Wednesday, February 25, 2015


LENT: A Christian liturgical season which begins with a profound act of humility, bowing one’s head before a priest so that ashes may be sprinkled on the head or etched on the forehead in the form of a Cross, as the words are prayed reminding us of our origins traced back to when Adam was formed from the dust of the earth and God breathed life into him, as He breathes life into each of us at conception – life in His own image and likeness;  or other words may be used to remind us to repent and believe the Good News, which is the Gospel of Life, Redemption, Mercy.

It is a time for forty days of fasting and prayer: fasting from food, yes, perhaps also fasting from negativity, a time of charity, giving generously to the local food bank or perhaps of our time visiting the sick, the lonely.

Throughout the season we journey ever more deeply into the grace of Baptism, strive to live out ever more fully discipleship as living temples of the Holy Spirit, members of the Body of Christ on earth, journeying with Jesus from His time in the desert, throughout His public life, being with Him in the Garden, on the Cross, awaiting at the tomb for His Glorious Resurrection.

A good  simple prayer which can be prayed repeatedly throughout each day, taken from a longer prayer of St. Ephraim: O God purify me a sinner and have mercy on me.

For every human being we can also pray: For the sake of His sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world, for Jesus tells us: The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel. [Mk. 1:15]

Caliphate: In a recent article in The Atlantic, What ISIS Really Wants, Graeme Wood gives an in depth analysis of this genocidal construct, of its fanatical adherence to a pick and choose interpretation of passages from the Koran to justify an apocalyptic war against non-believers: that is against anyone who does not believe as they do and dictate: in a word they are at war against humanity.

In their blood thirsty pathology, among other things, ISIS has as its goal to bring about an apocalypse that, according to the above article: ….the caliphate will expand….Some believe it will then cover the entire Earth….An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come….and kill a vast number of the caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem. Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus – the second-most-revered prophet in Islam – will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory.

In regards to the above apocalyptic notion: in the first instance it betrays an absolute ignorance about the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus, true God and true man, our Risen and all-merciful Redeemer : "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” {Jn. 3:16}, and secondly like all apocalyptic movements throughout history several themes are common: self-righteous arrogance, assertion of being the ‘chosen’ few and an utter hatred, a murderous hatred, of everyone else and, of course, a sort of being smarter than God who, in their minds, is too slow off the mark in bringing about the destruction, of and harsh judgement upon, His own creation, His own children.

ISIS by fermenting hatred, by its use of violence, is in bondage to its own self-created delusion, a form of active despair and reduction of the human person to a mere chess piece on the board of a bent toward self unfolding of history’s demise.

It does appear ISIS members, and others of like mind, measure themselves by their capacity of hate and their obsessive love of death.

Hope: Christians, hope-filled children of light, of life, bearers of love, we measure ourselves not by any ideology, philosophy, nor even theology, but by a person and view His life as template for every human life.

Jesus shows us by His very life, as well as in His words, that we are called not to hate but to love, not to kill but to heal through forgiveness, not to dominate over others but to serve, reminding us that the greater love is to lay down our lives for other. [ see the entire Gospel]





No comments: