7 Wonders of the World

July 30, 2011 by  
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7 Wonders of the World

Athiests Attack World Trade Center Memorial Cross

July 30, 2011 by  
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World Trade Centre Memorial Cross

World Trade Centre Memorial Cross

The World Trade Center Memorial seems like a logical place to erect a symbol of Christianity. But an atheist group is challenging the cross at this historic location.

American Athiests wants to tear down the World Trade Center cross at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City and has filed a lawsuit, American Atheists v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in New York state court Monday. But Christian legal experts say the attempt is completely out of step with the Constitution.

“One atheist group’s agenda shouldn’t diminish the sacrifice made by the heroes of 9/11,” says ADF Senior Counsel Byron Babione. “A cross like this one simply does not amount to a government establishment of religion under either the U.S. Constitution or the New York Constitution.

“The cross is not only known far and wide as a religious symbol, but also as a symbol of death, remembrance and honor for the dead. Americans have long recognized this. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes atheists to scour the landscape on a mission to seek and destroy memorial crosses.”

The American Center for Law and Justice plans to file a friend-of-the-court brief backing the legality of the Ground Zero cross on behalf of a former 9/11 firefighter and first responder.

“This is another pathetic attempt to rewrite the Constitution and rewrite history by removing a symbol that serves as a powerful remembrance to that fateful attack nearly 10 years ago,” says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ. “This lawsuit is deeply flawed and without merit. It is just the latest chapter of an anti-God strategy employed by atheist organizations across the country—a strategy offensive to millions of Americans, a strategy that we’re confident will ultimately fail in court.”

The ACLJ’s amicus brief supports the legitimacy of the cross, formed by two intersecting steel beams that withstood the Twin Towers’ collapse on Sept. 11, 2001. Among those represented by the ACLJ in its brief is former NYC firefighter and first responder Tim Brown, who lost nearly 100 friends in the attack.

“We will aggressively defend the placement of this cross,” says Sekulow. “This memorial, a powerful part of the history of 9/11, serves as a constitutionally-sound reminder of the horrors that occurred nearly a decade ago.”

– charismamag

Jailed Indian Christians released after six months in Saudi Arabia

July 30, 2011 by  
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Jailed Indian Christians released after six months in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Two Indian Christians who were arrested in Saudi Arabia recently have arrived back in the country after six months of confinement.

Vasantha Sekhar and Nese Yohan were back in their state on Sunday, fourteen days after Saudi officials released them, according to BosNewsLife.

Members of a Pentecostal congregation, Sekhar and Yohan were arrested and beaten on charges of proselytizing in January, 2011.

Both received 45-days of “pre-trial detention” on charges of attempted Christian conversion. They were later moved from the police station to a central jail in the capital Riyadh.

Local Christians believe the January raid and the arrests that followed were to keep believers from practicing Christianity privately in their home.

During the raid, Saudi authorities reportedly confiscated Bibles, Christian literatures, sound equipments and musical instruments. They also painted verses from Koran on the walls of the apartment

Talking with his pastor back in India, Sekhar said that he was pressured to convert to Islam, but that he had refused. “If I have to die for my God, I will die for him here,” Vara said.

Following his arrest, Vara’s employer returned his passport making it clear that his job was no longer available.

“These two Christians have faced false charges and false evidence,” advocacy director of International Christian Concern (ICC), Logan Maurer, earlier commented.

“The Saudi government continues to engage in an array of severe violations of human rights as part of its repression of freedom of religion,” he noted.

Saudi Arabia has a long history of cracking down on Christians. In 2008, 16 Indian workers were allegedly arrested and then released after three days. In 2010, eight left the country of their own accord and three of the remaining eight were issued deportation orders, according to ICC.

About 7 million foreigners work in Saudi Arabia, of which an estimated 1.5 million are Indian nationals. Workers often face torture, forced confessions and unfair trials when they are accused of crimes.

– christiantoday

Christian leader found dead in Kandhamal, Sajan George accuses Hindu radicals

July 30, 2011 by  
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Kandhamal Christian leader, Michael Digal found deadMichael Digal disappeared a few days ago. His body was found last night near the village of Mdikia. Police closed the case, claiming his death was accidental. The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians slams police and the authorities for covering up crimes by Hindu radicals.

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) – The body of Michael Digal, a Christian activist and leader, was found last night near the village of Mdikia (Kandhamal) after days of search. Following the autopsy this morning, police ruled the death “accidental”. However, for Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christian (GCIC), he was ambushed and killed by Hindu extremists for his work on behalf of 2008 pogrom victims and Christian Dalits.

“Even if the police have closed the case, the GCIC will continue to put pressure until Micael and other Christians brutally killed by Hindu radicals get justice,” he said.

An example of such travesty of justice is the murder of Rev Saul Pradhan, a Protestant clergyman who went missing on 10 January. He was found a few days later about two kilometres from his home. Despite the obvious bruises and injuries to his body, the case was closed without any further action.

Three years after pogroms killed dozens of people, Christians in Kandhamal continue to be victimised by extremist groups who operate undisturbed thanks to the complicity of police and state authorities. (N.C.)

– asianews

Justice Dinakaran quits, says was denied ‘fair’ defence, could be because he was born Dalit

July 30, 2011 by  
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Justice Dinakaran

Justice Dinakaran

New Delhi: Asserting that “in spite of my constitutional position, I have been denied fair opportunity to defend myself and my reputation by the Judges Inquiry Committee”, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, who is facing probe on charges of corruption and misconduct, today resigned from his post.

In a two-page resignation letter to Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia, a copy of which is in the possession of The Indian Express, C J Dinakaran has also said that he had the “sneaking suspicion that my misfortune was because of circumstances of my birth in the socially oppressed and underprivileged section of the society”.

Sources in the apex court said his resignation would be forwarded to the President through the Union Law Ministry for acceptance. Dinakaran’s lawyer Amit Anand Tiwari confirmed the development.

The controversial CJ, who had almost made it to the Supreme Court after being cleared by the collegium, has also said that he was resigning “in order to maintain the dignity of the office” and “to prove that I do not have any lust for the office, position and the power and to prove that I do not want to adopt any dilatory tactics”.

On March 16, a three-member committee of jurists comprising Supreme Court Judge Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court CJ J S Khehar and eminent jurist P P Rao had issued a chargesheet levelling 16 charges of corruption and irregularities against Dinakaran. Later, based on Dinakaran’s appeal, Rao was replaced by jurist Mohan Gopal in the panel.

The charges against Dinakaran include possession of wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, illegal encroachment on public property and land belonging to Dalits and acquiring agricultural holdings beyond ceiling.

Attempts by him to get the panel scrapped have proved futile, with a SC Bench refusing to quash any of the charges against him.

In his resignation letter, Dinakaran accused “vested interests” of unfairly targetting him. “On account of my firm views on social justice, strong and independent judiciary and that politics should not be permitted into the judiciary, nor the judiciary should enter political thickets, I could not accommodate undesirable politically motivated requests/ demands while upholding my oath of office to render justice without fear or favour in the course of administration of justice, I have been very calculatively targeted at the instance of the vested interests,” his letter says.

He has also questioned why Rao, a constitutional expert, had been in the committee earlier, pointing out that he had to move the SC to get him removed. “When this committee was constituted, it contained a person who was biased against me. At the earliest opportunity given to me, i.e after receiving the statutory notice, to raise my objection/ to file my statement, I knocked all the doors to see that this biased person is removed from the committee. But to no avail. Orders were passed by the Judge’s Inquiry Committee, consisting of this biased person, behind my back on Sunday. The committee recorded the evidence behind my back. It appointed a lawyer to assist, but in fact to prosecute me on behalf of the committee. The said lawyer collected evidence for fourteen (14) months, compiled 6,300 pages of documents, but I was asked to give a reply within 15 days. It is difficult to comprehend as to how 6,300 pages could be read and answered within such a short period of time,” his letter says.

