I was talking to Your heart today wondering if you were listening, my heart synchronized to Yours. But then I realized, the only reason I was thinking of you was because you were thinking of me. Our hearts do beat as one, You are the Kingdom of God residing in our hearts.
As I was leaving Church today, watching from the choir loft, people chatting happily, their Sunday obligation met and there you were alone, pristinely seated on the altar in a place of honor to be sure, but alone. They barely acknowledged you up there altho some bent and nodded as they left.
You wait for their return keeping a never ending vigil for them, for all of us. May we all remember the One who waits.
Saint Elijah’s Monastery, Mosul, Iraq – the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Iraq’s Christian leaders have just made a desperate cry for help. Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of Iraq’s Catholic church, has issued an appeal “to all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world.”
The situation for Iraq’s Christians has been steadily deteriorating ever since the 2003 invasion, in part because the U.S. never acknowledged that Christians were being targeted by Islamists and did not prioritize protection of Christians or other minorities.
But with the recent sweep through Mosul and other Iraqi cities by the jihadi group ISIS, Iraq’s Christians look to be on the verge of genocide.
On June 16th it was reported that ISIS had marked the doors of Christians in red. Patriarch Sako’s letter confirms that rumor. While no one yet knows what this ominous sign foretells…
I wish I had re-blogged this on the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene (thank you for posting William Ockham), so important to change the misconceptions that still surround her – she is the ultimate witness and victim of injustice. Jesus himself recognized and defended her and even Paul called her the “apostle to the apostles” – can’t we now let her assume her rightful place?
Our July celebration of Hall of Fame of Saints continues today with the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. St. Mary Magdalene holds a special place both in Christian and world history. According to three of the four Gospels, she was the first eyewitness to the most important historical event in the history of the world; the Risen Christ first appeared to her. Mary Magdalene then spread this news to the eleven apostles and other disciples of Jesus and is known as the “Apostle to the Apostles”.
While accurate historical information on Mary Magdalene is limited, we do know that she was a close disciple of Jesus. In his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem from August 1988, Blessed John Paul II praised Mary Magdalene’s special role as being the first witness to the Resurrection:
The women are the first at the tomb. They are the first to find it empty. They are…
With all the violence in the world today, I turned to Merton for insight and to try and make sense of the whys of war. The streets are flooded in blood in many parts of the world as we sit in relative comfort, barely acknowledging the tragedy beyond a flick of the TV remote. Merton was reflecting on the Cold War of his day, but little has changed. Let’s, as Merton states, love God and other people above all and let their pain be our pain and our peace be their peace.
An Excerpt from Passion for Peace: Reflections on War and Nonviolence by Thomas Merton
“If men really wanted peace, they would sincerely ask God for it and He would give it to them. But why should He give the world a peace which it does not really desire? The peace the world pretends to desire is really no peace at all.
“To some men peace merely means the liberty to exploit other people without fear of retaliation or interference. To others peace means the freedom to rob brothers without interruption. To still others it means the leisure to devour the goods of the earth without being compelled to interrupt their pleasures to feed those whom their greed is starving. And to practically everybody peace simply means the absence of any physical violence that might cast a shadow over lives devoted to the satisfaction of their animal appetites for comfort and pleasure.
“Many men like these have asked God for what they thought was ‘peace’ and wondered why their prayer was not answered. They could not understand that it actually was answered. God left them with what they desired, for their idea of peace was only another form of war. The ‘cold war’ is simply the normal consequence of our corruption of peace based on a policy of ‘every man for himself’ in ethics, economics, and political life. It is absurd to hope for a solid peace based on fictions and illusions!
“So instead of loving what you think is peace, love other men and love God above all. And instead of hating the people you think are warmongers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed — but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”
Clear the path. Our path to God is littered by our excesses, our attachments, our dirty laundry. They become more than obstacles, they become nearly undetectable half lives masquerading as our full and complete lives. They distract us from the important work of this life – our path to God. Teilhard de Chardin wanted to be an “apostle for God”, Thomas Merton a saint. If we are to follow in their footsteps we too need to find that path, the one true path. We need to clear our path of all in our lives that take precedence. Does it mean we leave this world and seek a solitary lifestyle? No, but that we live our lives constantly aware that we are in the presence of He who loves us. We need to see all aspects of our lives as gifts from God and all else is just an illusion a distraction along our path.
I believe as we cry out for Him he weeps for us. He is everywhere and we see Him not, He rejoices in those moments of awakening when we can finally lift our heads out of our lives and look up and see Him smiling back at us. He yearns for those brief and all too infrequent moments. I think Mother Mary prays and watches in silence for yet another head to turn upward. First, we see past our mere survival, then past our passions, then our emotions and then we begin to see with our hearts, to breathe with our hearts and breathe with Him. At that point we begin to see glimpses of Him more frequently and our communication begins to grow more clearly so we seek Him more. We rush now past our earthly awareness into the bays of bliss and hear in our indigo silence His voice as it was and here our journey truly begins.