Has a Christian Holocaust begun? When will West wake up to ISIS threat | Fox News.

Has a Christian Holocaust begun? When will West wake up to ISIS threat | Fox News.

The recently displaced archbishop of Mosul, Iraq was speaking with particular candor when I met him last fall in the Middle East.

He said, “People in the West say ‘they don’t know.’ How can you not know? You either support ISIS or you must have turned off all the satellites. I am sorry to say this, but my pain is big.”

Like so many Christians in Iraq and Syria who watched ISIS kidnap their leaders, burn their churches, sell their children, and threaten all others with conversion or beheading; the archbishop wonders how it is that these maniacs so easily took his home city this summer?

The people whose lives have been threatened or destroyed by ISIS just don’t understand how this pre-modern evil could run unchecked.It is a good question.

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and was once the home of Iraq’s most vulnerable and persistent Christian community, tracing their lineage nearly to the time of Christ.

Now there are no Christians left.

All of this happened under the watchful eye of West, and while you’d hope that the humanitarian threat alone would have motivated the West to act, you would be certain that Mosul’s strategic importance would do so.

Neither proved true.

Mosul was easily taken by ISIS troops, riding in on their decrepit pick up trucks with guns bolted to them. Her ancient streets have since been turned red with innocent blood, and the city has become a base for a jihad that rages wildly throughout the entire region and boils underground in scores of countries throughout the world.

The archbishop’s perspective represented the sentiment of nearly everyone I have met or have communicated with in the region. The people whose lives have been threatened or destroyed by ISIS just don’t understand how this pre-modern evil could run unchecked.

They wonder how it could be that it took the most powerful nations in the world, using airstrikes, over four months with the help of Kurdish forces to defeat a few hundred jihadists waging war in the town of Kobani, and how it is that ISIS has been able to openly run its “state” from a self-determined capital city called “Raqqa” without the daily threat of hundreds of unrelenting airstrikes.  They also wonder how it is that Turkey’s border remains so porous allowing jihadist after jihadist to readily join ISIS.

The examples of Western inaction are unending.

At present, as many as 300 Assyrian Christians remain in captivity having been kidnapped two weeks ago as ISIS assaulted ten Assyrian, Christian villages along the Khabour River in Syria.  That assault was conducted by a group of ISIS fighters travelling in a convoy of more than 40 clearly marked ISIS vehicles directly toward these vulnerable, Christian villages.

How is it possible that Western satellites didn’t spot a forty-car ISIS convoy in route to unarmed Christian villages in Syria, and if it was spotted how is that it wasn’t destroyed?

Schooled in Hate: Anti-Semitism on Campus

Schooled in Hate: Anti-Semitism on Campus.

Sam Berns inspiring speech- My Philosophy For A Happy Life (Subtitled)

Published on Mar 27, 2014

“Meet Sam Berns —
When Berns was diagnosed with progeria as a toddler, doctors told his family he might not live past 13. On Jan 10th 2014, Sam passed away due to complications of the disorder. He was 17. Sam gave this talk at the TED conference, about three months before he passed away. Hope you like this wonderful talk. RIP Sam Berns, you were special.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. on Loving Your Enemies | OnFaith.

Martin Luther King, Jr. on Loving Your Enemies | OnFaith.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate

thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,

do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and

persecute you; that ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven.

—Matthew 5:43–45

Probably no admonition of Jesus has been more difficult to follow than the command to “love your enemies.” Some men have sincerely felt that its actual practice is not possible. It is easy, they say, to love those who love you, but how can one love those who openly and insidiously seek to defeat you? Others, like the philosopher Nietzsche, contend that Jesus’ exhortation to love one’s enemies is testimony to the fact that the Christian ethic is designed for the weak and cowardly, and not for the strong and courageous. Jesus, they say, was an impractical idealist.

KING-TheRadicalKingIn spite of these insistent questions and persistent objections, this command of Jesus challenges us with new urgency. Upheaval after upheaval has reminded us that modern man is traveling along a road called hate, in a journey that will bring us to destruction and damnation. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, the command to love one’s enemy is an absolute necessity for our survival. Love even for enemies is the key to the solution of the problems of our world. Jesus is not an impractical idealist: he is the practical realist.

I am certain that Jesus understood the difficulty inherent in the act of loving one’s enemy. He never joined the ranks of those who talk glibly about the easiness of the moral life. He realized that every genuine expression of love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God. So when Jesus said “Love your enemy,” he was not unmindful of its stringent qualities. Yet he meant every word of it. Our responsibility as Christians is to discover the meaning of this command and seek passionately to live it out in our daily lives.

I

Let us be practical and ask the question, How do we love our enemies?

