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.

Monday, August 8, 2016

ISIS: "We hate you." ISIS in their own words.

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
—St. Matthew 13:16

A view of the world and its players.
Pope Francis: The world is at war but not a religious one
by Harry Farley 27 July 2016

The world is at war but not a religious one, Pope Francis said as he travelled to Poland for a five-day trip in celebration of World Youth Day.

The pontiff spoke to reporters on the papal plane amid a cloud of unease and tension after a priest had his throat slit in a terrorist attack in northern France. ISIS claimed the two assailants, shot dead by police, were their "soldiers" after they took five hostages, seriously injuring one as mass was celebrated in the small town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

"It's war, we don't have to be afraid to say this," said Pope Francis, as the killing threatened (to) overshadow the entire trip.

But he later insisted he was speaking of "a war of interests, for money, resources. ... I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don't want war. The others want war."
Another view of the same world.

ISIS really, really, really hates non-muslims. Contrast and compare the West's comfortable—some might say invincible—ignorance with ISIS' stated purpose, i.e., why ISIS hates everybody and everything that is not ISIS, in an article in the latest issue of Dabiq entitled Why We Hate You And Why We Fight You.
http://www.clarionproject.org/factsheets-files/islamic-state-magazine-dabiq-fifteen-breaking-the-cross.pdf
Dabiq (دابق‎‎) is the official recruitment or propaganda magazine of ISIS. Typically, it is found in the "deep web". The truth is, it's not hard to find if you're looking.
pp. 30-33 Dabiq — Why We Hate You And Why We Fight You
(I)t becomes important for us to clarify to the West in unequivocal terms – yet again – why we hate you and why we fight you.
  1. We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’” (Al-Mumtahanah 4). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims. Thus, even if you were to stop fighting us, your best-case scenario in a state of war would be that we would suspend our attacks against you – if we deemed it necessary – in order to focus on the closer and more immediate threats, before eventually resuming our campaigns against you. Apart from the option of a temporary truce, this is the only likely scenario that would bring you fleeting respite from our attacks. So in the end, you cannot bring an indefinite halt to our war against you. At most, you could only delay it temporarily. “And fight them until there is no fitnah [paganism] and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Al-Baqarah 193).
  2. We hate you because your secular, liberal societies permit the very things that Allah (of the Quran?) has prohibited (freedom of conscience?) while banning many of the things He has permitted (e.g., Quran 33:50, 51; 4:24; 66:1-5), a matter that doesn’t concern you because you separate between religion and state (Render unto Caesar... render unto God... .), thereby granting supreme authority to your whims and desires via the legislators you (freely) vote into power.
  3. In the case of the atheist fringe, we hate you and wage war against you because you disbelieve in the existence of your Lord and Creator. (Apparently, ISIS hates atheists because they've been unable to convince atheists to accept ISIS ideology.)
  4. We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion. As long as your subjects continue to mock our faith, insult the prophets of Allah – including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad – burn the Quran, and openly vilify the laws of the Shari’ah, we will continue to retaliate, not with slogans and placards, but with bullets and knives. (ISIS has no argument, so they resort to "bullets and knives" to answer criticisms of their behaviour which, it is often claimed by ISIS followers, is patterned after the example of Muhammad. Are jihadists actually following Muhammad's example?)
  5. We hate you for your crimes against the Muslims; your drones and fighter jets bomb, kill, and maim our people (ISIS members identify themselves with/as muslims) around the world, and your puppets (Are muslims who oppose unjust aggressors and genocidal maniacs the puppets of the West?) in the usurped lands of the Muslims oppress, torture, and wage war against anyone who calls to the truth.
  6. We hate you for invading our (formerly Christian and Yezidi and Buddhist and Zoroastrian and Hindu) lands and fight you to repel you and drive you out. As long as there is an inch of territory left for us to reclaim, jihad will continue to be a personal obligation on every single Muslim.
In another section of the Daesh magazine Dabiq entitled In The Words Of The Enemy, the word 'enemy' referring of course to Christians, specifically Catholics, Daesh militants continue a tirade against anything non-Islamic.

The following excerpt from Dabiq is intended to incite followers to murderous action and to intimidate Christians. Sadly, the quality of information contained within the cited passage, i.e., the accuracy of the information, is not likely to be questioned by those already drunk on such bile.
pp. 75, Dabiq 
Despite the clarity of past and perished popes regarding their enmity for Islam and its teachings, the current pope, Francis, has struggled against reality to advertise the apostate’s perversion of Islamic teachings as the actual religion of Muslims. So while Benedict and many before him emphasized the enmity between the pagan Christians and monotheistic Muslims, Francis’ work is notably more subtle, steering clear of confrontational words that would offend those who falsely claim Islam, those apostates whom the Crusaders found played the perfect role for their infiltration into Muslim lands. While Benedict XVI met public disapproval for quoting a centuries-old Byzantine em- peror, Francis continues to hide behind a deceptive veil of “good will,” covering his actual intentions of pacifying the Muslim nation. This is exemplified in Francis’ statement that “our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence” (The Joy of the Gospel).
Apparently, ISIS is under the strong impression that Pope Francis, who in this instant represents for Islamists the entire non-muslim world, is wrong about who and what represents Islam.

