Half Serbian

I just saw this.

A few weeks ago the Antiochian Archdiocese received three new bishops (see here), one of whom is half Serbian. His Grace Bishop Anthony of Toledo and the Midwest was born in Michigan. His father is Lebanese and mother is Serbian.

Interesting. You can read his bio here.

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Go to #^@*!

These  testimonies of out of body experiences are very difficult to interpret and certainly we don’t base our faith on what one person saw (or thinks they saw) while they were clinically dead. Yet, there was a part of this clip that really got it. It begins at the 5:30 marker when he talks about seeing a sweeping blackness which was completely cut off from everything else and he recognized it as being hell. It’s interesting how he says after that experience he’s never been able to be stand near anyone who says “go to #@*!” to another person.

Truly, nobody in their right Christian mind would be able to say that.

Good sermon, Father

H/T: The Telegraph (here)
November 6, 2011

Catholic priests urged to liven up sermons

Sermons delivered by Catholic priests are often painfully “grey and dull” and need to be livened up with the “scandal” contained within the Bible, the Vatican’s most senior cultural official said.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said preaching in churches had become so formulaic and boring that it risked becoming “irrelevant” to congregations accustomed to the excitement and immediacy of television and the internet.

“The advent of televised and computerised information requires us to be compelling and trenchant, to cut to the heart of the matter, resort to narratives and colour,” said the cardinal, who as the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture is the Vatican’s unofficial minister for culture.

Too many priests employed theological language that was “grey, dull and flavourless” and instead should spice up their sermons with graphic stories contained in the Bible, which used much more forceful imagery.

The Bible was “crowded with stories, symbols and images,” he said.

Speaking at a conference in Rome, he said Twitter was also an effective way of spread the Word of God. “We need to remember that communicating faith doesn’t just take place through sermons. It can be achieved through the 140 characters of a Twitter message.”

Cardinal Ravasi, a champion of new media who writes a blog for the website of Italy’s respected financial daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, said that whether they liked it or not, priests in the pulpit should be aware that their congregations were “the children of television and the internet.”

Happy Easter, I mean…

H/T: UPI.com (here)

Thaci sends ‘Easter’ wishes

PRISTINA, Kosovo, Dec. 25 (UPI) — Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci accidentally wished the Catholic Church and Catholics in Kosovo “a happy Easter,” instead of a merry Christmas this year.

“With special respect I wish happy Easter to all Catholic believers from the international community in Kosovo,” Thaci wrote in his greeting.

On behalf of the government, Thaci wished the holiday would bring citizens more happiness, hope and success, harmony and social progress, KIM Radio reported Sunday.

The Easter message was also posted on the government’s official Web site.

Excuses, excuses

H/T: Mode of Life, Blog of Archbishop Stylianos of Australia (here). For the gospel on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers and those who refused to attend the Great Supper:

Now these were the three worldly excuses as mentioned in the parable:

The first person said: ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it’ (Lk 14:18). The piece of ground here denotes our worldly possessions, the pride of life and the competitive jealousy that comes with governing these assets (our houses, our investments, our holiday houses, new car etc). This person wished to feel like a ruler over these material things and not to have a master, these possessions were a hindrance to their humility, which is required to approach the magnitude of the invitation by God.

The second person said: ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen and I’m going to test them’ (Lk 14:19). The five yoke of oxen represent our five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) – these senses are the eye of the physical body where we engage with creation, they are stimulated only with what is external to our body. Through these senses of the flesh, earthly things are pursued. Therefore they represent the lusts of the eye: evil desires, uncleanness, passion – this person said: ‘I’m going to test them’, meaning, the curiosity of our senses (e.g. overindulging and feeding the senses with all the entertainment in the world – concerts, casino, pokies, TV, Video games, theatre, movies, shopping,     dinners, holidays, parties, dates, social flirtation). Thus, this person represents those who merely follow the things of the senses, and neglect the spiritual senses, the things of God in one’s heart.

The third person said: ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come’ (Lk 14:20). This person represents those who take pleasure in the delights of the flesh, the lusts of the flesh (fornication), which hinders many.