First, we must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. It is impossible even to begin the act of loving one’s enemies without the prior acceptance of the necessity, over and over again, of forgiving those who inflict evil and injury upon us. It is also necessary to realize that the forgiving act must always be initiated by the person who has been wronged, the victim of some great hurt, the recipient of some tortuous injustice, the absorber of some terrible act of oppression. The wrongdoer may request forgiveness. He may come to himself, and, like the prodigal son, move up some dusty road, his heart palpitating with the desire for forgiveness. But only the injured neighbor, the loving father back home, can really pour out the warm waters of forgiveness.

Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning. It is the lifting of a burden or the cancelling of a debt. The words “I will forgive you, but I’ll never forget what you’ve done” never explain the real nature of forgiveness. Certainly one can never forget, if that means erasing it totally from his mind. But when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship. Likewise, we can never say, “I will forgive you, but I won’t have anything further to do with you.” Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again. Without this, no man can love his enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.

Second, we must recognize that the evil deed of the enemy-neighbor, the thing that hurts, never quite expresses all that he is. An element of goodness may be found even in our worst enemy. Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves. A persistent civil war rages within all of our lives. Something within us causes us to lament with Ovid, the Latin poet, “I see and approve the better things, but follow worse,” or to agree with Plato that human personality is like a charioteer having two headstrong horses, each wanting to go in a different direction, or to repeat with the Apostle Paul, “The good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

This simply means that there is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. When we look beneath the surface, beneath the impulsive evil deed, we see within our enemy-neighbor a measure of goodness and know that the viciousness and evilness of his acts not quite representative of all that he is. We see him in a new light. We recognize that his hate grows out of fear, pride, ignorance, prejudice, and misunderstanding, but in spite of this, we know God’s image is ineffably etched in his being. Then we love our enemies by realizing that they are not totally bad and that they are not beyond the reach of God’s redemptive love.

Third, we must not seek to defeat or humiliate the enemy but to win his friendship and understanding. At times we are able to humiliate our worst enemy. Inevitably, his weak moments come and we are able to thrust in his side the spear of defeat. But this we must not do. Every word and deed must contribute to an understanding with the enemy and release those vast reservoirs of goodwill which have been blocked by impenetrable walls of hate.

The meaning of love is not to be confused with some sentimental outpouring. Love is something much deeper than emotional bosh. Perhaps the Greek language can clear our confusion at this point. In the Greek New Testament are three words for love. The word eros is a sort of aesthetic or romantic love. In the Platonic dialogues eros is a yearning of the soul for the realm of the divine. The second word is philia, a reciprocal love and the intimate affection and friendship between friends. We love those whom we like, and we love because we are loved. The third word is agape understanding and creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return, agape is the love of God operating in the human heart. At this level, we love men not because we like them, nor because their ways appeal to us, nor even because they possess some type of divine spark; we love every man because God loves him. At this level, we love the person who does an evil deed, although we hate the deed that he does.

Read more:Martin Luther King, Jr. on Loving Your Enemies | OnFaith.

Inside the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest? – Aleteia

Inside the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest? – Aleteia.

Emilio-Labrador-CC

I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport.  They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it.

“Do you do all of the priest stuff?”
“Yep.”
“Even the Confession thing?”
“Yeah. All the time.”
One older lady gasped, “Well, I think that that would be the worst.  It would be so depressing; hearing all about people’s sins.”

I told them that it was the exact opposite.  There is almost no greater place to be than with someone when they are coming back to God.  I said, “It would depressing if I had to watch someone leave God; I get to be with them when they come back to Him.” The Confessional is a place where people let God’s love win.  The Confessional is the most joyful, humbling, and inspiring place in the world.

What do I see during Confession?
I think there are three things.  First, I see the costly mercy of God in action.  I get to regularly come face to face with the overwhelming, life-transforming power of God’s love.  I get to see God’s love up-close and it reminds me of how good God is.

Not many folks get to see the way in which God’s sacrifice on the Cross is constantly breaking into people’s lives and melting the hardest hearts.  Jesus consoles those who are grieving their sins . . . and strengthens those who find themselves wanting to give up on God or on life.

As a priest, I get to see this thing happen every day.
I see a saint in the making.
The second thing I see is a person who is still trying – a saint in the making.  I don’t care if this is the person’s third confession this week; if they are seeking the Sacrament of Reconciliation, it means that they are trying.  That’s all that I care about.  This thought is worth considering: going to Confession is a sign that you haven’t given up on Jesus.

This is one of the reasons why pride is so deadly.  I have talked with people who tell me that they don’t want to go to Confession to their priest because their priest really likes them and "thinks that they are a good kid."

I have two things to say to this.
1.  He will not be disappointed! What your priest will see is a person who is trying! I dare you to find a saint who didn’t need to God’s mercy! (Even Mary needed God’s mercy; she received the mercy of God in a dramatic and powerful way at her conception.  Boom. Lawyered.)