Saying he had no faith in the panel, Dinakaran says, “..It is also obvious that hearing before the committee is just an empty formality. Hence, I have lost confidence of getting fair hearing and justice even before the reconstituted committee. In above factual background I am unable to repose any faith and confidence in the committee and in the procedure being adopted by them. I am, therefore, of the firm view that there would not be any gainful purpose in appearing before the committee in spite of my innocence.”

– expressindia

March ends Dalit protest

July 30, 2011 by  
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Big turnout blocks capital’s streets as 10,000 march against injustice

Franklin addressing the rally

Franklin addressing the rally

A Dalit Muslim and a Dalit Christian hanging

A Dalit Muslim and a Dalit Christian hanging

A Dalit representative from Kandhamal, Orissa addressing the rally

A Dalit representative from Kandhamal, Orissa addressing the rally

Mr. Hafeez Ahmad Hawwari speaking at the rally

Mr. Hafeez Ahmad Hawwari speaking at the rally

Dalit Muslim volunteers at the rally

Dalit Muslim volunteers at the rally

Women at the forefront

Women at the forefront

A rally by Christians and Muslims demanding statutory benefits for their dalit members blocked traffic today in the main streets of the capital.

More than 10,000 people, including bishops, priests and nuns from across the country braved intense heat to march five kilometers to the Indian parliament.

The march capped a four-day protest that began on Monday with a fast organized by several Christian groups, and ended at Jantar Mantar, a venue designated for public protests in New Delhi.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who attended the rally, has urged the government to grant scheduled caste status to dalit Christians and Muslims.

The prelate, who heads the Catholic Church in India, said excluding them from reservations is “blatant discrimination” and in violation of the Indian constitution, which guarantees equality.

Cardinal Gracias also asked the government to follow its own commission’s recommendation to grand Scheduled Caste status to dalit Christians and Muslims.

The National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, popularly known as the Ranganath Misra Commission, said in a 2007 report that denying the quota right to Christian and Muslim dalits violated justice. The government tabled the report in parliament in 2009.

The National Coordination Committee for Dalit Christians, a joint program of the Catholic Bishops’ Council of India and the National Council of Churches in India, organized the hunger strike and rally.

Organizers have previously said Christians and Muslims of scheduled caste origin should get the educational and employment benefits given to their counterparts in other religions.

– b.k. minj (text)

Indian nuns attacked in Scotland

July 28, 2011 by  
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The house where the Sisters live in Scotland

The house where the Sisters live in Scotland

Scotland, July 28, 2011: A group of drunken youth attacked the house of Indian nuns in Pollok, Scotland, the third such incident in as many years.

The youth smashed a window of the house of Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity by throwing an empty Buckfast bottle at it.

The terrified nuns, who work with the charity founded by Mother Teresa, said the noise was so loud it sounded like there had been an explosion in the house.

“We were sleeping when somebody threw something at the window. It was so loud that the whole house shook. We thought a bomb had gone off. We are praying for the people who did this to change,” said Sister Vianita, the local superior who leads the convent.

When they went outside the next morning to see what had happened, they found the smashed remnants of a green glass bottle.

The nuns have suffered previous attacks by local youths and this one was the third in three years.

All the attacks involve the smashing of an upstairs window through which a crucifix can be seen.

On another occasion thieves stole a statue of the Virgin Mary kept in a glass box outside the house. It was later recovered.

Four nuns live in the semi-detached property, although only two were there at the time of the attack.

The nuns did not call the police as they were too scared to leave the house and did not see any of the suspects.

Although the local community has been supportive of the nuns, some youngsters have abused them previously.

“Some teenagers make fun of us because we dress like Mother Teresa and they think we are Muslims,” the sister said.

The nuns work in the local community, helping vulnerable people such as the elderly or homeless. They also visit people in hospital.

– evening times

Novena to Abba Father – begins 29th July, 2011

July 28, 2011 by  
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Abba FatherDear Friends,

On the 29th of July, 2011 we begin the Novena in honour of our Loving Heavenly Father ABBA, in preparation for His Feast on the 7th of August 2011.

