Monday 25 January 2010
Rosary Mysteries today: Annunciation Of Gabriel unto Mary, Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, Birth of our Lord, Presentation, Finding in the temple.
Saints and feats celebrated today: Apolo; Artemas; The Conversion of Saint Paul; Poppo; Praejectus; Publius; Juventius and Maximinus; According to Butler’s lives of the Saints.
Catholic News Agency on today’s liturgy:
Conversion of St. Paul http://goo.gl/fb/zAFD
Psalm - Ps 117:1bc, 2 http://goo.gl/fb/NTPQ
First Reading - Acts 9:1-22 http://goo.gl/fb/uVjQ
Gospel - Mk 16:15-18 http://goo.gl/fb/dYzp
(Journey in a Broken World)
[I have based my research into Juventius and Maximinus upon the history recorded in the great resource, the Butler’s lives of Saints, a great work, we use even today, after it appeared in the 18th Century. The version I am using is a mid 20th century abridgement with imprimatur. Commentary herein is my own, and holds no imprimatur!]
The saints Juventius and Maximinus, Martyrs, January 25
That is true which testifies in the heart that: it was love of the Christian soul and spirit, and therefore of Christ himself, which caused these two compassionate saints their deaths, who, at the table, while their evil master, Julian the Apostate, was at war against the Persians, these two noted officers in his foot-guards, bemoaned the terrible penalties, and unjust laws the Apostate Julian had put against the Christians, and therefore against Christ himself.
Wishing instead for any punishment, extending even to death, rather than see that which is holy treated with contempt, in the face of the Christian persecuted, who by his life represents Christ, they could see the sanity of their choice, and thus would not withdraw their just criticism of the Emperor, by any means, nor would these just companions of God who watches from heaven worship any created idol of man, by sacrifices asked of them by the maniac emperor.
For their empathy with their brothers, which could have been ignored to their advancement in the eyes of the world, these martyrs were scourged mercilessly, and their estates, were cruelly confiscated by the Christ-persecuting emperor. They were beheaded in prison in Antioch, on this day the 25th of January, in the year 363 AD. Despite the great risk endured for it, the Christians stole the corpses of these Godly martyrs, and after the monstrous evil tyrant Julian was slain in his campaign into Persia, on the 26th of June the following year, their brave heroism was done justice through the construction of what must have been a magnificent tomb. Of the two martyrs, St Chrysostom pronounced boldly, “They support the church as pillars, defend it as towers, and repel all assaults as rocks. Let us visit them frequently, let us touch their shrine, and embrace their relics with confidence, that we may obtain from thence some benediction [blessing]. For as soldiers, showing to the king the wounds which they have received for his battles, speak with confidence, so they, by an humble representation of their past sufferings for Christ, obtain whatever they ask of the king of heaven.”
The man who is prepared to die for his nation, his emperor or his wife or that he loves- must first be prepared to die for them for the sake of Christ whom he really serves, in his love of them, but should it come between service to them and to Christ, likewise the Christian is a soldier, who must willingly accept death rather than deny Christ. Christ too is the Church, Christ too is the Eucharist, Christ too is the Godly life of a saint. Christ must never be denied, neither in private, nor in public, nor even in the heart of man.
It was their empathy with their brothers, whom they recognized as Holy and worthy of dignity and respect, that drove these two great martyrs, to firstly endure physical torture, and the taking of what they owned by a bloodthirsty emperor, and finally, to endure even death. They are justly martyrs, who die for the sake of their Christian brothers, for as another feast of this day reminds us, the man who persecutes Christianity, firstly persecutes Christ. For, as the bible rightly claims, Christ is the head of the church, which is his true body. With Apostles at the top, or today, their successors.
These martyrs are great men, yet the lesson of St Chrysostom must neither be forgotten, for those who are righteous, God hears their prayer, it is why we approach these, allowing God to answer them even after they have been taken into death, and thus preaching the gospel in our very prayers.
Saturday 23 January 2010
(Journey in a Broken World)
Article by Marc Aupiais
St John the Almoner, Patriarch then of the great see of Alexandria, in Egypt, 22 January
Becoming bishop, when over fifty years of age, St John immediately separated himself from his predecessor by his actions. He saw himself answerable firstly and with special interest to his masters. When asked whom they were- he referred to the poor. He always had an ear to give justice, and spent Wednesdays and Fridays, traditional days of penance, serving the needs of justice in the community, and always sought, via modesty, but also quite directly to bring his Christian subjects to peace with their fellow Christian and fellow man, and to administer justice.
He is credited with ensuring food and resources got to those in need, even outside his see of authority. He had a special dislike of rash judgment and talebearing- that is, of gossip by which we mean, when we refer to talebearing as a sin. For the bible is very clear that we must reveal the deeds of darkness, in the service of truth. Though it is also clear that doing so without just cause, is sinful even with our own inequities against God and man.
Like a true Bishop, he realized, that all he had done, and his life of self mortification and service, was not adequate for the thanks of his subjects. After all, as a Bishop, he was to even spill his very blood for the sake of the faith of his people, and for their well-being, should he be required. He had yet even to fulfill this task, though none had so persecuted the faith that he should be required to witness to it, so as to risk his very skin for the faith.
