Only God would use lung cancer as a opportunity to offer a vocation.
Nigerian Christians call for peace, not vengeance. They even talk of forgiveness. The Nigerian Christians I have corresponded with have — every single one of them — asked for prayer.
Our resolve to help them and stand by them must not falter. What that means — among other things — is that we must not allow ourselves to bullied into silence by personal attacks against us from those who want to turn a blind eye to Christian persecution. We must never allow them to divide us from other Christians.
We all stand in solidarity before the cross. We in the West are called to show that solidarity when it comes to the violent persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We need to lift up the witness of these martyred Christians and their families and friends for all the world to see.
The Southern Baptist Convention has joined dozens of other religious organizations by filing suit against the Obama adminstration’s HHS Mandate. Southern Baptists are the second largest denomination in America, with over 16 million members.
My question: Where are you Marymount Loyola?
From the CBN News:
The Obama administration has said churches and a narrowly defined category of religious organizations are exempt. But the administration is still threatening devastating penalties to many other ministry organizations, like Christian colleges, missions organizations, and family ministries.
“The government’s refusal to treat these ministries as ‘religious employers’ is senseless,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a written statement.
“These people spend their lives teaching and preaching their religious faith – if they do not qualify as ‘religious employers,’ the government needs to get a new definition,” Rienzi said.
Precious in the sight of God is the death of His saints. Psalm 116
Christian persecution is a deadly worldwide plague.
The evidence of massive, international Christian persecution is abundant.
What, exactly, causes some groups of people to be so vociferous and ugly in their denial of Christian persecution? What would cause someone to stoop to the level of personal attacks against those who speak of Christian persecution?
These attacks, which are often slanderous, are crude attempts to silence those who would speak out for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Given what is happening, why would anyone do this?
I had a long talk about this with one of my sons a couple of weeks back, and he said something that I think is more pertinent than we would like to admit. People who do things like this are at one with the persecutors.
What he meant by this was that those who try to silence people who speak out for persecuted Christians are fellow travelers and enablers of the persecutors themselves. There is nothing new under the sun, and that is especially true when we talk about the great evil of violent persecution of whole groups of people.
The persecutors could not act without their enforcers in the larger world demanding and coercing the silence of those who would speak against them. Evil, like cockroaches, needs darkness.
That’s why Hitler set up phony concentration camps to show the Red Cross. It is also why the Red Cross and the rest of the world bought it. No one seems to have questioned the rationale behind putting an entire population of people in concentration camps in the first place. Without that compliance, the lie would and could not have stood.
It’s also why I get attacked just about every time I publish a post about the persecution of Christians. Persecutors always have their apologists. They need the darkness of obfuscation to continue their deadly work.
It is painful to be attacked, but in this case, it is also an honor. I would far rather be the person who gets attacked for taking a stand against the persecution of Christians than the person who does the attacking. They are a sad lot.
I regard these slurs and jibes as small attacks on me for doing my best to follow Christ. I am a little shy about saying this, because what I am doing by writing posts about Christian persecution is such a small thing that it embarrasses me. But by attacking me for trying, however feebly, to follow Christ, these people are giving me the Kingdom of Heaven.
So, what I will say to those who go at me personally for trying to speak out about the persecution of Christians is thank you. I forgive you from my heart for your attempts to harm me personally and I pray for you daily.
However, what I say to them about their support for the persecutors is shame on you. To use a quote from the McCarthy hearings of long ago: Have you no decency?
Here are a few examples of Christian persecution:
Slander is murder with words.
It can lead to the social death of the person who is slandered, which is exactly what its perpetrators are trying to accomplish.
I am not talking about venting to your best friend or your spouse about your dreadnought of a boss. I don’t mean idle chit-chat gossip that intends no harm. I also am not referring to slander as an actionable legal term. I am referring to the deliberate, malicious use of lies — or even truths — to degrade and destroy the reputation of another person with the intent to isolate, punish and hurt them.
That is slander, and it is a mortal sin. You can go to hell for it.
Running a blog opens up the temptation to slander for profit for those who are so inclined. The power to publish any thought that crosses your nasty little mind with the knowledge that it will be read by literally tens of thousands of people is inebriating to a certain kind of person.
