We Are Not the Reapers

I heard a great introduction to last Sunday's Gospel on the weekend (at the beginning of Mass). For those of you who didn't find your Sunday preaching so memorable here's the Gospel to spark your memory…

Matt. 13: 24-30. Short Form. Jesus put before the crowds a parable, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers. Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

 The usual take I hear on this Gospel is that we need to be careful that we are not the weeds that are taken off to be burnt. But this week the sentence that was the focus was "'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.'" The small introduction that was read at the beginning of Mass reminded us that it is not our job to judge. It is not our job to say who will be condemned and who will be saved. We are NOT the reapers. God and his angels will do this job. It is our job to live good lives. To be the wheat amongst the weeds.

The Gospel also indicates that the reason this job has not been given to us is because we might very well mistake wheat for weeds (or good for evil). This really hit a chord with me. As much as we can disapprove of people's actions, we never really know what is in that person's heart. Only God is able to really know a person.

This also led to me thinking that it is also only God who is capable of loving us so completely as to look past our many faults and see the goodness in us. We ALL have the potential to be weeds. But God sees us as his sons and daughters and loves us regardless of our failings. As humans we could never love like that, which is why we could never be fair judges when it came down to it.

This also brought to mind the novel The Shack. Anyone else read it? There is a remarkable scene in The Shack where the main character confronts God about how He could possibly love the man who attacked and murdered this man's little daughter. God turns the tables on this man who has two remaining daughters and asks him to choose which one can go to heaven. It seems, on the surface, an obvious choice. One of his daughters is living a good and holy life, the other one is into drugs and is non-communicative with the family. However, as a father, this man cannot condemn either of his children to hell, his love for them is so great. God uses this to show the man that this is how it is for Him also. Even though the murderer has done horrific things, he is still God's child, and God still loves him like a father and hopes for his repentance. Very powerful stuff.

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    Comments: 35

    1. Benedicta July 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      The Gospel also indicates that the reason this job has not been given to us is because we might very well mistake wheat for weeds (or good for evil). This really hit a chord with me.

      That's very good. Even though we can also judge actions we can't know how compromised a person's freedom might be. To do sinful things we have to act in full knowledge and freely choose to do these things. People can quite freely give away their personal freedom and enjoy doing so. Take drugs for example. A drug addict who steals is not as morally culpable as myself who is not a drug addict (or any sort of addict). The addiction is an internal driver which obscures moral truth and as compulsion to relieve the addiction. The problem is that this person has given away quite freely their own freedom and no doubt enjoyed in the first instance doing so. They might have taken drugs for fun etc and severely reduced their capacity to live a truly human life. Stealing is the symptom of the loss of freedom. Yet at the same time they do know they shouldn't steal. They know it because they don't want others to steal from them.

      That is an easy case. The moral problem really lies in their freely taking up drugs…that was the primary sin. But then other factors come into play and now it gets really difficult.

      To know at what points someone choose to give away their freedom and become enslaved to things of the world or at whose hand they were compromised beyond their ability to know the difference. We don't know.

      Someone, who thinks about things a lot, who loves the Church and would love to see the fullness of beauty in the liturgy made an interesting observation. Regarding 'progressives' and things they have done to the Church. When asked 'Do you think they hate the Church?'. Answered, 'No, they love the Church, they have been traumatised and can't change'.

      Interesting thought.

      But the more I did around in the foundations of things there are good reasons to think our human freedom has been significantly compromised and for many they can't see past ideas like autonomous individual choice. The Faith requires that choice adhere to revealed truth but in many cases that can only ever be filtered through and refashioned to suit attractive programs in the world 'for the sake of love'. It brings about a blindness and perhaps another generation will see more clearly.

      Rubyshine….just a wee note….you don't seem to be holdly entirely to feminism as an ideology but no doubt like me find aspects appealing (its all around us isn't it). Its worth reframing your thoughts in order to come to a much more lifegiving view of things. For fun, Try getting the movie out 'The Jeweller's Shop' by Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II). Its close to the play….the words have great meaning more than the visuals. He followed this play with a prose called the Radiation of Fatherhood. He also says that love makes us equal (which is why Teresa has to get high heels in the movie!). The eternal feminine…aha try finding Gertrud von le Fort 'The Eternal Woman, The Timeless Meaning of the Feminine'. Also for scriptural foundations Brant Pitre, 'Jesus, the Bridegroom'. Also, anything on Nuptial Mystery and spousal love.

