War-mongering is self-justifying. If you bungle a war in Iraq, it does not mean you need to sit back and reflect on the bungling. It means you should make more war, lest Iraq become a base for your enemies. If Vladimir Putin violates Ukrainian sovereignty, it is evidence for a more muscular approach. If he doesn’t, than it is evidence that he fears American power. If there are no terrorist attacks on American soil, than drones must be right and our security state must be effective. If there are attacks, then our security state must increase its surveillance, and more bombs should be dropped. Violence begets violence. Peace begets violence. The circle continues.
In September 1941, a medical officer performed a deed so heroic he was awarded an Iron Cross by the German high command. With little regard for his own safety, and in the face of heavy Soviet shelling, Major Leo Skurnik, a district doctor who had once fostered ambitions of becoming a concert pianist, organised the evacuation of a field hospital on the Finnish-Russian border, saving the lives of more than 600 men, including members of the SS.
Skurnik was far from the only soldier to be awarded the Iron Cross during the Second World War. More than four million people received the decoration. But there was one fact about him that makes the recommendation remarkable: he was Jewish. And Skurnik was not the only Jew fighting on the side of the Germans. More than 300 Jews found themselves in league with the Nazis when Finland, who had a mutual enemy in the Soviet Union, joined the war in June 1941.
The alliance between Hitler and the race he vowed to annihilate—the only instance of Jews fighting for Germany’s allies—is one of the most extraordinary aspects of the Second World War, and yet hardly anyone, including many Finns, know anything about it.
Yes, we take pleasure in color, integrity, harmony, radiance, and so on; and yet, as anyone who troubles to consult his or her experience of the world knows, we also frequently find ourselves stirred and moved and delighted by objects whose visible appearances or tones or other qualities violate all of these canons of aesthetic value, and that somehow “shine” with a fuller beauty as a result. Conversely, many objects that possess all these ideal features often bore us, or even appall us, with their banality. At times, the obscure enchants us and the lucid leaves us untouched; plangent dissonances can awaken our imaginations far more delightfully than simple harmonies that quickly become insipid; a face almost wholly devoid of conventionally pleasing features can seem unutterably beautiful to us in its very disproportion, while the most exquisite profile can do no more than charm us. The tenebrous canvases of Rembrandt are beautiful, while the shrill daubs of Thomas Kinkade, with all their sugary glitter, are repellant. Whatever the beautiful is, it is not simply harmony or symmetry or consonance or ordonnance or brightness, all of which can become anodyne or vacuous of themselves; the beautiful can be encountered—sometimes shatteringly—precisely where all of these things are deficient or largely absent. Beauty is something other than the visible or audible or conceptual agreement of parts, and the experience of beauty can never be wholly reduced to any set of material constituents. It is something mysterious, prodigal, often unanticipated, even capricious. We can find ourselves suddenly amazed by some strange and indefinable glory in a barren field, an urban ruin, the splendid disarray of a storm-wracked forest, and so on.
The most lethal anti-Christian pogrom of the last two decades broke out in the northeastern Indian state of Orissa in 2008, when machete-wielding Hindu radicals went on a rampage that left an estimated 500 Christians dead and thousands more injured.
Dans la note 51 de l’exhortation “Evangelii gaudium”, voici les phrases de deux Pères de l’Église que le pape François applique à l’accès des divorcés remariés à la communion :
Saint Ambroise, dans le “De Sacramentis” : “Je dois toujours le recevoir, pour que toujours il remette mes péchés. Moi qui pèche toujours, je dois avoir toujours un remède”. Et aussi : “Celui qui a mangé la manne est mort. Celui qui aura mangé de ce corps obtiendra la rémission de ses péchés”.
Saint Cyrille d’Alexandrie, dans son commentaire de l’évangile de Jean : “Je me suis examiné et j’ai reconnu que j’étais indigne. À ceux qui parlent ainsi, je dis : et quand serez-vous dignes ? Quand vous présenterez-vous alors devant le Christ ? Si vos péchés vous empêchent de vous approcher et si vous ne cessez jamais de tomber – qui connaît ses fautes ? dit le psaume – resterez-vous sans prendre part à la sanctification qui fait vivre pour l’éternité ?”.
The church was now a quarter full and it went on filling: a constant stream of people were entering, crossing themselves, buying candles, sticking them in the chandeliers, kissing the walls, prostrating themselves, exchanging news, curiously at ease in this world, which was nevertheless, so obviously, an enclave, a pocket, of the beyond. But this was because those people felt at ease in the beyond. They had friends among the saints, and knew each one’s particular character and speciality; the etiquette of the place was familiar to some, others invented their own, convinced that whatever they did would please God. Vexingly easygoing.
Many people who are given up for adoption at birth assume it is because they are “unwanted”.
But here is where that is untrue.
One, your birth mother chose life for you. She chose the possibility of being labeled scandalous and the subject of ridicule to save your life. She chose you over herself.
Two, your birth mother knew that you would benefit from a family, as she felt she was not yet capable of taking care of you. She still carried you in her body, felt your excited kick, knew you were growing every day, and still decided that you deserved better then what she could give you, despite how much it may hurt her to let you go.
Three, you were adopted by parents who needed you because they couldn’t have you themselves. They prayed, hoped, waited for and loved you before they knew you even were to exist.
So you see, in your life you have received not one act of love, but three ultimate and sacrificial acts of love. I’m very sorry to hear that you feel as if there is a stigma attached to adoption, or to you, but you should know that your life is so extremely precious, and you are so extremely wonderful, that several people over were willing to preform such great acts of love for you.
Anyone, whether that person is Catholic, Christian, or anything else, who thinks there is anything wrong with you simply because you were adopted must suffer internally from some form of jealousy as it is so apparent you are loved so much. I personally do not know any Catholic who would ever view an adopted person as less then themselves in anyway, if anything in the current world we live in you are viewed as an absolute miracle.
Sometimes people who feel hurt inside themselves reflect that darkness on to other people. Don’t let others around you make you feel like you are any less. You are loved and precious, several times over.