Chaldean Patriarch to Christians of Mosul

 Chaldean Patriarch to Christians of Mosul:

“We your shepherds will stay with you to the end.”
“Our suffering will be salvation to us and others.”

I’ll start my speech by the Word of Christ, as His Word is the source of strength and salvation of us, the poor of this lost world: “There is no need to be afraid, little flock” (Luke 12:32).
Our present pain is associated with our Christianity and with the mystery of our Passover (i.e., Easter). Our suffering, if joined to the suffering of our Savior Jesus, “Man of Sorrows”, will turn out to be a blessing and salvation to us and to others. And the current challenges are faced with more faith, hope, and prayer and solidarity and wisdom. Be brave in front of what you are facing, do not be afraid: you have deep roots in Iraq, do not give up for frustration and despair, confident that, “all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52) and evil does not last! You are the small mustard seed, the Lord will not let you fall. He is with you today, tomorrow, and after tomorrow, and forever.
We are your shepherds and, with our full responsibility towards you, we will stay with you to the end, [we] will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices. I repeat: do not be afraid; stay strong as you are with your faith and your hope and love. We thank God for your safety, as, no matter what, your life has no price.
God’s blessing be upon you.
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako
[Chaldean Catholic Church – Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Baghdad]
July 20, 2014

 

The ‘Gay Marriage’ Tsunami Not What If, but What Now?

Like a tsunami, so-called gay marriage has swept aside just about every obstacle in its path, creating a very different cultural landscape than even seemed possible a few decades ago—or even a few years ago! According to David Von Drehle in Time magazine, the swift embrace of same-sex marriage is nothing short of a “seismic shift” of American culture, one “as rapid and unpredictable as any turn in public opinion.”

And that, folks, might still be an understatement.

In 1996, just 27 percent of Americans supported so-called same-sex “marriage.” It was the same year that President Bill Clinton signed the bi-partisan Defense of Marriage Act, which defined, for the federal government, marriage as only between a man and woman.

In 2013 however, the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA and public approval for same-sex marriage had jumped to 53 percent, including 73 percent of 18-29 year-olds.  Today, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, with federal and state courts are constantly striking down state laws banning same-sex marriage it seems every day.daily_commentary_07_24_14

This big change is a big deal. It was the eminent sociologist David Popenoe who said that no civilization ever survived after its family life deteriorated. But if you don’t believe him, listen to G.K. Chesterton, and I quote: “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”

What does this mean for America, and for the church? A lot of people are understandably pessimistic. Recently a pastor looked me in the eye and said, “John, it’s all over; we’ve lost.”

And I thought, “Well, wait a minute—is a loss on a political and cultural level the loss of the Kingdom of God? What’s this ‘it’ that’s over, and who are the ‘we’ who have lost?

Look, even if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land tomorrow, and it just may, we Christians still have to wake up, go to church, run our businesses and ministries, schools and churches. This is not a time to throw up our hands and retreat. Given all of this cultural change, of course, the question has changed, from “What if?” to “What now?” So what we need is some kind of framework in which to move forward.

And that’s why Christian apologist Sean McDowell and I are releasing what we think is a very important new book, called “Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.” It takes a very careful look at the new cultural landscape and helps all of us to move forward—not in fear, but in faith.

First, we wanted to help Christians understand the issue biblically, but not just using a proof-text from Leviticus or Romans.

Our model is Jesus, who when asked specifically about the Mosaic law on marriage, went back to the very beginning—to Genesis. Jesus thought that God’s created intent was even more important than the law itself. We’ve got to understand this design—especially with the recent spate of so-called “Christian” books attempting to justify same-sex marriage.

But Sean and I also look at the issue culturally. Same-sex marriage isn’t the start of the problem; it’s the fruit of a long-going sexual revolution.

The ground that has shifted is not just moral ground; it’s worldview ground. We’re not just seeing a moral slide toward more and more sexual immorality; we’ve undergone a complete shift in the way we understand the human person.

Our book will help you understand this shift;  but just thinking alone isn’t enough. So in the second half of the book, we describe what we can do, practically and immediately when this issue comes our way. It’s kind of a “how now shall we live” on this issue, and we’ll talk about it more tomorrow on BreakPoint. So please tune in. And come to BreakPoint.org to order your copy of our new book, “Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.”

 

 

 

URGENT – WE BEG ALL CATHOLICS TO JOIN IN ADORATION ON AUGUST 1st, DAY OF PRAYER, ADORATION AND SOLIDARITY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ, SYRIA & MIDDLE EAST

NunIn solidarity with our Persecuted Brethren in Iraq and Syria

 

Friday, August 1, 2014

 

This was the day chosen by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) for a worldwide day of Public Adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in supplication for our persecuted brethren in Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East:

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter asks all of its apostolates around the world to dedicate Friday, August 1 to a day of prayer and penance for the Christians who are suffering terrible persecution in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates. It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution. May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes. (Source)

It is a day, we believe, chosen wisely by that Fraternity: we please upon all our Catholic brethren, East and West, attached to the Ordinary Form (Mass of Paul VI) or to the Extraordinary Form (Ancient Mass), whatever their theological bent, to join this worldwide prayer day. Whether you consider yourself a more liberal, conservative, traditional, or just plain Catholic, let us join together in this worldwide Adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, together with all the Angels and Saints.

