The least of Your children, O Lord,,
Can bring forth fruit one hundred fold.
Such is the mystery of grace and love
Planted in a willing heart.
By Joann Nelander
The least of Your children, O Lord,,
Can bring forth fruit one hundred fold.
Such is the mystery of grace and love
Planted in a willing heart.
By Joann Nelander
Here I am Lord,
Prostrate in spirit
Before You, adoring.
Who You are in Your glory
Lies hidden under the appearance
Of this Holy Bread before me.
You have revealed to Your Church
The wonder, and magnificence
Of Your living Presence.
With Mother Church,
I extol Your beauty.
Truths come to mind
And I give assent.
I am married to You,
O Holy Bridegroom.
In the fullness of time,
I will embrace You
With a glorified vision and body,
But, for now, I reach with heart
And mind’s eye to catch a glimpse
Of this splendid Truth
Hidden as it is
‘Neath Bread and Wine
And broken Body on a Cross.
Favor me with an increase
Of love and desire,
Until my longing tears free
From all that holds me captive still.
I know my blindness,
And have seen my foolishness.
In my poverty and need,
I seek refuge here
Before Your eyes.
Your splendid Truth, be mine!
These are such glorious Truths,
I can not comprehend them
In their reality and breath.
I can only glimpse them,
And cry out in hope and faith.
My adorable Lord,
Looking upon me now as always,
Gather to Yourself,
The groans and sighs of Spirit born,
Unto Your memories,
As so many Communions
And resurrections of spirit,
As chains of Love in Time,
Only One Adorable Lord.
©2010 Joann Nelander
The day has begun,
You have embraced
Your wee one.
I greet You
With the opening
Of my eyes,
That stream anew.
My slumber has brought me
To New Day.
The night was spent
In healing, and a continuity,
That like the day
Follows one unto the other,
Within Your sovereign embrace.
My body leaned
Upon You in trust,
To rise refreshed.
Phantoms of the night
Fled as Your Sun
Rose with purple dawn,
For I place my Trust
You knit me,
Body, soul and spirit,
Into a unity,
I have known
Since You willed me
Unity creating one nature,
Sharing in your dual nature
Of God and Man.
Born of God,
In the Holy Spirit,
I am wed to You
And made ready,
Sun on sun,
Remembering my frame,
And my need,
Stir into flame
Your Godly Presence,
So that the Bridegroom
Of my Soul
May this day
Take to Himself
The bride He won
From the Cross,
And I ,
Dust of the Earth,
May know the sacred bliss
Of having been chosen.
And living, in the flesh,
The Life of God.
©2012 Joann Nelander
These remarks were delivered at Brigham Young University, January 23, as part of BYU’s on-going “Faith, Family and Society” lecture series.
"Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “History is bunk.” That’s not quite accurate. What he actually told the Chicago Tribune in 1916 is this: “I wouldn’t give a nickel for all the history in the world. It means nothing to me. History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that’s worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.”
It’s hard to imagine a better statement of the American spirit, or at least a certain strain in our national character. The Founders clearly understood the value of the past. Most were Christians. Nearly all were religious believers. They revered the memory of Roman law, architecture, and republican process. But they also very consciously intended to create a novus ordo seclorum—a “new order of the ages.”
And they succeeded. Tocqueville describes the difference between democracy and all the forms of political and social life that came before it as a gulf between “two distinct humanities.” Democratic man is very different from his ancestors—or so we’re led to believe. So it’s no surprise that Americans tend to be poor students of history. We enjoy nostalgia because it’s a kind of entertainment. But the real events of the real past come with annoying baggage. We can’t reinvent ourselves in the present if we’re dragging around a history of inconvenient duties and facts. The good news is that this is part of our genius. We innovate because we’re not crushed by the weight of our memories. The bad news is that it leads to forgetting things we need to remember. And amnesia is dangerous both for individuals and for nations."
Read more: via The Great Charter at 800 | Charles J. Chaput | First Things.
