Posts Tagged ‘Road to Rome’
Article: One World Religion
A recent meeting of ministers associated with the prosperity-preaching Word of Faith branch of charismatic Christianity received a surprise announcement: Pope Francis had sent a message to the conference. It was something of a historic moment.
Beginning around the thirty-minute mark of the above video, Francis speaks in Italian and English subtitles are provided at the bottom. As part of his greeting, the pope chose to highlight two themes, his joy at their desire to worship together in prayer to the Father for the Spirit to come and his yearning for Christians to become one again.
Francis described the current state of Christianity as one of separated families, by which he meant both biological families and the family of God. It was not lost on the Holy Father that the fractures in Christianity are also fractures between individuals. He asks, “Who is to blame for this separation?” and answers, “We all share the blame. We have all sinned.” Such a statement expresses the fraternity Francis wishes to restore, nothing more, nothing less. He went on to say that his desire is for this separation to end and a communion to begin again.
Click here to read this entire article and to see the video. Please watch this video using the utmost discernment. You will see how far the evangelical church has fallen.
Mennonite churches have not historically focused on the man made religious rituals in the 40 days leading to Easter.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of an ancient but relatively new tradition that the Mennonites have taken on, as the following examples from the March 2014 issue of their Mennonite Brethren Herald magazine confirm.
What I like about Lent
by Dora Dueck
Lent was not part of my experience growing up in a Mennonite church. It was something that “others” did (read: Catholics), and when one is young, what those others do often seems vastly inferior to what one’s own people do. We celebrated Good Friday and Easter and that was enough. Lent had an aura of gloominess and “works righteousness” about it, and we were beyond all that striving and uncertainty and climbing the stairs to heaven on our knees. (I speak as a child.)
But in the meanwhile, many Mennonite churches, including my own, have adopted various practices of the liturgical calendar, and I’ve come to appreciate Lent’s invitation to reflection, to deep consideration of Christ and the cross, to give up or to take on. To see oneself as one is: as in the words of Thomas Merton, “I walk from region to region of my soul and I discover that I am a bombed city.” To hear oneself named “Beloved” in the midst of that desolation.
One can do this any time, of course, but Ash Wednesday with its formal beginning and the six Sundays leading up to Easter with their liturgies and sermons and reminders are helps along the way.
So it’s a good time. But one of the things I like best about Lent is that it’s not a big deal in the wider culture. It’s not commercial. Having ashes imposed (I love that word for this ritual) to mark repentance and awareness of being “dust” seems by now, in fact, the strange activity of a strange minority . . .
Note: Thomas Merton is thought to be the greatest popularizer of interspirituality and said “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity … I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” Click here for more.
Used with permission.
In an article called Pray and Work in the February issue of the MB Herald, the author attempts to answer the question; where do prayer and deed intersect? But another question remains unanswered; where do Mennonites and Benedictine monks and Jesuits intersect?
Here is an excerpt from Pray and Work (MB Herald):
The Protestant work ethic shouts: “Work harder, do more, give more!” The contemplative ethic tells us to pray more, go deeper with God, reflect on our activity. Perhaps the answer is in both.
I’ve often heard we should “pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” This proverb (often attributed to Ignatius of Loyola) seems prudent – an appropriate mix of dependence on Christ and the Protestant work ethic that has served us so well.
While this saying appears wise at first glance, it’s poorly conceived. If we apply it to our lives, we risk falling into self-sufficiency and independence from God. It’s the Jesuit version of “God helps those who help themselves.”
If I work as though ministry is all my responsibility, I’m liable to create my own kingdom based on my good works. Who needs God if I work as if everything depends on me?
Some suggest that St. Ignatius’ comments were more along the lines of: “Work as if everything depended on God, pray as if everything depended on you.”
Father Mark Stengel, who contributes to the Country Monks blog, summed it up well…
What follows is a lengthy quote from Father Mark Stengel, the oblate director at the Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, home of 40 monks who follow the rule of St. Benedict and chant prayers 5 times a day. Father Stengel is a contributor to the blog on the Abbey’s website (www.countrymonks.us).
“Saint” Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of the Jesuits, an order formed to bring about the counter reformation, which continues today (through much more civil efforts than 500 years ago) to convert Protestants back to the Mother Church of Rome. Roger Oakland says that “in a way, it is more insidious than the Inquisitions, because now it has infiltrated Christianity and is being disguised as the “new” Christianity.”
Where do Mennonites and Benedictine monks and Jesuits intersect?
Answer: at the ecumenical crossroads where the cross of Christ and the gospel of truth is compromised. Click here for more information and footnotes.
From Understand the Times:
- Blimplike surveillance craft set to deploy over Maryland heighten privacy concerns
- Palestinian leader turns to Putin for Palestinian state, dumps US and Israel as peace partners
- Facebanx launches new authentication software, performs trials with telecoms, banks
- Pope Francis’ Homily at the Conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
- Religious difference, not ideology, will fuel this century’s epic battles
- Hamas Leader Claims Third Intifada Just A Matter Of Time
- Will your next phone be powered by your HEARTBEAT? Scientists reveal implantable battery that can charge from the movement of our organs
- The Era Of Genetically-Altered Humans Could Begin This Year
In Part 2 of the Lighthouse Trails 2013 YEAR IN REVIEW, we are presenting the Top 7 Out-of-House News Stories. These are from various religious and secular news sources. We posted these stories this past year for research and informational purposes and not as an endorsement of the sources.
1) Planned Parenthood’s New Annual Report: We Did 333,964 Abortions; 1 Every 94 Seconds – “We are so proud of the year’s many successes.” (CNS News)
2) Washington Post Recognizes Large Influence Contemplative Spirituality Has On American Christians (Washington Post)
3) Presbyterian Church USA Teams Up With American Islamists (The Clarion Project)
4) IRS Admits to Intentional Targeting of Conservative Groups (Christian News Network)
6) “Catholic, Protestant Churches Sign Historic Baptism Agreement” – Recognizing Each Others Baptisms (Christian Post)
LTRP Note: After reading the article below by the Washington Post, please re-read some of the 2013 Lighthouse Trails coverage on Pope Francis. (See the links below the article.) When you consider that the new pope is contemplative, interspiritual, ecumenical, and soft toward the homosexual issue – basically, an emerging “progressive” pope – it’s no wonder Time magazine (which promotes all of the above) named Pope Francis “Person of the Year.”
By Lillian Cunningham
The Washington Post
The red border of Time magazine will frame Pope Francis as its 2013 Person of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday morning. By the judgment of Time’s editorial staff, the pope — elected earlier this year after a surprise resignation by predecessor Pope Benedict XVI — was the most influential global newsmaker of the past 12 months. Earlier this week, Time narrowed the finalists down to 10, then five. Pope Francis ultimately won out over NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Texas senator Ted Cruz and gay rights activist Edith Windsor.
“[W]hat makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias write in the cover story. “In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church.”
Coverage by Lighthouse Trails: