Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Good News of the New Year

We thought the new year 2016 will have a better start than last year's massive crimes against humanity. Yet, the world witnessed an escalation of attacks by Islamic extremists in Europe and America and the "politically-correct" response of political leaders and authorities (see for example these news here, here, and here). With so much fear and discussions continuing to depress us further about radical Islam,  and the persecution of Christians everywhere in the world especially in countries in the Arab world, Europe, China, and Africa, I wish to share two great stories sent by close friends.

The first story is about Padina, an Iranian Muslim woman, and her mother who both converted to Christianity after a miracle healed the mother.They pleaded Christians to pray for them as they continue to live in the Islamic Republic of Iran where "apostasy" from Islam is punished by death (see news and video here). The second story comes from the pen of Abbé Alain Arbez about the life of Saint Vincent de Paul who liberated many people from slavery under the tyranny of the Islamic Ottoman Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries (in French here). Saint Vincent de Paul was one of the great saints that Fr. Henri Boulad spoke about in his great lecture at Jesus the King Church in July 2015 (Henri Boulad, S.J.: Lord, give me a heart of compassion here). His Congregation of the Mission (known also as Lazarists) continues to serve the disadvantaged and needy in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia to this day. Their work has since extended to the rest of the world. 

Since love is the essence of life, we are not exhausted to hear about saints and martyrs who loved God in what they did and in every person they met. Such holy men and women as the Virgin Mary, Catherine of Alexandria, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, John of Damascus, Dominic,  Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, Gertrude the Great, Rita of Cascia, Teresa of Avila, Jean Vianney Curé d'Ars, Charbel Makhlouf, and Thérèse of the Child Jesus lead the ones whose lives changed the world. The great historian Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, who spent two years preparing for his priesthood under the spiritual direction of St. Vincent de Paul, wrote that the establishment of Christianity was the one point of real importance in the whole history of the world (read The Catholic Encyclopedia about Bossuet here).

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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