Author: FrancisMary

China Shuts Down Christian Churches, Destroys Crosses, Burn Bibles

China Shuts Down Christian Churches, Destroys Crosses, Burn Bibles

China’s government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.

The campaign corresponds with a drive to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the officially atheist Communist Party and eliminating any challenge to its power over people’s lives.

Bob Fu of the U.S.-based group China Aid said over the weekend that the closure of churches in central Henan province and a prominent house church in Beijing in recent weeks represents a “significant escalation” of the crackdown.

“The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” he wrote in an email.

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, religious believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.

Fu also provided video footage of what appeared to be piles of burning bibles and forms stating that the signatories had renounced their Christian faith. He said that marked the first time since Mao’s radical 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that Christians had been compelled to make such declarations, under pain of expulsion from school and the loss of welfare benefits.

A Christian pastor in the Henan city of Nanyang said crosses, bibles and furniture were burned during a raid on his church on Sept. 5.

The pastor, who asked not to be identified by name to avoid repercussions from authorities, said several people entered the church just as it opened its doors at 5 a.m. and began removing items.

He said the church had been in discussions with local authorities who demanded it “reform” itself, but no agreement had been reached or official documents released.

Chinese law requires religious believers to worship only in congregations registered with the authorities, but many millions belong to so-called underground or house churches that defy government restrictions.

A local official reached by phone at the Nanyang city government disputed the account, saying officials respected religious freedom. The man declined to give his name, as is common with Chinese bureaucrats, while a person answering phones at the local religious affairs bureau said they were “not clear” about the matter.

In Beijing, the Zion church was shut on Sunday by around 60 government workers who arrived at 4:30 p.m. accompanied by buses, police cars and fire trucks, the church’s pastor, Ezra Jin Mingri, said Monday. Zion is known as the largest house church in Beijing, with six branches.

The officials declared the gatherings illegal and sealed off church properties, Jin said, after already freezing the pastor’s personal assets in an apparent attempt to force him to comply with their demands.

“Churches will continue to develop. Blocking the sites will only intensify conflicts,” Jin told The Associated Press by phone.

A notice posted Sunday on the website of the Chaoyang district government in Beijing said the Zion Church had been closed because it failed to register with the government.

All of China’s officially recognized religions appear to have been affected by the crackdown. In the most extreme example, an estimated 1 million Uighurs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the country’s northwest have been arbitrarily detained in indoctrination camps where they are forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist Party.

The government says it is taking necessary measures to eliminate extremism, but denies setting up the camps.

China has an estimated 38 million Protestants, and experts have predicted that the country will have the world’s largest Christian population in a few decades.

Worried About Your Children? Say This Prayer To Their Guardian Angels

Worried About Your Children? Say This Prayer To Their Guardian Angels

The world is a dangerous place. When you leave the comforts of your home there is no telling what may happen to you or your children. This has been the case since Adam and Eve and will continue to be so until Jesus comes again.

The good news is that we are not alone.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by [angels and] their watchful care and intercession” (CCC 336). God appoints to each one of us a guardian angel whose mission is to guide, guard and protect. We don’t always see them or sense their presence, but the truth is that they are there, ready and willing to come to our aid.

We just have to ask.

For parents, it is easy to forget that our children have guardian angels and that we can pray to them (through the mediation of our own guardian angel) and invoke their powerful protection over our children. When we can’t physically be there with our children to protect them, it is most appropriate to pray to their guardian angel.

Here is a short prayer that is usually entitled, “A Mother’s Prayer to the Guardian Angels of Her Children,” and is one way that we can quiet our heart and be at peace knowing who is protecting our little ones.

SAY PRAYER

I humbly salute you, O you faithful, heavenly friends of my children! I give you heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them. At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now give, repay your care for them, and before the whole heavenly court acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and protection. Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul. Pray, likewise, for me, for my husband, and my whole family, that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company. Amen.

What To Do When Holy Communion Falls On The Ground At Mass

What To Do When Holy Communion Falls On The Ground At Mass

The Church’s guidelines in this matter highlight the reality of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.

On occasion during the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass, a host will fall to the ground or the precious blood will be accidentally spilled. Whenever this happens, the priest, deacon or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion is instructed to take care that the body and blood of Jesus is treated with the great reverence that it is due.

