Man is endangering both himself and the world!

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“Man is in any case incapable of mastering history by his own power. Man is clearly in danger, and he is endangering both himself and the world; we could even say we have scientific evidence of this. Man can be saved only when moral energies gather strength in his heart; energies that can come only from the encounter with God; energies of resistance.

We therefore need him, the Other, who helps us be what we ourselves cannot be; and we need Christ, who gathers us into a communion that we call the Church.” – Papa Benedict XVI

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9 Common confused statements of Youths about Catholic life

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  1. Mass is a weekly gathering of Christians where they could express their feelings for one another.
  2. ‘Twilight’ is better than The Bible (Teen comment)
  3. It is OK to go for Mass on Monday or Tuesday in order to fulfill the “Sunday” obligation.
  4. I do not fear losing power! But I do not like him gaining power.
  5. Church is an organization founded after the death of Christ by his apostles in order to keep his ideas alive.
  6. Yearly general absolution is better than confession, therefore no need for personal confession.
  7. I prefer sleeping pills than the daily rosary.
  8. Yes, I forgive him. But, I like to poke him on regular basis.
  9. No mentors please! We need someone to rock with us!

Kindly do not divide the church or segregate her members.

divideJesus rebuked the Pharisees for knowing the commandments, but not implementing them in their lives. If they are not practicing what they say, not only do they not serve us, but they hurt : they deceive us , they make us believe that we have a beautiful home, but without a foundation.

A Christian word without Christ at its centre leads to vanity, to pride, power for the sake of power. Anyone who utters Christian words without putting them into practice hurts oneself and others, because they are based on pride and cause division in the Church.

Do well to examine our own consciences to see whether our Christian words are indeed Christ centred because when they are not, they divide us from ourselves and divide the Church.

Lord is our foundation.Our rock is Jesus Christ. The Lord, breaks down these people who believe themselves to be the Rock.  – Papa Francis

Isn’t Christmas on December 25th a continuation of the pagan holiday?

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December 25th was indeed a pagan holiday. In ancient ages many new converts yielded to temptation to keep that feast. It seems that Christian leaders endeavored to counteract that practice by giving believers a Christian festival on the same day, celebrating the birth of Christ. Some churches in our day conduct special banquets or other attractions for their high school seniors on the night of the senior prom for much the same motive. Certainly the celebration of Christmas is not a continuation of the pagan holiday. It is a unique Christian observance hailing the birth of Jesus Christ.

Moreover, December 25 is especially fitting in that it comes four days after the winter solstice. As the days grow longer with more light, Christians rejoice in the hope of the world in the birth of him who called himself the Light of the World. G. H. Montgomery wrote, “Church leaders saw in the birth of Jesus a triumph of light over darkness, spring over winter and of life over death. What more appropriate time could have been selected to commemorate the birth of the Man whose life, teachings and vicarious death were to change the trends of history, cause light to shine out of darkness and offer light to those who dwell in the valley of death! It will be good to keep these things in mind as you observe Christmas.”

God isn’t against Christmas. God is in favor of Christmas—of the proper observance of the holiday, that is. God planned and executed the first Christmas. No matter how flagrantly men may abuse this holiday, they cannot rob devout believers of its wonder and glory as expressed by the angel of old, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11).

Ref# Raymond L. Cox., Answers In Action.

Hurray! Pope issues first Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium

The Joy of GospelI was waiting so long for this. Over Joyed. Reading it!

“In strikingly direct and personal language, the Pope appeals to all Christians to bring about a “revolution of tenderness” by opening their hearts each day to God’s unfailing love and forgiveness. The great danger in today’s consumer society, he says, is “the desolation and anguish” that comes from a “covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.” Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests , he warns, “there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.”As we open our hearts, the Pope goes on, so the doors of our churches must always be open and the sacraments available to all. The Eucharist, he says pointedly, “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” And he repeats his ideal of a Church that is “bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets” rather than a Church that is caught up in a slavish preoccupation with liturgy and doctrine, procedure and prestige. “God save us,” he exclaims, “from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings!” Urging a greater role for the laity, the Pope warns of “excessive clericalism” and calls for “a more incisive female presence in the Church”, especially “where important decisions are made.” …

Awesome!