That he saw the poor as his great masters, and god as greater is certain, as he snubbed the emperor, whom the governor had taken him to meet, on hearing of his impending death from heaven. He seems to have died of natural causes soon afterwards, in obedience to God.
His warning against gossiping is of great note, his reason, many saints refused to justify their name, even when greatly punished, against many a false accusation.
Friday 22 January 2010
Liturgy of Today according to Catholic News Agency:
First Reading: 1 Samuel 24:3-21:
Psalm: Psalms 57:2, 3-4, 6 and 11
Gospel: Mark 3:13-19
(Journey in a Broken World)
Article by Marc Aupiais
Saint Anastasius, martyr January 22 (historic events rendered based on facts given in Butler’s Lives of the Saints, which noted him on this day, commentary and rendering of this article is however done by Marc Aupiais, who only took the book as a source, but wrote his own version of these events, excluding some information, and adding some. I have written this from a catholic perspective, and terms hold their Catholic theological and their Catholic moral meanings.)
Prophesying the removal of the king of Persia, and his own martyrdom, Saint Anastasius is referred to by his Christian name.
One may well be given to assume that a saint would be known by the name his or her parents gave them. One may assume their name of honour to be the name they were known by from birth, but this is not always the case, and certainly not with the Persian soldier Magundat, who is now known by a much more beautiful name, that of his baptism- Anastasius, meaning to rise and walk, meaning resurrection. Persia itself, is testimony to the transient nature of man, for it was once a great empire, and is now Iran, which must hide behind threats of death, and fear the wrath of its own people, who we constantly see dying, as one group opposes the other. Should a woman be named Anastasia, as the Eastern Orthodox daughter of the last Russian Tsar was, then they are named by what became the female version of his adopted name. It has since been shortened in these days where names are shortened and often mean less to Stacy/Stacey. The male version of this name, seems unpreserved in the popular culture which besets our modern era.
As a young man he became learned in the ways of the Magian sect, a superstitious and seemingly commonly practiced system on the Persian streets at the time. Yet, when the Persian King robbed the Godly, of the divine trophy of the Cross of Christ, Magundat became curious, and investigated this foreign faith. The Persian soldier, was so affected by the sublime truth of the divine faith, that on a return to his homeland, Persia, from the Roman empire, he and his brother left the Persian forces, and lived in a place called Hierapolis.
It is important, that while staying with a silversmith of the holy Ancient Faith, that he was greatly affected by religious imagery, by pictures which inspired him all the more to investigate faith. Like the divine trophy of the cross of Christ, images also had such an effect on this saint. He prayed daily with the Christian silversmith, but later left Hierapolis which was under the Persians, heading instead for the great city of Christ, Jerusalem. In this Holy City, he was baptized not by the Patriarch Zachery, but by Modestus, who governed in his absence.
In Baptism, he took the Christian name Anastasius, which, in the Greek of the time, had significance for him, once again taking a sign of Christ for what it was. The Sacrament comes from the Roman military pledge- loyalty from the soldier, for protection and caretaking by the commander. The Apostle peter, says as recorded in the Sacred Bible, that baptism saves, not through the water, but the obedience of the sacrament of applying the water, just as the obedience of the Arc saved. Sin is to choose one’s own way in pride, virtue is to abandon the self for Christ, to die in baptism and in daily martyrdom, and thus to have Christ reconstruct one as one was designed to be. Baptism, Anastatius, by his very adopted name, surely realized, saved- and replaced original sin, and the human sin, with divine grace, that through the pledge of obedience, one may be saved through adopting God’s prepared path beyond one’s own.
Anastatius paid wonderful devotion to the sacrament during his necessary preparation, and no less after it, when he continued to be constructed in faith, and to pray, wearing white as was customary.
It was not vanity nor solitude or esteem among men which move Anastatius to take the monk’s vestments, when in 621, but rather what must have been a realization of the ever present distractions and falsehoods of the world at large, which the layman must face with humility should he desire to easily thwart their poison. Rather, the monk Anastatius became so, of the realization that in his case, he could much better fulfill the obligations which come with every baptism, no matter how early or young, or old- through the monastery. Perhaps in imitation of the cross which had saved him, Anastatius took to the monastery in Jerusalem under the abbot Justin, who had him learn the Greek language of the time, and the psalter, so important to many of the saints. Justin also cut off the saint’s hair.
The Butler’s Lives of Saints, seems certain that Anastatius took his name, in honour of his death and new life, yet it was a name in a language he himself did not understand, it would seem he would have had to have asked of the name, or else investigated what he should and would be called in his new life after baptismal rebirth, his life as a slave- more free than the world itself.
This servant of Christ, aspiring to ever greater perfection, after seven years, was granted his prayers to be martyred in more than the daily mortification, which Christ asks of all Christians. Thinking not of his monastic brothers, who would surely be grieved, and would lose out on the company of a saint, nor of the trivialness of what God had granted, he still knew God had taken from his treasure trove the great gift of Martyrdom.
It was private revelation, and not the pride of the Donatists, who evilly sought out death, disguised as martyrdom, which inspired this great saint, before he died, to visit the Holy Sites in what was once known as the Palestinian area, but which is now Palestine and Israel. He visited Diospolis’, Garizim’s sites and the church of our Lady (Mary, Mother of Christ), in Caesara, where he decided to stay for two days.