Accessing the Gospel

The theological goofiness contained in the Dubiq articles requires more room for criticism than can be provided in this particular post. That said, certain readers may wish to follow up by accessing the Catechism to learn what the Church actually teaches.

One would think that in an age when technology permits instant access to a global library of ideas, non-Christians would take a moment to read and dissect accurately the various orthodox creeds and catechisms of the orthodox Christian Church and find in each authoritative expression of the Faith the answers to their questions. Furthermore, with literally thousands of reliable Catholic and Eastern Orthodox websites from which to choose, non-Christians who approach Christian doctrine without any seriousness or commitment to learning the nuanced vocabulary that Christians use to approach the mystery of God are merely proving their lack of due diligence to be a hindrance to their enlightenment and an annoyance to those whom they criticize and attack without foundation.
Catechism of the Catholic Church: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
The Catechism is the authoritative repository of Catholic teaching. Contained therein is a wealth of information that will point seekers in the right direction, i.e., in the direction of Jesus Christ, Holy Scripture and the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

Muslims can be forgiven any honest misunderstanding about Christian teaching, especially since there have been many who have called themselves Christian but who have discarded teachings received from the Apostles or have invented teachings (sola scriptura, for example) that distract from the saving Truth of the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ. Too often, unfortunately, muslims have seized upon errant doctrines taught by heretics to fuel their criticism, doctrines never taught by the Catholic Church. Muhammad, himself, surrounded by heretical or heterodox Christians in his day, based his criticism on what he thought he knew about Christianity.
The Islamic sources reveal a heretical Christian monk having an influence on the young Muhammad. Moreover, Muhammad’s first wife Khadija belonged to a heretical Christian sect since she was familiar with the God of Abraham, Jesus, Mary, and the angel Gabriel. Khadija once consulted a monk about Muhammad and the monk was named Nestora. Given the time period and geography and name, we are likely dealing with Nestorian branch of heretical Christians having influence over Khadija and her husband Muhammad.—Dr. Taylor Marshall
Those highly unfortunate misinformed views which Muhammad learned from his family and neighbours have been perpetuated by muslims to a greater or lesser degree down through the centuries, compelling muslims such as those found among the chapters of ISIS to hate and attack those who are deemed to be a threat to Islam.

Sadly, the present age is not the only time muslims have attacked Christians and Christian teaching without really taking the time to understand that which they attack.

The university of Love — educating for evangelization.

Christians have studied the texts of other religions because, in addition to being the religion of love, Christianity is the religion of Truth. Christians have an obligation to uncover the Truth covered over, as it often is, by human inventions, to discover more about God and His creation. And, Christians, the founders of universities and hospitals, have directed university and missionary resources to first examine cultures for evidence of the Truth of God to then shine the light of the Gospel upon diverse cultures and religions to reveal to those cultures the fullness of Truth found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love of Truth and a desire to bring others to the fullness of Truth are two reasons why Christian scholars/missionaries have invested so much effort to further dialogue between Christians and the followers of other religions. Illuminating Greek thought was something Saint Paul did well. Saint Paul, and for that matter Saint John, drew out of his dialogues with Greek culture and philosophy the hidden Truth (cf. Acts 17:16-34). Saint Thomas Aquinas accessed the treasures of classical philosophy and placed it in service of the Gospel. The Summa Theologica, Thomas' magnum opus, is a worthy read by anyone with the courage and humility to pursue the Truth found in its pages.

Christians have not always been able to pursue effective dialogue with Islam. Difficult historical conditions often prevented any serious dialogue (cf. Madden). Lately, however, largely through initiatives sponsored by the Catholic Church, muslims have been brought together with Catholics and other Christians and Jews to discuss differences. Few can match the commitment of popes of recent memory who have made significant gestures of hospitality to diverse groups to come to Italy to explore interfaith questions. Sadly, efforts by the Holy See and other local Church initiatives have not resulted in an equal number of enthusiastic reciprocal ventures by our partners in dialogue. It would seem that only Christians have a passion for conversation.

Christian love vs ISIS hate

Muslims who convert to the Catholic Faith speak of a sublime love present in the Gospel but absent in the Quran, a love that pulls them toward the beauty and truth of the Gospel and away from the violence of the Quran. Seekers find a most profound, life changing love that awakens in each disciple the truth that Jesus is God, and that Islamic teaching is completely inadequate compared to Jesus' message of love and forgiveness.

Find the Church

As the Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald of the Greek Orthodox Church reminds us,
the Christian Faith and the Church are inseparable. It is impossible to know Christ, to share in the life of the Holy Trinity, or to be considered a Christian, apart from the Church. It is in the Church that the Christian Faith is proclaimed and maintained. It is through the Church that an individual is nurtured in the Faith.
In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,... .
775 "The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men." The Church's first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God. Because men's communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues"; at the same time, the Church is the "sign and instrument" of the full realization of the unity yet to come.
776 As sacrament, the Church is Christ's instrument. "She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all," "the universal sacrament of salvation," by which Christ is "at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God's love for men." The Church "is the visible plan of God's love for humanity," because God desires "that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit."
846 Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the (Second Vatican) Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.
Want more? Visit a local Catholic parish and ask about instruction in the Faith. Pray—ask Jesus to show Himself to you and to guide you closer to Him.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.