Monday, 31 August 2009
South Africa: Official Opposition (DA) responds to shelving of Judge Hlope impropiety investigation (Judge Hlope:a ruling party ally- accused of attempting to exert improper influence over the Constitutional Court)
Notation by Marc Aupiais
The Democratic Alliance, the Official Opposition party in the Republic of South Africa, has slated a choice by a divided JSC (Judicial Service [not "Services"] Commission) to drop investigations as to whether or not Judge Hlope, who as Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, was accused by the Constitutional Court- seemingly of illicitly attempting to influence Constitutional Court Justices (judges) into ruling in favour of ANC (African National Congress) and South African President Jacob Zuma- in a matter involving a corruption case against the president, is guilty or innocent of the charge against him, as a judge.
(The National Director of Public Prosecutions who attempted to Prosecute Jacob Zuma, was fired, the acting head dropped the case, leaving the public asking for details; the unit which had investigated Jacob Zuma, an anti-organised crime unit which had been known as the "Scorpions", was disbanded).
Even had the JSC found that Hlope was guilty, parliament, controlled via an ANC majority: by Jacob Zuma, would have to have been involved in any serious action against Hlope, the JSC investigation was- to the knowledge of our service- only advisory in status.
In an email dispatch sent out today: Helen Zille, the Leader of the DA (Democratic Alliance), South Africa's largest opposition party- slated the decision, saying of it:
"[The JSC's] decision is one of the most destructive early consequences of the Zuma administration's attitude towards our judiciary, and the consequences of a deferential and ANC compliant JSC. We now have a senior judge, and possible candidate for the Constitutional Court bench, who has a cloud of impropriety hanging above his head; a cloud that will not go away until the allegations are investigated and either confirmed or dismissed. Until such time as that happens, the integrity and independence of the judiciary will continue to be sullied"
In a statement the DA labled as:
"Helen Zille responds to the Judicial Service Commission's decision not to take the complaint against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe to a full enquiry in her weekly newsletter, SA Today"
(Our two quotes of the Official Opposition and its Leader , are purely that, both speak in their own capacity. Quoting these figures does not mean that our service, or anyone associated with it in any way endorse or agree with the views we have here: quoted from a DA press release!)
Possible meaning of DA's statements involving Judicial Independence, may involve the following:
President Jacob Zuma has previously stated that the judiciary in South Africa act as though they are "God", and during his trials, his supporters threatened the public, and judiciary. Most notable among those threats which were against the public and others by Zuma supporters, were claims by the left- including trade unionists and leading ANC figures, that said persons would "Kill" for Jacob Zuma. During the rape trial against Jacob Zuma, which was said to be a weak case from the start, especially as the rape allegation was from an acquaintance of Zuma- Zuma supporters stoned a woman they incorrectly identified as Zuma's accusor. The woman who accused Jacob Zuma of raping her, has been informed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Jacob Zuma's ANC, that they will only guarantee her safety should she return from exile, if she withdraws the rape accusation against Jacob Zuma.
The statements in this article in no way whatsoever, in any way constitute any form of legal advice. They are provided for informative purposes, and are not legal advice.
Article by Marc Aupiais
In Europe, much is made of subsidiarity- it is a concept which keeps the Union together, just as federalism glues America into a powerful union of connected states. Subsidiarity is why so many in Africa oppose many of the intercontinental adoptions occurring. This concept is also vital in Canon law, and Catholic doctrine.
Understanding subsidiarity is understanding half the choices the Vatican makes. Subsidiarity, appears in a way in the bible, further, it is a basis on which the Vatican interacts with the faithful world.
According to this concept, the lowest, most local solution to a problem should be sought first, the lowest adequate solution should be sought, the lowest competent measure. It is why most miracles are social, and why the safest normal salvation is in sacraments.
It is as much logical as when some seek first the least direct solution, and only use a direct one if needed. In subsidiarity, the least powerful body, or tribunal first hears a problem- but more than this, the first solution should be looked into from the ground- where we look for the most local- though not always most simple solution first.
A foreign national should not adopt a child from a country- unless there is a valid reason why this child should not go to local parents. A person of one religion should not be allowed to adopt a child of another religion, unless a local solution within the child's own community is not viable.
On a larger level- the Vatican leaves much of the governance of the hierarchy to bishops, and then parish priests. Catholic doctrine looks for a local solution first: unless something is better sorted at a higher level.
This is why local bishops are those who first oppose evil politicians, and why dissident bishops are often left for the local conference to request back into order. The pope does not speak until the local authority has been given an opportunity to, or the situation warrants this.
In accordance with this- the Vatican oft respects the formal relations between politicians and its representatives in important local bishops- still it has a direct route- separate from their authority- a nuncio which represents it. One need only read the speeches of the papacy to politicians, and the letters from the Vatican- and compare them with important local authorities- to catch the catch phrases.
In the ancient Israeli Sanhedrin, the council which judged criminals and similar matters- the youngest and least experienced of the men spoke first. The most experienced spoke last. This made the least experienced consider what they said, and prevented undue influence over these by the more powerful men.
Subsidiarity is oft applied by the church in advising on politics, and many matters. This same concept is why the church advocates nationalised armies, but not nationalised healthcare nor nation run economies.
If a matter can be sorted out in civil society- it need not be legislated on, unless civil society is found- sufficiently to be lacking.
Subsidiarity is a vital concept in understanding the church. Its primary function is in making local authority useful and using power to do what its proportion can best achieve. It is why Moses in the desert, appointed judges to hear the lesser cases, while the greater came to him. Remember most- if not all: who were appointed- would surely later perish with Moses for his disobedience- and theirs, and yet were permitted to judge Israel... Were they not en masse destroyed, yet would be used to judge?
Subsidiarity serves to protect conscience- the lowest jurisdiction is the first and is protected from interference on a higher level- until there is reason to demand otherwise. This is why Romans chapter 10 in the bible is important- we must evangelise and change and save the world- it is broken deeply in its own lack and in the lack of the church- the salt which is designed for the world- to salt it into a better territory, even as the world is designed for the saints of the church.
Subsidiarity is also why we must pray first to the saints when they can help us. In it, we respect the gifts given... As God also does by Romans 10, and as He does in His use of Gabriel, Raphael, the prophets and apostles. Subsidiarity is vital to Catholic doctrine!
This is also why Saint Paul commands the early Christians, I think it was the Corinthians- as recorded in the bible- that the wives were first to discuss their problems in the household, and ask about the scriptures there. We should first speak with our own family, asking for answers before we approach a priest or theologian. Even before this- we should look ourselves: for an answer- it is us who are condemned to hades or saved from it. By subsidiarity- we have a definite responsibility- even God notes our personal responsibility by allowing choice! The God of order did not create our minds to ignore them!
This said- with the breakdown in many places- of the family church- and in many a local authority- it is often best to discover the truth for yourself from the magisterium- the source, and also by your own resources at seeking truth in grace. You are the most local authority in your own design... This means that even if the family were not oft broken, you should still seek answers in yourself. First one must ask their own intuitive conscience, and then work up within themself, the Christian must become reliably creative to survive, subsidiarity helps here. Where one is competent- one should attempt first to solve an issue, an equation- before one subjects to another's authority- this also helps make their help easier to apply, or reject.
It is wise to learn from the wise, and we should, yet we must not underestimate ourselves. Some things we cannot handle- it is why there are apologists. Some things are near impossible to cure, and require sacraments and the like administered- because we are not (except in some extreme exceptions) competent to save ourselves without assistance of another from this matter.
This is why we must educate ourselves constantly- from observing the world around, by reading what wise people say, and by creatively viewing the entire world. What we can solve, and are adequate to solve- we should first try to solve, but we should certainly make ourselves more competent, and add to our resources to do so!
This is why most of what I write on theology is to apply to your internal being- your personal responsibility. First focus on your own salvation... It will better prepare you to save others. First focus on your own means, they are oft adequate. First pray, prayer and intuition save a lot of thought and work.
