Category Archives: Christians/Christianity

Pentecost Sunday: How to listen to the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:1-4

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

pentecost2

Today, the universal Church celebrates Pentecost, the arrival of the Holy Spirit, whom our Lord Jesus Christ sends to be with us, always. Given His importance, it is distressing how little we actually know about the Third Person of the Triune Godhead.

This much we know, from Jesus’ own words: The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete (advocate, counselor, comforter) and the “Spirit of truth”.

John 15:16-27; 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”

Given that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth itself, it is important that we seek and heed His counsel.

But how? How do we listen, and how do we know when the Holy Spirit speaks?

Here are some suggestions from Charisma News and a few from my experience:

1. Pray for wisdom: “Come, Holy Spirit, come!” With sincerity and humility, ask the Holy Spirit to counsel, enlighten and guide you, especially when you have just received Holy Communion and/or before the Eucharist in the tabernacle.

2. Listen to the Spirit: The Holy Spirit speaks to us in many ways —

  • In the Bible: God is always speaking through His Word. Apply what you read to your life and you’ll position yourself for additional truth and wisdom—no matter how God communicates it to you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
  • As a still, small voice in our mind.
  • As a flash of understanding.
  • In a dream or vision: St. Joseph was told by an angel to “not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” (Matthew 1:20). St. Peter fell into a trance (see Acts 10:10). St. Paul had supernatural encounters—whether in the body or out of the body, he did not know (see 2 Cor. 12:13). St. John wrote the entire book of Revelation based on a supernatural vision.
  • Through our surroundings in our daily lives: God spoke to Solomon through his practical experiences, an account of which is in Proverbs 24:30-34: “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles covered its surface, and the stone wall was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it; I looked on it and received instruction: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep, so your poverty will come like a stalker, and your need as an armed man.” If you keep a listening ear, you’ll discover that God will speak to you through and about many things just as you go about your everyday life.

3. How do we know that it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to us:

  • By the message’s goodness: Remember that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune Godhead. He will never counsel you to do ill or harm.
  • By its persistence: When the Holy Spirit wants you to do something, He can be very persistent.
  • By your sense of peace: When you listen and heed His counsel, your heart, mind and soul will be at peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7.

For a beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit, go here.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Éowyn

Strange sound of trumpets in sky is that of ancient biblical musical instrument?

“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” -Matthew 24:31

6 days ago, I published a post on the inexplicable sound of trumpets and other eerie noises in sky heard across the world.

The most disconcerting of the strange noises is what sounds like the blowing of trumpets or a similar brass musical instrument in Terrace, British Columbia, which you can hear in the beginning of the video below.

From WND:

In June 2013, Kimberly Wookey of Terrace, British Columbia, Canada, first caught the sound, and has continued her recordings through May 7 of this year.

Wookey said on YouTube: “On the morning of August 29, 2013 at approximately 7:30am I was awoken by these sounds. I shot out of bed realizing it was the same sounds I had heard before and I ran looking for a camera to try to capture them with. I came out into the living room to find my seven-year-old son awake and scared wondering what was going on. He had said the noises woke him up as well and shook his window. I managed to record three clips showing almost five minutes of these strange sounds. After it was over and I sat down at the computer to upload the video. After checking my Facebook I noticed a lot of locals had heard the same sounds again but this time it was far more widespread. I have no idea what these sounds are but it is pretty strange and I am glad that I was able to catch them this time and share what I heard. The sounds were heard again on Sept 8th at 6:30am so far we have confirmed reports of it being heard from town to the lake, 25km [15.5 miles] away.”

Now, compare the “trumpet” sounds heard in British Columbia with the sound made by an ancient Hebrew musical instrument called shofar in the video below.

A musical instrument of ancient origin made of a horn, traditionally that of a ram, the shofar frequently is mentioned in the Old Testament, Torah, Talmud and rabbinic literature. As examples:

  • The blast of a shofar emanating from the thick cloud on Mount Sinai made the Israelites tremble in awe (Exodus 19:16).
  • The shofar was used to announce holidays (Ps. lxxxi. 4), and the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:9).
  • The first day of the seventh month (Tishrei) is termed “a memorial of blowing” (Lev. 23:24) or “a day of blowing” (Num. 29:1), the shofar.
  • The blowing of the shofar signified the start of a war (Josh. 6:4; Judges 3:27; 7:16, 20; I Sam. 8:3) and was employed in processions (II Sam. 6:15; I Chron. 15:28), as musical accompaniment (Ps. 98:6; comp. ib. 47:5) and inserted into the temple orchestra by David (Ps. 150:3).
  • The shofar was blown in the times of Joshua to help him capture Jericho.