Is there any way in which we could ever totally thank Our Father in heaven for His immense love and mercy and the abundant graces and blessings He pours out on each one of us every day of our lives ????  NO, but we could try !!!!!!  The best way in which we could express our gratitude and reciprocate in some way the love of our Creator for us would be to honour Him on His feast day.  Everyone has a birthday, a feast day, an anniversary, a special memorable occasion, but our Abba has just one day – the 1st Sunday of August which He has set apart as His Feast day.

HIS LOVE HAS NO END !!!!  No Father has greater love for His children than our Abba Father, our Creator.  He showed us this love when He sent JESUS, His Only Son to suffer and die for us, so that we would be saved and one day be with Him in heaven. So then………….

–    How can we not TURN to Him and thank Him for this great love ???
–    How can we not BELIEVE that He knows our names ???
–    How can we not UNDERSTAND His unfathomable mercy and compassion ???
–    How can we not TRUST  in His plans for each one of us ???
–    How can we not KNOW that He holds us in the PALM OF HIS HAND ?????
–    How can we not OBEY His Holy Will ???

Our Loving Abba Father speaks to us through Mother Eugenia E. Ravasio in the book “The Father Speaks to His Children” and He says ….I assure you, you do not know Me as I am, because I am coming to proclaim Myself the Father of all and the most tender of fathers, in order to transform your love, which has become distorted by fear. I come to make Myself similar to My creatures, to correct the idea you have of a terrifyingly just God, as I see men spending their whole lives without confiding in their only Father, Whose only wish is to make their earthly life easier and then give them a divine life, in heaven. This is a proof that souls do not know Me any more than you do, not having overcome the idea you have about Me. But now I am giving you this light. Remain in the light and bring it to everybody, and it will be a powerful means both to obtain conversions and to shut, if possible, the gates of hell, for I now repeat My promise, which will last for ever: ALL THOSE WHO CALL ME BY THE NAME OF FATHER, EVEN IF ONLY ONCE, WILL NOT PERISH, BUT WILL BE SURE OF THEIR ETERNAL LIFE AMONG THE CHOSEN ONES…

Abba Father wants us to love Him and not to be afraid of Him as that frightening old man, whom men depict in their pictures and books; He wants us to treat Him as our personal Friend and our Father.

Let us learn to love, honour and praise our Father in heaven, the kindest of all Fathers, the sweetest and most gentle of all Friends, for He will always be the Joy of our hearts, our Unshakeable Foundation, our safe Refuge and our Pillar of strength, if only we are anchored IN HIM.

Let us then prepare for this great Feast of our Heavenly Father by making a ‘Thanksgiving Novena’ in His honour and surrendering ourselves to Him totally, unconditionally and unreservedly, and by allowing Him to work in us, with us and through us, to spread His message of love, peace and joy.
The Novena begins on the 29th of July. Please make this novena with your family members and let Him be the Lord of our homes Who guides our minds, hearts, and lives as we surrender our will into His Loving Hands.
God bless U and your families 



“Through Him, with Him, in Him”

God is My Father
My Father in Heaven, how sweet it is to know that You are My Father and that I am Your child!  Especially when the skies of my soul are cloudy and my cross weighs more heavily, I feel the need to repeat to You: Father I believe in Your love for me!

Yes, I believe that You are a Father to me at every moment of my life and that I am Your child!

I believe that You love me with an infinite love!
I believe that You are watching over me night and day and that not a hair falls from my head without Your permission!
I believe that in Your infinite wisdom, You know better that I what is good for me!
I believe that in Your infinite power, You can bring good even out of evil!
I believe that in Your infinite goodness, You make everything to the advantage of those who love You; even under the hands of those who strike me, I kiss Your hand which heals!
I believe, but increase in me faith, hope and love!

Teach me always to see Your love as my guide in every event of my life.
Teach me to surrender myself to You like a baby in its mother’s arms.

