#MoralStory: Meet Me In The Stairwell

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001? Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke-filled room with a man who called his wife to say “Goodbye.” I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, “Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is okay…I am ready to go.”

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn’t coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. “I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!” I said. “Of course, I will show you the way home – only believe in Me now.”

I was at the base of the building with the priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?Read More »

#ShortNews: African Christians are converting Chinese workers in Africa

African Christians, especially evangelicals, are converting Chinese workers in Africa, this according to Christopher Rhodes, a lecturer at Boston University’s College of General Studies, in an article dated 13 February published in Unherd.

“Many local African churches have reached out to Chinese workers, including incorporating Mandarin into services,” Rhodes writes. “A number of Chinese, in turn, have welcomed the sense of community and belonging that these Christian churches offer”. “Many of these Chinese workers are returning home, and they’re bringing their newfound religion with them. Visitors to the coastal province of Fujian, for example, now hear South African accented English and see houses adorned with crosses.”

Read full article: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/African-Evangelical-Christians-converting-China-46278.html

#ShortNews: 170 students kidnapped from Catholic school in Cameroon, released 1 day later

A new mass abduction of students from a school in the English-speaking area of Cameroon, carried out by guerrillas demanding independence from the rest of the country. On 16 February 2019, unidentified gunmen came into the campus of Saint Augustine’s College, in the northwest region, shortly after 6 a.m., and abducted some members of the College Community. They took along 170 students, 2 college security guards, one teacher and three of his children.

The abductees were released sometime in the afternoon of Sunday 17 February 2019. Shortly after that, they assembled in the main mission station of St Paul’s Parish, Kikaikom. From there, they were conveyed by the authorities of the Diocese of Kumbo, back to the college Campus. Following the serious episode, the school was temporarily closed.

Read full article: http://www.fides.org/en/news/65597-AFRICA_CAMEROON_170_students_of_the_Catholic_school_of_Kumbo_kidnapped_and_then_freed_by_English_speaking_secessionists

#ShortNews: Pope Francis, ‘Where is your brother?’

“Where is your brother?” This is the question that God asks each one of us in our hearts regarding our brother who is sick, in prison or hungry. Pope Francis made this the reflection of his homily at Mass, Monday morning, in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.

“Where is your brother who is hungry?” the Lord asks us. And to save our skin, we answer, “Surely he is at lunch with the parish Caritas group that is feeding him.”

“What about the other, the sick…?” “Oh well, he is in the hospital!” “But there’s no place in the hospital! And did you give him any medicine? ” “But, that’s his business, I cannot meddle in the life of others … and besides, he will have relatives who give him medicine “. And so I wash my hands of him.

“Where is your brother, the prisoner?” “Ah, he deserves and is paying for it.” We are tired of seeing so many criminals on the street.

Perhaps, the Pope said, you never hear such answers from the Lord. “Where is your brother, your exploited brother, the one who works illegally, nine months a year… with no security, no holiday …?”

Read the full Homily: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2019-02/pope-francis-mass-santa-marta-brother-cain-abel.html

Faith that uproots trees

Doesn’t it just drive you nuts when you ask a friend for help and he (or she) doesn’t do anything but agree that you need the help? In Gospel reading, the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. And we lean forward in our seats, eager to hear the answer. Tell us, Jesus, tell us! What’s the key to greater faith?

But instead of preaching a good homily on “10 Keys to Stronger Faith,” Jesus tells us how poor our faith is. I can’t uproot a tree by praying over it, can you? Gee, thanks for the discouragement, Lord. Seems like we all have faith that’s smaller than the itty bitty mustard seed.

Well, the fact is, there is no key to stronger faith. There is no secret method, no special formula. It’s a way of life. It involves staying closely connected to the Spirit of God. Faith is not something that we can build up; faith is purely a gift of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 12:9). To the extent that we’re in communion with Christ’s Spirit, that’s the extent to which our faith can uproot trees.

Oh-oh. I just went outside and stood in front of a palm tree (I live in Florida) and commanded it to uproot itself, but nothing happened. I guess I’m not in a very good relationship with the Holy Spirit.Read More »

Saint Juliana of Nicomedia

saint-julianaSaint Juliana, daughter of an illustrious pagan named Africanus, was born in Nicomedia; and as a child was betrothed to the Senator Eleusius, one of the emperor’s advisors. When she was young Juliana secretly accepted holy baptism.

Africanus was hostile to the Christians and has arranged for his daughter betrothal to a senator. When the time of her wedding approached, Juliana who has dedicated herself to virginity refused to be married. Her father urged her not to break her engagement, but when she refused to obey him, he handed her over to the Governor, her former fiancé. Elusius again asked Juliana to marry him, but she again refused. The infuriated governor ordered her to be imprisoned and tortured.

While imprisoned, Juliana was visited by the devil, disguised as a messenger from God and who told her to agree to offer sacrifice to pagan idols. Juliana is said to have seen through the deception, and she spat on the devil. Juliana was severely tortured; roasted in flames, then dipped into boiling oil before finally being beheaded in 304. She was martyred during the persecution of Maximilian.Read More »