       

    2. Teresina July 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      In this parable that He gave Our Lord is quite clear "Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn".  The weeds will be burned and note that weeds can never good seed but good seed can indeed be choked by weeds. 

      Our Lord goes on to give His explanation for this parable and it makes very solemn reading -

      Matt 13:36-43

            36Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43“Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."

    3. MarkO July 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Well said Maryand Martha.

      In my efforts to evangelise I don't make a point in attacking anybody. I usually take the two following approaches:

      (i) I simply state my pro-life belief, that every human being (including ourselves) came to be at the moment of conception and therefore, who are we to determine which pre-born child should live and which should die – for any reason? We were all pre-born in our earliest stages of growth development.

      (ii) I point out the teaching of Vatican I: That God not only created the world, but continues to sustain it with the same power that He put into it in the beginning. In other words, we are completely dependent on God's Providence for everything we have – without Him we would lose everything we have in an instant.

      These approaches really get under the skin of many – for they consider themselves to be as little gods – self-dependant and answerable to no one. Without attacking anybody, it serves to sort the wheat from the weeds…………

       

    4. MarkO July 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      P.S.

      Always say to them: I am weak, not strong, I am afraid not brave, I am not perfect – for only Jesus Christ our Saviour is strong, brave and perfect.  In Him I take shelter, in Him I take refuge. In Him alone, I trust my soul, through His Perfect and Eternal Sacrifice.

      When they question you further, simply tell them the Truth.

    5. Teresina July 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Mark, sometimes we have to speak out and point the finger – Rorate Caeli carries a post today about what is happening in Mosul – it has made the front page of Le Figaro – the first and only major newspaper to speak out so far.  Here is the editorial:

      Silence, We are Persecuting !

       

      The Islamic State has declared war on the Christians of Mosul. Summoned to leave the "Caliphate" or to subject themselves to the "Infidel" tax, destined to popular revenge by this "N" – as in "Nazarene" – inscribed on their homes, the disciples of Jesus Christ, transformed in second-class citizens, will have no other choice soon than to "convert" or to perish by the sword…

       

      The intolerance is not hidden anymore. It is claimed by the chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who makes himself called Ibrahim. A sinister irony: Ibrahim is the Arabic name of Abraham, the father of believers, who came from Iraq, under whose name the Muslims and Christians of the region should meet together and live in peace.

       

      The Christians of Iraq were 1 million before the American intervention. They are no more than 400,000 now. With each wave of vexations, violence, persecutions, they take the path of exodus. One of these exiles, Joseph Fadelle, told in a book, "The Price to Pay" (Le Prix à payer), the dreadful fate reserved to his co-religionists for many years. With the installation of the "Caliphate", the threat is now clear: there is the enemy, Christianity!

       

      Certainly, major voices rise up in indignation: it has been months that Pope Francis rings the alarm and assures his brethren of his compassion. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, has just condemned a "crime against humanity." Foreign offices are worried, and raise their tone. Then what? European public opinion, so eager for mobilizations, petitions, demonstrations of every kind… And in this case, nothing! Silence, we are persecuting…

       

      Will we remain deaf for much longer?

       

      To move us, a massacre must take place outside of the summer break? After the Tour de France? Before the great vacation crowds? Faced with the terrifying procession of horrors ,expulsions, murders in Mosul, will we only display our indifference? Christians or non-Christians, will we remain deaf for how long still before this terrible words of the Gospel resounding throughout the world: "If they remain silent, the stones will cry out!"

    6. MarkO July 23, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Hi Teresina

      I hear what you say. I'd like to share this with you. I'm an aggresive little terrier of Irish decent who used to attack now and again – but through the grace of God and our Mother Mary I was led to the understanding that that approach served very little purpose.

      I was taught, through prayer, that the best approach is to state the Truth – and then simply let the Truth stand the test of time and to be patient with others. That's it in a nutshell.

      State the Truth and leave it it God – we couldn't in any way compare ourselves with The Christ.  Only He is perfect and only He can be the Judge.

      God Bless! Mark.