It is not unwise to attempt tasks in a wise, even minimalist manner- what effort is saved is used elsewhere- as long as the effort was adequate!
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Notation by Marc Aupiais
A Scotland local, ironically named: Jason Cooke [aha . . . note the phonetic spelling, we couldn't resist noting it, could you?] (25 years of age), who, is reportedly a security guard from Nottingham, England, has reportedly told the United Kingdom's Sun, that he has spotted what looks like Nesse, a.k.a. the "Loch Ness Monster".
Differing from some who have "photographed" Nesse, Mr Cooke is not the offending party against the beloved mythical/real sea creature. Adding zest to the story, the image of "Nesse" was taken from outa space. Google, then placed this image online along with millions of kilometres of other images. Mr Cook, while doing what we all ironically do when we first get hold of Google's satellite technology, was scouting out the area around his residence, when he noticed something a bit fishy.
[At this point, our online viewers should be able to see an iframe of the current Google Maps picture of the location, our email, and facebook and rss subscribers are given a link to the page:]
View Larger Map
Link to co-ordinates on Google Maps, the online version of Google Earth:
In Google Earth: enter: 57.214408,-4.5706609 in the fly to box.
Whether Google somehow disrupted their technology to create a sighting, which has not been widely considered a credible conspiracy, whether it is a boat (which it does not look like), or whether it is Mr or Mrs or Miss Nesse, is for the viewer to determine for themselves.
While Google Earth images have been used by environmentalists, and others- this is the first time a mythical/real creature of the likes of Nesse has been discovered. As Nesse is probably an endangered species, this may be significant, but the environmental groups don't seem to have commented.
The first alleged sighting of Nesse was about 1500 years ago, when he/she/it allegedly ate a local farmer like fast food. Nesse has starred in multiple films, and documentaries, although whether or not the documentaries featured her has been debated.
To our English readers- our links below the French are in English- and on our splash page- there will likely be more English articles below the automatic French translation!
To view the text below our French translation click this sentence!
Attention: la traduction française de cet article, se fait via une traduction automatique. La version française de cet article pourrait contenir des erreurs. La version anglaise a la préférence!
DIMANCHE 30 AOÛT 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Article by Marc Aupiais
The Irony about the South African Common Law, is its basis on the Roman (Roman Dutch) Civil law. The fact that South Africa's common law is based on the same law mostly used in civil law countries- lies in the fragmented times of Rule of Britain and Holland in our nation's territory.
The British have a common law system, even as most of Europe is based on civil law concepts. The British believe in precedent, as does South African legal science- to a degree, though more firmly in lower courts.
The Italian Glossators of Bolonia, Italy- who rediscovered the Corpus Iuris Civilis and Roman law, and much of western legal science, however- teach us another lesson- a lesson about philosophy.
The Secular Natural Lawyers- known as the Humanists- despised the Glossators for allegedly creating false legal security. The Humanists being, to my knowledge: those who justified colonialization and the conquering of Africa- are also more focused on by many: than the Glossators, but the Glossators teach us something- a powerful lesson which emerged with their fallacy.
They divided the concepts of Roman Law into smaller concepts, they defined these until the law became uniform and would not contradict itself. It is how they reintroduced true legal science to Europe. It is also how they allegedly misread the law.
The secret truth the Glossators of Bolonia teach us is that of division. Philosophy is the love of truth- the finding of the source of things, and thus their position. From the source of a thing, what divides it from others may well be discovered truly...
The Glossators misdefined concepts- blinded by ideological beliefs and too much belief in the law of Justinian, they drew the lines between concepts incorrectly- yet in doing so, they teach us a truth.
How one separates one concept from another is often how logic is twisted. To separate a child and an adult in one way is just- a child cannot define their destiny to the same extent- yet to separate two living beings with human DNA into human person and human non-person is fallacy- one which has sadly entered South African legal thought. The problem lies in the division.
To avoid the mistake of the Glossators on everyday matters- one should not simply separate concepts on the surface- based on practicality. One must look to the source of the difference and its cause, in context, with understanding and comprehension. One must further look into the source of the thing which is divided from another... In and on itself, and perhaps the source of the other also.
This said, how the Nazis murdered about ten million people- was by purposely dividing concepts of what human is and is not, without just boundary. The true division was not between human person and non-person, a just judgement would never call a human being a non-person, yet politics and political advancement caused this division- an unjust division to emerge.
It is by false division that abortion flourishes- for the source of man is ignored in dividing his personhood into unjust divisions. It is by this false division that nationalism emerges, and persons of one culture or race kill, murder those of another, with no just cause for killing.
The secret of the Glossators is simple- how one defines the world tells us who and what one truly obeys- and whether one desires truth or mere practicality. The Glossators of Bolonia- these early medieval legal scholars: were not wrong to divide concepts from each other- the Glossators failed Europe by dividing the law out of context. This same misreading of law was used by later lawyers, important members among the Humanists of the later time- if I remember: to justify the bloodshed which conquered Africa and Australia.
How we define the world, our worldview - our "faith" in whatever way of defining the world we have, is what determines our actions. I believe it better to find the source of a division first- to seek the truth, and thus define the difference from its beginning. Or as closely to this source of a thing as is possibly viable.
Article by Marc Aupiais
As I stand, my hands in prayer... As I sit, back straightened, palms on knees... As I listen, and as I join... As quiet joy enter, softness gloats.
I recognise church as prayer, and so- when I stand, it is in a prayer I stand, and so my gestures boldly claim. When I take communion, I kneel, I am before a king. Genuflecting, I speak of my Emperor- the Emperor beyond the logical sea.
I do not clap in church- neither for people, nor if people do so when we should be praying by song.
A few hurt feelings are worth the lesson, the gospel I attempt to preach.
Church can be fun if properly done. Fun in a way beyond normal fun. A fun, spiritual felling of waste which enters all and fills the soul deep within all more shallow chasms. A game is not fun if not properly played- how boring is tennis without a net, how impossible if the boundaries are moved...
Church is about prayer first and foremost. The gospel is truth, and the Eucharist unites us with God- but all of these are just some life-giving parts of a high form of prayer.
One does not clap when praying in silence in the bedroom, the door closed. One should not trumpet the fact they are fasting in the streets. Clapping is communication, or a means of artificially creating community.
All those things, designed to spice up the mass- distract. They hide the hidden effect of the spiritual- like a buzzing sound, they move attention from the meaning- the force which plunges the clear of soul into God.
When entering mass, we quiet our souls with the water- and we take up our role. What we receive is the Eucharist, and blessings and the Word, which is read. What we give is to the world, by changing it by focussing on this as prayer, and by the grace given us.
Every Catholic should pray at least about an hour a week- this prayer in body and soul- gesture and word- thought provoked too. By prayer our soul dances joyously with God- by prayer it heals softly. Mass is about prayer- about you praying to God.
The word Worship refers to love, respectful, Godly love- it is why Catholics must not abandon this word in false ecumenism when talking of the saints- the word reveals the truth of the Gospel: that we must Worship one another as God has and does Worship us.
The ultimate form of love is to absolutely adore a person- when we say we only adore God- with utmost adoration- we say that we must think of whom we love most, and willingly love God more while not loving them less as an excuse. By loving others- worshipping them based on more than just our like of the relationship that is, with true Godly worship, by our just treatment of others we adore and worship God.
According to the Holy Scriptures, as seen in one of the Epistles, one of the letters of Saint John the Apostle- "this is love, to obey the commands of God..." Clearly, to love is to be in resonance with God, in sinc with this world we truly live in. The mass transcends this universe we touch, and is a foretaste of heaven. The transcendence is spiritual, and when at mass it is the spiritual we must see and taste.
When at mass I either stand and have my hands up in visible prayer, or else sit as Augustine did as Bishop of Hippo, with my hands respectfully on my knees. Here, I pray by mimicking the saints.