Living Dangerously: Christian Persecution Around the World

John Allen’s new book argues that today the persecution of Christians is as virulent—and widespread—as ever.
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The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi hold a photo of their mother outside their residence in Ittanwalai, Pakistan, in November 2010. (CNS photo/Adrees Latif, Reuters)
 In his 18th-century classic The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, English historian Edward Gibbon famously attributed the fall of the Roman Empire primarily to the rise of the Christian religion. The Christian belief in eternal life, paired with the gospel teachings on love of neighbor and the demand to turn the other cheek, were responsible, Gibbon believed, for the weakening of the Roman peoples’ concern with this earthly state.

In his account, Gibbon observed, “When the promise of eternal happiness was proposed to mankind on condition of adopting the faith, and of observing the precepts, of the Gospel, it is no wonder that so advantageous an offer should have been accepted by great numbers of every religion, of every rank, and of every province in the Roman empire. The ancient Christians were animated by a contempt for their present existence, and by a just confidence of immortality, of which the doubtful and imperfect faith of modern ages cannot give us any adequate notion.”

While Gibbon’s interpretation of this history has been widely debated, one thing remains undeniable: the influence of Christianity on the Roman Empire forever changed the rest of the world. Critics argue about whether this influence has been for good or ill, but what’s clear is that it has mattered significantly.

Christians now represent almost a third of the world population. And among the 2.2 billion Christians around the globe, over 100 million are the victims of religious persecution. According to Vatican analyst John Allen, Jr., author of the newly released The Global War on Christians, these Christians are indisputably “the most persecuted religious body on the planet.” Too often, he explains in detail, their persecution is either silent or misunderstood.

In recent years there’s been much talk of a “war on religion” in the United States. Controversy over the Health and Human Services mandate requiring religious employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortifacients have prompted many Christian institutions to protest the Obama administration’s narrow religious exemptions. Others have pointed to cases where religious opposition to same-sex marriage has led to charges of prejudice and bias and limited the practices of adoption and foster care agencies and other faith-based services. When talk of religious freedom occurs, these stories tend to dominate the discussion. While these examples present real and serious limitations of religious freedom, Allen expands the scope much wider, and introduces a world in which Christians of all backgrounds are being silenced, punished, and—in a disturbing number of cases—killed for their faith.

Meet Bishop Umar Mulinde, a leader in the Pentecostal Church in Uganda who converted to Christianity from Islam 20 years ago. On Christmas Eve 2011, he was attacked by a Muslim extremist, who threw acid on his face in protest of Mulinde’s vocal criticism of the Ugandan parliament’s proposal to grant legal recognition to sharia courts. While Christians make up more than 80 percent of the Ugandan population, this fact hasn’t reduced the threat to Mulinde’s life or to other prominent Christians in the country. In fact, the 2011 attack was merely one of the many made against him since his conversion to Christianity. Despite such threats, Mulinde remains resolute: “I am not happy about getting hurt, but it’s a price I’m happy to pay in order to be faithful to what I believe.”

According to the latest data, Christians make up 63 percent of the African population—a grand total of 380 million souls. Yet while the continent can boast of the world’s fastest-growing Christian population, it’s coming at an equally high cost to the faithful on the ground.

Current examples

Consider the more prominent story of Aaiya Noreen Bibi, better known as Asia Bibi, the 43-year-old Catholic mother of five who was charged with blasphemy in Pakistan in 2009. Her crime? After picking berries in 100-degree heat, she was thirsty and drank water out of a local well. Upon doing so, local Muslim women blamed her for defiling the well and the conversation soon erupted into a dispute about Jesus and Muhammad. Although the conversation never turned violent, Bibi was arrested, charged, and sentenced to death by hanging. Since then her case has drawn much international criticism and her death sentence has not been carried out. Even so, she remains in solitary confinement and one Pakistani mullah has advertised a $10,000 reward for anyone who kills her. While this case has drawn widespread attention, it’s not an unfamiliar tale. According to the Pew Research Center, 47 percent of the countries in the world have laws or policies that criminalize blasphemy, apostasy, or defamation of religion. Given the treatment of Asia Bibi, it seems clear that even minor offenses can result in severe charges under these categories.