    7. Rubyshine July 23, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      I really like this parable, and at times I do find myself being a bit judgemental, when really I've got all sorts of my own problems to sort out. I want to look up that book The Shack because in becoming a parent I've come to realise that you don't have favourites (except possibly the child that allows me the most sleep) you just love them all fiercely.

      Benedicta – yes I don't subscribe to all aspects of feminism as subscribed by some but I do believe in the basic idea of equality between men and women. Luckily feminism isn't a religion and I get to take my own view on various issues and from my own beliefs.

      I don't know what you mean by, Its worth reframing your thoughts in order to come to a much more lifegiving view of things, or in what way you consider my thoughts to be not life giving, but thank you for the text references. I'll look into them.

       

    8. MarkO July 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Rubyshine

      Take away mankind's cheap and affordable oil supply – and what have you got? A society who will return to subsistence farming.  Remember – cheap affordable oil is a finite resource.  The pumps won't pump that affordable hydrocarbon which keeps you car moving forever.

      There wouldn't be too many disussions about who is equal to whoever anymore – it will be a question of whether or not one can find enough food to keep one's stomach full – or how to keep oneself warm in the cold of winter.,

      They say "They'll find a way".  Yeah right.

      Simply put, God has humanity by the short and curleys.

    9. Teresina July 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

      I understand what you are saying, Mark, that you don't attack the person but, for example, the Christian people of Mosul being forced out of their homes, threatened with fines or threatened with the sword, it is our duty to speak out and say that is wrong.  We cannot stay silent in the face of evil, be PC, for fear of offending someone. 

      In actual fact, if you read it correctly, the parable is not at all about saying that people should not be judgmental.  What it is in fact warning of – as Our Lord says Himself – is that "the Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42and will throw them into the furnace of fire".

      That is the emphasis that the priest who gave the sermon should have given but you know it is not PC to talk about hell.  That is a big problem.  People think that there is no hell, no devil and that everyone is going to heaven when we know that is not the case, not what the Church teaches and not what Christ says in that parable.  In fact Our Lord says just the opposite.

      I think this priest explains it well: Weeds amongst the wheat.  He points out where things have gone wrong but stresses that we should not become resentful as he was but has now overcome:

      http://diocesanspirituality.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/the-vatican-ii-generation-weeds-amongst-the-wheat/

       

    10. Rubyshine July 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      MarkO, you're right when survival is on the line all sorts of social niceties: sexual equality, racial equality, child labour laws, domestic violence laws etc etc etc are simply not the most important thing on people's minds. I just don't think that suggests that that somehow makes those issues unimportant or not worthy of discussion.

      There is plenty of pre-industrial age literature that comments on the lives of women, and I'm fairly sure slavery was outlawed at an international level long before our lives were transformed by oil. I'm sure that if I was a better historian I would find examples throughout history of people discussing social inequalities, unfair treatement of those without power and fighting for something better.

      Back to the parable, having given it some more thought, I absolutely know that I have been one of the weeds (and quite probably continue to be one of the weeds in many ways) so I'm glad God hasn't given up on me just yet.

    11. withhope July 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      What this post is suggesting is that one cannot server onself from salvific grace. In short, the thesis denies free will. It also implies their is no need for reconciliation at a personal level. In fact it perfectly fits with Wojtyla's concept of universalism, that by the very fact of being human, we are already saved, we are defacto Christs (this is not a Catholic teaching – in fact it flies in the face of the Canon and the Magisterium throughout the ages). In October that last thing about the Novus Ordo church that distinguishes it from all heresies will likely be thrown out; that being the indissolubility of marriage. Who cares? God doesn't care about holiness or lack of it, the post suggests, so why should we? The post also says, 'We are NOT the reapers.' Christ said, the harvest is great but the workers (repears) are few. The True Faith has been knocked out of this country by feckless priests and catechists who, like the post, don't believe in reaping God's harvest (do they actually believe in God? Clearly not the God of revelation). What most people calling themselves Catholic these days achieve is making the True Faith utterly pointless.

      http://vimeo.com/101741151

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E11qLeuT86k&feature=youtu.be

    12. bamac July 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Some of you may aredy have seen this litany for Holy Mother Church on Vortex  …  it, I feel , a very worthwhile prayer with all that is happening in the church today …. God Bless Michael for including and sharing it  … it was given to him by a woman in Australia…

