#MoralStory: Can Anybody See God?

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God.

“Susie, can anybody ever really see God?” he asked. Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: “No, of course not, silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him.”

Time passed, but his question still lingered, so he approached his mother: “Mom, can anybody ever really see God?” “No, not really,” she gently said. “God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see him.”

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. They were having a great time together — it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor as the day ended.

The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him. On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly: “Granddad, I – I wasn’t going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I’ve been wondering about a long time. Can anybody, can anybody ever really see God?”Read More »

I Surrender

*

Here I am
Down on my knees again
Surrendering all
Surrendering all

Find me here
Lord as You draw me near
Desperate for You
Desperate for You

I surrender

Drench my soul
As mercy and grace unfold
I hunger and thirst
I hunger and thirst

With arms stretched wide
I know You hear my cry
Speak to me now
Speak to me now

I surrender
I surrender
I wanna know You more
I wanna know You more

Like a rushing wind
Jesus breathe within
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a mighty storm
Stir within my soul
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

I surrender
I surrender
I wanna know You more
I wanna know You more

*Read More »

#ShortNews: Pope Francis: ‘in God’s love is the source of all our hope’

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his June 14 audience to the relationship between God’s love and our hope.

“In our catechesis on Christian hope, we have found the source of that hope in God’s unconditional love, revealed for us in the coming of the Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.

“None of us can live without love,” he continued, according to the Vatican’s official English-language summary of the audience. “Happiness comes from the experience of knowing love, freely given and received. So much unhappiness in our world is born of the feeling of not being loved for our own sake.”

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=11525

#ShortNews: Christian population of Iraq, Syria halved since 2011

The number of Christians living in Syria and Iraq has been cut in half—and perhaps significantly further—since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011, according to a new report.

The report by Open Doors and Middle East Concern finds that Syria’s Christian population, which stood at 2 million before the civil war, is now perhaps 1 million. In Iraq, where an offensive by the Islamic State drove Christians out of the Nineveh Valley, at least 100,000 have fled the country. Of course who remain, many are now displaced; some are considering a return to their homes now that the Iraqi government has regained control of the Nineveh Valley.

http://www.pravmir.com/roughly-half-iraqi-syrian-christians-fled-middle-east-since-2011-report-says/

#ShortNews: New Swedish cardinal: ‘Europe is not lost for Christianity’

Cardinal-designate Anders Arborelius, who was recently named Sweden’s first cardinal, said that the papal visit last fall has made the Church a more accepted part of the secular society.

“We are not only a little minority of second-class foreigners, but we belong to the society,” the bishop of Stockholm said in an interview with the Zenit news agency. “And I think for many Catholics, and for many Christians, this was a very important sign that the Pope was received by all the officials, the king, government, and so forth.”

“We can show the Pope that Europe is not lost for Christianity,” he added. “Even in our part of the world, it’s possible to live as a Christian and to receive an interest from non-faithful people to listen to our voices and that Christian voices in Sweden work very much together in many issues, migration, refugees, and so forth.”

https://zenit.org/articles/interview-a-conversation-with-swedens-cardinal-elect-anders-arborelius/

Unmasking the Betrayer

One of the Twelve a Traitor?

We often think that Judas must have been different, obviously worse than the other disciples. If that were true, everyone would have suspected him when Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.” They would have thought: “It must be Judas. He’s always been bad. He’s capable of betraying Jesus. I don’t know why Jesus picked him.” Instead, Judas did not stand out as any worse than they were. If he did, they would have immediately suspected him. Each one of us, as well, could become a Judas little by little, first by giving up our principles on smaller matters and then later on more important matters. In the Christian life there always needs to be a healthy tension of straining forward and of watchfulness. The one who is trustworthy in small matters is trustworthy in greater matters.

Is It I?

The apostles are all asking, “Is it I?” Why? Was there some widespread desire to betray him of which they were barely keeping control? No, but they were in a very dangerous situation. The Pharisees had decided to kill Jesus. The apostles know it. That’s why the whole group had gone to stay in Jericho for a while. Jerusalem was too dangerous. They can imagine themselves following Jesus to the Temple the next day, being singled out in the crush of the crowd and then having their life threatened to provide information about where Jesus can be found at night. They wonder what they would say. With my life on the line would I betray Jesus? This is why they ask, “Is it I?” When push comes to shove, what comes first in my life? Would I ever consider selling out on Jesus for something or someone else?

Vigilance of the HeartRead More »

Saint Romuald

St. Romuald was born at Ravenna about the year 956. In spite of an infinite desire for virtue and sanctity, his early life was wasted in the service of the world and its pleasures. Then one day, obliged by his father, Sergius, to be present at a duel fought by him, he beheld him slay his adversary. The crime made such an impression upon him that he determined to expiate it for forty days, as though it were entirely his own.

For this purpose he retired to a Benedictine monastery of St. Apollinare, near Ravenna, where he became Abbot. After founding several monasteries, he laid the foundations of the austere Order of Camaldoli in Tuscany. Like all the saints, he fought a lifelong battle against the assaults of devils and men.Read More »

#MoralStory: A Lesson in Faith – The Charles Blondin Story

The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is.

Blondin’s greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat.

He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times… each time with a different daring feat – once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!

A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across – one dangerous step after another – pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes.

Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd’s applause was louder than the roar of the falls!

Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?”

The crowd enthusiastically yelled, “Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!”

“Okay,” said Blondin, “Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow.”

As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!

This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But… their actions proved they truly did not believe.

Similarly, it is one thing for us to say we believe in God. However, it’s true faith when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.