SAINT MARY OF THE CROSS
People sometimes say, “Can you prove that Jesus died and rose again?”
OK. How do we know that anything happened?
A controversial example: how to prove that the Jewish holocaust of last century really happened? There’s plenty of evidence suggesting that it did happen. I’m prepared to believe it.
But proof? Not quite. There’s none that will satisfy some who choose to attribute the evidence to coincidences, plots or whatever. And they won’t accept as proof anything anyone says.
Can one prove that last week happened? I seem to remember it. But I’ve been known to remember things that didn’t happen. Who hasn’t?
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There is good evidence suggesting that Jesus did die and rise again. But that won’t stop non-believers from non-believing.
A thing that impresses me is how the people in the best position to know that it was a hoax (if it was a hoax) were the very ones willing to be put to death for maintaining their resurrection faith.
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There is nobody in history whose teachings are equal to the gospel of faith, hope, loving charity and obedience that Jesus proclaimed.
Get a Bible. Read the gospels yourself. You may find yourself persuaded.
A bit of a non-day you might say.
Yesterday, Good Friday, was the day for sadness, tears and quiet contemplation.
Tomorrow, Sunday, will be the day for expressions of Easter joy and thankfulness.
But today– commemorating that in-between day of apparent disappointment and disillusion — how best to occupy our thoughts?
Is it a day to ask: do I, in fact, really believe in God?
Even when the life he is giving me is giving me suffering?
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Perhaps spare a few minutes to consider the deceptively simplistic words of Sarah Adams’s hymn:
“Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
Even though it be a cross that raises me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!”
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Even though it be a cross . . . ?
ALMIGHTY and eternal God, merciful Father,
who has given to the human race your beloved Son
as an example of humility, obedience, and patience,
to go before us on the Way of life bearing the Cross . . . .
Grant that we, inspired by His infinite love,
may take upon us the sweet burden of His Gospel
and the mortification of the cross,
following Him as His true disciples . . . .
So that we may one day gloriously rise with Him
and joyfully hear the final sentence:
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world . . . .”
Prince George, third in line for the British throne, was taken to play with ten other toddlers at a New Zealand centre the other day.
That was nice. Or was it?
One of the selected toddlers was the child of a “gay” couple.
Could that have been a misguided decision?
Must we use the royal family to try to normalise the abnormal?
If two people have homosexual tendencies which they choose not to curb, should they be confused by being treated as though their situation is OK?
Obviously there is no reason to be unpleasant to homosexual people.
But their problem should not be trivialised.
Increased government money, of itself, can’t change poor school performance.
If Gonski-type funding is deemed to be a good vote-catcher, politicians will hand out more money — but apart from the votes, little else may be gained.
What is needed to make some genuine gains?
What young people need is inspiration. That must come, first and foremost, from parents.
Parents are always role models for young people.
Day and night.
While older people obsess over sport, entertainment, money and gossip — young people will never stop fornicating, blaspheming, character-assassinating and treating each other like animals.
It is true that we should not indulge in knee-jerk knocking of youth.
There are some exceptional young people around who do volunteer and act constructively.
Unfortunately they are exceptional also in the sense that they are a minority.
The underlying issues regarding youth (and the rest of us) are, as always, spiritual ones.
The question being what motivates people.
This week, Pope Francis, after meeting four women previously forced into prostitution, spoke of trafficking as “an open wound on the body of contemporary society.”
He said he is making human trafficking and slavery a priority of his papacy.
The Vatican recently joined forces with the Anglican Church and Al-Azhar University, the world’s foremost seat of Sunni learning, in an anti-slavery initiative.
Any member of the public can get involved in this.
Watch the 5-minute video and you will definitely want to participate.
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In his first Apostolic Exhortation last year, Pope Francis said that we must act for human dignity in every possible way.
Not forgetting that, “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us . . . .
“This defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred . . . .
Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights.”