      LITANY FOR THE CHURCH

      ~Lord, have mercy.
      Christ, have mercy.
      Lord, have mercy on us.
      Christ, Divine Founder of the Church, hear us.
      Christ, Who didst warn of false prophets,
      graciously hear us.
      God, the Father of Heaven,
      have mercy on us.
      God, the Son, Redeemer of the World,
      have mercy on us.
      God, the Holy Ghost,
      have mercy on us.
      Holy Trinity, One God,
      have mercy on us.
      Holy Mary, Mother of God,
      pray for us.
      St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church,
      pray for us.
      St. Michael, Defender in Battle,
      pray for us.
      St. Peter, the Rock upon which Christ built His Church,
      pray for us.
      St. Paul, Protector of the Faithful Remnant,
      pray for us.
      St. Francis of Assist, Re-builder of the Church,
      pray for us.
      St. Anthony, Hammer of Heretics,
      pray for us.
      St. Pius V,
      Restorer of the beauty of the Sacred Liturgy,
      pray for us.
      St. Pius X, Foe of Modernism,
      pray for us.
      All ye Holy Angels and Archangels,
      pray that we may resist the snares of the Devil.
      St. Catherine of Siena,
      pray that Christ's Vicar
      may oppose the spirit of the world.
      St. John Fisher,
      pray that bishops may have
      the courage to combat heresy and irreverence.
      St, Francis Xavier,
      pray that zeal for souls
      may be re-enkindled in the clergy.
      St. Charles Borromeo,
      pray that seminaries
      may be protected from false teachings.
      St. Vincent de Paul,
      pray that seminarians may return
      to a life of prayer and meditation.
      St. Therese of the Child Jesus,
      pray that religious may rediscover
      their vocation of love and sacrifice.
      St. Thomas More,
      pray that the laity
      may not succumb to the Great Apostasy.
      St. Francis de Sales,
      pray that the Catholic press
      may again become a vehicle of Truth.
      St. John Bosco,
      pray that our children may be protected
      from immoral and heretical instruction.
      St. Pascal,
      pray that profound reverence
      for the Most Blessed Sacrament may be restored.
      St. Dominic,
      pray that we may ever treasure the Holy Rosary.
      Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
      spare us, O Lord.
      Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
      graciously hear us.
      Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
      have mercy on us.
      Christ, hear us.
      Christ, graciously hear us.
      Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
      That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
      Let Us Pray.
      Jesus, our God,
      in these dark hours when Thy Mystical Body
      is undergoing its own Crucifixion,
      and when it would almost seem to be abandoned
      by God the Father,
      have mercy, we beg of Thee,
      on Thy suffering Church.
      Send down upon us the Divine Consoler,
      to enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills.
      Thou, O Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity,
      Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived,
      have promised to be with Thy Church
      until the end of time.
      Give us a mighty Faith
      that we may not falter;
      help us to do Thy Holy Will always,
      especially during these hours
      of grief and uncertainty.
      May Thy Most Sacred Heart
      and the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart
      of Thy Holy Mother be our sure refuge
      in time and in eternity.
      Amen.

      Mrs Mac

    13. bamac July 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      What has happened to our Sunday Scrum which gave us the chance to comment on anything that we individually felt important or to ask others opinion about?

    14. Rubyshine July 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      I think that was Boanerges' thing, so since he's given up posting no one else is setting it up.

      Perhaps we could ask M&M to do it? Perhaps on the same night as she normally posts so that she's not making an extra time commitment?

      Did we ever get any other regular posters?

    15. withhope July 27, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      I wonder if such a litany is ever said in a Catholic Church these days? There used to be Masses held for the exaltation of Holy Mother Church. I guess some priest might still have enough of a Catholic sense to offer such a Mass.

      It's just my opinion, but I think the Bergoglio regime puts the stamp of making, at least in people's minds, Catholicism pointless -perhaps this is why blog is losing interest.

      Here's some other good blogs where you can comment on your Faith:

      http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/ (run by an English priest with a big heart).

      http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill.blogspot.co.uk/ (run by an Englishman trying to live his Faith in Brighton, West Sussex).

      http://www.harvestingthefruit.com/   (run by an American man who used to have endorsments on his site by the likes of Cardinal Pell. After the Bergoglio regime, while his critique of the Fruits of Vatican II continued, his endorsements all pulled out. You can register on the site and comment back and forth. There's a good range of opinion and backgrounds) he also has links to Church Militant on his blog roll and Rorate Caeli.