Note that the “trumpets” described in Numbers 10 are a different instrument. The Hebrew word for “trumpet” is חצוצרה‎ or ḥaṣoṣrah, whereas the word for shofar is שופר).

Today, observant Jews still use the shofar for religious purposes.

H/t FOTM’s CSM

~Éowyn

Methodist minister said caring about aborted babies is idolatry

It’s bad enough that the United Methodist Church supports legalized abortion, but what a Methodist pastor says about those who care about unborn babies should tell us how low the church has sunken.

Steve Ertelt reports for Life News, May 18, 2015, that pro-life advocate Sarah Terzo, who has a knack for documenting the history of the abortion debate and the abortion advocacy movement by posting quotes from pro-abortion activists through the years, posted a new quote that features Methodist Minister John M. Swomley.

Terzo explains that Swomley is an ordained United Methodist minister who was professor of Christian Ethics (!) at St. Paul’s school of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri from 1960 to 1984, president of Americans for Religious Liberty, and a longtime board member and sometimes vice president of the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union and chair of its church–state committee.

This is what Methodist Minister John Swomley wrote about pro-life Americans in his 1999 book Compulsory Pregnancy: the War against American Women:

Opponents of abortion in America have attributed to fetal life a sacredness that is actually idolatry… Fetal idolatry denies a woman’s right to control her body, her life, her destiny, all of which must be sacrificed to an embryo or fetus once she is pregnant…

Fetal idolatry shows no mercy. … One of the major critiques of idolatry about unborn life is its lack of concern for the abundant or purposeful life to which all of us should be called. No one of us should be an unwanted child or have to experience emotional abandonment or lack of compassion and love in childhood.”

Nothing much has changed in the United Methodist Church (UMC) since Swomley’s book. As examples:

This is why pro-life Methodists have left the denomination over the last couple of decades and continue to leave the church in droves, causing historic low membership rolls for the church.

John M. Swomley

I did an Internet search for John M. Swomley and discovered that he died on August 16, 2010, in Kansas City, Missouri at age 95 after living with Alzheimer’s for several years.

That’s 95 years more than the millions of aborted unborn babies, whom Swomley dismissed as “idols,” who never had a chance to breathe even one day of air.

See also:

~Éowyn

Sufferings of Christ described 700 years before His birth

Isaiah

Isaiah presented in amazing detail many aspects of the Messiah’s life and death.

He predicted the nature, stature and mission of Jesus Christ in such exact detail that we are left with nothing we can do but either call Jesus, “LORD,” or turn away.

In the 53rd chapter of the Book of Isaiah we see a picture of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. We also are given the meaning of his suffering.


suffering-servant

ISAIAH 53

“Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.

Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?

For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished. 

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.

For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.”


RisenThere you have it

The suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. You could imagine Isaiah standing with John at the foot of the cross, or walking with Mary to visit the tomb and being told by an angel, “He has risen just as He said.”

Jesus-ascensionAnd we could easily imagine Isaiah standing among the disciples looking up as Jesus ascended into a cloud.

But no, Isaiah wasn’t there. He saw these events 700 years earlier. And he understood the full meaning and power of Christ’s atoning sacrifice.

Because of his brilliant vision of the things to come, Isaiah is sometimes depicted as an eagle, a bird with amazing eyesight.

Hope-in-the-Lord


“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”


 

Apparition of Virgin Mary in photos taken in chapel

In his Letter to the Corinthians 11:23-26, St. Paul wrote:

Brothers and sisters: I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Catholics believe that the Eucharist or consecrated Host is the very Body of Christ.

In every Catholic church, there is a tabernacle containing the Eucharist. Some Catholic parishes (as well as some Anglican and Lutheran churches) set aside a special time during a weekday for people to come before the tabernacle, where the Eucharist is displayed in a monstrance, to adore Jesus Christ, our Lord.

monstrance1

Recently, at just such an occasion, a parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview, Illinois, took some pictures of the parish’s Adoration Chapel with her cell phone.

In each of the pictures (see below) is a bright light in the shape of the familiar silhouette of Jesus’ mother, Mary.

