Prayers for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, Archbishop Paulos. His body was found ten years ago today.
Thursday March 13, 2008
ETHIOPIA: MUSLIMS KILL WORSHIPER IN CHURCH ATTACKS
Assaults with machetes nearly behead Christian, leave 23 injured.
ISTANBUL, March 13 (Compass Direct News) – Eight Muslims wielding razor-sharp machetes and knives broke into two village churches in southern Ethiopia earlier this month and began wounding worshipers, instantly killing one Christian. Tulu Mosisa of Kale Hiwot church died after a machete blow nearly beheaded him, according to an eyewitness. Another two members of the Kale Hiwot and Birhane Wongel Baptist churches in the remote village of Nensebo Chebi both lost a hand each in the March 2 attacks, and a 5-year-old boy is still hospitalized after his arm was slashed to the bone. A total of 23 Christians from the two congregations were injured before local militia officers drove off the attackers, who launched what one observer called “a seemingly well-planned,” simultaneous assault midway through Sunday worship services. Located 400 kilometers (240 miles) south of the capital Addis Ababa, Nensebo Chebi is a remote village in the Bale Zone of Ethiopia’s predominantly Muslim Oromiya state. Every time the attackers struck someone, Christian survivors said, they shouted “Allah Akbar!” The two Arabic words, meaning “Allah is greater,” are the beginning of the Muslim call to prayer.
|6 STEPS FOR A GOOD CONFESSION
|ACT OF CONTRITIONO my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
A commenter made a case for why John 3 is NOT talking about baptism. Nicodemus asks, “How can a man be born again?” and Jesus replies: “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. You can see his case for his interpretation
on my post How Was Baptism Administered in the Early Church?
You may be the judge of how well he makes his case. But the problem with it is, historically that is not how Christians understood or interpreted John 3. Since, we have seen how much division is caused by differing interpretations in Protestantism and stubborn insistence upon a certain interpretation to the point of leaving a church and starting another, I say to myself:
How did the people in the early Church interpret this passage?
That is much more likely to be the true interpretation and much closer in time to when Jesus taught. And, I also ask myself:
What Church has been in existence since Jesus founded His Church on Rock?
I have found the answer to both questions in the Catholic Church Here is what Justin who died for his faith said in 151 A.D.
“As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true . . . are brought by us where there is water and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God the Father . . . and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit [Matt. 28:19], they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, ‘Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:3]” (First Apology 61).
Around 190 A.D., Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons, wrote, “And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan’ [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as newborn babes, even as the Lord has declared: ‘Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]” (Fragment 34).
In the year 252 A.D., Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage, said that when those becoming Christians “receive also the baptism of the Church . . . then finally can they be fully sanctified and be the sons of God . . . since it is written, ‘Except a man be born again of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ [John 3:5]” (Letters 71:1).
Augustine wrote, “From the time he [Jesus] said, ‘Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5], and again, ‘He that loses his life for my sake shall find it’ [Matt. 10:39], no one becomes a member of Christ except it be either by baptism in Christ or death for Christ” (On the Soul and Its Origin 1:10 [A.D. 419]).
Augustine also taught, “It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated . . . when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. For it is not written, ‘Unless a man be born again by the will of his parents’ or ‘by the faith of those presenting him or ministering to him,’ but, ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit’ [John 3:5]. The water, therefore, manifesting exteriorly the sacrament of grace, and the Spirit effecting interiorly the benefit of grace, both regenerate in one Christ that man who was generated in Adam” (Letters 98:2 [A.D. 408]).
I do not trust myself to infallibly interpret scripture. I don’t trust you either, no offense. I trust the Church founded by Jesus 2000 years ago. If I am wrong, I also trust the mercy of God. But He knows I honestly sought the truth and went where it led me….even to the Catholic Church. Have you read my conversion story? Click–>My Conversion I did NOT want to become Catholic. But, I had to follow where TRUTH led me.
Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.
Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.
O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.
Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »
For The Repose Of The Soul Of Elvis Presley
No one who sings of Her rosary should be forgotten in death. Say one Hail Mary for Elvis.
Pray for us.
Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni, 1972 – 2007