Lepanto A Poem by GK Chesterton

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Naval Battle of Lepanto 1571: A battle for the heart of Europe against the invading Ottoman Empire fleet. It was fought by the Holy League, a coalition of southern European Catholic states led by Don John of Austria.

Excerpts from Lepanto:

Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.”
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still–hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships…

Viva Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

GK Chesterton

For the full poem click here. 

Islamic Persecution of Christians

JamesFoleyPicture of James Foley murdered by ISIS:  Man of Incredible Bravery and about his witness of faith: Slain journalist James Foley on praying the rosary in captivity.

The recent slaying of the freelancer journalist James Foley moved me deeply. In the mist of this tragic incident and the displacement and murder of thousands of people in Iraq the Bishop of Mosul, Iraq made a poignant statement:

“I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.”

Amel Shimoun Nona
Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq

This is not radical Islam is taking over the region, but rather Islam reaffirms itself in the region against more moderate and progressive version of Islam. The West in its desperate down spiral identity crisis refuses to admit such a self-evident truth at its own existential peril. The archbishop continues by saying:

“Islam does not say that all men are equal,” and if Westerners “do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed into your home.”

The pity is that anyone in the west, making such statements will be immediately labeled an islamophobe, accused of bigotry, publicly chastised and marginalized by people that either are ignorant of history and Islamic teachings or by people with suspect agendas. The fundamental problem as Pope Benedict XVI identified in his now famous Regensburg address is Islam’s view of the nature of God:

…for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry.”

In Muslim teaching, God is pure will and thereby God is not bound by reason. Making it possible for the shifting morality of war observed throughout the rapid Islamic expansion during the six, seven and eight centuries. These expansions were driven by military conquest and forced conversion of conquered populations that are no different from what we are observing in Iraq and other countries. The main difference is that a component of todays “Islamic radicals” grew up in western countries (i.e. England).

The interaction between faith and reason has been a staple of Christian theology since the early apostolic church and serves a stark contract to the Muslim view of God’s absolute transcendence; where such interaction is subjugated to the will of God. This excludes the fundamental logical principle of non-contradiction since the overriding factor is the will of God and not natural law. This is the point of discussion between the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleogus and his Persian interlocutor referred by Pope Benedict in his address and at the crux of today’s barbaric persecution of non-Muslims in Islamic countries. As Pope Benedict XVI quoted the Emperor:

“Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”.

The solution is complex, but it starts by confronting the truths about Islam both the good and the bad. On one hand history shows a time, albeit brief period,  where Hellenization of Islamic theology led to fruitful and peaceful interactions between Christians and Islamic intellectuals pointing to a possible peaceful way forward, but on the other hand, history also shows us what happen when Islam rejects such principles and adheres to a plain interpretation of the Qur’an. Given the absence of moral certitude in an age of moral relativism so dominant in the West it may be up to the moderate voices in Islam to put an end to such barbaric acts, as some have done in Iraq, at the cost of their own life. The problem is that you can hardly hear them in the West.

Reference:

Pope Benedict XVI Resenburg Address.

Catholic Archibishop of Mosul: “Islam Does Not Say That All Men are Equal”

ISIS “split her in two; she would not convert!”

Directly to the Source

Hello everyone!

One of the great things about blogging is that you get to be part of a great community and discover many great blogs. One of the best blog I have come across about being a follower of Christ through every day experience is Age of Discernment. I honestly can’t hardly wait to see what this self describe “Devout Catholic; craft beer snob; cycling connoisseur; disposable-lighter repairman” has install with each post. Finally I could not help myself but I had to reblog this post that tells you so much about out Faith as Catholic Christians and all the misconception that people have about the Catholic Church.

Best,

Caleb

The Age of Discernment

I don’t have social media of any kind, save for this account on WordPress.  There are times I feel “disconnected” or slightly “behind the times” because I find out about breaking news the next morning, rather than the second it happens.  I have saved myself the stress of being up-to-date on every detail of acquaintances’ personal lives, personal opinions, personal problems, or personalities.  Despite this, the sheer number of articles and personal opinions I have seen on suicides, mental illness, and anything else surrounding the Robin Williams tragedy, proves what a frenzy this has created; seeing as this rock I am living under keeps me guarded from most frenzies.  Furthermore, it proves that we, as humans, long to know that there is a life after this, and there is Mercy waiting at the door.