As we say the creed, I put my hand to my heart- it is our anthem- these words, we confess and believe unite us from being apart. As I kneel- it is proper and my hands do not rest on the pew in front- my elbows rest on air as I pray while kneeling and give this up to God.
When I genuflect- my knee touches the ground. Most of communication when in person is body language. I am in the court of the Emperor of my very own being when at church. I must allow others to see this also- least they offend the king.
What a gospel we can spread from the pews, what a truth- by celebrating mass as what it is- a prayer, a high prayer. At mass we are taught the long night of the soul- we must not take shallow joy from triviality, but rejoice for we Pray, for we eat God himself- Jesus: body, blood and soul!
It is the matter of mortal sin to take the Eucharist in mortal sin, and Saint Paul records to the Corinthians in the bible, of why some had died or fallen ill. They had not recognised the body of Christ, and like in the gospel account, where Jesus had chased the crowds from the temple- they had turned God's building into a human thing (eating and drinking normally- to fill their bellies), for the crowds had turned God's temple into a market-place.
Prayer is the power of mass- prayer in thought, perspective adopted, in gesture and in word, in action, and obedience.
Let us not distract from this for the sake of entertaining others. The focus of mass must be on our relations with God, and not triviality, or finding ways to "have fun" despite the Mass, despite God, despite God's asking for our being there to pray!
By prayer and action shall the Universe turn to God. Shall we desecrate one of our most powerful weapons- the mass, by neglecting in whose court we are. The fun we get from games come when we play them in the right structure, the way they are designed to bring fun. Whimsical fun comes and goes, but proper games continue to amuse. The way to have fun in church is to consider it a prayer- while in the presence of God almighty. My greatest joy is respecting God- adoring him. If worship in honour- powerful respectful love, based on their souls- is due the saints, the adoration that God asks of us, is a deep love on our respect- a love that I must yearn in, love which softly permiates our vision, and returns us to closer to where we were ordained to be.
How shall I be saved- if I do not care for the spiritual war of Christ- and all of God- ...a war of Reality against His enemy: illusion. Prayer is a weapon of truth.
Article by Marc Aupiais
Swish... And the sound sprays into the oceanic netherworld. The sparkling waves spray and leap with their broken surface. Light is caught, and held hostage for a moment, it breaks and shivers- as shadows move below.
Burst... the surface is shattered, and then absorbs the subtle, living dynamism of the creature.
It plays as sun or moon causes it to shine, sparkle in the breaking breeze. The water splatters off, and this, the forceful playmate softly reabsorbs. The playful power catches what left a silver-gray skin. All as it is unknowingly sopping wet... Jumping into the world its ancestors once knew- that of air, my world that it happens- is.
The dolphin plays, and dances- purely in joy, and yet its play is deadly- practice it seems.
When I face hardship- I surely should attempt to learn- to strengthen, to move- yet if I only did this then- I would be weak.
The child, they play to learn. They play to understand. Play is important, it must be more than just a game.
As Christians we must play fully with God. We must play in our understanding- and playfully look into our being. Play is important, and the ultimate game is religion, is just love.
We love that dolphin- because it resonates a part of us. Imagine playing forever- serving God ad infinitum, in joy!
Of course, games take practice- and rules/methods, and comprehension- before we get the fun!
Article by Marc Aupiais
The true art of poetic work- is not giving many meanings to a work- but giving infinite meaning- limited by truth.
One word, must cancel another's meaning- one stream, an idea- destroy the tangent of another.
The perfect poem speaks deeply and shallowly at once- on deep matters infinite, and practical matters also. The dynamic poet can speak to smart and dumb alike- or protect the foolish while enlightening the wise.
Such a text is hard to create- the larger it is, the more dynamic it must be. With a dynamic text- context matters more- what comes before or later- matters all the more.
The bible is such a work, it speaks solidly and more. It leaves us wanting and quenched of want all at once. It is designed ad infinitum, and speaks of all there is. The problem with a dynamic text- is how much it enforces a mirror effect. A person can easily misread it- or only understand one level of it.
A dynamic text only speaks to us what we are able to hear. Like an ocean shell- lifted to the ear, so are the deeper mysteries- only heard if we seek them wisely and lift them up in faith.
A dynamic text, when translated- loses meaning, loses truth, in the inadequacy of the translator. The influences of the world- its prisms limit the reader, and sometimes combat the perfection of the text.
The bible says- "[... The] Church, which is [the / a] pillar and foundation of truth..." (I Timothy chapter 3, verse 15)
In the language written, there was no definite article used, so I have been told. And we know that the Greek past and present tenses were different than our own. Much of the work, captured was in a different language system. It is perhaps why Jesus so relied on parables. Word for word, the bible loses some meaning- although the meaning is assertainable with honest intent at inner learning of the whole truth. If the Church is a pillar of truth, or the pillar of truth- the words pillar and foundation, still mean the same. A building cannot stand if even one foundation is missing. The text remains valid.
And on other levels- we also forget- our metaphors today- our ways of describing, the concepts many believe, had yet to exist when Jesus spoke.
And yet- while dynamic, the bible is rich. When read with the right lense (really corrective against our localised area)- we are infinitely quenched of thirst and infinitely desire so much more.
Many Catholics have turned to protestant versions of the bible- with the books of the early Canon of the bible, books which Catholics and the rest of mainstream Christianity accept: added in. I think this a mistake. Often protestants have given a more literal interpretation, even as often they have tainted the text- yet the greatest advantage of a bible, is for it to give you the context of the words, to compare them with other texts of the genre and time- to explain how the Christians, and society interpreted the words. I would not advise a Catholic to risk their soul- by reading a bible which is not Catholic.
When I read the bible, my catechism is ready- my mind alert. I attempt to spiritually consume the word- to accept Jesus into me through the words- as though he were a sea creature jumping out of a pond (the page)- and into my being.
I test the words within me, and ponder them. I compare them to what I know- I digest them. I research them as I struggle, and lean on the other two pillars- the tradition and the magisterium of the People of Christ.
I do not determine to act on the words, but to have them clean my soul- I do not intend to rush off in terror into the world, all aghast... I intend to nurture my soul, by pushing God's words through it as though cleansing my system with water.
And so- I meditate on the truth. I ignore the immediate voice, and entangles in the deeper, softer, weaker sound which hovers above the page- and emerges as I continually read.
I used to read oft the bible- but now I read it less. I find that many of the deepest lessons are around us in the constructing of our world. Perhaps if we understood its ways more... We'd better comprehend God.
Much of the bible is practical advise- we must greet people we know- not only friends; we must treat workers justly, and guard what is ours. We must not... We must ... We shall not take care of him who abuses our charity by refusing to work when able... Yet while that which is practical should enter our lives softly- most of all a desire for truth, yet the rest must be pondered. The eternal pond of God, its power must be pondered in the depths. His eternal mysteries- always revealing more ad infinitum, until we burst past the depths and breadth of all things.
It is not unwise to stop, think... Ponder the pond of our world. We have all the time we need! Knowing our real wants- taking our evil desires, and step by step tracing these mis-manifestations of true, just wants- back to our real desires- is how we conquer sin. It is not our deep, actual wants which are evil- the human being was made in proportion- but what we render them as- in our practical pursuit of these, or our thoughts of pursuit, which may be. The righteous- true man- takes his any evil desire back to the proper point, and renders it right. A slight diversion can change the whole path of a stream- can destroy mountains... And lives.
It is always good to look gradually into the depths of our souls. Pushing slowly back- never missing a slight moment until we reach right back deep within- and push into our soul to God ad infinitum. The Soul is the design of a man, the truth God made of Him- which is his life and connector with Man's Original Creator.