Mary1Mary3Mary2

Here’s the Google translation of an account from the website Reina del Cielo (Queen of Heaven):

On more than one occasion we have seen manifestations of God that leave us very surprised. Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the world, signs and Eucharistic miracles that reveal the real presence of Jesus in the bread and wine consecrated.

This time we have three pictures that were taken during the exposition of the Blessed, in the Adoration Chapel of the Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview, Illinois, United States.

We do not claim to be a real presence of the Virgin, but not completely deny. Simply we share these images that can lead to reflection.

The photographs were taken by a parishioner with her cell phone. At first glance, he says, there was nothing but the camera caught what we see.

Maria always present with his Son in the Eucharistic Bread. She calls us to worship the living God present in all the altars of the land, the daily miracle that occurs at the hands of priests, in the perfect prayer that is the Mass.

H/t Spirit Daily

~Éowyn

The Road

the_road_02

jrrtolkiensmall“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien,
The Fellowship of the Ring


I can picture 4 hobbits walking this path, on their way from Farmer Maggot’s farm in the Shire to the Prancing Pony in Bree. 

Sound of trumpets and other eerie noises in sky heard across the world

Over the last few years, like you, I’ve seen reports of eerie loud noises from the sky heard by people for almost a decade in countries across the globe, including:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Ukraine
  • Belarus

Mail Online recounts some examples:

  • In August 2011, an “extremely loud” sound was recorded in Kiev, Ukraine, which an eyewitness said was heard by people in cities 18-25 miles (30-40 km) away.
  • In Salzburgh, Austria, the noise was magnified across the Eastern Alps.
  • In Montana on Feb. 18, 2012, the strange sounds gave Aaron Taylor “vivid nightmares.” He said, “‘My wife woke me from a dream last night where she says I was screaming like she’s never heard me scream before.”

Governments and scientists have no explanation for the sounds, although University of Oklahoma geoscientist David Deming has written in the Journal of Scientific Exploration about a phenomenon called The Hum – “a mysterious and untraceable sound that is heard in certain locations around the world by two to ten per cent of the population.” He said sources of The Hum could include telephone transmissions and “aircraft operated by the U.S. Navy for the purpose of submarine communications.”

NASA says the Earth has “natural radio emissions” — “a remarkable symphony of strange noises coming from our own planet” which we would hear “if humans had radio antennas instead of ears.  Scientists call them “tweeks,” “whistlers” and “sferics” that “sound like background music from a flamboyant science fiction film, but this is not science fiction. Earth’s natural radio emissions are real and, although we’re mostly unaware of them, they are around us all the time.” For example, lightning can produce eerie-sounding radio. Earthquakes, too, can produce sub-audible sounds, according to seismologist Brian W. Stump from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

The most disconcerting of the strange noises is what sounds like the blowing of TRUMPETS or a similar brass musical instrument on May 7, 2015, in Terrace, British Columbia, which can be heard in the beginning of the video below.

Speculations on the Internet about what the eerie sounds really are include the grinding of tectonic plates, atmospheric pressure, noises from trains reacting to railroad tracks and overhead wires, building construction, the U.S. government’s HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program), space aliens, and the apocalypse.

“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” -Matthew 24:31

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets…. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. -Book of Revelation 10:7, 11:15

H/t FOTM’s j.case

Update (May 19, 2015):

Here’s more on the sound of trumpets heard in British Columbia, from WND:

In June 2013, Kimberly Wookey of Terrace, British Columbia, Canada, first caught the sound, and has continued her recordings through May 7 of this year.

Wookey said on YouTube: “On the morning of August 29, 2013 at approximately 7:30am I was awoken by these sounds. I shot out of bed realizing it was the same sounds I had heard before and I ran looking for a camera to try to capture them with. I came out into the living room to find my seven-year-old son awake and scared wondering what was going on. He had said the noises woke him up as well and shook his window. I managed to record three clips showing almost five minutes of these strange sounds. After it was over and I sat down at the computer to upload the video. After checking my Facebook I noticed a lot of locals had heard the same sounds again but this time it was far more widespread. I have no idea what these sounds are but it is pretty strange and I am glad that I was able to catch them this time and share what I heard. The sounds were heard again on Sept 8th at 6:30am so far we have confirmed reports of it being heard from town to the lake, 25km away.”

Update (May 23, 2015):

Strange sound of trumpets in sky is that of ancient biblical shofar?

~Éowyn