      I haven't found any sites in NZ, other than this one, that are happy to explore the Faith – though as often as not the posts seem to have little to do with the Faith and focus on opinionism.

       

       

    16. withhope July 27, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      p.s. here's the link for Harvesting the Fruit:

       

      http://www.harvestingthefruit.com/

    17. withhope July 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      p.s. the above blogs all have people from all over the planet commenting (usually way more polite than me, so no  worries there), so there's no local bias. I used to attend St Mary Magdalene, (Fr Ray blog). He runs a daily soup kitchen, has harboured refugees in his basement, and really cares about saving souls.

    18. Rubyshine July 27, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      Withhope you said, "What this post is suggesting is that one cannot server onself from salvific grace…" Do you mean M&Ms original post because that wasn't my take on it.

      My understanding was that there will be judgement, " It is not our job to say who will be condemned and who will be saved. We are NOT the reapers. God and his angels will do this job" but that it's not for us to judge.

      Is this not catholic teaching?

      For what it's worth, the emphasis my parish priest put on it was that God is patient with us. He wants us to hear him and respond to him and will wait for us.

      Thanks for those links to other blogs. I've had a quick search for other reading material but it can get exhausting sifting through what's out there. Plus it's nice to have a mix of local and international reading.

    19. Teresina July 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

      That is a beautiful litany Mrs Mac.  I have never heard it before.  

      Withhope, yes I have regularly heard the litany of the saints and litany of Our Lady and The Sacred Heart in recent years.  Interestingly enough friends who go to the SSPX don't know some of the old hymns I have heard sung at the OF Mass, 

    20. MarkO July 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Many thanks bamac for sharing that beautiful litany – if only, if only, we might return to those peaceful times of the Latin Mass said before those wonderful altars dedicated to Our Father in Heaven – and where at special times such wonderful litanies were sung in the age old Gregorian style chant by holy men and holy women who really did believe in The Christ! It's my dream and my hope that we will….

    21. MarkO July 28, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      P.S. All creation is balanced by the perfect obediance of Jesus to the will of the Father – in order to continue to give us everything we have. The spirit of Vatican I got it in hole in one!

      Vatican II however, removed this vital truth and instead put man in charge. Pushing the Tabernacle of our Lord Jesus Christ away from the centre of the altar, replacing it instead with the chair of man. 

      But I know that all orthodox Catholics know that this state of affairs is temporary – and serves primarily to sort the goats from the sheep.  Take a look at the last two Sunday's Gospel Readings for instance.  God Bless!

       

    22. bamac July 29, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Mark,

      I doubt that the intentions of Vat 11 never envisioned moving the tabernacle …desire of some who manipulated the contents of Vat 11 and put their own interpretation on to it that removed the altar rails along with repositioning the Tabernacle …. weren't they the ones who coined the expression " spirit of Vatican 11"?

      God Bless

      Mrs Mac

    23. bamac July 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2014-07-28

      Mark,

      You said :-

      ~~But I know that all orthodox Catholics know that this state of affairs is temporary – and serves primarily to sort the goats from the sheep.  Take a look at the last two Sunday's Gospel Readings for instance.  God Bless!

      Michael Voris and many of us agree..   the Vortex episode above says plenty about it too.

      Please God, may it  come sometime relatively soon

      God Bless

       

    24. Teresina July 30, 2014 at 12:36 am

      Mrs Mac, an excellent video from Michael Voris: The ground is shifting out from under the Church of Nice. {CHURCHMILITANT.TV} http://www.churchmilitant.tv/ {RETREAT AT SEA 2015 – CATHOLIC UPRISING} http

    25. bamac July 31, 2014 at 11:44 am

      This might be a bit off topic but it has  had me thinking and praying …. there is no Sunday Scrum or I would have put the link under that banner…    How do others feel about this article i wonder….

      http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/looks-like-duck-islamist-nazi-connection

      God Bless all those suffering persecution in these present day  killings,

      Mrs Mac

    26. MarkO August 1, 2014 at 12:15 am

      Many thanks Mrs Mac for your kind reply

      I'm in full agreement with you and may it come soon as you say… it's in my prayers too…though we wonder about the killings and the injustice, we do know in our hearts that everything is happening in our Lord's good time.