Friday, 28 August 2009
As Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, Judge Hlope was accused by multiple Constitutional Court Justices (the official name for Constitutional Court judges) of, what was seen by the press- based on a release by the Constitutional Court: as allegedly attempting to bribe or influence them, into ruling on the side of President Jacob Zuma, in connection with the then corruption case against the man who is currently President of the Republic of South Africa. The Judicial Service (not "Services" as some wrongly name it) Commission (JSC) was asked to investigate, in accordance with norms.
Not unexpectedly, when compared to recent developments, and the current political and judicial climate, the JSC recently dropped its investigation, in a decision which was not unanimous- with the dissenting judgement recommending the investigation continue.
For any real action to have been taken against Judge Hlope, would have required action by parliament, the JSC would thus have played more of an advisory or introductory role in any action- should action have been taken. Despite its position as an important voice in law, and its role in recommending Constitutional Court Justices, a finding by the JSC against Hlope would not have caused any final harm to the career of a judge, popular with the ruling party.
The case against Zuma itself was dropped by an acting head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the former head having been removed from his position by the ruling ANC, in a controversial decision being contested by the former head via legal action. The Scorpions, a specialist unit set up to fight Organised Crime, which had instituted investigations against the man who is now President of the Republic of South Africa, had already been disbanded a while prior the dropping of charges against Jacob Zuma. They had also been investigating Thabo Mbeki ally, then Chief of Police- Jackie Selebi. The over 700 corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma, were dropped after an NIA (National Intelligence Agency) tap conducted against Zuma rival, former President Thabo Mbeki- landed on the desk of Jacob Zuma's lawyer.
Other than the details of what has been labled by some as either an illegal intelligence leak, or illegal tap on the President of the Republic- most of the details as to why the charges of corruption against the President of South Africa, were dropped- were not made available to the public. Questions as to the legitimacy of the transfer of the tape of a tap on a political rival of Zuma- to Jacob Zuma's lawyer, and as to why this tape could possibly in any way vindicate Zuma of any offence he may or may not have committed, have still not to our service's knowledge, met any public clarification.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
As articles are written, and as- I think it was Lancet- has published shocking findings about the deadly state of healthcare in South Africa- we at Scripturelink.net news would like to remind our viewers of an article a while ago- in which we covered what was seen by experts as a dangerous attempt by the South African government to take away control of private healthcare- via what the government claimed as NHI National Health Insurance, something they want to institute. An official of the Ruling ANC called those opposing the plans capitalists, and promised what the news termed a "health war", of a speech said in- not very discreet terms, with shocking words- almost seeming to be- threats.
From the reports critical of South Africa's healthcare system- it would seem the first major return volley has been struck by the private healthcare system in South Africa.
Just as when the firearms act came into being, when the press printed information on how important the hunting industry is to South Africa- so we should expect the statistics to come out- as private healthcare very publically attempts to fight for its status. The hunters did not prevent the other act coming into effect.
Editorially: and personally, I am very concerned by the seemingly unrealistic plans by our government- a leftist government which has already thrust a once world class public healthcare system into a state of near collapse- a leftist government which once purported garlic to the public- seemingly as an aids cure- and now ignores the statistics in Africa, by promoting condoms to fight HIV/AIDS, instead of using the Ugandan method which actually reduced infection rates. So, while noting this for what we think it is- I do support these efforts via the third estate (media) to fight for the healthcare industry. What other option is there in a country under populist, leftist rule.
Expect more negative press for the state of health care in the Republic of South Africa. We certainly expected what has already happened.
Note: this is an editorial- opinion / analysis. It is not the same as an ordinary article, but rather reflects personal comments, based on one person's analysis of the issues. This article was written by the editor of South African Catholic.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Title: The morality of what we cannot alter... Cannot Change!..
Apologetical Article by Marc Aupiais
Shadow sprayed across the moon... this night. Night, darkness... Hiding the terror, the horror of the deep black, deathly shadow of lightless fog.
The thick, heavy dark clouds passed across innocently harsh waves of the reflecting moon. The trees splintered shadows, as the light filtered down in airy silver sheets of visible nightmares.
Within this place, horrors happened. Within that place, people were hurt... People- We... We never heard about, never saw... Or knew at all.
Yet, if this airy place exists, if it is as whole nations are at times... Evil, horrendous, murderous and worse. If it is real- do you truly care what occurs there? Do you mind if infants are killed, or children hurt? Do you care if women are abused, men treated as animals? Would you still care if it were done by your government, race, culture, ideology or party, or religion?
What happens out of our control, we are not guilty of. What happens beyond our ability to know... We are not guilty of. These things, we read about afterwards- in articles by media and books by persons, who never encompass the fullness of happenings. And sometimes we learn hate from these, or believe what is not true or really sourced. We find sometimes- we learn the devil's lesson, and unwittingly mimic the faulty beliefs of the oppressors- while holding as martyrs- the oppressed.
We are never guilty of what we had no chance to prevent- or fight against. Yet, there is another dimension at play- another role of the conscience's dice.
The reason the Christian must become part of a creative minority, as the Pope called our modern day mission when still a Cardinal- my reason for this, not his, which I do not remember, my reason which I shall speak of: is simple. The Christian must look sceptical at the news, and statements of officials of so many groupings. He must be suspicious of those tasked with the care of souls, and suspicious of those opposing them. He must attempt to see the truth, to dig deeper and understand the real issues at play.
What we do not know of- we are not guilty of not stopping. What we cannot stop, we are not guilty of not succeeding against... Yet- what if we were able to know and chose not to know ... What if we could have strengthened our cause, and endurance, and have fought against evil... And won?
We are not guilty of what we cannot stop, but we are guilty if our negligence is our own doing- this is why gluttony is a sin, and sloth is evil.
Yet- what of that we cannot stop, it seems, when we come face to face, nose to nose with it- we merely observe its happening and oft forget morality. We look coldly at history, and justify acts of evil, or ignore them, or heartlessly study these... in icy cold. When we cannot act- we turn morality off; we observe?
The truth is- that when we do so, we learn apathy. When we consign ourselves to doing nothing, to neglecting even judgement of evil as what it deeply is and neglect keeping memory... When we turn to holding tight onto justification of evil- we forget the effect that which we cannot halt has... Even... on us.
There are times we tolerate evil, but the righteous must only do so for a time. There are times when doing nothing is right, but inside we must condemn the evil we watch. Inside we must note it, and should we ever be able to combat it justly- we must ensure justice prevails.
I may not be able to prevent abortion, or oppose the killing of other innocents throughout the world- but I can observe it as evil, speak of it as inhumane, note it- and attach the wrong to those guilty of it- and account for this as evil- whatever it is. It must be remembered, whatever the evil- and the one who did it must not be forgotten for what they have done. Forgiveness, as sound theology relays- is not weakness or amnesia. Forgiveness is a state when one analyses a situation and does what is most right, most just and Godly to do.
I may be helpless, but do I pray? And should I be able to act- do I do something... Something solid and powerful, something tactical and worthwhile?
... Shall I choose to do the right thing- or lose my life in refusing to do wrong?
To be a Catholic is to never stand by and do nothing when evil takes action... It is to act or omit action in the way which best benefits good over evil- or less evil over greater evil.
One does not have to be righteous to have God on their side. The world is a system, thereby... Sadly, truthfully... where there is greater evil, all suffer. The smaller evil becomes, the greater the situation is... for all.
We may not be able to stop evil, or even confront it- but we can win the small victories we are able. We can win the victory within, that of Faith- a mind set which attempts to view the world as it really is. Every matter, every issue in the world pertains to proportional truth, and to falsehood- and to their children- life and death...
If all we can do is acknowledge something is evil- at least we may take a step to truth and hope. If we can do more... We should wisely, prudently, cautiously, if not boldly and firmly act! It takes creativity to be good, does it not..?