2.  So what if the priest is disappointed? We try to be so impressive with so much of our lives.  Confession is a place where we don’t get to be impressive.  Confession is a place where the desire to impress goes to die.  Think about it: all other sins have the potential to cause us to race to the confessional, but pride is the one that causes us to hide from the God who could heal us.

Do I remember your sins? No!

Read more via  Inside the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest? – Aleteia.

Picture Something Beautiful

Look Here

Worth Reflecting–For those in the Church Who Feel Forgotten and Confused

As 2014 draws to a close with all its uproar and confusion, we still look to Christ for True Peace.  We wait for the Perfect to come, in ourselves and in our world. The Pope Emeritus still has much to teach:

An appeal to Benedict XVI as reported by the Catholic Herald‘s Anna Arco:

"I wish to speak on behalf of those young people who, like me feel they are on the outskirts of the Church. We are the ones who do not fit comfortably into stereo-typed roles. This is due to various factors among them: either because we have experienced substance abuse; or because we are experiencing the misfortune of broken or dysfunctional families; or because we are of a different sexual orientation; among us are also our immigrant brothers and sisters, all of us in some way or another have encountered experiences that have estranged us from the Church. Other Catholics put us all in one basket. For them we are those “who claim to believe yet do not live up to the commitment of faith.”

To us, faith is a confusing reality and this causes us great suffering. We feel that not even the Church herself recognizes our worth. One of our deepest wounds stems from the fact that although the political forces are prepared to realize our desire for integration, the Church community still considers us to be a problem. It seems almost as if we are less readily accepted and treated with dignity by the Christian community than we are by all other members of society.

We understand that our way of life puts the Church in an ambiguous position, yet we feel that we should be treated with more compassion – without being judged and with more love.

We are made to feel that we are living in error. This lack of comprehension on the part of other Christians causes us to entertain grave doubts, not only with regards to community life, but also regarding our personal relationship with God. How can we believe that God accepts us unconditionally when his own people reject us?

Your Holiness, we wish to tell you that on a personal level – and some of us, even in our respective communities – are persevering to find ways in which we may remain united in Jesus, who we consider to be our salvation.

However, it is not that easy for us to proclaim God as our Father, a God who responds to all those who love him without prejudice. It is a contradiction in terms when we bless God’s Holy Name, whilst those around us make us feel that we are worth nothing to him.

We feel emarginated, almost as if we had not been invited to the banquet. God has called to him all those who are in the squares and in the towns, those who are on the wayside and in the country side, however we feel he has bypassed our streets. Your Holiness, please tell us what exactly is Jesus’ call for us. We wish you to show to us and the rest of the Church just how valid is our faith, and whether our prayers are also heard. We too wish to give our contribution to the Catholic community.

Your Holiness, what must we do?"

Later in the day Benedict XVI responds:

Saint Paul, as a young man, had an experience that changed him for ever. As you know, he was once an enemy of the Church, and did all he could to destroy it. While he was travelling to Damascus, intending to hunt down any Christians he could find there, the Lord appeared to him in a vision. A blinding light shone around him and he heard a voice saying, “Why do you persecute me? … I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:4-5). Paul was completely overcome by this encounter with the Lord, and his whole life was transformed. He became a disciple, and went on to be a great apostle and missionary. Here in Malta, you have particular reason to give thanks for Paul’s missionary labours, which spread the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean.

Every personal encounter with Jesus is an overwhelming experience of love. Previously, as Paul himself admits, he had “persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it” (Gal 1:13). But the hatred and anger expressed in those words was completely swept away by the power of Christ’s love. For the rest of his life, Paul had a burning desire to carry the news of that love to the ends of the earth.

Maybe some of you will say to me, Saint Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading a message of love? My answer is this. God loves every one of us with a depth and intensity that we can hardly begin to imagine. And he knows us intimately, he knows all our strengths and all our faults. Because he loves us so much, he wants to purify us of our faults and build up our virtues so that we can have life in abundance. When he challenges us because something in our lives is displeasing to him, he is not rejecting us, but he is asking us to change and become more perfect. That is what he asked of Saint Paul on the road to Damascus. God rejects no one. And the Church rejects no one. Yet in his great love, God challenges all of us to change and to become more perfect.

Saint John tells us that perfect love casts out fear (cf. 1 Jn 4:18). And so I say to all of you, “Do not be afraid!” How many times we hear those words in the Scriptures! They are addressed by the angel to Mary at the Annunciation, by Jesus to Peter when calling him to be a disciple, and by the angel to Paul on the eve of his shipwreck. To all of you who wish to follow Christ, as married couples, as parents, as priests, as religious, as lay faithful bringing the message of the Gospel to the world, I say, do not be afraid! You may well encounter opposition to the Gospel message. Today’s culture, like every culture, promotes ideas and values that are sometimes at variance with those lived and preached by our Lord Jesus Christ. Often they are presented with great persuasive power, reinforced by the media and by social pressure from groups hostile to the Christian faith. It is easy, when we are young and impressionable, to be swayed by our peers to accept ideas and values that we know are not what the Lord truly wants for us. That is why I say to you: do not be afraid, but rejoice in his love for you; trust him, answer his call to discipleship, and find nourishment and spiritual healing in the sacraments of the Church.