      May we pray for patience and rest in the Mantelet of our Mother Mary's grace. Catch up soon and God bless! Mark.

       

       

       

       

       

    27. Teresina August 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Mrs Mac, yes, and today August 1 the Fraternity of St Peter has called for a day of penance and prayer for and in solidarity with our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in Mosul: 

      "The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) has called on faithful Catholics everywhere to join them for a day of prayer and penance in supplication for our persecuted brethren in Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East. From their website:

      “August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates. It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

      “This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers – to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution. May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes.”

      Please keep the Catholics of Mosul – and our persecuted brethren all over the world – in your prayers. The 1st of August falls on a Friday this year, so fasting and penance is already in order. Step it up a notch. And please help spread the word regarding this event via the social media available to you."

    28. Teresina August 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Just a note regarding St Peter's Chains:

      "The Apostle Peter was jailed in Jerusalem, shackled in an iron chain for preaching about Jesus. The night before his trial, St. Peter was said to have been released from the chain by an angel and led out of the prison. Today, the chain is housed in a reliquary under the main altar in the San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) basilica in Rome. Legend says that when the Empress Eudoxia gave the chain to Pope Leo I, he held them next to the chains from Peter's first imprisonment in the Mamertime Prison in Rome and the two chains miraculously fused together."

      May the angels assist our brothers and sister in Mosul.

      Have we heard anything from our bishops about this attrocity?

      "Governments under pressure, France offers asylum

      Governments around the world are coming under increasing pressure to act as Christians draw attention to the cause, including by changing their social media profiles to incorporate the 'N' Arabic symbol.

      The French government has announced it is ready to give asylum to Christians who have been threatened by IS militants in Iraq and facilitate their asylum to the country if they wish.

      The Australian Government has announced it will provide $5 million to support the humanitarian effort, while The Vatican has promised thousands of dollars in emergency aid to help those displaced by the jihadist onslaught.

      Act for Peace, the aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, has also sent $30,000 in aid and is conducting its own campaign.

      The Christian community in Australia is due to hold a protest march on Saturday in Sydney to coincide with the worldwide protests demanding action."

    29. MarkO August 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Hi Teresina

      I've been watching the events unfolding in Mosul very closely. There have been many attrocities committed by ISIS and all the age old Chaldean communities have been brutally displaced. Fortunately the Kurds have admitted most of the refugees, however, how safe they are remains to be seen.

      I look at the miraculous image of Guadalupe and I know what it means – the black crescent represents a certain religion (and occultist beliefs), which is put under Mother Mary's feet and overcome.

      I believe it will happen sooner rather than later.  By the way, it appears Islam also tends to concur with Vatican I's statement regarding God keeping everything in existence – but they will not be too pleased when they discover that it is Jesus Christ, Who is the Judge, Who actually makes it happen…. God Bless!

    30. Teresina August 2, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Exactly, Mark, and at least some, beside the FSSP, are doing something positive:

      Tomorrow's L'Osservatore Romano announces that a group of French bishops, led by Cardinal Barbarin of Lyon, and accompanied by several journalists, will travel to Baghdad to meet with the Patriarch. Their intent is to join words and prayers with concrete manifestations of solidarity and support.

      Meanwhile French dioceses are planning days of prayer and fasting, as well as collecting funds to support their beleaguered and persecuted brothers and sisters.

      What actions are being taken in the United States? Could a National Day of Fast be proclaimed, perhaps in preparation for the Feast of the Transfiguration? Could a delegation from the Bishops Conference travel to Iraq, accompanied by editors of prominent Catholic periodicals? Pope Francis is paying a visit both tomorrow and Monday to the Italian town of Caserta. Is Baghdad (if not Mosul) the visitation of greater urgency, where severely tested Christians truly need to be "confirmed in the faith?"

    31. Teresina August 2, 2014 at 12:51 am

      The New Zealand Bishops have spoken out about Gaza but only Bishop Dunne has said anything about Mosul.  That is why Michael Voris aptly calls it "the Church of nice" too nice to speak out against evil.  Catholics who have lived there for 2,000 years have been driven out for their belief in Christ and the Church of nice stays silent – shame on them …

    32. Teresina August 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      "BBCtrending: 'We are N' – global support for Iraq's Christians

      1 August 2014 Last updated at 12:28 BST

      With Isis militants still in control of Mosul in Iraq, Christians there are facing repression.