-----UPDATED VERSION OF ARTICLE-----
Notation by Marc Aupiais
Pretoria local: Caster Semenya, the athlete who has struck up controversy internationally, due to the athlete's appearance being very much like that of a male of the species, a masculine voice, and running times like those of a male athlete: has landed in South Africa.
Sports24 has noted reports of elevated levels of male hormones in her blood, reportedly this information comes from testosterone testing. The UK Telegraph having reportedly reported that the Athlete has three times the normal female level of testosterone.
Semenya's mother insists that she is female, and locally, much of the reporting on the issue has sided with Semenya. The South African Council of Churches' youth wing has condemned international speculation which has lead to requests for gender testing, and members of the African National Congress (leftist ruling party in South Africa) have also stood on the side of the athlete at the centre of the controversy.
The Head Coach of the South African national athletics team (Dr Ekkart Arbeit), according to News24, has now been accused by East German Heidi Krieger of giving her high doses of anabolic steroids.
A birth certificate claiming that the Pretoria athlete is female has been presented to the BBC, by some of those on the side of Semenya.
The president of the international athletics body concerned: Lamine Diak, has reportedly raised concern over a seeming leak of confidentiality.
The IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) has asked local athletics authorities to carry out gender testing- a complex process which the BBC reports should take weeks, if the local body even conducts these at all.
The fact that gender testing is not done on all athletes- seems based on the complexity of the process and the time it takes to conduct.
According to News 24, Athletics SA President Leonard Chuene informed reporters:
"We are not going to allow Europeans to describe and define our child... we will define our child,"
(Sports24 (Secular; Independent; South African; part of News24) 25 / 08 | August / 2009)
This seems to hint that local authorities may not co-operate.
News24 reports that tests on Semenya are ongoing.
Editorial by Marc Aupiais
Hopefully, this article will clear up some of what I see as misperceptions of which sort of judgement based on birth and breeding is illogical and thereby superstitious and evil, and which judgement based on birth and breeding- is just and good.
A lot in society, in morality is based on geneology. Joseph, the step father of Jesus- was descended of Solomon, and Solomon was the son of David. The Jews were the Chosen People, the gentiles were not. Based on genetics, and their results- it is moral to kill a chimpanzee for food, but not to unjustifiably murder a human being. It is moral to easily hunt one form of animal- but not another which is endangered- this too is told us.
In modern times, we have become increasingly acute to the prejudice of racism. Racism is wrong, but so is unpreparedness.
Philosophically- is the treatment of one's own child with more care than another's, or the way in which inheritance is distributed wrong- I would say not so. It is "prejudging" in some perspectives, it is judging based on lineage, based on one's physical makeup- but just judgement, is it not.
If one assumes that a child is good because of the parent- this is not itself illogic- but if, having used prejudice (judging, based- often: not on behaviour of the individual or what may well be seen as apparent fact, but otherwise- often done prior the time- and kept up), we cease to judge- seeing the person act badly, this is illogical, as with sweepingly condemning all people of a race. Prejudice itself can prepare one to avoid danger or embarrassment- if in its right place- as speculation, or preparedness.
In one of my law books, when it was speaking of logic- it mentioned that most criminals in South Africa are black- something oft mentioned by some. I felt offended- I am white, but I hate racist comments. It went on to explain that the majority of South Africans are black. It is only logical that the majority ethnicity in a nation, are the majority of convicts in addition to this. Any percentage increase would also be explained- by poverty and history, and possibly other factors.
The race of a person is incidental to their circumstance.
While racism is illogical, as with bigotry- compensating for race is not, and the same with for instance- compensating for culture, is also certainly not. Not making a meat meal when a Catholic visits you on a Friday- is not bigotry. Knowing the values which are regular in a culture, and vetting what you share is not wrong, but correct.
I would be careful about saying "I love you" to an Afrikaans girl. In my English Speaking etc culture- it oft is an expression of friendship- though one should only say it to girls. For the Afrikaans culture- it means so much more. In my culture- it portrays everything from like, to humour- to undying affection and unending love!
And this does extend further. It is illogical to treat different people like one and the same. They are different- in good and bad ways, and if we judged persons of a different culture as though they belonged to our own- we endanger ourselves and the friendship.
It is wrong to judge on race in isolation, but just as illogical not to take people's race into account as we serve God and our fellow men- including those whose race and nation and culture we must also take into account while serving them, or accounting for them. When one has something firmer than culture to judge on, then the rebuttable presumptions of prejudice seem to fade or solidify.
If I were talking about the Gospel to an ethnic European, I may well compare the sacraments, and grace of God to a sort of Magic, as C.S. Lewis does with grace to magic, acknowledging that magic is evil. Knowing the cultural climate, I would hesitate to use the same example when speaking to some other South Africans- given our history of superstition and "witch" hunts and burnings in South Africa, of whole families. This is not to impart guilt, but to acknowledge a fear which haunts some or their fellows.
When the church therefore considers it an honour for a person of one or other race to be sainted. When a pope says that it is a favour to his country that he is elected and made leader- this is not illogical, "racism" as the slur says, said on these matters.
Race matters, appearances give hints of culture- but it should never blind us. This is why it is evil and superstition to purely judge on race if given more- or to class all of a race as one man, but not evil to assume relatively who a person may well be- based on what can be ascertained from their background.
We all have the same species DNA. We are mankind and one race, yet our differences- while sometimes historic are there for a reason. It is just as evil to be entirely "colour blind" as to be racist. And it is wrong to judge on race- while ignoring the facts. Racism, the vice- is foolishly out of proportion and is thereby evil, yet we need to also guard against those who want a world without culture, religion or race, that idea is dangerous. It is the basis of much of the modern persecution many face.
Editorial by Marc Aupiais
"He helped others, but couldn't save himself"
Are these not famous words. Words about Jesus, about our beloved words. True words in a sense. I always try to view the gospel via different eyes- and these words, at least in english- are true of Jesus.
He helped many, but he could not save himself. Even his mention of hosts of angels who could save him shows his nature true- he says that it must not be.
God is infinite in all- defined and contained by his nature. It was impossible for Jesus to avoid the cross- impossible because he was and is God.
When he rose again, I would say that again- He made it impossible for Him to save himself. His name was Jesus- Yahweh Saves, and I would say that He was risen from death by the other persons of the Holy Trinity, possibly His own power also- possibly all three acting- but Jesus never once did a miracle on his own power- He said it was faith, or prayer- or the Holy Spirit. I have prayed to God to pray for me, and been scolded by non-Catholics for it, but God does pray to God, and did when on earth.
The priest can hear my sins, and have God heal them- but he cannot hear his own sins. Nor can the saints do miracles apart from Reality- from God, Yahweh.
Jesus could help others, but He was never sent to save Himself from the crucifixion.
This message gives us simple truth. God demands we save ourselves first- by the parable of the splinter and log, but he also makes us to rely on others- and the world, so others rely on us.
We can only save others if we in turn are saved by God- safe I say rather- for salvation can be lost is the cutting in half and splinterring of a moment. Yet, who can save themselves alone?
The Gospel teaches perseverance in salvation as the ultimate virtue... Yet, we save ourselves by being Godly to others.
God the Son does not scratch his own Back- God the Holy Spirit enabled his miracles.
The message which that terrible comment teaches us is simple- God never works alone. Our salvation and that of others are linked. If we pray for others, we are adding good to the world- we are aiding our own salvation. It is why the wisdom of the Old Testament says to throw bread in the river so it will return on one.
Our every breath has changed the world. Our every action is but prayer. Our faith is in our actions- for salvation is In Faith, Within Faith. Our faith is in word, thought- our salvation in perseverance... Within Faith.
We cannot save ourselves, but if we do not play our part in our salvation- we will not be saved! For Jesus was murdered and thrust into Prison, where He preached- yet in this obedience saved all who may be called all. And then- He was raised- himself saved though he was never lost.
We are never alone- we have the saints- living and eternally living. And we have the sacred Mother, and the church, with her doctor's healing sacraments where Christ acts on our Salvation by chosing his way- to enter into his ways!
