We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Living right on the left coast of North America!

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gatestone Institute: snapshot of June 2015

Inconvenient truths from Raymond Ibrahim at the Gatestone Institute. Click on the link below.
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5912/jihad-on-churches
"Destroying churches is permissible -- as long as the destruction does not bring harm to Muslims, such as false claims that Muslims are persecuting Christians... ."—Dr. Yusuf al-Burhami, leading Salafi cleric, Egypt.
"The children were isolated and put in cages. Adults who do not deny their faith will be decapitated, and their children burned alive in the cages."—Sister Monique of the Vincentian Daughters of Charity, Syria.
"[T]he police detained my son Zubair and tortured him in front of me. When Zubair cried with pain, they told him that he would be released only if I confess the theft.... I repeatedly told the police that I had no connection with the said theft, and then they threw me out of the police station... The next day we found Zubair's dead body outside our house."—Aysha Bibi, on the Pakistani police's attempt to extract from her a confession to a theft she did not commit.
Additional articles by Raymond Ibrahim: click HERE.

The following passages have been excerpted from the full article: HERE. The section titles (in italics), and links attached to the following excerpts have been retained from the original article by Mr. Ibrahim.

Attacks on Christian Churches and Monasteries
Central African Republic: At least eight churches were burned in the northern province of Nana Grebizi, after heavily armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked several villages. Two Christians, including a pastor, were killed in the attack; another Christian was severely tortured. After the carnage, the Islamic herdsmen started fires and looted the local population.
Egypt: During the early morning hours of March 9, the Coptic Catholic Church of Kafr el-Dawar was attacked by armed men who used an explosive device against the place of worship. Two policemen were hospitalized after the attack.

Germany: A potential jihadi attack on the cathedral and synagogue in Bremen was averted following action by police. Police guarded the cathedral and synagogue and searched a local Muslim cultural center.

Iraq: Islamic State militants blew up a 10th century Chaldean Catholic church north of Mosul and bulldozed a nearby graveyard. According to Nineveh Yakou — an Assyrian Archaeologist and Director of Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Affairs at A Demand for Action — the Saint George monastery was "wiped out" by IS. The building was founded by the Assyrian Church in the 10th century but rebuilt as a seminary by the Chaldean Catholic Church in 1846.

Kenya: On the afternoon of February 28, in Maramande, Muslims from neighboring Somalia set a Christian church on fire. This same church was set on fire July 5, 2014, but was rebuilt in January 2015.

Lebanon: Unidentified persons invaded Mar Elias, an ancient Maronite church in the Bekaa Valley. Along with damaging one of the church's windows, they destroyed a portion of the flooring by digging a large hole near the altar.
Slaughter of Christian 'Infidels'
Central African Republic: An argument between a taxi driver and his Muslim passenger led to the slaughter of at least 16 Christians in Bangui, the nation's capital.

Libya: Two months after the Islamic State in Libya released a video of 21 Coptic Christians having their heads cut off for being "infidels" and "worshippers of the cross," Copts continue to be targeted and killed.

Nigeria: Upset that watchmen of St. Peter's Catholic Church in Kaduna state dared to set up a roadblock as a security measure against jihadi raids, on March 8, Nigerian soldiers opened fire on and killed five church members during Sunday Mass.

Uganda: A 16-year-old girl who fled from a Muslim uncle who beat her and her sister for converting to Christianity, died under mysterious circumstances on March 8, one day after Muslim relatives who had been searching for her found her.
Dhimmitude: Generic Contempt and Hostility
Egypt: "Unknown persons" set fire to the parked car of Fr. Ayub Yusif, the priest of the Saint George Coptic Catholic Church in the village of Dalga, Minya, Upper Egypt. By the time authorities put out the fire, the car was completely charred. Dalga has been the scene of many attacks on Christians. Back in September 2013, for example, Muslim Brotherhood supporters forced Coptic households to pay jizya -- Islamic "protection money" extorted from Christians and other non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state.

Kazakhstan: A drug and alcohol rehabilitation center run by Christians in the village of Sychevka, Pavlodar Region, was fined and closed down for three months after a court order claimed that the center was "conducting illegal activities," including religious worship.

Kenya: Muslims from Somalia attacked two Christian siblings, a brother and sister, in their home.

Syria: The International Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic organization, reported that some of its members in Syria were kidnapped by the Islamic State and told that if the adults do not deny their Christian faith, they will be decapitated and "their children burned alive in cages."
The Gatestone Institute is "a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank."