Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival (10 August 2014)

   Welcome once more to “Sunday Snippets – A Catholic Carnival”, Where Catholic bloggers share their posts for the past week in a veritable smorgasbord of Catholic bloggery.  The main gathering is here at This That and the Other Thing, home of our hostess RAnn.   Before we get to the past week’s posts at Principium et Finis, however, I’d like to make a couple of brief comments on the image that accompanies this post.

       We know that Jesus Christ will triumph in the end, and that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against his Church (Matthew 16:18). As for me, or you, or particular Christian peoples or even local churches there are no guarantees.  We can see the latest example in the ancient city of Mosul in Iraq.  There has been an unbroken Christian presence in the city since the earliest decades of the Church . . . or rather, had been: the last Christian, it seems, has left, driven out by the jihadists of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has seized large portions of northern Iraq where it has offered the Christians living there the choice of conversion, departure, or death.  Many have died, more have departed (but I have not heard of many conversions).
     The symbol above is a reminder of the horrific events in Iraq.  I first starting seeing it on Twitter a few weeks ago, but it took me some time to find out what it was, except that it looked like an Arabic letter (which, truth be told, made me a little wary).  As it turns out, that’s exactly what it is: the Arabic character that represents the sound “N”. It is also the mark that ISIS terrorists paint on the walls of Christians’ homes in Iraq (for Nazara, i.e., Christian, a follower of the Nazarene) in order to target them for terror more conveniently.  It has now been taken up by Christians around the world both as a sign of solidarity with Christians suffering in Iraq and other Muslim countries (and wherever else they might be persecuted), but also as a sort of badge, a proud emblem of Christian faith (I have added the words "Christian Forever" to the image on my blog to make it clear to those who might be unfamiliar with it that this is intended as a bold statement of Christian Faith).
     The Christians in Iraq badly need our prayers; they also need our material help.  Their plight serves as a stark reminder to us that the way of Christ is the way of the Cross.  Following Jesus means making enemies, and even in a place as seemingly safe as the United States there are growing challenges to Christian believers, to the Church, and the culture that has been handed on to us by our forebears. 

     But more about that next week; today is for snippets from the week past, in which we talked about War, Peace, and Prayer:

The next installment in my little Haydn revival, and what could be more fitting? “Haydn – ‘Benedictus’ from Mass in Time of War (Missa in Tempore Belli)” [here]

The official word is out: the Sign of Peace is staying put, but could we all just tone it down a little? “Peace, Baby” [here]

Part five of the series on the Liturgy of the Hours looks at the Office of Readings; the title says it all. “Feed Your Mind And Soul: The Office of Readings (LOH 5 – Throwback Thursday Edition)” [here]