Here in Malta, you live in a society that is steeped in Christian faith and values. You should be proud that your country both defends the unborn and promotes stable family life by saying no to abortion and divorce. I urge you to maintain this courageous witness to the sanctity of life and the centrality of marriage and family life for a healthy society. In Malta and Gozo, families know how to value and care for their elderly and infirm members, and they welcome children as gifts from God. Other nations can learn from your Christian example. In the context of European society, Gospel values are once again becoming counter-cultural, just as they were at the time of Saint Paul.

In this Year for Priests, I ask you to be open to the possibility that the Lord may be calling some of you to give yourselves totally to the service of his people in the priesthood or the consecrated life. Your country has given many fine priests and religious to the Church. Be inspired by their example, and recognize the profound joy that comes from dedicating one’s life to spreading the message of God’s love for all people, without exception.

I have spoken already of the need to care for the very young, and for the elderly and infirm. Yet a Christian is called to bring the healing message of the Gospel to everyone. God loves every single person in this world, indeed he loves everyone who has ever lived throughout the history of the world. In the death and Resurrection of Jesus, which is made present whenever we celebrate the Mass, he offers life in abundance to all those people. As Christians we are called to manifest God’s all-inclusive love. So we should seek out the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized; we should have a special care for those who are in distress, those suffering from depression or anxiety; we should care for the disabled, and do all we can to promote their dignity and quality of life; we should be attentive to the needs of immigrants and asylum seekers in our midst; we should extend the hand of friendship to members of all faiths and none. That is the noble vocation of love and service that we have all received. Let it inspire you to dedicate your lives to following Christ.

‘The Interview’ release marked by capacity crowds | Fox News

“As [Duke of] Wellington said, ‘nothing save a battle loss is quite so melancholy as a battle won.’ We won the battle and now we have to watch the movie,” Krauthammer said Tuesday to laughter on "Special Report with Bret Baier’s panel.

‘The Interview’ release marked by capacity crowds | Fox News.

Meet Devonte, the little boy with a big heart – Paper Trail

"A young boy who was born into a life of drugs, extreme poverty, danger and destined for a bleak future is defying stereotypes in the most remarkable way. And his latest encounter at a grocery store is bound to open your eyes, widen your mind and capture your heart.
To truly understand just how incredible this encounter was, you need to know some history.

Devonte Hart entered the world 12 years ago with drugs pumping through his tiny newborn body.

By the time he was 4 years old he had smoked, consumed alcohol, handled guns, been shot at, and suffered severe abuse and neglect.

He knew only a handful of words, including fuck and shit, and he struggled to identify with the names of food, body parts and every day objects. Devonte was a violent toddler and his health was weighed down by a heavy list of disabilities.

It was a life with little hope and a future that seemed over before it began.

That is until Jen Hart and her wife Sarah entered Devonte’s life and adopted him and his two siblings seven years ago.

Jen says the day she met Devonte was frightening and traumatic.

“That night, after we finally got him to sleep, I cried harder than I had ever cried in my life. I felt like there was no way we could raise this child, and the five others we had adopted.”

Yet, she says, there was something inexplicable pulling at her heart.

“I felt more connected to this fragile little boy more than I had ever felt to anyone in my life.”

With their unconditional love, nurturing natures, patience and acceptance, Devonte defied all odds and has grown into a young charismatic man with a heart of gold.

e“He inspires me every single day. He has proven doctors, psychologists and teachers wrong. His future is most definitely not bleak, he is a shining star in this world. His light shines bright on everyone on his path.

“People always tell us how lucky he is that we adopted him. I tell you, we most certainly are the lucky ones. Yes indeed he is living proof that our past does not dictate our future.”

via Meet Devonte, the little boy with a big heart – Paper Trail.

Learning That Love Is The Way

by Heather

“A very close friend of mine and I have been having sort of a running conversation lately. We’ve each experienced a certain amount of failure in our lives and have each been on a personal journey of learning that love is the way. I knew that when I was younger. I knew that when I lived with drug addicts who would sell themselves for crack. I knew it when I lived with a homosexual cook who insisted we all call him “Auntie Ray”, and when I lived with Gail, the schizophrenic who refused to sleep anywhere else but on a mattress with no sheets in the basement. I knew that it wasn’t just about doing all the right things right, knowing all the rules and being “appropriate.” I knew that …” [Read more…]

via Mama Knows, Honeychild –.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: