A Resurrection, of Sorts, for Iraqi Christian Refugees

A Christian couple brings new life to America, and pro-lifers celebrate with them.

04/23/2011 Comments (4)
2009 CNS photo/Khalid al-Mousuly, Reuters

A masked policeman mans a machine gun atop an armored vehicle outside a Christian church in Mosul, Iraq. The city imposed a curfew on vehicles in Christian neighborhoods in July 2009 in response to a series of bomb attacks targeting churches in Mosul and Baghdad, police said.

– 2009 CNS photo/Khalid al-Mousuly, Reuters

Paulos and Maryam are refugees from Iraq. They came to the United States six months ago, after spending a year and a half in Turkey as asylum-seekers under a U.N. program.

They are part of the flood of Christians who have left countries like Iraq in the face of Islamist persecution. And countries like Iraq, which were once proud Christian lands, are seeing the ancient Christian communities disappear.

I am using pseudonyms in referring to them because they — and their family members back home — are not out of danger.

And what does that danger look like? We’ve seen plenty of it on the news — and continue to, unfortunately. Some of the worst happened in Baghdad last October, and Paulos...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, iraq, islam, persecution of christians, planned parenthood, pro-lifers, refugees

Mother Teresa on Suffering

04/23/2011 Comments (8)

On Easter I can’t help but think about suffering all around the world and its meaning. I could give you my poorly formulated thoughts, but I came across this wonderful interview of Mother Teresa by William F. Buckley on his “Firing Line” show. They spend a great deal of time discussing suffering and I thought it’s definitely worth passing on.

In one great story early in the video, Mother Teresa said she told one cancer patient that pain means Jesus is near to you and that suffering is “an opportunity to share in the passion of Christ.” She said she compared suffering to kisses from Jesus. She said the person replied, “Please tell Jesus to stop kissing me.”


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14 Do's and Don'ts for Blog Commenting

04/22/2011 Comments (56)

I love the commenters here at the National Catholic Register. I really do. They constantly remind me of how intelligent, thoughtful, fun and witty the readership is here.

In the interest of encouraging more of it, I thought some tips on good blog-commenting would be in order. These are not to accuse anyone of anything, just to help all of us. I’ve been (and still often am) guilty of violating many of these myself.


1) Do not copy and paste large chunks of text from other sources. Rather, put a very short quote and then link to the rest somewhere.

2) Do not copy and paste somebody else’s entire comment as part of your comment and then go line by line responding tit-for-tat...READ MORE

Filed under blogging, catholic, commenting, etiquette, faith, self-help, tips

Why the World Needs Good Friday

04/22/2011 Comments (25)

One of the advantages of coming to Christianity from lifelong atheism was that I got to read the New Testament like a suspense story. I knew from cultural osmosis that Jesus was born in a manger, that three wise men visited, and that he was eventually crucified, but I that was about it. So I was caught off guard when I learned the details of his conviction and execution. I was particularly shocked that many of the same people who shouted “Crucify him!” had joyously hailed his entrance into Jerusalem just a few days earlier. What could explain such a drastic change of heart?

There were undoubtedly many factors at play, and each person who joined in the shouting had his or her own reasons....READ MORE

Filed under crucifixion, culture of death, good friday, suffering

Good Friday

04/22/2011 Comment

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

from “Funeral Blues,” W.H. Auden

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By a Curious Coincidence

04/22/2011 Comments (15)

Good Friday and Earth Day happen to coincide. Recently, the UN outdid itself in sheer pagan silliness by hitting the headlines with some nonsense about giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as human beings.

The notion of treating nature as a person is, in this context, just pure political scam artistry of a particularly ham-fisted type, of course. It is a classic watermelon tactic: green on the outside, red on the inside. An excuse for some bureaucrat to seize draconian power over human beings by pretending to be a Lorax and speaking for the trees (who, for persons, are quite taciturn and not at all demonstrative about their supposed equal rights). That’s the problem with Voiceless Nature:...READ MORE

Filed under good friday

The Crucifixion: Wednesday or Friday?

04/21/2011 Comments (36)

There has been some talk recently about a new book by Cambridge University professor Colin Humphreys that proposes the Last Supper was held on Wednesday of Holy Week (GET IT HERE), rather than on Thursday as it has been traditionally commemorated. I haven’t had a chance to review his arguments yet, but there is room for discussion here. In fact, in his recent, second volume of Jesus of Nazareth (GET IT HERE!), Pope Benedict wrestles with the subject of the Last Supper without coming to a definite conclusion.

Regardless of when precisely the Last Supper took place in Holy Week, one thing both the Cambridge professor and the pontiff are agreed upon is that the Crucifixion took place on...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, colin humphreys, crucifixion, friday, holy week, wednesday

Next Year In Jerusalem

04/21/2011 Comments (67)


Have you taught your children that, while Christmas is very important, it’s really Easter that’s the greatest feast of the year? Do they buy it?

When I was little, this point of doctrine was obvious: All during Holy Week, my father could be heard practicing the Exsultet to chant at the Easter vigil, as my mother fried and ground up liver and onions in preparation for the Passover seder. The fragrant schmaltzy steam of the chicken soup, the palm leaves, bags of jelly beans for Easter Sunday and the boxes of jellied fruit slices for the seder—these were all equally essential for Holy Week. We drooled over the growing heaps of luscious Passover food as we suffered the final pangs of Lenten...READ MORE

Filed under easter, judaism, passover

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