Bishop Mulinde and Asia Bibi are not outliers, and Allen’s engaging book provides dozens of similar profiles and anecdotes. What’s clear, however, is the persecution that he describes is not localized to any specific geographic area or toward Christians of a particular sect. This persecution is as widespread as it is discriminatory. According to the International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of religious discrimination in the world is against Christians. Based on the annual report produced by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, “Status of Global Mission,” more than 100,000 Christians were killed each year between 2000 and 2010—effectively, 11 Christians every hour. Since the time of Christ there have been 70 million Christian martyrs. More than half of those—45 million—lost their lives during the 20th century. In other words, there’s never been a more dangerous time to be a Christian than the present.

Contrary to popular belief, Christian persecution is not simply the result of radical Islamic terrorism. In our post-September 11th world, attacks on Christians that take place in the Middle East are likely to garner more mass media attention than those occurring in other regions. Yet based on the numbers, the majority of Christians that have suffered persecution have been in non-Muslim countries, most notably Communist societies with state-sponsored subjugation. In fact, the largest segment of martyrdoms in the 20th century took place in the Soviet Union. Similar persecution is underway in places like Colombia and the Republic of the Congo, where Christians are the predominant population, proving that demographics don’t dictate destiny. There’s always more to the story.

The “why” of martyrdom

Allen’s work, however, in not merely descriptive. While the profiles and anecdotes of these brave Christian martyrs and victims of persecution are both sobering and heartening, the real merit of this book is his consideration of the greater question of why.Why is it, Allen asks, that “beyond all the frustrations Christians feel—beyond the scandal, crises, and failures that frequently mar the churches—there’s something so precious about faith in Christ and membership in the church that, when push comes to shove, ordinary people will pay in blood rather than let it go?” The answer is, of course, deeply personal—as is faith, in general. Even so, there is always a public exercise of one’s private faith that can never be ignored or minimized.

Christianity began as a missionary religion and continues to operate as one today. The missionary aspect of the faith requires service in breadlines, orphanages, hospitals, and schools, and this is not limited by location. In recent decades, it was the faith of Christians that inspired the resistance movement leading to the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, demonstrating that Christianity can operate as a worldwide force for democracy and human rights. These attributes make the Christian witness attractive, and have contributed to its extraordinary growth around the world—not just in places like Africa and Latin America, but also Eastern Europe and Asia. All of this has placed Christians on the front lines of their communities wherever they are, and this public witness has resulted in the very public attacks from Christianity’s enemies.

Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, once remarked that the greatest witnesses to the Christian faith are her saints and the art she has produced and inspired. If saints are those Christians whose lives have been ones of heroic virtue, then surely these modern-day martyrs and victims of persecution are counted in their number. Their earthly lives are likely to produce far more spiritual fruits than their persecutors could have ever imagined.

Gibbon believed that Christian faith served as an impediment to participation in this present life. Yet if that’s so, how are we to account for the fact that Christians today are the greatest contributors to charities around the world, provide the largest volunteer corps, are among the most effective disaster relief workers, and are continual voices for causes that promote human freedom and flourishing? Gibbon was wrong to describe Christians as only interested in the world to come. As Allen ably demonstrates, for many Christians their witness of faith is the here and now.

The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution By John L. Allen, Jr.

Report By :

Christopher White
Christopher White is the Director of Education and Programs at the Center for Bioethics and Culture. He is the co-author of Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops are Revitalizing the Catholic Church (Encounter).

SALESIAN BROTHER STEPHEN SANDOR, WHO WAS HANGED BY THE GOVERNMENT, IS BEATIFIED

For my Salesian friends.

Prayers4reparation's Blog

WE ARE SHOCKED HE WAS TORTURED AND EXECUTED.

“Salesian Brother Stephen Sandor, who was secretly hanged for ‘anti-state activities’ under Communist rule in Hungary, has been beatified a martyr.

Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom – Budapest said at the beatification Mass in St Stephen’s Square in front of Budapest’s cathedral: ‘We celebrate a hero, deeply loyal to his Salesian vocation, and respect a great labourer who taught young people the love of work.

‘We are shocked he fell victim to a show trial, was tortured on false charges, sentenced to death and executed. His martyrdom evokes a sad era of purges when the judicial system sanctioned murder.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, a fellow Salesian and prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Saint’s Causes, said Blessed Stephen Sandor’s death, far from being an ‘impoverished heroic gesture’, had followed a life of perpetual self-dedication’. He said religious persecution created ‘a gulf between human…

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