“I have heard some of my non-Catholic Christian friends say that they believe people should only be baptized into the Christian faith at the “age of reason,” when they are old enough to understand what is being done. Obviously, infants have no clue what is going on when they are being baptized, and for this reason, infant baptism makes no sense to them. So if babies don’t get what’s going on, then why do we bother?
In Colossians 2, St. Paul explains that baptism is the “circumcision of Christ.”
“and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” -Col 2:11-12
What do we know from Scripture about circumcision? Let’s look at the deal God made with Abraham in the Old Testament:
“God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations” -Gen 17:9-12
We know from the Bible that baptism is the first step in attaining salvation (Titus 3:5, 1 Pet 3:21), and that it is the “circumcision of Christ.” Notice in Genesis 17 that circumcision of the 8-day-old babies is a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham, rather than each individual circumcision being only a sign between the circumcised and God.
Denying baptism to an infant is depriving them of this grace. It was Jesus who said “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)
This outward sign of grace is important for the parents and godparents also. The Catechism explains it this way:
“For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized – child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium).” -CCC #1255
Much like the act of circumcision of male descendants being a sign of the covenant (binding agreement) between God and Abraham, so then infant baptism is also a sign of the covenant between God and the parents who have been entrusted with raising their children in the faith.
Lord of the centuries,
Knit, of our pain, the knots,
That mysteriously arrange themselves
Across our days.
Guide, by unseen fingers,
Each little pearl,
To form a cloth
Alive with Your Golden threads,
Infinitely more than happenstance or tragedy.
Each strand of Time a Mystery,
Bathed in trial and tears,
Yet rich in Awe,
Resplendent in Beauty,
And the gracious beneficence
Of sacrificial love.
Woven into a seamless robe,
You don in majesty,
Humble and meek in triumph o’er our graves,
As Life welcomes to the Banquet,
Our souls, now clad in bodies,
One with Your Own.
© 2015 Joann Nelander
A World War I interlude among British and German troops shows how even bitter foes can work out rituals of cooperation
‘The Christmas Day Truce of 1914,’ a lithograph by Arthur C. Michael published on Jan. 9, 1915, shows British and German soldiers out of the trenches of World War I, arm in arm and exchanging headgear. Arthur C. Michael/The illustrated London News Picture Library, London, UK/Bridgeman Images
Robert M. Sapolsky
On Christmas morning we stuck up a board with ‘A Merry Christmas’ on it. The enemy had stuck up a similar one…. Two of our men then threw their equipment off and jumped on the parapet with their hands above their heads. Two of the Germans done the same and commenced to walk up the river bank, our two men going to meet them. They met and shook hands and then we all got out of the trench…
So wrote a British soldier named Frank Richards, referring to the first Christmas of World War I, one hundred years ago this Thursday. Up and down the four hundred-odd miles of trenches on the Western Front, men risked their lives with similar acts, meeting opposing soldiers in “no man’s land.” Wary and unarmed, they made their way out of their trenches, taking steps that, a day earlier, would have guaranteed their death at the hands of sharpshooters and machine gunners a hundred yards away.
The relaxation of hostilities spread, and what has come to be called the “Christmas truce” took hold. Soon, soldiers were holding joint burial services for the dead. They began trading goods. British soldiers had been given holiday tins of plum pudding from the king; German soldiers had received pipes with a picture of the crown prince on them; and before long the men were bartering these holiday gee-gaws that celebrated the enemy’s royals. Eventually, soldiers prayed and caroled together, shared dinner, exchanged gifts. Most famously, there were soccer matches at various locations, played with improvised balls.
The truce mostly held through Christmas and, in some cases, even to the New Year. It took senior officers’ threats for fighting to resume, and such comprehensive battlefront peacemaking never happened again during the Great War. Courts-martial were brought against those involved later in even brief Christmas truces to retrieve the dead. READ MORE: The Spirit of the 1914 Christmas Truce – WSJ.