Father, You know everything, You see everything, You know me better that I know myself, You can do everything and You love me!
My Father, since it is Your wish that we should always turn to You, I come with confidence to ask You, together with Jesus and Mary … (here request the favour you desire)
For this intention, and uniting myself to their Most Sacred Hearts, I offer You all my prayers, my sacrifices and mortifications, all my actions and greater faithfulness to my duties.
Give me the light, the grace and the power of The Holy Ghost!
Strengthen me in the Holy Ghost that I may never lose Him, never sadden Him, and never allow Him to become weaker in me.
My Father, I ask this in the Name of Jesus Your Son!   And You Jesus, open Your Heart and place in It my own, and together with Mary’s, offer it to Our Divine Father!  Obtain for me the grace that I need!
Divine Father, call all men to Yourself.  Let all the world proclaim Your fatherly goodness and Your Divine Mercy!  Be a tender Father to me and protect me wherever I am, like the apple of Your eye.  Make me always a worthy son/daughter; have mercy on me!
Divine Father, sweet hope of our souls, may You be known, honoured and loved by all men!
Divine Father, infinite goodness poured out on all peoples, may You be known, honoured and loved by all men!
Divine Father, beneficent dew of humanity, may You be known, honoured and loved by all men!

Thanksgiving Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank You for having given us this opportunity to spend time in prayer and thanksgiving to You Our Merciful God.  We thank You for having given us the gift of life.  We thank You for our families, our friends and all who constantly reflect Your love and mercy to us.  We thank You for the infinite love You have shown to each one of us, Your love Dear Father is our hope, it is due to this immense love that we were saved from the tyranny of the evil one.  We thank You for Your unfathomable mercy, which has touched and melted the hearts of so many of us and changed us from souls hardened and embittered by the storms of life to souls burning with love for You.  We thank You for the great care and concern You have for each one of us; You Our Loving Father protect us so tenderly and keep us safe in the palm of Your Hand.  We thank You Good Father for answering all our prayers and providing for all our needs.  May we never fail to praise You Our Father and give You thanks and may we always remember that Your love will follow us wherever we go and be our consolation in moment of grief.
Loving Father, Our Lord and Creator, we praise You, we adore You, we love You and we thank You.
Merciful Jesus, Only Begotten Son of the Father, we praise You, we adore You, we love You and we thank You.
Holy Ghost, Our Sanctifier and Guide, we praise You, we adore You, we love You and we thank You.
Our Lady, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, pray for us.
All angels and saints, pray for us.
Method of praying the nine days Novena to The Father:
1. Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”.
2. Read the Passage from Scripture.
3. Recite the Prayer for the day.
4. Thanksgiving Prayer.   