      The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) took control of the city in early June.

      Militants have marked Christian houses with the letter "N" in Arabic, to single them out for harsh treatment.

      On social media, thousands have taken the symbol and reversed its meaning – using it to express solidarity with Iraqi Christians."

       

      TeresiNa

    33. Teresina August 2, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Solidarity: Catholic church paints Arabic “N” on its door

      August 1, 2014 by Deacon Greg Kandra

       

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/08/solidarity-catholic-church-paints-arabic-n-on-its-door/

    34. Teresina August 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      The ISIS militants are doing their own reaping of Christians and uprooting them from Iraq.  The Baptist Standard says "Iraq’s Christians are begging the world for help. Is anybody listening?"  I can answer them: "Certainly not the Church of nice": 

      "Human rights lawyer Nina Shea described the horror in Mosul: The Islamic State “took the Christians’ houses, took the cars they were driving to leave. They took all their money. One old woman had her life savings of $40,000, and she said, ‘Can I please have $100?’ And they said no. They took wedding rings off fingers, chopping off fingers if they couldn’t get the ring off.

      “We now have 5,000 destitute, homeless people with no future. This is a crime against humanity.”

      For the first time in 2,000 years, Mosul is devoid of Christians. “This is ancient Nineveh we are talking about,” Shea explained. “They took down all the crosses. They blew up the tomb of the prophet Jonah. An orthodox Cathedral has been turned into a mosque. … They are uprooting every vestige of Christianity.”

      University of Mosul professor Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a Muslim, bravely spoke out against the Islamic State’s purging of Christians and was executed."

      https://www.baptiststandard.com/opinion/other/16782-2nd-opinion-is-anyone-answering-iraqi-christians-cries-for-help

       

    35. Teresina August 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

      No, we are not reaper but as Fr Z reports some are already being reaped:

      Muslims are crucifying Christians who refuse to convert to the Religion of Peace

      Posted on 4 August 2014 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

      From the Quran:

      “The punishment of anyone who fights against Allah and His apostle and do mischief in the land is to be killed or crucified or to have their hands and feet from opposite ends or be banished from the land.” (Quran: The table spread – Sura 5:33)

      Won’t convert?  Won’t pay your fine for being an infidel? You have 4 punishments options: public execution (Qatl), crucifixion (Salb) and amputation of one hand and one foot from opposite sides (Yuqata’ Aydihim wa-Arjulihim) or exile (Nafy).

       

      Fr Ray Blake comments:

      "My friend Fr Z writes about neo-martyrs crucified by ISIS. Since the Vatican Council it is easy to think that apart from one or two internal problems the Church lives in vibrant sunshine but of course the Church lives constantly with the blood of its children, thatThe great crisis of  Church is one of faith, fat sleek bishops, comfortable middle-class priests, nuns who embrace a secular agenda are hardly credible witnesses but is why the Pope has since the mid fourth century worn blood red shoes, and the Roman Pontiff's correct dress isn't the white cassock but blood red ornaments that are worn over it. The Church walks in blood, her clothes are spattered with blood. If there is no blood flowing in streams from her children, then the Church is a dead thing. It is the blood of Christ and his saints that gives her life and is a sign of her being alive. 

       

      Without martyrdom there is no Church. The Way of Christ is the Way of the Cross and Christians are called to embrace it. As a priest the faithful have every right to ask me, "Father, would you be willing to die for our faith?" Fortunately no one has recently, and to be honest I don't know what my answer would be, I know what it should be, 

       

      We are all called to be martyrs, the Greek word 'witness' is martyr. It strikes me that in the West we no longer have credible witnesses. Down the ages the number of children, of ordinary men and women, has far exceeded the number of  bishops and priests. The great crisis of  Church is one of faith, fat sleek bishops, comfortable middle-class priests, nuns who embrace a secular agenda hardly give the sign of being credible witnesses.

       

      Perhaps the question, 'Would you be willing to die for our faith?' should be one we all ask ourselves and one another, especially our leaders and professional Catholics, for not only should we be willing to die for our faith but live for it too."