Noble Knight, leader of a brave array. lead us on, O lead us on
We will fight neath thy sway, neath thy sway!
What tho’ foes gather near, we don’t fear, we don’t fear!
We’ll not shun, we’ll not quit
this our noble career.
We will fight ever true to death to thee:
true to God to faith and thee. true to thee.
Lead us on gallantly, ever on valiantly
‘Neath thy banner to fight
for the Church and its right.
All for God’s own greater glory is our cry,
our battle cry!
Not for gain, nor in vain is our strife in this life;
but for God who is our king
all to him our hearts we bring.
Growing stronger and stronger
as fighting lasts longer
and purer and purer
to make heaven surer
with crosses and trials
and many denials – we’ll fight!
But to die
loyal and true to our king who doth reign on high!
Ignatius lead us on – till we die!!
*Read More »
Kevin Hargaden of Dublin’s Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice told this newspaper that instead of being dispersed over a number of churches, parishioners should gather in “larger groups”, creating opportunities for vacant churches to be repurposed for ecological means.
“I think that it’s a good idea for Christian communities that we would gather in larger groups for Mass on Sunday, but the buildings that don’t get used, I think can get repurposed. Again, that’s an opportunity for us to think about how do we make a church fit for the 21 Cenutry mission,” Dr Hargaden told The Irish Catholic.
He added that for a “whole bunch of logistical and operational reasons”, rationalising church buildings is a smart decision, and noted that unused land in parishes can also be rewilded – a process of restoring land to its natural state – to reduce Ireland’s collective carbon footprint.
Germany’s Catholic Church lost 216,078 members and Protestant churches lost some 220,000 in 2018, according to data published on Friday by the German Bishops’ Conference and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The losses have hit hard the two main Churches of the country, as members pay up to 9% of their taxable income as church taxes.
Hans Langendörfer, secretary of the German Bishops’ Conference, described Friday’s figures as a ‘worrying’ statistic. “Every departure hurts,” said Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, president of the EKD. “Since people today, unlike in the past, decide out of freedom whether they want to belong to the Church, it is important for us today to make even clearer why the Christian message is such a strong basis for life.”
A study published by the University of Freiburg in May concluded that the number of people belonging to Germany’s two Churches will drop by half by 2060. The main reasons for declining membership in the two Churches include adults leaving the church, fewer baptisms and an ageing population, the researchers said.
Some of Hong Kong’s Christian leaders have issued an urgent call for the withdrawal of the extradition bill, an end to provocations and violence, and the establishment of a commission of inquiry to find the truth about the clashes. The letter, titled ‘Urgent Appeal regarding the Ongoing Clashes Between the Police and Members of the Public’, was signed by Card John Tong, apostolic administrator of the diocese, and Rev Eric So Shing-yit, president of the Christian Council of Hong Kong.
The two write that “The mass protests against the proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (the infamous extradition bill) have resulted in clashes and violence between the Police and members of the public, and the situation is deteriorating. The people of Hong Kong are deeply worried and distressed.”
The two Christian leaders end their plea urging “the government to take the initiative to confer with the representatives of different factions to seek a solution to the current impasse.”
I’d like to sit you down and tell you everything’s okay
And have the strength enough to pull you through another day
I’d like to help you to believe that this will be all right
And that you will not have to spend another sleepless night
I’d like to hold your hand and wipe the teardrops from your eyes
And help you just to sort things out while you question why
I’d like to try and lift the load and carry it for you
And truly help you understand just what you’re going through
I’d like to have the words to make this trouble disappear
And give you peace of mind so you won’t shed another tear
I’d like to have the magic touch to take away your pain
And help you see the blue sky just beyond this blinding rain
But sometimes what we say or do just cannot be enough
To ease another’s passage through a trail so dark and rough
There is one thing I know will help much more than I can say
And rest assured that I will do it when I kneel to pray
I will take your name before the Father as I seek His face
And ask Him to enfold you in His arms of warm embrace
There’s no one who can comfort you quite like the Father can
And surely carry you across this dark and frightening span
Although, I dearly care for you and want to help so much
I know that what you really need is in the Father’s touch
So, I will take you to the throne and leave you in His care
I know He will deliver when I speak your name in prayer
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Born Matilda von Hackeborn-Wippra, in 1240 or 1241, Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn belonged to one of the noblest and most powerful Thuringian families; her sister was the illustrious Abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn. The family of Hackeborn belonged to a dynasty of Barons in Thuringia who were related to the Hohenstaufen family and had possessions in northern Thuringia and in the Harz Mountains.
So fragile was she at birth, that the attendants, fearing she might die unbaptized, hurried her off to the priest who was just then preparing to say Mass. He was reported as a person of “great sanctity,” and after baptizing the child, is reported to have made a statement to this effect, judged by some to be prophetic: “What do you fear? This child most certainly will not die, but she will become a saintly religious in whom God will work many wonders, and she will end her days in a good old age.”
When Mechtilde was seven years old, having been taken by her mother on a visit to her elder sister Gertrude, at that time a nun in the Cistercian monastery in Rodersdorf, she became so enamoured of the cloister that her pious parents yielded to her requests and allowed her to enter the alumnate. Here, being highly gifted in mind as well as in body, she made remarkable progress in virtue and learning.
Ten years later (1258) Mechtilde followed her sister, who, now abbess, had transferred the monastery to an estate at Helfta given her by her brothers Louis and Albert. As a nun, Mechtilde was soon distinguished for her humility, her fervour, and that extreme amiability which had characterized her from childhood and which, like piety, seemed almost hereditary in her clan. She joined the convent and eventually became the headmistress of the convent school. Mechtilde was employed in the convent looking after the library, illuminating scripts, and writing her own texts in Latin. Mechtilde wrote many prayers. In 1261, the abbess committed to her care a child of five who was destined to shed glory and fame upon the monastery of Helfta.Read More »
There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day, the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.
A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came on to it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.
He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. “Daddy, where are you?” His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him.Read More »
Sent forth by God’s blessing,
our true faith confessing,
the people of God
from this dwelling take leave.
The service is ended,
O now be extended
the fruits of our worship
in all who believe.
The seed of the teaching,
receptive souls reaching,
shall blossom in action
for god and for all.
God’s grace did invite us,
and love shall unite us
to work for God’s kingdom
and answer the call.
With praise and thanksgiving
to God ever living,
the tasks of our everyday
life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing,
in love ever caring,
embracing God’s children
of each tribe and race.
With your grace you feed us,
with your light now lead us;
unite us as one
in this life that we share.
Then may all the living
with praise and thanksgiving
give honor to Christ
and that name which we bear.
*Read More »
Shawn Taseer delivered moving remarks about his father, the former governor of Punjab, who was killed for standing up to the blasphemy law there. He pointed out that while his father specifically was killed defending Asia Bibi, who is now finally free. He described them as prisoners of conscience who are include the elderly, sick, and illiterate. “Abandon them at your peril.”
Bibi was charged with blasphemy in a Pakistani court and sentenced to death. In late 2018 she was acquitted, but she was not allowed to leave the country until May 2019.
“As we celebrate these victories, we must be mindful of the challenges ahead,” he said. “While Asia Bibi — the world’s most famous prisoner victim of blasphemy is a free woman — I want you all to know that there are 200 Asia Bibis in jail accused of blasphemy law in Pakistan today and these are only the reported cases.”
According to Aid to the Church in Need, between the years 1990 and 2017 more than 20 Christians have been killed in Pakistan after being accused of blasphemy.
Souce: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/ten-things-that-caught-my-eye-about-the-ministerial-on-advancing-religious-freedom/ and https://www.persecution.org/2019/07/20/son-slain-governor-claims-200-asia-bibis-pakistan/