The God of Love does not save in isolation. My whispered lie, can cause death in you- my hidden truth can save you..!
"He saved others but (by his very Nature) He can't (Now) save Himself (yet, in allowing His loss, His Trust, He enabled our salvation!)"
Monday, 24 August 2009
Editorial by Marc Aupiais
I watch as she walks, I smile and breathe in and admire her for her beauty. Then I stop and repeat... But it is not my spouse or potential spouse, it is not even someone I know who I would be fawning over if they were here. I am watching television, watching a leading female character, knowing fully it is an illusion, but freed, knowing she does not seemingly know me, I do not need any affection returned. Granted, I believe we all truly, divinely are connected, in that way I know her, the actress that is. I also know you by that- and you, may realise you know me- and that person you pass on the street.
With my many female friends, it can be similar- I truly love them each, more deeply than a girl I once considered my girlfriend, who once considered me her boyfriend. My love for my friends is deeper and stronger and infinitely more free. I love them and sometimes tell them so. I love my other friends also, but differently than my closest friends, who are often women.
I have many friends, and very little at all in common with some. Some, no, many- I do not even know the names of- but I do care for quite a number of them- to a degree. Yet, the reason I speak of this, why I share how wonderful I find it is... to love my friends is not straight forward simple, but complex.
Jesus commands us to love one another as he loved us. I take this seriously, I greet people I do not know, I discuss, joke, laugh, smile- play socially- I enjoy this, it is as though God commanded us to eat chocolate- I love being social in a good way.
When I have been saddest- helping others was my deepest cure. When I am heartbroken- loving others is a cure, when sad or hurt. When I do not love for a while- I feel stale, repressed, ugly, depressed.
I find now, as I said in the beginning, that I do not need love returned- though it hurts when it isn't. I am not then after romance- but also that to love properly, I must be loved in return. A friend is a person who let's us love them, who we let love ourselves.
So you may well seek attention and love, but I seek to give attention, confidence and love.
You may seek help- I seek to help. You may seek praise- I seek people who deserve my praise.
I take joy in loving, and naturally loving truthfully.
When I learnt to love, I found it was painful- but then, I learnt to love in pain and beyond it- to care should I not be cared for; empathise when painful. It is freeing. I do love deepest those who love me, these I would fight to protect. My affection and loyalty are not one and the same- but I find that the best love can well feel pain and go past it. The best love refuses to be taken advantage of unjustly, refuses to become a tool, or object, or be abused evilly.
I do chose to love, and to manifest love and channel it within, to those I deeply love.
So- in Christ, I have become the opposite of what I once was. I need friends, loyalty, love, hope, kindness- but I seek also to give these first. I want to marry a perfect woman one day- and so I learn perfection for her- what better test of preparedness for the Sacrament than learning to be a perfect, true- genuinely true friend? Oddly, if one seeks to be honest, and if one allows themselves to justly empathise, and see the world rightly- love comes for those we love; and we rejoice at their love. Every relationship is subject to God, and he determines their end. In this I trust others sometimes- but only as much as is wise.
My friends matter to me. I see their fate as intertwined with mine, their web connected to mine. What happens to them- I feel to happen to me. Yet, to my acquaintances I am kind and just if able- or at least just.
I am not as fortunate to have love returned (my deep desire), as I am to love deeply. I may go out of my way naturally- for my friends and my God- but that I may is a gift mostly to me.
I am fortunate to have learnt to love- to change and become someone else- who encompasses my essence. I may be weak, I may not be perfect, but I can love- and love is infinite and eternal. I encourage you, yes- you- to learn the same. To take the risk and care... Hurt, and care all the more: rejoicing for the pain is pleasure in unconditional true love!
Learn to be a good friend! As I hope to one day become!
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Article by Marc Aupiais
According to the Reuters news agency, some parishes seemingly belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, in Japan have dried up their Holy Water Basins: so to speak, in order to combat the swine flu / H1N1 2009 strain influenza / Pig Flu.
According to Reuters:
"The Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo is one church that has decided to empty the holy water basins, into which parishioners traditionally dip their fingers and bless themselves by making a sign of the cross."
(Reuters (Independent; British; Secular) Friday 21 / 08 | August / 2009)
Holy Water is used as a sacramental when entering a church, though it is technically not designated for use on leaving a parish church. It reminds Catholics of their baptism, and is supposed to symbolize the clearing of the mind of secular ("worldly") matters.
The news agency notes that another parish- St. Ignatius, has also excluded Holy Water from the traditional ritual in order to combat swine flu. Only 0.4 percent of Japan is Catholic, many attending churches are foreign nationals. Parishioners of the first parish mentioned are also encouraged to give a sign of peace, not involving touching- such as bowing to one another.
Circumstances with high densities of people, such as churches during celebrations / liturgy, schools, shopping centres, festivals, and Universities, have been seen as places one is more likely to get swine flu at. The Catholic Church permits persons who are sick or tending to the sick to miss mass, the obligation absolved for these persons. People suffering from flu like symptoms may be well advised to miss Sunday mass for the sake of others.
The Sign of peace, which was once a kiss, is generally now a handshake- health authorities, and some bishops' conferences have advised Catholics to share the sign of peace via a sign which does not involve touching the other individual physically.
American Bishops do something about New Mass Translation, something which may help South Africans also, and be useful to others in the future!
Article by Marc Aupiais
When we at scripturelink.net attempted to get the local Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC), to place a version online, or permit us to scan a version in and load it online of their heavily copyrighted copy of the new draft version of the new order of the mass, which they rushed out early, without Vatican permission (the Vatican permitted the draft to continue in use for the sake of the faithful locally)- we only got constantly ignored and redirected, and told this was pointless. The fact that Catholics were struggling, or were not given the new words in some instances, while being forced to use them- was not a matter of urgency, and a (pro-legal abortion, pro-condoms, pro-homosexual priests c.f. Catholic Culture's review of the dissident paper's website) newspaper, which they are represented on the board of, and sell in parishes- the Southern Cross, slated the Vatican's decision to change the Order of the Mass. Not so with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), who have carefully constructed a website on their main URL to aid Catholics with the transfer, which has yet to occur in the USA.
On the website:
The US Bishops have placed so many relevant documents, explaining the whole process of the change, and answering Questions and Answers. Included is a study version of the new English version of the Order of the Latin Rite (The Normal Mass, said at most parishes) Mass, and another with relevant scriptural annotations, which mean that Catholics can justify the Order to their Non-Catholic friends from the bible. I personally have not gone through the entire online text, but as these texts are assembled by the global community of English speaking Catholic churches (International Committee on English in the Liturgy), it is bound in the least bit to be similar to the draft version already in use in South Africa.
The explaining documents should also be useful. It might be noted that the version on the site is yet to be approved by the given bishops or the Holy See, but is probably the same, or a similar version to the draft being used in South Africa. The website should be updated regularly. We ask our viewers, who have lost their handy translations, or who are interested in finding out, to compare these texts to the drafts we are using, (they at least seem similar- I personally have been looking through the words the parishioners say, and it seems like ours- I do not have time at present to make a textual analysis of their study version against the draft version being used here), and inform us of the differences, so that we can possibly inform others. In any case, for those South Africans without a copy of the draft we are using, this may at least be useful, and the American Bishops, will surely update it when a globally accepted version emerges.
America's study version of the draft of the New Order of the Mass:
Version with Scriptural Annotations: (it actually quotes the relevant verses)
The New version, was asked of the world by Benedict XVI, who wanted the Novus Order to be closer to the Tridentine Mass, believing it would be of benefit to the faithful.
Catholic News Agency has an article about the new website released by the USCCB, the website we are speaking of here:
CNA [Catholic News Agency] (Catholic; Independent; American) Aug 21, 2009 :
Thursday, 20 August 2009
I am well known for justifying my views, for once, I have determined not to, to purposely not justify these, as I do not think it necessary, even given less justification, less careful argument, I still believe that the obligation which comes with truth, is enough to make those who are rational consider this.