Add to that the fact that blogs become a kind of virtual family with regular commenters who form online relationships with the blogger and with one another, and you have a ready-made set-up for hashing and bashing other people around the internet campfire.
I think that slander, at its base, is a form of sick narcissism. Certain kinds of people think that everything that happens is about them. If someone refuses to play one of their games, they see that as an attack on their overweening sense of entitlement. That’s why some people become enraged when they can’t comment on a blog. Their narcissistic sense of entitlement sees whatever they want to do as a “right,” and anyone who tells them “no” is “the enemy” who must be punished and destroyed.
When one of these types has their own blog, they have a ready-made platform for using slander to punish and defame those who dare cross them. The only payback is that they are endangering their immortal souls by committing a grave sin against another person. That, and they become a public jerk.
Slander is murder with words. It can — and it has — wounded and isolated people so deeply that the pain forced them to withdraw from interacting with others. That is probably one of the reasons malicious slanderers engage in their craft. Not only do they get the dark pleasure of acting out their viciousness, but they can silence the person they are attacking and scare others who might come to their defense into silence along with them.
When this happens, it’s called bullying. But I think that word is too mild for it. It is deliberate cruelty, and it is intended as such.
The fact that this sort of bullying is so often directed at women by men surely has a sadistic sexual component in it. I’m not well enough versed in psychology to define it. What I do know is that I have seen this over and again in my life as a female public figure.
The internet is a place where people can act out their worst verbal impulses with absolute evil abandon. Rapists post photos of their rape victims. Everyone everywhere seems to get into the game of shaming young girls by labeling them sluts and whores and such. Politicians and advocates for such things as pro choice, atheism and gay marriage have a heyday slander-shaming people who disagree with them.
It all goes back to one simple thing: Slander is murder with words. You can use slander to kill someone you don’t like, at least socially, and come out of it feeling all-powerful and victorious.
The interesting thing is that slander is a knife with no handle. It is murder with words, and it does wound the person who is slandered. But it cuts the the slanderer himself even more deeply. There is no explanation which justifies deliberate slander of another person. It is mean and cruel to the core. It also begs the question of whatever reasoning drives the anger behind it.
Once you enter into slander as a means of punishing those who disagree with you, or who you simply do not like, you have tossed in the towel on your own position.
Slander is an admission that you don’t have anything else worthwhile to say. It is a clear indication of both your personal emotional bankruptcy and the paucity of whatever arguments you are advancing.
You might as well say to the person you are slandering “You are right. I am wrong. So here’s a fistful of mud in your face to change the subject.”
These are the reasons why I delete name-calling and vicious attacks on anyone, including public figures, from this blog. This is a Christian blog. I want it to teach and empower Christians to follow Christ in the world.
If I allowed those things, I would be destroying my own purpose.
I would also be committing the sin of slander by default myself.
Because, you see, slander takes two. It takes a slanderer, and a willing listener. In fact to be really damaging, it takes a chain of slanderers who eagerly repeat and embellish the first slanders. If no one listens to slander and no one repeats it, slander dies and the damage it does is nullified.
Unfortunately, what happens in real life is that groups of people get into slander parties. You see it acted out on the internet in a graphic fashion. They join in with the original slanderer trading additional slanders, trying to top one another in the insults they heap on the object of their derision.
There is a word for this: Sin.
In fact there is a phrase for it: Mortal sin.
As I said earlier, you can go to hell for deliberate slander.
You also cancel out your Christian witness. If you are deliberately degrading and destroying the reputation of another person for vengeance, gain, or simply because you enjoy doing it, you are not following Christ.
You either follow Christ, or you engage in slander. You cannot do both.
Slander is murder with words. It can lead to the social death of its victim.
It can also lead to the eternal death of its perpetrators.
Nick Vujicic‘s life is a testimony to a lot of things, including the love of God and what must be incredible parents. Of course, none of that would matter without the spirit of the man himself.
Watch and be blessed.
Trollop fashions are the antithesis of self-respect for young girls. It’s particularly significant that we push this stuff on even very young girls, including pre-schoolers. Every time I see an ad for a tv show about beauty pageants for girls under ten, I cringe.
This video approaches the issue from a different angle. I’m interested to see what your reactions to it will be.
Pope Francis consecrated the world to the care of our Lord’s mother today.
I remember that Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia to Our Lady, and the impossible happened. Russia quit the Communist fight without firing a shot.
No one in the secular world has ever acknowledged the miraculous nature of what happened. Instead, they try to explain it in terms of economics and such. In truth, it was unprecedented, and economics do not explain it. Nothing, except the miraculous intervention of Our Lady could have ended the Cold War so suddenly and peacefully.
So, my reaction to Pope Francis’ action today is that I hope Our Lady leads this world out of its self-made hells in the same way. This world needs a miracle.
You can read the Holy Father’s homily here.
This is the full text of Pope Francis’ prayer by which he consecrated the world to Our Lady today. I pray my personal prayer of consecration to Our Lady almost every morning. If you have made a similar consecration, today would be a good day to renew it.
Holy Mary Virgin of Fatima,
with renewed gratitude for your maternal presence
we join our voice to that of all the generations
who call you blessed.
We celebrate in you the works of God,
who never tires of looking down with mercy
upon humanity, afflicted with the wound of sin,
to heal it and save it.
Accept with the benevolence of a Mother
the act of consecration that we perform today with confidence,
before this image of you that is so dear to us.
We are certain that each of us is precious in your eyes
and that nothing of all that lives in our hearts is unknown to you.
We let ourselves be touched by your most sweet regard
and we welcome the consoling caress of your smile.
Hold our life in your arms:
bless and strengthen every desire for good;
revive and nourish faith;
sustain and enlighten hope;
awaken and animate charity;
guide all of us along the path of holiness.
Teach us your own preferential love
for the little and the poor,
for the excluded and the suffering,
for sinners and the downhearted:
bring everyone under your protection
and entrust everyone to your beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus.
[Translation by Joseph Trabbic]
Pope Francis gave another one of his wonderful homilies this week. This one is on the devil, evil and Jesus’ triumph over both of them.
I had a small discussion with one of Public Catholic’s most faithful — and interesting — readers the other day.
I had published this post calling for prayer for persecuted Christians. This particular reader said that we need to do something about this and not just pray. It made me smile when I read that because he’s right: We need to do something.
And we will.
If we pray.
Why would anyone recommend prayer in the face of this onslaught of slaughter? One reason is that the persecuted Christians themselves ask for prayer. Every time I talk to someone who lives in an area where Christians are subjected to violent persecution, I ask them how I can help them. Invariably, they ask for prayer.
You’d think they’d ask for a rocket launcher, or at least a few grenades.
I think the answer is that these people are people of faith, just like us, only they no longer carry around the burden of the accoutrements of faith that weigh us down. Every person I have ever talked to who has been through violent persecution for Christ has both a strength and a gentleness that sets them apart.
The things we think are so important have been stripped away from them as they come face to face with the question that we all wonder how we would answer: Will you die for Him?
I think that once a person looks into the reality of that question, not as a hypothetical, but as an actual life or death decision that they are making, they are changed. The fires of persecution seem to burn away the chaff of people’s lives and the ones who persist and do not yield learn what sustains in time of grave peril.
I think that is why they ask for prayer.
That is one reason to pray, because the people we want to help have asked us to pray.
Another reason is because entering into this arena of Christian persecution paints our faces on the devil’s dart board. We will be assailed and attacked, slandered and maligned for speaking out for persecuted Christians. This is the natural course of things when anyone defends God’s children. We need prayer for the strength it gives us as we do this work.
The next reason to pray is because we need direction. Not only that, but we need God to raise up Christians everywhere to fight this plague of violence. We need to pray and pray and let God work.
Prayer is the key to doing God’s will. Not that He is likely to put a burning bush that is not consumed in our paths. But that prayer keeps us in contact with grace. If we want to do something about persecuted Christians — and I hope sincerely that every one who reads this does — begin with prayer. I don’t mean one Rosary or some small bit of jingoistic something you learned as a child. I mean walking with the Lord in prayer day after day after day.
Just pray and wait. If God wants active work from you, you’ll know soon enough. If, on the other hand, He wants you to be a permanent prayer warrior, do that.
I was thrilled with what the reader said that day. Excited. Because I think he’s the kind of person who actually will do something. I do not want to stifle anyone in that. I only ask that in all the doing, we pray and wait on the Lord lead us first.
All work for God begins with prayer. That’s a truth of life in Christ as I know it.