“I am The Eternal One, and when I was alone, I had already thought of using all my power to create beings in My image.  But material creation had to come first, so that these beings could find their means of sustenance; it was then that I created the world.  I filled it with all the things I knew would be necessary to men; air, sun and rain, and many other things that I knew to be necessary for their life.  In the end, man was created”.  (from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-4
Prayer for the day
O God, My Father, thank You for the world in which I live, for all the beautiful things in it, for all the interesting things in it, for all the useful things in it.  Thank You for the life You have given me, for my body to act, my mind to think, my memory to remember, my heart to love.  Thank You for giving me so many things to enjoy, so many things to do, so many people to love.  Help me never to do anything that would make the world uglier or people sadder.  Help me to always add something to the world’s beauty and the world’s joy.
Give me a sense of responsibility for Your world.  Keep me away from doing things without thinking, from being carelessly or deliberately destructive, from failing to grasp the opportunities which are offered to me.  Help me to always use my time and life wisely and productively.  I make this prayer through Jesus Christ Your Son Our Lord.  Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer
“My Son Jesus is in Me and I am in Him, in our interchanging love which is The Holy Spirit, Who keeps us united in this bond of love so as to make us ONE”.  (from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – John 14:5-14
Prayer for the day
We long to see Your Face, O Father, Your Glorious, Wondrous Face,
Your Loving, Merciful, Adorable Face Father,
You are Majesty Personified, Brilliant,
far more brilliant than a thousand suns lit up together.
Your Love shines brightly, driving away the shadows from our souls.
Eternal Father, Compassionate God, transform us
Into living reflectors of Your love to the world.
Let those who come in contact with us,
No longer see us, but You.
Give us the graces we need.
Shield and defend us from the foe malign.  Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer
“The more evil grew, the more My goodness urged Me to communicate with just souls so that they could transmit My commands to those who were creating disorder.  I was sometimes obliged to be strict in order to reprove them; not to punish them – that would only have done harm – but to take them away from vice and lead them to Their Father and Their Creator, whom they have forgotten and ignored in their ingratitude.  Later evil overwhelmed men’s hearts to such an extent that I was compelled to send calamites upon the world to purify men through suffering, the destruction of their possessions, or even their death”.  (from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – Hebrews 12:5-11
Prayer for the day
O God, Eternal Source of all goodness
You desire perfection in everyone, and so permit us to go through
torments and sufferings in order that we be purified of all sin.
O Merciful Father, grant us the grace to remain true to You
And never give in to despair.
Let us remember that Your grace will sustain us
In the midst of trials and temptations.
Grant us O Master the grace to seek to please You.
By suffering with great love for You, by not complaining
When our burdens seem heavy and troubles pour down on us like rain.
Grant us the grace to love You in every circumstance
And to believe in Your infinite love for us.  Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer
“I know your needs, your desires and everything in your hearts.  But how happy and grateful I would be if I saw you coming to Me and confiding in Me your needs, like a son  who has total trust in his father.  How could I refuse the smallest or biggest thing if you asked Me?”.
(from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – Psalm 65:9-13
Prayer for the day
O Merciful, Kind and Loving Father, You are so concerned about us
You look upon us with such infinite love,
You give us what we need unstintingly, unreservedly.
You are The Source of all goodness
We commend ourselves to You
You know what is best for us
We praise You and glorify You
We are Yours and Yours alone
Do with us what You will.  Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer
“A mother never forgets the little creature she has brought into the world.  So if a mother loves the little being I gave her, I love him more than she does, because I created him.  Even if it happens that a mother loves her child less because of some defect, I, on the contrary, will love him still more.  I will always love him, and even if he no longer remembers Me, his Father and Creator, I will still remember him and love him”.  (from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading  – Hosea 11:1-4
Prayer for the day
Merciful God, Creator of all
We believe in Thee.
Thou art the Omnipotent, The Omniscient, The Omnipresent.
Thou hast created us all from nothing
Thou hast called us by name
Thou hast carved us on the palm of Thy Hand
Thou will not forget us
Thou hast consecrated us to Thyself
Thou lovest us all, each and everyone
Infinitely, unconditionally.
O Father in Heaven, keep us from all evil
Protect us from the snares of the tempter
And lead us into Thy Kingdom.  Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer
“As for you, souls in a state of sin, or who are ignorant of religious truth, I will not be able to enter you; however I will be close to you, because I never stop calling you, inviting you to desire to receive the benefits I bring you, so that you may see the light and be healed of sin.  I spend days, sometimes years, close to some soul to be able to ensure their eternal happiness.  They do not know that I am there waiting for them, calling them every moment of the day.  However, I never become weary and I still feel joy in remaining close to you, always hoping that you will return to Your Father some day and that you will at least offer Me some act of love before you die”.  (from :The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – Luke 15:11-32
Prayer for the day
Let us never fail to praise the infinity of God’s mercy, From His Merciful Heart
flows torrents of love to flood the souls of us poor sinners.
O Merciful Father, O Majestic and Omnipotent One
Look at us wretched sinners with Thy merciful eyes
We come to Thee Our Loving Father trusting in Thy abundant mercy.
O Kind Eternal Father we have offended Thee ever so often
But now we come repentant humbly kneeling before Thee.
Forgive us we beg Thee O Father in Heaven
Be gracious to us we plead, our sins are as numerous as the stars in the sky
Our souls are stained and scarred by our transgressions
Still we look to Thee Dear Father and implore Thy mercy.
Eternal Father, pardon us and be merciful to us
Now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer
“I want to protect the young people as a tender Father.  There is so much evil in the world!  These poor inexperienced souls are letting themselves be seduced by the attraction of vice which, little by little, leads to total ruin.  You who especially need someone to take care of you in life, so that you can avoid evil, come to Me!  I am The Father WHO loves you more than any other creature will ever be able to do!  Take refuge close, very close to Me, confide in Me your thoughts and your desires”.  (from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer  “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – Psalm 91:1-16
Prayer for the day
Dear Lord, You alone are my Strength
You alone are my Refuge, my Consoler, my Hope
My enemies have surrounded me, I have no one to cry out to but You
But I know that You will not forsake me, You will not abandon me
Your Presence is not just a ray, but a flood of light
Which drives away the shadows from my soul
In the darkest moments You are closest to me, You will not leave me
You will not let my enemies triumph over me
Instill in me a sense of serenity to accept with love all the trials ahead
Never allow bitterness and resentment to take over me
Let these trials change me for the better, not make me bitter.
O Father in Heaven I commend myself to You
Let Your will be done always.  Amen.