IMMIGRATION REBUKE: Federal judge rules Obama’s actions unconstitutional
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
It is wonderful to notice in the prophecies of the Old Testament how, from the time of David onward, they settle down more and more upon the House of David. This at least was to be one sure sign; and so much had it become an essential part of the Messiah, that those who in His lifetime wished to proclaim their acceptance of His miracles and teaching called Him at once the “Son of David.” The Angel alluded to it at the first announcement; Zachary proclaimed it at the Benedictus; “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,” cried the beggar on the roadside; the enthusiastic crowd on Palm Sunday shouted: “Hosanna to the Son of David”; even Our Lord Himself, when facing His enemies, used this belief of theirs for their confusion.
“And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: ‘What think you of Christ? Whose Son is He? They say to Him: ‘David’s.’ He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call Him ‘Lord’, saying: ‘The Lord said to My Lord, sit on My right hand, until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool?’ If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son? And no man was able to answer Him a word: neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any further questions” (Matthew 22:41-46).
2. The genealogy of Our Lord from David, in that imperfect-perfect manner recognized by the Jews, has been preserved to us. When we look at the line we are struck with many things. David himself was a great saint, but also a great sinner, and Our Lord came from that union which had followed on David’s great sin. Moreover, she that had been the wife of Uriah was not even a Jew. So we can follow down the line of His ancestors and notice that there were others of their kind; that though Our Lord provided for Himself a spotless Mother, He by no means provided spotless forefathers. In this, as in many other ways, “He became like to man”; though in Him sin was not, yet so near did He suffer Himself to be allied to it.
3. Again, though the House of David was not suffered to perish, still it was suffered to be buried for centuries in obscurity; for centuries, too, it was a house divided against itself, and only in its undercurrents did the stream flow on. Kings were born of it, and slew each other, and their families were blotted out; while unknown members carried on the line in hidden places, little suspecting in their obscurity that their lives and the families they reared around them were the most precious, the most significant in all the world. This is to look at life along the plane of God. From the next world how differently will perspectives appear!
“The base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that He may bring to nought things that are : that no flesh should glory in His sight” (1 Corinthians 1:28-29).
O Mary, living for Christ,
From the beginning, Immaculata,
As the Father willed,
Bring forth Christ for all mankind.
Make me the fruit of your holy labor.
Mary, the means and not the end,
Carry me within your bosom blest.
O Mary, living in me,
May I receive your thoughts and inspirations.
Let your heart beat with my own.
May your soul inflame my own.
May the soul of Christ,
One with yours
By His Holy Spirit espoused,
Be seed, substance and fruition in me.
May Christ, one with your soul,
Extend His victory in me,
As your protectorate,
That the Conqueror now conquer me.
May the angels wonder at my change,
As your light and inspirations
Become my constant delight.
O, you who are all grace by the Word of God,
Supply the grace for good to me,
As your heart received His holy orders
Obedient to Him who held all sway over your being.
Be in me, the gracious gift of God,
As is all grace.
All is grace and gratitude
To His glory and your merit.
I am abandoned.
You are adorned.
I am conformed.
Christ is adored.
©2013 Joann Nelander
A request for Divine protection of the family was answered by FullyAwake with this prayer, over at Catholic Answers:
For you and your Family from me and mine:
O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.
Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.
These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.
Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and Patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David.
Let thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
As we have hoped in thee.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
And let my cry come unto thee.
Let us pray.
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon thy holy name, and as suppliants we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls.
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.
"It’s an unfathomable sacrifice to most, this dedication of your entire life to the church, and that’s what makes The Sisterhood both a fascinating watch and an illuminating amateur sociology project. As a docuseries, it succeeds because it wants to shed light on the subjects, not exploit them."
Sins of Ignorance and Sins of the Flesh
by Fr. Mullady
Sins of Ignorance and Sins of the Flesh Editor’s note: It is our great pleasure to welcome Father Brian Mullady OP to our writing team. He is a professor, preacher and retreat master, who has authored three books, and is the Theological Consultant to the Institute on Religious Life. Please welcome him warmly and make him feel at home! It is a moral truth that… Read More
Cover all my life,
And my sin
Nail to Your Cross.
Indeed, cover all of Time,
Till Time be no more.
You have dominion,
And I, Your least,
Cry in my wretchedness.
You Who have seen the Father,
And His Work,
And His Will,
Witness to Life and Love.
Firstborn of the Dead
Bless those who
Enter through the Veil
Of Your Flesh,
Your pierced side,
An open door.
You rule all the kingdoms
Of the Earth,
And all the peoples
For whom You were nailed
To the Tree,
Your Cross becoming
A Tree of Life,
Where Death sought victory,
But was ravaged,
As You assailed it
From Your grave,
A grave that couldn’t hold You.
Lord of the Now,
Alive in all
Covered in Your Blood,
No earthly monarch
Could love his people
As You Love us.
You make us priests,
Prophets and kings,
As Your Church marches
As Your Body.
Joined to its Head,
King and captain.
Alive in Your Divinity,
King of All,
Alpha and Omega,
King of Kings,
Embracing and transforming,
Reign over Past, Present and To Come.
We offer the sacrifice
Of our lives,
Sinful and faulty
As they are,
To live for Your announcing
The Trinity of God,
Witnessing with You,
For in You , we, too, reign
To be blessing
To the Nations
To be Church.
King of Al Nations,
And all Time,
You have dominion,
Glory and power,
Reign over all,
©2012 Joann Nelander
They are merely mouthpieces for Obama — the media should be mocking their messiah, Obama.
Perhaps the State department can’t admit the truth because it flies in the face of Obama’s absurd declaration that “al Qaeda is on the run.”
The thing is — it’s not funny. Obama’s pro-jihadist foreign policy is responsible for the victories and conquest of jihadist groups worldwide. The world is vastly different since he took power after 2008. For the worse … much worse.
“As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace– but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace. ” Is this not our problem today? So many tortured ways of seeking “peace”, and so many variant images of “peace”.
When “Mir”, “Peace”, is proclaimed by the Communists, it lacks a God Who can bring it. It means the imposition of might over the many who have been forced into submission and now can only dream of “peace”.
When the Buddha chants for peace, its coming dissolves the entities of its devotees into a universal soup of nothingness, doing nothing, loving nothing distinct or individual.
When the progressive secular relativist of our day speaks of “peace”, it is an end brought about by the silencing of conscience and even science to impose the law of those that lack a way recognizing integrity, morality, and Truth.
Maranatha! Come Lord, Jesus!
O eyes of my soul,
Eyes of my spirit,
Eyes of my heart,
See the glory revealed
In all creation.
See the Son
Hidden in the least
To the greatest.
Recognize the Christ,
Lord of all.
Lord over the earth
Lord over the sea
Lord raised above the heavens.
Enthrone Him, King,
King of your soul,
King of your spirit,
King of your heart.
As light illuminates,
See that you are a new creation.
See, in this moment,
As in the breaking of the Bread.
Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved
“Last night, the American people rebelled against the President’s executive amnesty and rallied behind GOP candidates who promised to put the needs of the American people first. It is shocking then that the President would declare that the only way ‘those executive actions go away,’ is to ‘send me a bill that I can sign.’ Otherwise, the President warned, he would ‘act in the absence of action by Congress.’
Of course, Congress has acted, and so have the American people. Republicans, and the voters who sent us here, rejected the Obama-Democrat legislation to give work permits to illegal immigrants and to surge already-record immigration rates. The President cannot, having had his policies defeated at the ballot box, impose them through executive decree.
A Republican Congress will defend itself and our citizens from these lawless actions. Surrendering to illegality is not an option. Democrats will have to choose sides: protect the President’s agenda, or protect your constituents.
Americans do not want their borders erased. What they have asked for is an agenda that promotes higher wages, reforms government, eliminates failed programs, balances the budget, increases energy production, and protects their sovereignty.”
Read more Sen Jeff Sessions
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) wants Congress to withhold funding for the implementation of President Obama’s expected executive orders, either in the lame-duck session or the next Congress.
“A long-term funding bill that does not deal with President Obama’s unconstitutional overreach, adopted before a single newly elected Republican is sworn-in, would be to acquiesce to the President’s unlawful action,” Sessions said in an apparent warning to House Republicans inclined to pass a year-long appropriations bill. “This executive amnesty scheme will give work permits, photo IDs, and Social Security numbers to millions of illegal immigrants—taking jobs directly from unemployed Americans.”
Sessions suggested that he would support a short-term continuing resolution to fund government until next year, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will relinquish control of the Senate.
“If Reid will not take up a long-term bill with these restrictions, then we should pass a short term CR so our new majority can include such language after it takes office,” Sessions said.
"The debate, which had the event description “Last year in Britain, over 185,000 abortions were carried out. What does this say about our national culture? Is it a sign of equality, or does it suggest we treat human life carelessly? Joining OSFL to debate the issue are two prominent journalists”, had been subject to heavy criticism from student activists." read mores via Christ Church cancels abortion debate | The Oxford Student.
From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
The heart of the just man will rejoice in the Lord
The just man will rejoice in the Lord and put his hope in him; the hearts of all good men will be filled with joy. We must surely have sung these words with our hearts as well as with our voices. Indeed, the tongue of the Christian expresses his deepest feelings when it addresses such words to God. The just man will rejoice, not in the world, but in the Lord. Light has dawned for the just, Scripture says in another place, and joy for the upright of heart. Were you wondering what reason he has for joy? Here you are told: The just man will rejoice in the Lord. Another text runs: Delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
What are we instructed to do then, and what are we enabled to do? To rejoice in the Lord. But who can rejoice in something he does not see? Am I suggesting that we see the Lord then? No, but we have been promised that we shall see him. Now, as long as we are in the body, we walk by faith, for we are absent from the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight. When will it be by sight? Beloved, says John, we are now the sons of God; what we shall be has not yet been revealed, but we know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. When this prophecy is fulfilled, then it will be by sight.
That will be the great joy, the supreme joy, joy in all its fullness. Then we shall no longer drink the milk of hope, but we shall feed on the reality itself. Nevertheless, even now, before that vision comes to us, or before we come to that vision, let us rejoice in the Lord; for it is no small reason for rejoicing to have a hope that will some day be fulfilled.
Therefore, since the hope we now have inspires love, the just man rejoices, Scripture says, in the Lord; but because he does not yet see, it immediately goes on to say, and hopes in him.
Yet already we have the first fruits of the Spirit, and have we not also other reasons for rejoicing? For we are drawing near to the one we love, and not only are we drawing near – we even have some slight feeling and taste of the banquet we shall one day eagerly eat and drink.
But how can we rejoice in the Lord if he is far from us? Pray God he may not be far. If he is, that is your doing. Love, and he will draw near; love, and he will dwell within you. The Lord is at hand; have no anxiety. Are you puzzled to know how it is that he will be with you if you love? God is love.
“What do you mean by love?” you will ask me. It is that which enables us to be loving. What do we love? A good that words cannot describe, a good that is for ever giving, a good that is the Creator of all good. Delight in him from whom you have received everything that delights you. But in that I do not include sin, for sin is the one thing that you do not receive from him. With that one exception, everything you have comes from him.
O God, let me climb
the Lord’s mountain,
That I may be changed,
Charged, and sent.
Going up to Jerusalem,
May sinful Man
Grab on to the tassels
Of my garment,
And run with me,
By Your Cross.
On this mountain,
This all hallowed mountain,
From which the bones of Adam,
And the faith of Abraham, cry out,
My Redeemer comes.
©2011 Joann Nelander
"’Sheikh Google’ is the real threat to young Muslims." — Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, British Muslim mother, Daily Telegraph.
These mild legal outcomes indicate that U.S. officials do not appreciate how inflammatory the materials are.
As informed Muslims know, present-day radical Islamists have proven adept at using the internet – far more than have their moderate and Western opponents. "Internet savvy" jihadism appears as evidence of the youthful constituency of the extremists. They have grown up with the internet, video games, and other online diversions. When fanatical ideology takes hold of them, the internet is one of the obvious places for the process to begin.
