‘History’ Category Archives

5
Sep

MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA: now a saint of the church

by Arnold Jago in Celebrities, Faith, God, History, Modern Church, Saints

More Australians than usual attended church last Sunday.
Many celebrated the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – now officially known as “Saint Teresa”.
Mother Teresa is respected by Catholics and non-Catholics for her love of the “poorest of the poor”.
There are knockers of course.
Atheist writer, Christopher Hitchens, called her a “thieving, fanatical Albanian dwarf” – mainly because she opposed abortion.
I liked the comment of a fellow-writer comparing Hitchens with Mother Teresa: “If you were sitting in the gutter in rags in Calcutta, which would be the more likely to give you a bowl of soup?”
Yes, we need more Mother Teresa’s in this world.

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26
Jul

U.S. ELECTION CAMPAIGN SUGGESTS THAT DEMOCRACY IS A BIT OF A WORRY: some say that all the aternatives are worse

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Ethics, Faith, History, Politics

The most newsworthy people in the world at present are probably the four remaining candidates in the United States’ presidential (and vice-presidential) election.
Mr Trump says he’s a Christian. Yes, he seems to have some genuineness about his beliefs. But his eccentricities and inconsistencies are a worry. Likewise, his number of wives.
Mr Pence seems to be not a Catholic, but staunchly speaking and living by Catholic morals.
Mrs Clinton seems to have little time for religion or “values” — being a kind of utilitarian “whatever-works” politician’s politician.
Mr Kaine is pleased to announce that he is a Catholic, meanwhile abandoning just about every known Catholic ethical stance.
The optimal outcome could be for the Trump-Pence team to win and for Mr Trump to then retire gracefully, leaving Mr Pence in charge.
It’s interesting to consider the comment made by Australia’s Saint Mary MacKillop to her sisters regarding elections:
It is a duty on us all to vote. Find out who are the members proposed for the election and vote for those considered friendly to the Church and Religion. Every so-called Catholic is not the best man.”

18
Mar

“SCIENCE WILL SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS”: so they say, but will it? did it ever?

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Faith, History, Science

“Remember, young man, unceasingly, that the science of this world, which has become a great power, has, especially in the last century, analysed everything divine handed down to us in the holy books.
“After this cruel analysis the learned of this world have nothing left of all that was sacred of old.
“But they have only analysed the parts and overlooked the whole, and indeed their blindness is marvellous.
“Yet the whole still stands steadfast before their eyes, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
“Has it not lasted nineteen centuries, is it not still a living, a moving power in the individual soul and in the masses of people?
“It is still as strong and living even in the souls of atheists, who have destroyed everything!
“For even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old . . . .”

(. . . words of Father Paissy to his understudy, Alexey, in “The Brothers Karamazov”, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, written 130-odd years ago.)

Sounds like a message we need today.

29
Jan

GOOD READING FOR 2016: the innermost inside story of Saint Mary MacKillop.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Celebrities, History, Saints, Women

After quite a while, I’ve been re-reading the letters of Saint Mary MacKillop.

It’s like re-meeting a good friend from the past.

Reading what Saint M wrote privately to friends and associates reveals what made her tick better than anything others have written about her.

Many of those other books are propaganda/caricatures — super-counterproductive must-avoids.

Mary MacKillop’s letters are published in several volumes.

For example, the first in the series can be got at:

https://store.marymackillop.org.au/store/fx-product.cfm?uuid=E1413F4D-E8DE-BE4F-DBA53FCF01CAC845

In my opinion anybody reading them will end up a better person.

I hope it works out that way in my case.

Please, dear reader, consider having a look at them for yourself.

 

18
Jan

CATHOLICS AND JEWS: confused messages?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Jesus, Modern Church, Multiculturalism

The other day, Pope Francis made his first visit to a synagogue as pontiff, greeting Rome’s Jewish community in a show of “interfaith friendship”.

Six weeks ago he was reported to have stated that Catholics should not try to convert Jews to Christianity.

Did he say that?

We’ll never know, but that’s what the media reported and he hasn’t since contradicted it.

My problem with that is that Jesus Christ reportedly said to his disciples, as a parting message, more or less the opposite:

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you . . . you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

(Matthew’s gospel chapter 28 and Acts chapter1)

 

6
Jan

CELEBRATING JANUARY 6: something special and unexpected

by Arnold Jago in Celebrities, Family, God, History, Jesus

January 6 is in the feast of the Epiphany.

The “twelfth day of Christmas” (count them yourself).

Commemorating three (perhaps) royal personages (perhaps) seeking the much-awaited new king in (definitely) the wrong place.

“Epiphany” means a divine manifestation or revelation – usually with something unexpected about it.

* to the Jews it was unexpected for God to reveal himself to pagans (the wise men weren’t Jews).

* to the wise men it was unexpected that God would reveal himself in an environment of poverty (not a palace).

* to us it may be unexpected that God expects us (yes, us) to spread his gospel. His gospel. Not ecumenism. Not democracy. Not human rights. Not “liberty and equality”. . . .

To spread his gospel by living it — unembarrassed to mention it and to argue for it.

So don’t you and I need an epiphany now, in a hurry?

The forces of greed, disbelief, violence, distraction-worship — and refusal to think hard — are sidetracking us from our calling.

Let’s ask God for a personal epiphany — and the courage to stand tall and fight hard.