The Persians, who he had once served as a soldier, occupied Caesara, and Magian Soothsayers, from the Persian Garrison practiced their superstition in the streets. Suspecting he was a spy, for he had boldly confronted the Persian Soothsayers on the streets, the Persian civil servants apprehended the holy saint, who had been promised the honour of obedience until death should he choose it, in a revelation from heaven.
He informed the civil servants, of his prior condition, his learning of the Magian sciences, he humbly informed them of his conversion, his change, that he had chosen to follow the Divine Son of God, Christ.
For three days, his body was denied food and water, as he lay in the dungeon the Persians threw our saint into, not as a spy, but for his confession of Christ, as they awaited the Persian Governor Marzabanes. Marzabanes, as was common with many interrogators of the early saints, offered him great riches, and then great torments, all to gain a denial of Christ, for whom the humble saint was under his grasp. He was even threatened with the great honour of Crucifixion.
The saint was not to yield, having been promised the obedience until death which is martyrdom, should he stand firm. The city governor had him chained to an ordinary criminal, by the foot, and had his neck and foot chained together also. The chain between his neck and foot were heavy, the saint surely would have followed his prior practice, and given his pain and suffering as a gift to Christ, our great heavenly spouse. Further, he was sentenced to “carry stones”. He said that they did not need to chain him for this punishment, he would lie on the ground without moving gladly, for the sake of Christ to whom he was promised in baptism. His humility is clear, as he realizes the honour of the monastic habit he had worn, and that it did not deserve the contempt which his executioners would pay him. He asked that he put it aside first, and did so respectfully. He understood that his body deserved the contempt which he was paid, but that that which represented obedience to Christ did not deserve it. He moved not at all, under the weight of the cruel punishment known as carrying stoned, but remained unmoved prostrate on the floor, as humankind tormented him, as they did Christ his redemption.
Seeing his own power useless, the governor threatened a second time, to acquaint the King of Persia with the saint’s stubbornness. The saint was unaffected, and said that as man was made of nothing by God, that God was the greater, and it is God, whom we as man should most fear, and not man, who was made of nothing by God. He was pressured by the judge to sacrifice to elements of the nature which God created, to sacrifice to the sun, which God made to light the heavens, to the moon, which reflects the light God created, and to fire, which God allows to light man’s way, but the saint refused to honopur that which God made and gave as gifts to man, over the giver of the gifts, whose greatest gift is love itself.
The saint was sent to prison, for refusing to Adore that which is less not only than God, but than man, that made for man’s use. It seems that the abbot of the monastery, Justin then sent two monks to comfort the saint, and visit him in prison. His former abbot ordered prayers for the sake of the saint.
While in prison, the saint impressed a Jew, who at night as the Christian Martyr prayed, saw ‘shining brightness and glory” in the saint, and angels accompanying him in his prayers. The saint “carried stones” all day, and prayed into the night. Even though he was chained to a common criminal, the saint kept his head bowed, least he disturb the criminal’s sleep, knowing the respect and love due every man from conception until death.
Without coming in person, the governor informed the martyr, that the king had been informed of his case, and would be satisfied by a mere private denial of Christ, even a public one would not be necessary. Perhaps the king felt merciful. The saint, like the Jewish Martyr in Maccabees, who refused to eat pork, or even privately to eat something other, refused. Rightly so.
One the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, that was September 14, as though in honour of this saint converted by the Cross, a Christian, who gathered taxes for the king, Anastatius’ oppressor, asked leave to have Anastatius assist at the feast. Here, Anastatius had great effect on the zeal of the Christians, himself becoming much as the cross for them, and he drove them to tears. With joy, not contempt, this saint returned to the mortification of his prison, after dining with the tax-collector of his oppressor.
The monk, who recorded the saint’s martyrdom, was one of the two sent, who followed the saint, and two other Christians, who were taken under heavy guard away from Palestine. The monk who accompanied the saint sent letters to his abbot, begging for prayers for Anastatius, having himself been sent to pray.
The saint was taken by force to Assyria, near the Euphrates river, and was thrown into the dungeon, until the king’s desire was known. The king was present in this area. The death of Anastatius, was nearing.
The saint said that the pomp and riches of a king, himself soon to die meant nothing. Symbols being so important to this saint, he referred to his monk’s habit, which he had spared the fate of “carrying stones” and his clothes, to demonstrate his desire to be content with Christ.
The officer assigned him, came back with threats, where promised had had no effect, and the saint credits this to grace, he had been promised martyrdom in a vision, should he accept it. He was then beaten in the manner of the Persians, and was threatened that he would be severely beaten for the rest of his life, for choosing not to accept the wealth of the king.
After three days of punishment in this manner, the judge ordered a heavy beam pressed on his legs by not one but two men so as to crush his flesh to the bone.
When the officer had gone to speak with the king, the jailer, a Christian, allowed the Christians in, along with any who wanted access to the martyr saint Anastatius. The Christians kissed his feet and chains. They kept relics of whatever had been sanctified by the touch of these. And even ‘overlaid his fetters with wax’, to gain their impression. This was all against the will of the saint who pleaded that they stop these actions.
He was beaten again, but endured seemingly without effort, and was then hung by one hand at the order of the king, being stretched below by a heavy weight as this occurred. Once again, perhaps proving by what agency he was oppressed, he was pestered with threats and promised much. Failing to get a response, the judge approached the king, who ordered the execution of the Christians.
