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Archive for May 25th, 2011

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

-St John of  Kronstadt


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“Almost half of the earth’s 6.8 billion people associate Jerusalem with the Divine. For Jews, the glory of the Lord once filled the sanctuary in Solomon’s Temple, which stood at the heart of this center of Jewish life and culture. Christians identify Jerusalem with the ministry of Jesus, revere it as the place of his passion, death and resurrection and celebrate it as the birthplace of the church. Muslims believe Abraham sacrificed Ishmael on the rock where Solomon later built his shrine. They also honor Jerusalem for it figured as a stop on Muhammad’s miraculous night journey, where the prophet met Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

From the earliest days of the church, Christians have called Jerusalem the “Holy City,” or Haghia Polis in Greek, the language both of the New Testament and of the early church. This title spells out the paradox plaguing Jerusalem: the entanglement of the spiritual and political. Not just a shining city on the hill, Jerusalem has come to represent millennia of conflict. Today, the city lies at the heart of the dispute between the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples, which many observers believe to be the root of the clash between the Muslim and Western worlds.

The dominant church of the city, the Orthodox Patriarchal Church of Jerusalem, has not remained above the fray. Like a boat rocked by gale storms, for centuries this smallest of the patriarchal churches has weathered invasion and patronage, violence and peace. Today, it includes about 130,000 people — Arabs primarily — scattered throughout the Holy City, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula. Yet other churches in the Holy Land are beginning to overshadow it. Many Arab Christians now belong to other denominations (primarily the Latin and Melkite Greek Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches) for cultural, pastoral and practical reasons”

More, from The Catholic Near East Welfare Association: http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=3544&pagetypeID=4&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1

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Night Night

From Tom Tomorrow:

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God is fire which warms and inflames the heart and womb. And so, if we feel in our hearts coldness, which is from the devil, for he is cold, then let us pray to the Lord for he came to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only of him but of our neighbor too. And in the face of his warmth the cold of the hater-of-good will flee away.

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Iconographer unknown

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Vatican calls for universal health care:

The prelate noted the 2010 World Health Report, showing “on the whole, we are still a long way from universal coverage.”

“We are stalled in the status quo, where the rich people have higher levels of coverage, while most of the poor people miss out, and those who do have access often incur high, sometimes catastrophic costs in paying for services and medicine,” he said.

The prelate stated that to make universal coverage a possibility, nations need to raise funds, “reduce reliance on direct payments for services and improve efficiency and equity, thus removing the financial barriers to access, especially for poor and less advantaged people.”

More: http://www.zenit.org/article-32666?l=english

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The inimitable Bill Kauffman on militarism and culture:

“The baneful ramifications of an overgrown military establishment and promiscuous intervention in faraway lands go well beyond the budgetary. Edwin Starr once asked: “War—what is it good for?” And the answers should please no one who values liberty, small-scale community, republican governance, and a culture of life. War centralizes culture, displaces young adults, and tramples domestic liberties. (In time of war “the Constitution is just a scrap of paper to me,” John J. McCloy, FDR’s designated jailer of Japanese-Americans, once observed.)”

Read the rest:http://original.antiwar.com/bkauffman/2011/05/23/bringing-it-all-back-home/

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