It is also appropriately chosen because Pastors and Chaplains will have 10 days to prepare properly, to contact projects that help Christians in need and collect all kinds of contributions for the Christians of the Middle East (from Aid to the Church in Need to CNEWA, the Syrian and Chaldean Catholic Churches, and other organizations), and, in particular, to add to their bulletins and convey to their congregations how to participate next Sunday, July 27.

Please, spread this initiative around. No need to link to us, or to even mention you saw it here — just copy, paste, and just let this idea spread around throughout the world, through the web, through social networks, to your family and friends.

Bishops, Pastors, priests, join us. First Fridays are a special day of the month, and nothing better next First Friday, August 1, than for all Catholics around the world to join in Adoration before Our Lord to implore his mercy and kindness for our most neglected brethren in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East.

Chaplain’s Corner | St. Mary Magdalene (July 22, 2014)

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On Tuesday, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, officially called “Penitent” in the Sacred Liturgy. Despite the existence of many dramatic conversions in the history of the Church, she is the only saint on the calendar classified as a Penitent. How glorious is this distinction enjoyed by the Sister of Lazarus and Martha! Mary Magdalene is a beautiful saint for the Month of the Precious Blood because she trusted so deeply in the power of the Divine Mercy of that Precious Blood to re-create her heart. She was a great, even notorious, sinner, from whom, we are told, Jesus cast out seven demons.

The gospel for the feast day is the account of Mary’s repentance from the seventh chapter of St. Luke. Jesus was dining in the house of Simon the Pharisee, and Mary, known as a sinner in the town, entered to encounter the Lord. Luke tells us that, remaining behind Jesus, she knelt and washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, covered them with her kisses, and anointed them with expensive ointment from an alabaster jar. After teaching Simon the Pharisee about the beauty and power of her love and repentance, Jesus said simply to Mary: “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you: go in peace.”

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Photos: Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at St. Margaret Mary

SAMSUNG CSCClick the photo to view some pictures taken from last Wednesday’s Low Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at St. Margaret Mary’s (Oakland, CA). After Mass, Canon Meney blessed the brown scapulars, did the enrollment of the scapular and concluded with a final prayer for the faithful present that enabled them to share on the good works of Carmelites all over the world.

Feature of the Week: Why many people don’t go to confession

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Source: From Sept. 2012 Solemn Charge

1. It has been too long (or never) since I have gone to confession, and I am afraid of that first part (It has been _______ since my last confession).
It seems many people are just plain afraid of telling someone that they haven’t been to confession in a long time (or never). If you have been struggling with this, know that the priest is acting in “In Persona Christi”, which means in the Person of Christ. Jesus wants you to come to Him no matter how long you have been away from Him. Remember the story of the prodigal son? The son took all of his inheritance and left his father’s house to live a depraved life, wasting the inheritance. The son returned looking for a job from his father. The father welcomed him back home and treated him like a king, forgiving the son and rejoicing that he returned. Jesus is the same way. He will always accept you with open and welcoming arms. The priest will mirror this. While he might remind you that it is important to confess regularly, he will gladly hear your confession because he wants you to rebuild your relationship with Christ. Be at peace, no matter how long you have been away, it is always better to return as soon as you can. The priest will not judge you for being away. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. You aren’t the only one with this dilemma, and you probably won’t be the person who has been away the longest that the priest has ever heard. Even if you are, that will most likely mean that the priest will give even more thanks to God for having the opportunity to welcome you back into the fold.

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2014 St. Michael’s Patrol Camp: “Following the footsteps of the Saints”

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2014 St. Michael’s Patrol Camp
Youth Group of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
Fathers and Sons (11-18 Years old) Activities
“Following the footsteps of the Saints”
August 13, 12PM to August 16, 12PM

Location: Kensington, California
(40 Rincon Road, Berkeley, CA 94707)
Future site of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

The camp is open to boys 11 to 18 years old. Fathers are very welcome to join their sons since the activities of the camp are wonderful occasions to reinforce the bonds between teenagers and their fathers. Each activity organized within this group is intended to develop the natural virtues of the children considered as the foundation of divine grace. Mass, liturgy, prayer, vocational discernment, games, sports, and camp fires are part of the daily activities. Virtues fostered by St. Michel’s Patrol are: Honor, Service, Self-giving, Leadership and Friendship, all moved by Charity.

Price: $65 per child. Family rate available. Contact Canon Meney (510-604-0391 / canon.meney@institute-christ-king.org) or Abbe Kevin Kerscher (510-502-9321 / abbekevin@institute-christ-king.org). Download PDF brochure here.