Thanksgiving Prayer
“Tell them to come to Me.  I will help them, I will lighten their burden and sweeten their hard life.  I will inebriate them with My Fatherly Love, to make them happy in time and eternity”.
(from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – Lamentations 3:52-58
Prayer for the day
Lord, You are the Friend of a lonely heart
The comfort of a troubled soul, come to my rescue
Pull me out of this sea of despair
You are my Hope, my Comforter,
You will not fail me, You will not abandon me
I trust in You, I believe in Your love for me
Thank You My Father, for Your presence
For Your loving Hand that soothes and heals.  Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer
“I have great plans for you”.  (from “The Father speaks to His children” the message given by The Father to Mother Eugenia)
Recite the Prayer “God is My Father”
Scripture Reading – Jeremiah 29:11-14
Prayer for the day
Teach me Your ways O Lord
Guide me along the path You have chosen me to tread
Teach me Your will, how I may please You daily
Show me the way I should go
Give me the grace Your plan to fulfill
Guide me, shield me, protect me now
And at the hour of my death. Amen.
Thanksgiving Prayer


fwd courtesy: christopher ananias

The curious and sad case of Farah Hatim

July 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Asia, newsletter-asia, Pakistan, Persecution

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Farah Hatim

Farah Hatim

South Punjab, Pakistan, 26 July 2011: Farah Hatim, 24, a resident of Rahim Yar Khan, a city in South Punjab, Pakistan, was allegedly abducted on May 8, 2011 by a Muslim man and his brothers, and was forced to convert to Islam and then marry the Muslim.

Now a Pakistani human rights organization and the Catholic Church in the country has condemned the act and demanded action for what they call a “violation of human rights.”

The Justice and Peace Commission is leading the case, which they took to the Session Court, and since they took this action, there have been claims that the police had been threatening Farah Hatim’s family and also that the Session Judge, Khawaja Mir, decided to transfer the case to the High Court for a hearing due to the sensitivity of the matter.”

The appeal at the High Court was presented by the Justice and Peace Commission along with the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA).

Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman from the High Court Bahawalpur bench had instructed the Rahim Yar Khan district police, and the families, to appear before the court on July 20, 2011.

The Judge then questioned Farah Hatim and asked her if she had been kidnapped and also if she had gone with the Muslim man of her own will.

After a few moments of silence, according to an eye-witness, she said, “I went of my own will.” He then followed up with a more questions and the judge then announced that Farah will now be living with her “new family.”

The eye-witness told ANS that Farah Hatim then “broke into tears” as the court announced the decision.

Farah Hatim was allowed a few moments to meet with her family and later, Hatim’s brother said, “I am shocked at what Farah said in the court. She is under threat and now all hopes are gone for her return to us. Why did we have to face this? It is only because we are Christians!”

According to a spokesperson for the Justice and Peace Commission, “Farah has become a victim of a racket that is involved in prostitution. Her ‘husband’ tried to force her into prostitution while she was a student at the Sheikh Zaid Medical College in Rahim Yar Khan, but at the time she refused.

