The 49 days of Easter

The somber season of Lent seems to last forever (40 days, not counting the six Sundays), but the joyful season of Easter lasts even longer (49 days).  Eastertide, or the Easter Season commemorates the 40 days that the risen Christ remained on earth:

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)

Then comes His ascension, also considered part of Easter, and a total of nine more days when He is at the right hand of the Father.  The fiftieth day after His resurrection is Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon His Church, beginning a new season, the time of the Church.   [Read more…]

How ISIS observed Good Friday

ISIS observed Good Friday by crucifying a priest.  After attacking a nursing home in Yemen, shooting four nuns and killing seven others, ISIS kidnapped an Indian Catholic priest, Father Tom Uzhunnalil.  ISIS promised to crucify him on the day that his Savior was crucified.  After torturing him for several weeks, ISIS reportedly carried out their promise.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slainfor the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.  (Revelation 6:9-11)

[Read more…]

ISIS charged with genocide

Secretary of State John Kerry concurred with a unanimous House of Representatives resolution in formally charging ISIS with committing genocide against the Yazidis, Shi’ites, and  Christians. [Read more…]

The myth of Easter’s pagan origins

As Holy Week gets underway, we once again need to remind the world that Easter did NOT derive from a pagan holiday or from pagan practices.  Read this and this and follow the links.

Why are Catholics going for Trump?

Evangelicals, despite what has been said, are not particularly going for Trump.  But Catholics are.  Specifically, working-class Catholics, whose attitudes about political and social issues are dramatically out of synch with the official position of their church.  For example, working-class Catholics tend to oppose government aid to the poor.  And yet they support gay marriage and abortion!

This Catholic factor, of being politically conservative while socially liberal, may explain other puzzling contradictions the pollsters have been finding.  So far, all of the religious attention has been on evangelicals, ignoring Catholic attitudes.

Strangely, Catholics in liberal states such as California tend to be both more liberal politically than the rest of the nation and more pro-life.  This may reflect Hispanic Catholics.

But again we see that what the Pope teaches–not just on birth control but on caring for the poor, and with his statements critical of Trump–does not necessarily matter for Catholic laypeople. [Read more…]

How ancient churches sounded

Church buildings are acoustic spaces, in which music is performed.  Researchers are studying the acoustics of ancient and medieval churches.  They are finding that certain design elements were intended to adjust sounds, “trying to tune the space.”

Moreover, the acoustic data they are uncovering enables the researchers to reproduce the effects electronically.  Once a digital signature is discovered, it is possible to play recorded music–say, Gregorian chants–and filter it so that we can hear what it sounded like in that particular building.  “It’s like time travel,” says a musicologist.  We can make “a museum of lost sound.”

[Read more…]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X