In an important 2003 article in The Weekly Standard, entitled "The Islamic Terrorism Club," Stephen Schwartz, wrote about some of the more obnoxious pro-jihad Arabic-language websites then operating from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The jihad-net expanded considerably in the decade that followed.
Even before September 11, 2001, however, many Muslims who opposed the fundamentalists were focusing on Islamist websites in English, as a means to anticipate threats from radicals.
With Britain targeted for recruitment to the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" [IS] and the IS’s brutal campaign in Syria and Iraq, these sites, which remain operating, are still important and accessible to both the Muslim and non-Muslim public. They are exceptionally educational about the aims and methods of Islamist demagogues.
On September 25, the London Daily Telegraph reported on the pervasive influence of radical Islam on the internet. The article quoted Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, a British Muslim mother, who said, "the internet is the real problem when it comes to young people being radicalised: ‘The biggest issue right now is the internet – it’s Sheikh Google.’" The Telegraph went with the quote in its headline: "Forget radicalisation in mosques – ‘Sheikh Google’ is the real threat to young Muslims."
(Image source: muslimvillage.com)
A standard source for monitoring jihadist agitation is Islamic Awakening. It has an extensive archive worth studying, and is eclectic in its postings, which are anti-radical as well as radical. On October 18, 2014, for instance, its headings under "Global Affairs" included: "America is One Sick Place," a thread begun in 2009, and "Kurdish Murtads [Apostates from Islam] Are Going on a Rampage in Turkey," posted a few days earlier. The latter is an explicit pro-ISIS comment that accuses Kurds of defending themselves against charges of apostasy, or leaving Islam, because their ranks include secularist "leftists."
Another well of Islamist venom is Sunni Forum. On October 18, 2014, its lead item under "Current Affairs," dating from July 23, 2006, was a protest in favor of Guantánamo detainees, entitled, "I Have Tried to Kill Myself Twice…" The second, first posted on July 21, 2006, is a petition defending Syed Talha Ahsan, a British-born jihadist author who was extradited from the UK to the U.S. Ahsan was tried by the American authorities and, with another defendant and UK citizen, Babar Ahmed, pled guilty to charges of promoting the Taliban when it protected Al-Qaida, and to assisting other violent groups, via the internet.
read more via "Sheikh Google’s" Radical Islam.
I’m starting in the middle and steering you here for the rest,
Let’s leave aside all of the giddy “yes I was ordained and then made a bishop by the super-coolest of the cool bishops” anti-establishment boring-ese bits — and also the question as to whether she is being used as a handy stooge by bishops too cowardly to proclaim themselves (because sneaking about is so very Holy) and be forced from their powerful positions. Here’s what jumped out at me:
“I had felt called by God to priesthood since I was a small child,” she says simply, “and I wanted to be a priest before I died.”
That’s four I’s in two sentences, and not a “Jesus” in sight, in the whole long piece, except as necessary to provide the vaguest of explanations for our teaching on ordination.
Once again, as with the lady from Long Island, there is a great deal of pride and self-reference in all of this. Beyond that, the idea that “I felt called and wanted this before I died, because I am a prophet” makes her theology terribly suspect.
She calls herself “a prophet” but prophets generally don’t want any part of whatever it is they’re being called to. If they eventually find joy in their obedience, their first response is usually, “oh, hell no.”
Theologically, she is missing the whole idea — the Christ-promulgated idea — that you can’t always get what you want, but (if you try sometimes, though obedience is hard) you get what you need.
I am thinking of Moses, reluctantly leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and through the desert, only to be denied the Promised Land.
I am thinking of Saint Gemma Galgani, who certainly felt “called” to become a Passionist nun yet never made it into the convent. Rather, when it became clear that what she was being offered a calling of unquenchable thirst, she discovered her consolation in the self-abnegation into which she had been invited; the calling-within-a-calling, so to speak: desire without consummation, except as Christ consumes. “Not my will, but Thine.”
Her calling, in other words, was not to the cloister, as she fervently believed and desired, but to the very Cross, with Christ, and with suffering, too. Because reluctant prophets and those who answer the call to “pick up your Cross and follow me” always do suffer with him, in the end.