If you desire me to give justification of any point- email me. I have chosen not to justify my position, choosing rather to simply note my position on the matter- which still falls within apologetics, though differently.
The high divorce rates in the western world, accompanying low birth rates- and increased sickness in later life, due to this- is oft blamed on couples too young, or too inexperienced in life to marry. Ignoring of course, what I believe to be the real change- a loss of the security of the true marital pledge, and of a realisation of just what and how powerful marriage is.
To some this claim that lack of time is the only real reason is- rational- but I disagree. One need only look at regions where marriage succeeds to know this is false. As it is false, I believe it shows a lacking in understanding of Doctrine, or in respect for Doctrine among Catholics, including members of the hierarchy, who underestimate: what is to correctly baptised Christians- one of the 7 sacraments.
As Catholics, we believe that if there is informed consent by both parties to marriage, and if the people have the ordinary strength, and maturity which enables marriage- and if they go through the right ceremony- the two spouses have all the necessary elements to make a marriage work from the start. The institution itself, and the aid of God and Honest Intent to serve God in marriage, and fulfil the vows- all aiding those who enter it willingly.
Granted, having sex before marriage with a person, or ignoring of the essential factors of love and trust could wreck a marriage- but the fact remains that the elements are there as long as the ceremony is entered by both in informed consent (if there are no legitimate reasons for the couple not to be united).
Now, I have never been through a marriage- but my task is not to share experience or speak of what I am experienced with- but to analyse truth, and attempt to give a Catholic perspective, which can be used as a basis before one uses the facts to argue this case against false perception.
If God unites those Christians in Holy Matrimony who fulfil the canonical requirements- then the Catholic should not believe that these- this couple: do not have the basic elements needed to make it work. We are not wiser than God- and the fact is- many make marriage work when much younger, or poorer or less "prepared" than many people marrying these days.
I do believe that marriage must be cautiously discerned, done with the advice of God in prayer, and rational thought- and following intuition and truth beyond emotion- but I do not think it wise of us to doom persons marrying without as much thought as others would like. If they fulfil the canonical requirements... And God unites them, he would not do so unwisely. They do have the basic foundation to make it work- Marriage itself being this foundational requirement.
If the requirements were not fulfilled, no marriage even occurred- so the Catholic view claims. Granted, sometimes a spouse becomes unmanageable, or the like- and there may be need for physical separation of the two.
I would venture as far as to say that it is society's perception of marriage- as though it is temporary, or requires anything but marriage, to be marriage- which dooms "marriages"- but if one is entering a temporary union- one is not getting married, and therefore should not claim that it was a lack of experience which wrecked the marriage- there was no marriage at all. The founding prescription of marriage is a leap- by which one enters a lifelong union, one which is open to life, and between only the two.
It may be noticeable that I have hardly referenced this article in the least. The reason is simple- I do not think it necessary. God does not demand more of us than we are capable of- and it may take two to tango, but often a bit of striving and longsuffering- allows us to maintain hope and our relationships beyond what we thought possible. I often find I am able to befriend those I have nothing in common with- so much lies in small things like handshakes or hugs, greeting and talking.
Our most basic preparation for marriage is our own home- living with our relatives et al. So, while I believe marriage should be carefully discerned, I also think more effort should be put on maintaining marriages- and less on misconceptions of a soul mate. I believe God has set aside one specific woman for me- but God is Reality, are we to say that an almighty God makes a mistake when he unites a couple. One's "soul mate" is not the other half of their soul- our souls are each fully made.
God, who is Reality (the substance on which existence rests), does not wrongly unite two Christians. Any soul mate is a real person, and it is God we should first trust to know who they are- God does not make unjust laws.
I hope my words justify themselves to my fellow Catholics.
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Sunday's Angelus, by Pope Benedict XVI- focussed on the vital part Mary played in giving the Word Flesh
Notation by Marc Aupiais
It is always good to hear the voice of the pope as he speaks on important matters, as we have in the past, we are making note of a video of the pope released by the Vatican onto the internet, this is of him speaking of Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, during his Sunday Angelus.
From the Vatican's YouTube site:
Video (will be visible on spash page, and article page, will likely not appear via email):
URL of Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUQ8X4g9VsU
Summary by the Vatican: of the video:
"The Blessed Virgin Mary was once again the subject for reflections in Benedict XVIs Angelus address this Sunday, delivered to a packed court yard the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo. The Pope spoke of Mary in connection with the passage from the Gospel of John offered by the liturgy of the day. John in fact repeats the words of Christ: "I am the living bread come down from heaven. He who eats of this bread will live forever, the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. The Pope said God needed Mary to take on human form, to enter into our mortal condition, and that He in turn gives us His body in the sacrament of the Eucharist, as an instrument of eternal life. Pope Benedi ..."
Sunday, 16 August 2009
I have been told that my post recently on the hard path to salvation was possibly sad, or not showing the gladness of faith.
Faith is wonderful, but the danger facing those alive is not spoken of enough. And I have often seen persons betrayed with lesser doctrine. It is hard to enter heaven, and I stand by that. It requires striving and going the extra mile. It is not easy to enter heaven- especially when a lesser gospel is taught by those who should be telling both sides of the story. I mostly tell the good side of the Gospel, but the painful side is equally important.
Yes, salvation is impossible for man alone- but the impossible for man is possible to God. We each are given the strength needed to enter salvation and stay in it if only we could use it to its use.
What is required of us is watchfullness, and the need of carefully working out our salvation, which is worth our very self. The bare minimum- is not being done by most Catholics, and by many Religious. This is statistical fact, and the reason why it is deadly not to use both parts of the gospel- why it is deadly to cause mortal sin by telling non-catholics to take the eucharist and promise them grace by it.
Based on the general norm- a minimum of 90 percent of Catholics are apparently in material mortal sin in the archdiocese of Johannesburg. Those who attend church- one mortal sin less, often believe in abortion, contraception, or think confession is not needed- or consider praying to saints idolitry. Others think that only kindness is needed to enter heaven.
All of these are deadly. Statistically, in my area- the only hope is Lumen Gentium XVI for most, including our priests and normal Catholics, and many do not display the symptoms one would expect of it, if they had fulfilled it.
I do not withdraw the realist article, but I also acknowledge the subdued hope- our taste even at present of the eternal life we are offered. The reason for my warning as an apologist (one who explains and answers on the Gospel), is how great our hope is.
A catholic who continues to examine themselves, who hears conscience and seeks and uses it- that intuitive sense, the Catholic who attends church when obligated, and confesses their sins- and submits to dogma, rejecting that which contradicts it- even if spoken by their bishop or priest, or friend- is on the right path.
The fact is that we are all in a fight for life against decay and death. It would be evil, lacking of me if I did not preach the full gospel. We have great hope, almost sure hope if we always try to do right, to seek the real truth, and obey God. We have very little, if not false hope if we refuse to do our part. We are at risk of persecution if we stop preaching the gospel. It helps no one to take half a course of medicine- the illness only adapts to it. It helps no one if half the gospel is preached. Jesus never once denied to fate of those who choose death.
We who seek truth are saved in truth- confession is the conquering of truth over the actions of falsehood, where Jesus acts spiritually in response to our obeying in his manner. There is hope, but let us not call a hill a mountain and fall when we realise the challenge to our very breath.
The gospel acts as a race, and our lives are utterly at stake. We indeed should seek first the kingdom of heaven, by saturating our lives with conscience. When we are where God desires, he nourishes us, his servants. He aids his children, even the birds he cares for.
If we should choose to accept the journey, the adventure- God will clear the path enough to save us, wherever we are this present moment. Every moment we must saturate and the whole gospel must taint, colour our lives, because the soul can turn to another train track in a second, or be saved in a moment less.
Salvation must be the central focus, we cannot have two central focuses or two masters, least we hate one and love the other.
We are assigned to our careers, and our superiors, yet we are assigned subject to God. He is our master, who commands our service to man- but his grace to serve is gone when we serve man wrongly.
He who assigned you, gives you the grace to succeed, but the Christian must become creative- God tries to teach men and women to think and think powerfully. It takes more creativity to always be honest than to always lie.
I stand by my article, gladly so- but I will also write the hope inspiring ones. I did indeed plan to kill a dream, with the article- the false hope that God is unjustly lenient. He judges us as we are this very moment- if we are seeking good, or lacking.
God will not take past performance into account, should he see we are evil now, and would not turn, given the chance. There may be exceptions for those not given the material to build, or the plans for the building- salvation. We however have all the resources. We need to act as adults in faith- knowing that the spiritual adventure is more powerful than any physical war, and that God, will let us ride him, should our own strength end, and our will continue.
There is no joy in the gospel without first the hopelessness apart from hope.
The soul is the live by which we live even now- the eternal design life which guides the natural lives of our cells. It is this at risk. When our temporary life is at risk- we fight, even kill to save it. How much more should we value the thread that holds our temporary life together?
So yes, there is little hope for many, but there is great hope for those who seek the truth consistently in life. Any person can get to heaven- but the basics of confession and mass attendance are so important to giving us the spiritual strength and energy to fight.
Those who adhere to the requirements of the catechism, who go to confession once a year or additionally when in mortal sin, who sincerely confess all their sins, which they remember- who are simply honest in the confessional in their confessing what they remember- these have such great, powerful hope. Confession is something which makes a dead person alive, and a dead hope near sure.
The sacraments, and sincere intent, and real effort at obeying God, and a determination to learn, and submit mentally and physically to the Gospel truth- are the basic tools which with God can get you through. You can make it... If you so choose!
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Our readers are wished a blessed August 15th. In South Africa, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven (August 15) is a day of Holy Obligation, on which Catholics are required to attend church as on Sundays.
It is only one of three days still required locally in South Africa, the requirement being participation in (turning up, and being at church mentally- and partaking in the high prayer which is mass) and attendance of a mass at a Catholic church.
Friday, 14 August 2009
Article by Marc Aupiais
Note: the author compares the world's prima facie situation to the gospel norm, noting the blessing of Lumen Gentium XVI, yet also the deep danger of Christian lackness. He concludes by encouraging use of the sacraments, and careful saturation of the being in works and prayer- in hope of possible salvation.
I used to cry deeply within my depths for my fellow men. I would self mortify in hope of sparing my fellows of hell. I still do self mortify, although as always- in a manner that does not do permanent harm to my physical body.
I cry- in the knowledge, that should I enter, should my humbled, broken self enter heaven- most will not. I cry- seeing, hearing my fellows, and knowing the scale of judgement, and I pray tirelessly until my strength is weak. I feel that many who have aided me, even aided my salvation- shall become dust, and that I shall know of their place.
I once even suggested in prayer- and then after that also- that I take another's punishment upon myself, or that God not save me. Both suggestions did not change fact- although I try to take others' punishment from God.
I cry inside when I hear a happy story, or read of goodness. I seldom have seen any hope in this, my planet.
Should we go with the statistics, and note those who have seemed at hope- we should be lucky if one soul in a million enter heaven, as two souls enter purgatory.
For this reason, Lumen Gentium XVI must not be seen lightly. Catholics themselves would be highly favoured in our world, should they enter heaven or purgatory by anything but God's accounting for the service of honest intent. Jesus himself speaks of the narrow way we stumble through into salvation.
The human soul is made of the most base, indestructible part of the created universe- it is made of truth. It can only be destroyed by falsehood. A part of the path to heaven is the church. It is a part of the truth. Christ says he is its head, it is his body and the foundation of truth (I Timothy chapter 3 verse 15). It is Gospel, and our way to save our beings, or rather- to have our beings enter salvation.
When we say the church is of the fullness of truth, and that the Catholic Gospel is the fullness of truth- we say that they are of Good. Evil is lack of goodness where goodness should be. Simply should a faith teach some truth- any faith but ours is lacking in truth.
It is neglected- the grave duty on every soul- that all are judged in one just environment. Should those who know not be required to seek truth, and obey conscientious truth- shall we be spared, who know the truth?
The Gospel is bittersweet. The wonderment of all goodness is recorded faintly in it- the hope of salvation- worth all we have and our soul and life and more. The suffering end that destroys most. The God- Yahweh - Reality, who will send the many evil men to hell- as Reality does, Reality- God, who can destroy body and soul in torture in hell. It is unwise to see God as soft. It is wiser to hear Augustine who, as I also believe- Called God Reality. Reality is just, and truth.
The heresy that separates body and soul into being and mere possession is wrong and a cause of death. Your body will deteriorate in hell, and your soul will be in eternal pain. A lesser truth- like a body cut open at the heart's hope.
Hell is real- God is not lenient- he is just, omnipotent, omniscient... He is not a fool. Jesus never taught a lesser law- than that for which the Israelis burnt and stoned offenders. His law- demanding utter love with Mind, Body and soul of God- is far harder- and his death increases the wrong of those who continue in sinful lives.
A God who sends His own Son, like a lamb to the slaughter- is not a lenient God. He is fair- not lenient. He is merciful- beyond imagining- to those who turn to him- who determine to obey conscience, intuitive truth, the Gospel and God.
Should one turn to him, he is merciful, should they continue in Him, they shall be saved- yet, in our world, where ideology so diabolical avoids truth and the logical truth of morality and God- the battle is hard.
I used to weep about the truth, weep because of the Gospel. I pray deeply for those I am assigned, but I also have joy in my sadness, or rather- sadness in my joy.
If we do not leave our post- but pursue our destiny (God's plan) in our lives relentlessly, and restlessly in proportion and wisdom- by God and not foolish exploits- we shall save souls.
We as Catholics... Often forget the price should we not persevere. The person who starts a medication, saving them from illness, and stops is worse off than those who did not know of the cure. Should he continue on it for a year- gaining healing, and stop, he is worse than he who took it only six months. Both will die, should the disease be fatal.
The Catholic must persevere. In small, so in great- by this Jesus commands us to inebriate our every breath with sober Godly actions. Should we fail in small social situations, how could we survive the challenges we should have been taking, or the path to heaven. Righteous needs training, by use. Obedience and listening too.
The Catholic who ceases to learn and Grow is in danger of death. The sacramental economy- confession and mass especially- are there as vitally as bread and Water. Man does not live on bread alone- but on the words of truth from God. His sacraments are certainly the food of the soul.
Deeds alone do not bring salvation, but without consistent holy obedience in every moment- can you ever claim you had faith. 90 percent or the like of communication is body language- when in contact with another. The tree which bears fruit is pruned, but without fruit- God may cut it down. God hears our thoughts- how much more the prayers of our actions- which are worship of good or evil.
I take much from the gospel- yet, I never pretend I am safe. My soul is worth more than everything created- to me. Only a fool would believe the gospel as is and then not saturate their life in conscience. God is the absolute of sanity, and his standard is based on how truly we lived. He will judge by actions and honest intent, yet we must not underestimate the deep danger of eternal death.
I hear stories, and I cry because these words would be wonderful- if the story were true. I pray to be a true story, what of you?
Note: Consistent obedience- refers to a determination to continue to seek and obey truth if possible. One may well sin, but should determine to confess their sin... One should attempt to obey God every moment, and always, in a persevering and sustained and sustainable, sustaining manner, with prayer. One may well have had faith, should one have fallen- how else can one fall, least they had been above their position and yet, by writing as I do, I attempt to show that people act according to what they think is wise, we all sin, yet we should try to sin as little as ever possible, as our every thought, or action affects God.
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