The saint took with humility, his death by strangulation on the banks of the Euphrates. He had wanted more suffering for the sake of Christ, but accepted with joy his lesser answer, as with many other Christians, in addition to his two Christian companions from Palestine, he was callously murdered. The many Christians were all killed before his eyes. Anastatius was still being pressed to return to the then Persian system of beliefs, to spare himself.
All of their bodies were exposed, so that the dogs would eat them, but not a hound touched his body, while the others’ were devoured. This was a gift to the Christians, who took his body to a nearby monastery. The monk, assigned to comfort the saint and pray for him, who had followed him to his place of execution, took his tunic back, seemingly to the monastery in Jerusalem, where the saint had spent seven years in the Monastery. His body was later moved to the great seat of Constantinople, and finally to Rome.
It was partly to his image, kept at Rome, that the seventh of the general councils turned to say that images may be venerated. This is fittingly so, as the saint so loved images and was so affected to Christ in them.
To make an image, is not to worship it. Rather, the saint in his answer to the oppressor, was adequate- the sun, the moon, the fire, these are made for man, for his use. In this he knows that we may use created things, for our salvation both physical and eternal. But One is not to treat as God, any created thing. Indeed, one may pray to a saint or angel, and honour and love them. Worship them as theology teaches us of the command to love. Yet, only God is to be treated as that which made all out of nothing, as that which is supreme above all. To him a special worship is due. Martyrdom is obedience even unto death. It is obedience to Christ, which he who desires martyrdom must truly desire. If he is to live, he must take this as a daily martyrdom, always submitting, and thereby being a witness to Christ, which is the role of the martyr. By humility and selflessness, accompanied with the determination to combat every evil, and not to rest the head but to serve, by this- evil may well be thwarted.
Thursday 21 January 2010
Saint Agnus: according to catholic News Agency
First Reading - 1 Sam 18:6-9; 19:1-7
Psalm - Ps 56:2-3, 9-10a, 10b-11, 12-13
Gospel - Mk 3:7-12
(Journey in a Broken World)
---- Saint Agnus ----
Article by Marc Aupiais
None around, could explain her blessing, her name meaning lamb, her name meaning chastity, a blessing- Agnus, was beautiful , and the aspiration of all true Italian men.
But none love her more than her husband, her heavenly spouse. She served him on earth, her invisible love. The men proposed, and did what they could to outdo. And seeing their every charm disabled, one finally accused her in court.
The judge, not of justice petitioned the saint, the young beauty, so heavenly in stature and name. She was threatened with fire, and torture and death, yet would not deny her spouse, to whom she had wed.
Her chastity important, the judge had an idea. She was sent to the brothel, by order of court. The men of Rome, could do as they pleased. But Agnus was hardly impressed, “My jealous spouse in heaven, will keep me a virgin”, one may paraphrase how she insisted.
At the brothel, a crowd of men gathered, beset by vile lust, they aimed to upset.
Though seeing this saint, many did desist, many not all- one was not shamed. He was determined to take her sanctity away. And driven by the lust of eyes, by lightning God took his sight.
And by prayer, the virgin healed him, by God’s work was God’s curse undone.
Still the judge pleaded, or so it would seem, but the spouse of Christ knew this- what god has made one, man must not divide. She had looked with joy at the instruments of torture, and hope at her reunification with Christ. She would not marry him who took her to court. She was thus beheaded, as those watching were moved to tears. Saint Agnus, of Chastity, Saint Agnus the lamb. Lead to the slaughter, yet also to the feast.
She served God by living, she did not take her own life. The martyr and the suicide are opposites. One destroys all, by taking his life. The other is so loyal to life, that she or he sacrifices it, that it may live as she is made to die.
Saint Agnus, on this day: ora pro nobis.
Factual Information based indirectly on the account rendered in Butler’s Lives of Saints, Edited by Rev. Bernard Kelly, published by Virtue. Saint Agnus is the saint listed by this ancient work, for today!
Poem by Marc Aupiais (Copyright Marc Aupiais. All Rights Reserved!)
May My lord take my life, may he teach me my shame
May I dine with the poor, the rich and sinners, be hated by my very own name,
May my lord take my life, may he make me forget,
May he make me neglect every horror, with which I’m beset.
May he choose my wife, and decide on my offspring,
May he torture or bless me, may I treat it the same:
May my Lord take my hope, and drown it in death,
Death to self, as I should mortify by living, by loving beyond all pain,
May my lord take my life, may he look at my sight,
And make me blind to all He does not accept,
May my Lord take my life, and give me to torture,
May I die of hunger, know every thirst, may I be sent to prison for his dear sake!
May my Lord take my life, take every choice,
And worse, be quiet, and force me to choose.
May he take my noise and make it to silence, and when I’m in need,
May He never aid me, ‘cept to teach and heal, to correct,
May my Lord take my hearing, so I cannot hear man,
May he take my clothing so I know cold and shame,
May my Lord teach me humility, there’s heaven to gain,
May I be tortured, in mind, body, soul.
May every evil be practiced against me.
May My Lord take my life, for whatever he choose,
But as it is, I use my hope, my wealth, and my protection,
That I may give him my life- to do with what He will.
That the lord took my life, this I know for sure,
Yet for every friend lost, a thousand more,
For my imprisonment in hades, shall I not gain heaven?
For my cold, I warm the angels, for my lack- my contentment gives me patience,
If I truly gave God my life, perhaps he’d need less-
Less to try me, less to hurt,
For the righteous can take pain in blessings, and joy in pain,
To truly submit, we must renounce all ungodly shame,
I, to be a true Christian, must be more than His name!
May I share his death and his shame...
Tuesday 19 January 2010
Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) Press Release: 19 (day) / 01 (month) / 2010 (Year)
Notation By Marc Aupiais
The following quotation will be of a dispatch sent out to media by the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference). It is sent out from their communications department, and we are noting this press release, here: in the interests of the public:
The SACBC: Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference; are a Catholic hierarchical (structural) body. Sometimes their dispatches may have a certain political, or practical perspective, they may even mention neutrally, or positively: a grouping, or person we openly appose: we do not however mean to endorse any group, or person that they are working together with, nor does this mean that such a group is acceptable to the church: only that for practicality: they may be working together with such, nor does it imply that such a group is not in some way affiliated, we simply advise against using this to see any affiliation, as we think this pointless. We do not endorse whom they endorse, nor their own views, or opinions or needs, nor do we guarantee their accuracy as a source: any complaints as to accuracy of their claims, can be given to us, however: to attempt to fix such; I advise approaching the source: as all we can do is remove a dispatch, and maybe tell them, or right an article, based on their information, or else write a warning from us, or an article on the error, or a retraction for our publishing, if we have a desire to clarify our part in any such thing, or say something may be wrong.
What they say is their personal perspective; and they, not us must be held fully accountable for their own words, we can change some things, though not direct quotes: but it is them you must approach for changes or retractions from them. We do not guarantee the accuracy of their news and views, nor endorse the content of their dispatches, by posting them, their views do not represent those of Our Service, nor of person, bodies, organizations, nor of groups in any way associated with Our Service, and this disclaimer applies also to those who post this disclaimer, with a dispatch, which we have accessed, in any manner, from the bishops: so far as it is posted with the permission of those responsible for such: or by the conditions given, by Our Service: these are not our words, which we post, when posting directly, what the bishops say, but theirs, and there is no endorsement herein, only reporting, rather: their views are purely their own views, even as due to similarities, such as fidelity to certain principles, and to possible use of some shared organizations: their views expressed, may even identically reflect our own so far as our beliefs may be similar due to these, as with some perspectives. This is purely due to “circumstance”, and not intended as an endorsement of them, nor does it imply that we endorse in any manner whatsoever, any statement they make, have made, or in the future: shall make. Due to practicality, or for whatever purpose, also, they may at times work with organizations: which our news service/s, or affiliations, or those posting such: openly appose. Posting information from the SACBC is further not to be considered endorsement of the SACBC or any representative or affiliate of theirs, or member therein. They speak entirely in their own capacity, and not in ours!
- Marc Aupiais
Disclaimer designed for South African Catholic:
But Our Service is to refer to whichever service publishes material with this disclaimer!
Saturday 16 January 2010
Notation by the Editor of our Service
We have received an email from the SACBC saying we may "do what [we] want", after our response. We take this as permission to continue providing their dispatches to media to you, the general public. We will continue, should we choose- to make public any threats to our integrity.
Notation by our Editor
We noted recently that we would from this point onwards consider publishing any threats our service received, especially those from certain people at the SACBC. We, unlike other Catholics in media, who i shall not mention by name, do believe in independence, and in being honest to our readers. Publishing this email, from our review of caselaw, we believe IS ACCEPTABLE in accordance with South African law, as is critical review of press releases. We WILL (for those who are not listening at the SACBC) continue to keep our audience up to date on these matters, especially as we feel our independence compromised- once more.
Notation By Marc Aupiais
Before noting the dispatch from the SACBC, we would like to note that our own appeal for donations asks that you donate to Catholic Relief Services (CRS): who the Vatican has asked to co-ordinate Catholic relief efforts, and who have for decades been on the ground in Haiti, and have a reliable record in natural disasters, rather than the Islamic Gift of the Giver organization, who we neither endorse, nor vouch for in any way. CRS, whom we have researched and believe are best suited to spend your money effectively of all the groupings on the ground: may be donated to here:
Your annotation above is unfortunate. Your stated motto is accuracy without harm. Catholic Relief Services is the US Bishops’ Conference relief service that is part of the international Catholic Charities Federation, known as CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS. Project Caritas in Southern Africa is Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference humanitarian Disaster fundraising project, part, too of the International Catholic Charities Federation, known as CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS. Project Caritas is therefore an official arm of the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa. These Bishops have agreed to work with the ‘Gift of the Givers’ foundation. In fact, Project Caritas has arranged that the not insignificant AID from Gift of the Giver will be received in its entirety by CARITAS HAITI/ CRS Dominican Republic.
Your right to your own opinion is guaranteed by the constitution of the country. However, under the principles enshrined in Mt 18:15-17, I think you need to be cautious making comments and decisions without checking with the Principal. Your comments are incautious and inaccurate. In fact, the Holy Father has asked all Catholic Charities to work together on this – under the direction of CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS.
In future, if you do not agree with the content of our media, don’t publish them.
Fr Chris Townsend
Office for Communication and Media.
Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC)
P.O.Box 941 Pretoria 0001 South Africa
Khanya House - 399 Paul Kruger Street, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 (0)12 323 6458
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P Please consider the environment before printing this email
Thursday 14 January 2010
After Catholic Relief Services, initially feared thousands dead and many affects, the prime minister of Haiti now thinks over 100 000 (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND) human beings may have died in the tragic catastrophe of the disastrous Haiti quake.
With over 50 years on the ground, hundreds of staffers in Haiti, their building in Port-au-Prince still standing last report I read of it, and having already dedicated 5 million US dollars to the disaster, Catholic Relief Services, who already do disaster work in Haiti, is the group I and others like me are urging those who feel empathy with this terrible event to consider donating to.
Otherwise, the Catholic News Service, whom we do not usually quote for obvious reasons involving faith issues, has what is likely a good list of some other Catholic organizations who are working to aid victims:
Religious groupings are usually the best ones to donate to in these disasters, due to their resources.
We would like to ask that you stop whatever you are doing and pray for the victims of this catastrophe once again. They include the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince and many catholics and religious. The pope also has appealed for aid to these devastated people in what is already the most deeply impoverished nation in the Western and Northern hemispheres.
Thank you for what wonderful good you, our readers and friends have done already in relation to this utter catastrophe. I am sure it is needed and appreciated on the ground.
More on CRS efforts in this disaster:
God bless and thank you, and i ask that you join us in prayer to Saint Philomena, the patron of South African catholic News Service, and to Mary, the mother of the many Christians who died and are dying on Haiti, and to God. Catholic Relief Services aids irrespective of nationality and religion. They have a very good ratio of how much money actually goes to victims of disaster, and I hope you will consider giving a small donation to their cause!
In Faith, and in hope that you, our friends and reader can help these devastated people.
Wednesday 13 January 2010
Editor's personal note:
I would like to point our readers to an article by of Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington in the United States of America, to give a hint of the article, this is how it ends:
12 / 01 | January / 2008
"Complementary images but one reality – But you may wonder how can the Church be both Bride of Christ and Body of Christ? And yet this is not only possible but it is essential to understanding the Church as a marital union of Christ and His Bride. The scriptural teaching about marriage is that the two spouses become one. And thus it is that the Church is at one and the same time the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ. Christ says of Bride and Groom, They are no longer two, they are one (Matt 19:6). And St. Paul directly links this mystery to the Church and Christ: Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church(Eph 5:28-32).
In terms of her human members the Church is imperfect and sinful. But she is no less loved by Christ. In her Bridegroom and the Divine Head of the Church, the Church is perfect. We ought to love her personally and intensely. She is not an institution, not an “it” she is Bride, She is Mother, The Church is the Body of Christ.
As a priest, I am not a bachelor. I have a bride, the Church. She is a beautiful (and demanding) bride. Religious Sisters are not single either. One of the beautiful images of women religious is that they are Brides of Christ. In this video from the Nun’s Story, the postulants are invested in their habits. In the traditional ceremony the women come in dressed in bridal gowns of the world and and then depart to be invested in the bridal gowns of their religious habits. They are brides of Christ, imaging the the Church as Bride and mother. "
If God's body is that unsatisfactory, that those married to it need another spouse, then perhaps it is not so divine as one may desire. I personally believe myself called to marriage, not the priesthood etc. Therefore, I shall then have a spouse who is human, but would be no less married than the priest who marries Mother Church!
Natural Disaster: Haiti, a very poor nation, has been hit by a massive Earthquake 7.0 on Richter Scale
(Social Justice South Africa)
[English; Afrikaans; français]
Article by Marc Aupiais
According to America's Associated Press (USA; Independent; American) 13 / 01 | January / 2009:
"PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The strongest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people screamed for help and heavily damaging the National Palace, U.N. peacekeeper headquarters and other buildings. U.S. officials reported bodies in the streets and an aid official described "total disaster and chaos."
United Nations officials said hours after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck at 4:53 p.m. that they still couldn't account for a large number of U.N. personnel.
Communications were widely disrupted, making it impossible to get a full picture of damage as powerful aftershocks shook a desperately poor country where many buildings are flimsy. Electricity was out in some places.
Karel Zelenka, a Catholic Relief Services representative in Port-au-Prince, told U.S. colleagues before phone service failed that "there must be thousands of people dead," according to a spokeswoman for the aid group, Sara Fajardo.
"He reported that it was just total disaster and chaos, that there were clouds of dust surrounding Port-au-Prince," Fajardo said from the group's offices in Maryland."
Catholic Relief Services elaborates (Catholic; Subject to USCCB US Bishops; American; questioned over position on condoms, global partners) 12 / 01 | Janurary / 2009 where the article was written; 13 / 01 | January / 2009 more likely time in GMT+2:
"The U.S. Geological Survey reports that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti 10 miles southwest of the capital of Port au Prince at 4:53 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, Jan. 12.
The initial quake was followed by two aftershocks.
Reliable damage and casualty estimates are unavailable at this time. CRS staffers in Baltimore have been in touch with Haiti staff. CRS/Haiti reports that those who remained at the office after 4 p.m. are safe. The condition of other CRS staff is unknown at this time (7:30 p.m. Eastern).
CRS/Haiti reports that cell phone use is unavailable. They communicated with Baltimore via land line. They reported that the CRS office building is still standing, but others, including one near the office, had collapsed. They reported that clouds of dust and smoke surround the city of Port au Prince. Before the phone connection was lost they characterized the situation as choatic, and feared many dead in what they called “a major hit … a direct hit.”
A tsunami watch was issued for Haiti and nearby islands.
CRS will continue to update with information as it becomes available. Our prayers and thoughts are with the people of Haiti and all CRS/Haiti staff and their loved ones."
The position on information relating to condoms, of the CRS has caused CatholicCulture.org to question their fidelity to the faith, along with some of their global partners:
To donate to CRS' efforts to attempt to help Haiti, please follow this link:
Monday 11 January 2010
Article by Marc Aupiais
I take great joy in heartbreak,
God's heart is always broken,
I take great joy in humiliation,
It teaches me my position before God, before saints, before my fellow man,
I take great joy in obscurity,
It teaches me that I am obscure,
I have often felt pain,
It humbles me,
It makes me think of heaven,
And of the alternative to heaven
In pain, I feel close to you, in pain I learn to love with you,
To love with the love which Christ loves with,
With suffering, I become a disciple, with pain and longing,
The heart grows fond of heaven,
In suffering, I learn to cry, tears are special,
I will never cry in heaven,
In suffering, I learn to become wise,
Pain either grows us, or we gradually die,
In suffering, I imitate my Lord and my Saviour Jesus,
And the Trinity, in whom my salvation is viable,
Suffering gives the divine gift of sanity,
Of the sublimely present clarity of vision.
Suffering, I write while suffering, suffering, a gift,
of evidence of our love!
Friday 8 January 2010
[English; Afrikaans; français]
Analytical Article by Marc Aupiais
At our service, we often get our best information from sources many have not even heard of. Recently I personally wrote an article on the fact that the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, had erroneously claimed that sanctions would not work against Iran on the Nuclear issue. The interview was carried out by Russia's RT, which almost certainly would tow the Kremlin line. We also noted that CCTV 9, the Chinese English language channel, and RT, both were seemingly taking the side of the Iranian government against the so-called "Green revolution" protestors. Apparently, the "Green" of the revolution refers to Islam, I cannot verify this myself, but a source has claimed this.
It is now that Italian Service, AsiaNews, has perhaps provided a reason for what we had observed, as I carried out what is now regular monitoring of different broadcasters:
"» 01/08/2010 15:54
RUSSIA - CHINA - IRAN
Russia, China and Iran to forge a new energy axis this year
The Iran-Turkmenistan gas pipeline is inaugurated on 6 January. More are expected to link Russia, Iran and China through Central Asia. Europe appears to be losing the race for Caspian Sea and Central Asian oil and gas; it might end up dependent on Moscow for supplies.
Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipeline was inaugurated on Wednesday connecting Iran's northern Caspian region with Turkmenistan's vast gas field. Increasingly, Iran is turning to China and Russia not only as buyers of its gas but also as builders of pipelines. Moscow and Beijing are thus making inroads into Central Asia's vast energy reservoir. By contrast, Europe and the United States are still at the discussion stage when it comes to building pipelines towards the West."
(AsiaNews (Italian; Catholic; Independent with Vatican ties) 08 / 01 | January / 2010)
If you want to read the rest of their article, click on the date below the quotation.
While America is attempting to fix relations with every obscure leftist nation, it seems that the East continues to secure its strangle-hold on Europe, as it already has begun on Africa, and on the American economy.
Recently, Russia decided to cut off gas supplies, which reach Europe; Europe already is deeply reliant on Russian gas, and the situation was already a crisis, before these further developments.
Tuesday 5 January 2010
Article by Marc Aupiais
Canon (Can.) 1184 ~3 of the Code of Canon law, for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, denies funerals for manifest sinners, who have not shown repentance, if the funeral could cause public scandal to the faithful- that is if it could cause them to sin. Despite this, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, former Health Minister, for the African National Congress (ANC), which has since 1994 had an official pro-abortion policy, and who herself denied HIV/AIDS drugs to millions, was this past December 22nd (2009), not only given a Roman Catholic funeral, but given it in the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, of Pretoria Archdiocese (IOL [Independent; Secular; South African] 22 / Dec | 12 / 2009). Friends of the ANC loyalist, treated her as though a saint, for what they termed her obedience to ANC policy.
The former Archbishop of Pretoria, was not at that time in charge of the Archdiocese, which was being administered by another.
According to the Holy See Press Office:
"VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Pretoria, South Africa, and from the office of military ordinary for South Africa, presented by Archbishop Paul Mandla Khumalo C.M.M., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. "
Archives 15 / 12 | December / 2009
Manto died the day after the Former Archbishop of Pretoria had resigned, and the former archbishop was not in charge of the Archdiocese any longer.
During the period when the funeral took place, Reverend Monsignor Abel Gabuza had been appointed as Apostolic Administrator, as the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference) had noted in a press release to our service:
"in conformity with Canon 401,2 of the Code of Canon Law. He [Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI] has appointed Reverend Monsignor Abel Gabuza as Apostolic Administrator, sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis, (The seat is vacant and the Administrator remains in authority at the pleasure of the Holy See)."