According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, “If a host or any particle should fall, it is to be picked up reverently; and if any of the Precious Blood is spilled, the area where the spill occurred should be washed with water, and this water should then be poured into the sacrarium in the sacristy” (GIRM, 280). The “sacrarium” is a special basin in the room next to the sanctuary that has a drain directly into the ground. In this way the natural elements are returned to the earth in a dignified manner.

This procedure is taken one step further in an older instruction from a document entitled De Defectibus, where it states, “If the consecrated host, or any particle of it, falls on the ground, it should be reverently taken up, and the place where it fell washed and slightly scraped, the dot or scraping being put into the sacrarium.”

The host that falls is normally consumed, though sometimes it is saved in the sacristy and put in a dish of water and once the host has dissolved enough, the water is poured down the sacrarium.

It is often not possible to complete all these steps during the celebration of Mass, so usually a priest will place a white cloth over the spot so that it can be properly cleaned up after Mass.

The reason why the Church goes at such great lengths to care for the proper handling of the Sacred Species at Mass is because the Church firmly believes in the words of Jesus, “this is my body, this is my blood.” As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “By the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood” (CCC 1376).

With this reality in mind, it is not simply bread and wine that fall to the ground, but the body and blood of our Savior. This belief informs everything the Church does in connection to the Eucharist, recognizing that it is God himself who is present and our response to such accidents should be formed by our personal love of him who created us.

This is not a scrupulous activity, but one filed with tenderness, saddened that our Beloved has fallen to the ground. It is our duty to pick him back up and treat his body and blood with all due reverence.

The “Good Thief” Once Protected Jesus and Mary, Did You Know This?

The “Good Thief” Once Protected Jesus and Mary, Did You Know This?

Does this ancient document show the real reason why Jesus forgave the “Good thief”? Jesus and Mary had met him before

From the Bible:

“One of the criminals who hung there heaped abuse on Him. ‘Are You not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save Yourself and us!’ But the other one rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same judgment? We are punished justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our actions. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” – Luke 23:39-43

Before we begin:

The reason Jesus forgave the Good theif, is because of his infinite mercy and love. He is always willing to save all men who sincerely seek him.

What is the name of St Thief (lol):

Dismas

Luke’s unnamed penitent thief was later assigned the name Dismas in the Gospel of Nicodemus, portions of which may be dated to the 4th century. The name “Dismas” was adapted from a Greek word meaning “sunset” or “death”. The other thief’s name is given as Gestas.

In Syriac Infancy Gospel’s Life of the Good Thief (Histoire Du Bon Larron French 1868, English 1882), Augustine of Hippo said; the thief said to Jesus, the child: ” O most blessed of children, if ever a time should come when I shall crave Thy Mercy, remember me and forget not what has passed this day.” Anne Catherine Emmerich saw the Holy Family “exhausted and helpless”; according to Augustine of Hippo and Peter Damian, the Holy Family met Dismas, in these circumstances. Pope Theophilus of Alexandria (385–412) wrote a Homily on the Crucifixion and the Good Thief, which is a classic of Coptic literature.

Demas

In Coptic Orthodoxy, he is named Demas.[2] This is the name given to him in the Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea.

Titus

The apocryphal Syriac Infancy Gospel calls the two thieves Titus and Dumachus, and adds a tale about how Titus (the good one) prevented the other thieves in his company from robbing Mary and Joseph during their Flight into Egypt. See below:

Number 23 of the Syriac Infancy Gospel:

And turning away from this place, they came to a desert; and hearing that it was infested by robbers, Josephand the Lady Mary resolved to cross this region by night. But as they go along, behold, they see two robberslying in the way, and along with them a great number of robbers, who were their associates, sleeping. Now those two robbers, into whose hands they had fallen, were Titus and Dumachus. Titus therefore said to Dumachus: I beseech you to let these persons go freely, and so that our comrades may not see them. And as Dumachusrefused, Titus said to him again: Take to yourself forty drachmas from me, and hold this as a pledge. At the same time he held out to him the belt which he had about his waist, to keep him from opening his mouth or speaking. And the Lady Mary, seeing that the robber had done them a kindness, said to him: The Lord God will sustain you by His right hand, and will grant you remission of your sins. And the Lord Jesus answered, and said to His mother: Thirty years hence, O my mother, the Jews will crucify me at Jerusalem, and these two robbers will be raised upon the cross along with me, Titus on my right hand and Dumachus on my left; and after that day Titusshall go before me into Paradise. And she said: God keep this from you, my son. And they went thence towards a city of idols, which, as they came near it, was changed into sand-hills.

 

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