucia asked: “What do you want of me?”
I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.”
“I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons, the conversion of sinners, and other things . . . “Read more.
“Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.” Looking very sad, Our Lady said: “Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.”
Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect onto the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.
I knew Barack Obama was miserable when he tried to give debate moderator Jim Lehrer the Puss in Boots eyes. “You may want to move on to another topic,” Obama implored Lehrer, a bit like a motorcycle thief begging a cop to take him into custody rather than let him stay with the surly biker gang that caught him.
- From a comment considering human life
- Yong Lee
- Shanghai, China
- We must not forget that life is a continuum and a mystery. Dissecting it into small fragments destroys both. One thing is for certain, destroying a fetus guarantees one less baby, one less toddler, one less child, one less adolescent, and one less adult man or woman in the world. With that, all of the potentials as well as detriments of the loss are gone. But it is not up to us to determine the value of a life by the outcome. We can only take it as it comes- that is the wonder of life.In all of nature, life cannot be chopped into pieces. Either we embrace it whole, or we lose it all. Disrupt the migration of salmons (a trip) and we destroy the species. The virtue, and perhaps the trouble of our existence, is that whole does indeed need every piece.
By arguing and devaluing a passage in life common to us all, specially the most frail of our stages, we miss the point entirely. Argue endless about whose body it is, whose body it is not, whose right to choose it is, what a fetus is, and we forget that each of us belong to a web people without whom we cannot exist.
I am writing to you from a hospital bed. Don’t worry, Mom, I am okay. I was wounded, but the doctor says that I will be up in no time.
But that’s not what I have to tell you, Mom. Something happened to me that I don’t dare tell anyone else for fear of their disbelief. But I have to tell you, the one person I can confide in, though even you may find it hard to believe.
You remember the prayer to Saint Michael that you taught me to pray when I was little: “Michael, Michael of the morning,…” Before I left home for Korea, you urged me to remember this prayer before any confrontation with the enemy. But you really didn’t have to remind me, Mom. I have always prayed it, and when I got to Korea, I sometimes said it a couple of times a day while marching or resting.
Well, one day, we were told to move forward to scout for Commies. It was a really cold day. As I was walking along, I perceived another fellow walking beside me, and I looked to see who it was.
He was a big fellow, a Marine about 6’4” and built proportionally. Funny, but I didn’t know him, and I thought I knew everyone in my unit. I was glad to have the company and broke the silence between us:
“Chilly today, isn’t it?” Then I chuckled because suddenly it seemed absurd to talk about the weather when we were advancing to meet the enemy.
He chuckled too, softly.
“I thought I knew everyone in my outfit,” I continued, “ but I have never seen you before.”
“No,” he agreed, “I have just joined. The name is Michael.”
“Really?! That’s mine, too.”
“I know,” the Marine said, “Michael, Michael of the morning….”
Mom, I was really surprised that he knew about my prayer, but I had taught it to many of the other guys, so I supposed that the newcomer must have picked it up from someone else. As a matter of fact, it had gotten around to the extent that some of the fellows were calling me “Saint Michael.”
Then, out of the blue, Michael said, “There’s going to be trouble ahead.”
I wondered how he could know that. I was breathing hard from the march, and my breath hit the cold air like dense clouds of fog. Michael seemed to be in top shape because I couldn’t see his breath at all. Just then, it started to snow heavily, and soon it was so dense I could no longer hear or see the rest of my outfit. I got a little scared and yelled, “Michael!” Then I felt his strong hand on my shoulder and heard his voice in my ear, “It’s going to clear up soon.”
It did clear up, suddenly. And then, just a short distance ahead of us, like so many dreadful realities, were seven Commies, looking rather comical in their funny hats. But there was nothing funny about them now; their guns were steady and pointed straight in our direction.
“Down, Michael!!” I yelled as I dove for cover. Even as I was hitting the ground, I looked up and saw Michael still standing, as if paralyzed by fear, or so I thought at the time. Bullets were spurting all over the place, and Mom, there was no way those Commies could have missed at that short distance. I jumped up to pull him down, and then I was hit. The pain was like a hot fire in my chest, and as I fell, my head swooned and I remember thinking, “I must be dying…” Someone was laying me down, strong arms were holding me and laying me gently on the snow. Through the daze, I opened my eyes, and the sun seemed to blaze in my eyes. Michael was standing still, and there was a terrible splendor in his face. Suddenly, he seemed to grow, like the sun, the splendor increasing intensely around him like the wings of an angel. As I slipped into unconsciousness, I saw that Michael held a sword in his hand, and it flashed like a million lights.
Later on, when I woke up, the rest of the guys came to see me with the sergeant.
“How did you do it, son?” he asked me.
“Where’s Michael?” I asked in reply.
“Michael who?” The sergeant seemed puzzled.
“Michael, the big Marine walking with me, right up to the last moment. I saw him there as I fell.”
“Son,” the sergeant said gravely, “you’re the only Michael in my unit. I hand-picked all you fellows, and there’s only one Michael. You. And son, you weren’t walking with anyone. I was watching you because you were too far off from us, and I was worried.
Now tell me, son,” he repeated, “how did you do it?”
It was the second time he had asked me that, and I found it irritating.
“How did I do what?”
“How did you kill those seven Commies? There wasn’t a single bullet fired from your rifle.”
“Come on, son. They were strewn all around you, each one killed by a swordstroke.”
And that, Mom, is the end of my story. It may have been the pain, or the blazing sun, or the chilling cold. I don’t know, Mom, but there is one thing I am sure about. It happened.
Love your son,
The prayer to Saint Michael mentioned in the story titled, Incredible Miracle: U.S. Marine Saved by Saint Michael, seems to be this one:
Michael, Michael of the morning,
Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,
Keep me safe today,
And in time of temptation
Drive the devil away.