Archives 15 / 12 | December / 2009
Article by Marc Aupiais
The South African Catholic News Service (SACNS), has it on reliable sources, that it is practice in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg not to confirm children who are unable to go on one specific weekend retreat, even if their failure to attend is due to severe illness, or due to risk to health. Our service has in our possession, verified email correspondence between one former candidate, and a source high up in the ranks of the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference), who requested some sort of assistance or reprieve from the demand that they attend a camp, despite grave risk to their health, and previous incidence of this health hazard having caused danger of suffocation in the past.
The official spoken to by the candidate, as with the local parish priest concerned, of one of the more well known parishes in the Archdiocese, refused any allowance or assistance to the special need of the candidate, so far as the request, to skip the camp and still be confirmed. The candidate, as with another candidate, who was not confirmed, had high marks in tests conducted during the process. Confirmation officials, also stayed within what an inside source claimed to be a diocesan policy, which appears to be long-standing.
The Camp itself, reportedly involves learning about the mass, confession, which candidates are heavily encourages to partake in, singing, dancing, and a culmination of events in a mass carried out by candidates, in which they rewrite the mass, including the Our Father also called the Pater, and in which liturgical dancing is encouraged. Bread, made by candidates is then blessed, and the dirty-looking blessed bread is given to them after the mass, to do with as they will, according to a source.
The emails themselves, are of great concern to our service. At present we have kept names anonymous, due to a decision that the principle is more important than the individuals inside the system, however, our service has no problem proving any of these claims, nor any issue with giving out full details, should we once again face any form of malicious threat or blackmail from within the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, as we experienced after our report on the use of money collected in parishes by a certain global Catholic organization, when we were monitored from a Vatican based computer, as well as on twitter, and were threatened. We may also pursue legal action.
Our service, which is loyal to the papacy, and to the local church as far as is permitted by Canon law, and conscience is regularly visited from the Vatican in any case, though the page requests in that case proved, that those events were related.
It appears as though this practice, involving the requirement of this retreat, which is paid for by Candidates or their parents, is long-standing. It has been claimed, that many Catholics leave after, or due to the process of confirmation, in the archdiocese, our service also understands that only about 10% of Catholics in the mentioned archdiocese attend mass regularly.
Sunday 3 January 2010
Article by Marc Aupiais
It is often said that things like murder, like war, the calling of a jihad, the destroying of an iconic pair of buildings, that these are acts of pure hate. I would differ from this view.
One is more likely to be killed out of love than hate, out of real love. For only love can cause one to care enough to want to kill one's ex-wife, for what she no longer is. Only love can make one angry that another lives in sin. Only love can make one concerned that the God of War, who calls himself peace, is rejected by them. And only love can cause a mother to kill her infant child.
The reason I make these insane hypothesis, is simple, beyond the statistics, beyond what you may think.
The suicide victim loves and admires himself to such an extent, that he thinks either that he aids the world, in betraying God and life- who are really one, or that he thinks it unworthy of his high expectations. The thief also loves, he admires what he takes. The rapist, compliments in an extent though he plans to only take- because there is something he thinks he can take.
Hatred, indeed is love. One only hates because they care, one despises because one deeply loves.
The problem with this love, is that it is not full love. It is not only conditional, but further, it is thin, and lacking.
If one cared more, one would not kill. If one cared more, one would put more effort to righteousness. The bible says that he who does not live the lifestyle of love, does not know God, and that love is obeying the law of God.
You see, to truly love, one must be loyal irrespective of any condition. One must love for the sake of love, be loyal for the sake of loyalty. The truest pledge of love, and concern- is that which holds no condition, for it at once hates the faults of another, and will do all to alter them. It is not love to accept the other's faults, rather- it is love to accept them. And at once, this love would defend them from evil, to the depths of the ocean, and the heights of the supposedly infinite skies above.
It was by love the crusades were launched, and by love that the sick are healed.
Love is the hand which yields justice- be it petty, even as hate- the distortion of love, is the hand which holds to petty revenge by blood and death.
This is why it is said that just revenge aims to teach the other, and is really aimed at their upliftment.
Love purely, and you shall not hate- love unconditionally, and you will be motivated to live!
Article by Marc Aupiais
Her beauty captures one. The light and dark shift, and shadows do her become. Her beauty, it impresses one, and her attitude does so all the more. It captivates one, as a predator, and prey at once might attract one if it were combined and not shunned.
She's hardly perfect, but tries to be good, whatever her career, she will not fall into it. She thinks life through, and wants children one day.
She values herself, and loves herself, so that she'd not easily be deceived in flattery.
She wears her clothes, and is not their coat hanger, her style is her own, not that of another. Her voice gives words meaning, her face expresses them, as she insures we hear her properly, every attention given to details, of the language we all should grow to not loathe.
Though she hides her face in make-up, it expresses who she is- she is not afraid of her flaws, she understands Creator-God.
She is sophisticated, but has time for others. She is wise, and does not hide it, but nor does she overdo wisdom so as to lose its meaning.
Most of all, she bathes in truth, and sustains herself on righteousness, she is modest through it all, and knows when to speak, and when not to, though she is not overly meek, she voices what she must speak. God matters to her, and she is chaste and sleek.
At least here is a picture from me, of a girl I'd like to meet. Barbie, step aside, we need a different type of sleek. But tell me also, what sort of woman would you want to seek?
I personally find innocent assertiveness extremely neat!
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