“Because of this, he decided to take his revenge. The current decision by Farah to not speak out is possibly because she is pregnant and fears that her family will be killed if she tries to go back to them. Even if she had taken the brave stance of returning, she wouldn’t have been accepted by society as she had been kidnapped and raped. The fear of rejection is also a possible reason.”
According to the spokesperson, “Thousands of girls from the minorities here in Pakistan are kidnapped and forced into marriage. We are fighting against the cancer of kidnapping and these forced marriages.”

The Hatim family, now in despair, has appealed to the high authorities to take actions or legislate laws against forced marriages that “convert” minorities.

Farah’s elder brother, with tears in his eyes outside the court, then said, “We don’t want this to happen again to any other girls. We have lost our sister and we know how it feels. The pain is unexplainable. We are targeted because we are minorities and we demand that the government not to abandon the minorities.”

According to the Catholic News Agency (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com), a leading Vatican diplomat said that the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights should intervene in the case of Farah Hatim.

Freedom of religion is “a test for the respect of all human rights,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the head of the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

At least 700 Christian girls are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam every year, Fides reports.

Archbishop Tomasi called the alleged crime against Farah “a violation of human rights, freedom of conscience and religion, and abuse of personal freedom, freedom to choose how to live one’s life.”

No one can communicate with Farah at present, the archbishop said on June 15, 2011.

He suggested a mechanism be created for these situations to allow the family and state officials to investigate and determine the truth.

Archbishop Tomasi recommended that the U.N. Council for Human Rights create such a venue. Some U.N.-accredited Catholic NGOs are receiving direct information from Pakistan and are collecting data to present a report to the council.

“Solidarity with Christians who suffer for their faith … must be remembered,” Archbishop Tomasi said.

International mechanisms to protect persecuted people should be used and the “indifference” of Western media should be “shaken” because “they often do not report the discrimination that millions of believers suffer.”

Pakistan faces problems in the education system, problems of corruption and “widespread extremism,” he added.

The Guardian newspaper in the UK has reported, “In much of Pakistan, marriage clearly is imposed on women against their will. Those brave enough to complain to the courts or run from their homes are hunted down by their families and forced to return or, all too frequently, murdered to restore a distorted sense of honor. The police usually turn a blind eye.”

The story added, “Many of the women need medical care and psychological counseling, but they are free to leave the house by day to work or shop for their children, if they wish.

“One woman, Razia, was forced into a marriage when she was 13 and regularly beaten and locked in a room by her husband. ‘He said if I told anyone he would kill me,’ she said.

“After a beating late one night she broke down, poured kerosene over her head and set herself alight. ‘I felt that death was better than this life,’ she said. Her husband quickly divorced her and married again.”

The United Nations views forced marriage as a form of human rights abuse, since it violates the principle of the freedom and autonomy of individuals. The Roman Catholic Church deems forced marriage grounds for granting an annulment — for a marriage to be valid both parties must give their consent freely.

Sadly, in this case, Farah Hatim now has to endure her “forced marriage” and “conversion,” and all we can now do for her is to pray that she will be protected in this situation.

– d. wooding & r. samsonans (ans)

Archdiocese to build homes for jubilee

July 28, 2011 by  
Filed under India, Kerala, newsletter-india, Persecution

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Archdiocese of Trivandrum

July 26, 2011: A southern Indian archdiocese plans to build 75 houses for the homeless and set up a spirituality center to mark its platinum jubilee.

“We will focus the human resources development of the faithful,” Archbishop Maria Calist Soosa Pakiam of Trivandrum told ucanews.com yesterday. He also said the “synod has charted a 25-year road map for the archdiocese.

The Latin rite archdiocese “serves the most backward people who lack opportunities,” the prelate said.

There is another archdiocese with the same name but belongs to the Syro-Malankara Church. Both are based in the Kerala state capital of Thiruvananthapuram.

The Latin archdiocese on July 24 launched a year-long program to mark its 75 years.

The prelate said the archdiocese would also set up colleges for marine technology and nursing during the jubilee year.

“We have already started work on a football academy and a chapel commemorating the late Pope John Paul II’s visit to the city,” the archbishop said.

The archdiocese now has 244,000 Catholics living in 84 parishes and 33 missions.

– ucan

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