31 October 2013

U.S. Spying on the Church

Some time ago a friend in Rome told me that she believed the U.S. government had been spying on all employees of the Vatican and all operations in the Vatican. I thought it sounded like the stuff of a Dan Brown novel and paid no attention to it.  I suppose now that I should have paid more attention: click here.

Unfortunately, the U.S. federal government seems to be interested in spying on everyone everywhere (including you and me), and that prurient, paranoid interest apparently extends to spying on the Holy Father, the Conclave, and the Vatican in general.  See this Reuters article by clicking here.

The Snowden revelations have shown us an out-of-control U.S. government pressing its listening ear to the lives of each one of us like a Hoover vaccum cleaner sucking up everything it comes across.  

I suspect that it is not just the Catholic Church being spied upon — though the U.S. government under President Obama seems to take a particular interest in thumbing its nose at the Catholic Church. Rather I imagine the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Palace have been sifted through by the NSA all the way down to each local parish church.  Methodists, Lutherans, Orthodox, Reformed, Evangelicals, and Baptists have likely fallen under the same scrutiny.  

Even those who worship in non-denominational churches should realise that they are being watched by the U.S. government as well. It seems that the operational directive of the U.S. federal government is that each person and each organisation is a potential enemy or a potential asset (provided one has the right blackmail).  

The bottom line is that we believers in Jesus must wake from our slumber and arise without regard for the man-made separations between us. We must remind the NSA and the U.S. federal government of that much loved Democratic dogma "the separation of the Church and State". In other words, 'Get you and your government and your spies out of our churches, and stop spying on us NOW.'

If you are a citizen of the U.S., you could call your Senators and your Member of the House of Representatives... but, of course, they have been spied on by the NSA and the Obama Government as well... should one expect them to do anything to stop the surveillance state when the intelligence agencies could bring out every skeleton from every closet and aim that information at each elected official?  ... 

The mind boggles at the scale of this, but there must be someone willing to stand and demand an end to the spying upon the Church ... someone in that venerable Congress of the land of the 'free' and the home of the 'brave' ...

27 October 2013

Beauty and the House of God

I have been thinking a great deal about the visual component of Christian worship and Christian churches.  Near to me there is an old Episcopalian parish church which speaks from the outside that it is "church".  It looks like a church.  The windows are filled with stained glass, and one can easily discern the outlines of angels in those windows.  And the interior is filled with a restrained Anglican beauty that tells the story of the Scriptures and that points toward heaven.  

Also, nearby is a Catholic Church where the new main church speaks the language of temples and banks from the outside.  The portico is handsome if a bit sterile, but inside there is sheer madness.  At the front of the cavernous room stands a wooden table way off centre apparently intending to be an altar.  The walls are bare except for narrow, long green coloured cloth hangings with occasional stripe of darker green.  The only crucifix is the processional crucifix.  Take it away and it could be almost anything.  Visually, it indicates not so much heaven but a governmental auditorium where the furnishings up front on the stage aren't quite in proper place.  There is no tabernacle.  There is no eternal flame of the Presence.   I avoid entering this building as I would avoid the plague.

Next to this modern monstrosity is the original church used as a Chapel and for daily services.  It is beautiful.  It is clearly a church.  Inside it is a place where heaven invades earth.  God's story and His story in His saints are clearly spelled out all about the Church.  And in the very heart of the Chapel is the Tabernacle where the Living Bread which came down from Heaven abides.  There also that Eternal Flame burning and indicating that the real and true Sacramental Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is present.  This chapel does not so much point heavenward as Heaven opens up in its midst because the Lord Jesus Christ is present.

There are those whose minds have been schooled by secularists, Modernists, and Marxians who could neither comprehend the beauty of this Catholic Chapel nor what is signified by all of its appointments.  But the average person with limited schooling would recognise clearly that this is a House of God — which reminds me of an Anglican priest who once preached that whatever we preach from the pulpit is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ unless it can be comprehended by and taken to heart by an illiterate mother of seven children living without electricity or running water.  A very provocative thought.  Judging from the homeless women sitting in this Catholic Chapel staring at the Altar or at the statue of an angel or simply looking up... these women know that this is God's House and that the Lord Jesus is present.  They could have walked into the modern church.... but they don't.  They come here.  And they visit with Jesus.

A post worth reading for Catholics and others who think the House of God should be more than a hall or auditorium may be found on another website at the following link: click here.

11 October 2013

Our Lady of Kibeho warned

Our Lady of Kibeho (Mother of the Word) gave to Marie-Claire -- a Church approved visionary -- the following message on March 27, 1982 which still speaks to the state of every nation in the world right now this very moment:

“If I am now turning to the parish of Kibeho it does not mean I am concerned only for Kibeho or for the diocese of Butare or for Rwanda, or for the whole of Africa. 

“The world is bad. The world rushes toward its ruin. It’s about to fall into an abyss. The world is in rebellion against God. Many sins are committed. There is no love and no peace. If you don’t repent and convert your hearts, all will fall into an abyss.”

Turn to Jesus. +

Worthy Prayers from the Prayer Book Tradition

O GOD, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY GOD our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. 

ETERNAL GOD, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen. 

02 October 2013

Radio Walsingham Online

RADIO WALSINGHAM ONLINE:  listen 24/7 anywhere you have an internet connection, and you will hear the most beautiful music of our Christian faith.

Be sure to tell others about the beautiful music on RADIO WALSINGHAM.  If you would like to listen without commercials, it is very easy to become a VIP member of www.live365.com for not very much money.  I cannot imagine a day without the God-filled classical and ancient music on RADIO WALSINGHAM ONLINE, and I hope you will listen and find your faith renewed and encouraged through this apostolate of renewal for Catholic Culture.