In my internet perusing, I came across and article from a woman who stated forthrightly that she is a “selective Catholic”:…

View original post 744 more words

Largest Skate Park in America Just Oppened in Houston, TX

I have blogged about my love for Skateboarding before:

A Heart for Skateboarding

So you may imagine how thrilled I am that this amazing facility opened in Houston, TX during the feast day of St. Maximillian Kolbe!

This skate park is the largest in America and the second largest in the world. My hope is that this park can be a venue for youth to grow as sons and daughters of Christ by participating in fellowship in this extraordinary sport.

The video was filmed and edited by Lance Childers.

St. Maximillian Kolby: Priest, Missionary, Auschwitz Prisoner and Martyr

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“The most deadly poison of our time is indifference.”

 St. Maximillian Kolbe

It was a summer day and the camp prisoners were standing in front of their Nazi guards in disbelief against such inhuman cruelty. They all stood until the last of ten prisoners was chosen to suffer death by starvation. No barbarian is content with the blood they wanted more. They want it to teach a lesson to those who would try to escape.

The sentence was pronounced and like a piercing thunder aloud cried erupted from one of the condemned:

 “O my poor wife, my poor children. I shall never see them again.”

At that moment, a flood of mercy rushed into his Heart, all his life was for this moment. As a child, he asked the Virgin Mary what would be of him. She responded by showing him two crowns, one white and the other one red. She tenderly asked him if he was willing to accept either one of them. The white one meant that he should persevere in purity and the red one that he should become a martyr. He chose both.

Long time later, that child now barely resembling a grown human being due to the scourge of hard labor and inhuman mistreatment slowly walk to the prison guards and said:

maximilian-kolbe

“My name is Maximillian Kolby”.

“I am a polish catholic priest and I want to take this man place.”

Prisoner 16670 said calmly as he offered his life for the family man. What thoughts must have passed through the SS officer? Could such act of love have broken through his soul and lifted the clouds of darkness?

They tried to take their humanity away, but instead fervently and loud prayers; hymns and the rosary met their inhumanity. The starvation bunkers were not longer and instruments of death, but one of redemption. In imitation of Christ, they turned those starvation bunkers from a sign of despair and extreme human cruelty into a sign of Faith, Hope and Charity. They turn their cross into an instrument of love.

St. Maximillian Kolby pray for us!


This was a fictionalized re-creation of what happen based on witness account. To learn more about this great saint please visit:

Catholic resource:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/kolbe2.htm

Non-Catholic resource:

http://moralheroes.org/maximilian-kolbe

Robin Williams

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“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it”.

-Robin William

Dear Mr. William,

Yesterday it felt like a piece of my childhood passed away when I heard of your passing.  I hope hope that at that last moment that divine spark of comedy of yours lifted up the clouds of your depression so that you may be smilling down upon us. 

For all the times that you made me laugh and for those that you sparked my imagination to make believe that I could fly to Neverland or be a poet thank you Mr. William. I will miss you. I am praying for you and your family.

Laughs and wonders,

Caleb


Please pray for those who are suffering through depression, addition and mental illness.  

 

A Heart of Mercy

Liberia hospital

Every day I read news articles about the Ebola health crisis in Africa. I cannot help but to think about the brave men and woman who are volunteering to attend the helpless and the destitute. All the workers,missionaries, nuns and priest who have given theirlives so that others may live.

They are doing what Christ said his Church will be doing until the end of times: proclaiming his name to the four corners of the world through works of mercy.

These are my heroes. These are the people I look up and which I once day could emulate such courage and complete self-giving to Christ. Please keep them in your prayers.

Sweet Ever Virgin Mary, pray for us!

http://www.enca.com/nun-spanish-missionaries-dies-ebola-liberia