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St. Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947)

St. Josephine Bakhita

Today, February 8th, the universal Church honors St. Josephine Bakhita, a former slave who found freedom and love in the Catholic Church, being introduced to the holy, mighty and eternal Triune God.

Bakhita was born in the Sudan in 1869.  Bakhita was not the name that she received from her parents when she was born; her captors gave her this name which means, “fortunate.”  Indeed and in fact, she was terrorized by her captors as a slave and her experiences were so horrible, that she forgot her birth name.  She bore the most terrible indignities, being sold and resold over and over again as a slave, experiencing severe physical abuse, as well as emotional, psychological and moral abuse.

Callisto Legnani, an Italian Consul, bought Bakhita whilst he was in the Capital city of Sudan.  Callisto treated Bakhita with dignity, kindness and cordiality, unlike the whip used by her former slave captors.  Now, Bakhita experienced joy, peace, warmth, dignity and goodness whilst she lived in the Consul’s home.

Political matters forced Callisto to leave for Italy, and Bakhita received permission to go with him and a friend of his, one Mr. Augusto Michieli.  When they arrived in Genoa, Mr. Michieli’s wife persuaded Callisto to leave Bakhita with them, wherein they settled in Zianigo near Mirano Veneto.  When Mrs. Michieli’s wife gave birth to a daughter,  Bakhita became her babysitter and friend.

Mr. Michieli acquired a large hotel in Suakin on the Red Sea, therefore requiring Mrs. Michieli to help him with this large endeavor.  Accordingly, on the advice of their administrator, Bakhita was entrusted with the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice.  It was there that Bakhita experienced our Lord, whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” during her childhood years.  Bakhita said, “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?  And I felt a great desire to see Him, to know Him and to pay Him homage. . .”

After a few months with the sisters, on January 9, 1890, Bakhita received the sacraments of Christian Initiation and received the new name, “Josephine.”  She experienced complete love and joy and was seen on occasions kissing the Baptismal font saying, “Here, I became a daughter of God!”

When Mrs. Michieli came back to Italy from Africa to take Josephine back, Josephine expressed her desire to remain with the Sisters and to serve God there.  Josephine was of the age that she could make her own choices under the laws of Italy which insured her freedom.

Josephine stayed with the Sisters for a time and then heard a call from Our Lord to become a sister; hence, she gave herself to Our Lord at the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa.  On December 8, 1896, she joined that order being forever consecrated to God, whom she called her “Master.”  Josephine lived there for 50 years in the community of Schio, cooking, sewing, doing embroidery work and attending to the door.  Whilst she served her duty at the door, she laid her hands upon the school children who attended the Canossian schools daily, and she hugged and loved them.  She had a beautiful voice and the little children loved her; she also comforted the poor and those who suffered who came to the door, giving them strength, support and encouragement.

Josephine was known for her sweetness of nature, her large smile and her great goodness; she lived as a Light for Jesus.  She said, “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him.  What a great grace it is to know God!”

Josephine endured long, painful years of sickness as she became older, sometimes reliving her days as a slave.  On one occasion, she asked the nurse who was caring for her, “Please, loosen the chains. . .they are heavy!”  While suffering, she received visitors and they would ask her how she was; she would respond, “As the Master desires.”

Her last words were, “Our Lady!  Our Lady!”  She smiled and must have seen the beautiful Blessed Mother of God.  She died on February 8, 1947, surrounded by the Sisters of the Canossian Convent.

The knowledge of her holiness spread all over the world, wherein the first steps to beatify her began in 1959, being beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.

Dear St. Josephine, you draw tears to my eyes since you endured so much indignity and suffering of every kind.  Yet, you remained cheerful, with a big smile, loving, kind, sweet and noble.  Help us to remember your pure and indomitable spirit, but most especially, your Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is my hope that the Church Triumphant is having a big party for you in heaven today!  We love you!

Respectfully,

Joan

Sources:  Saint of the Day, Edited by Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; Vatican website

The entrance of thy words…

entrance-of-thy-wordsPlease don’t interpret the following as criticism of the Catholic Church. I am extremely grateful to have been raised by parents who wanted to honor the Lord by being faithful Catholics. I heard all the fundamental truths while I was still a child, even “You must be born again.” ~ TD


“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” – Psalm 119:130 (KJV)

I was in my mid teens when my Dad gave a Catholic Bible to my Mom, as a Christmas present.

As a Catholic kid in the 1950s I had actually never seen a Bible. The closest thing we had in appearance was a Catholic Missal. It was bound in black leather and had gold edges on the pages, with red bookmark ribbons, but it was not the Bible.

I still remember stealing a look into my Mom’s Bible on occasion, and feeling a remarkable change in my outlook after a few minutes of reading. The entrance of His Word really did bring light! I am so grateful the Catholic Church loosened its restriction on the availability of the Bible. Although I gained bits of scripture in the Liturgy every week, having the whole Bible available filled the Liturgy with light and meaning.

As I’ve grown in my knowledge of the Bible through many years, I can attest that it is not a static element. Jesus said, “The words I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.” The Bible is dynamic. When I read the Bible, I am aware of this fact. The Bible is reading me.

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
– John 1:1


PEACE

To our readers: About those ads on FOTM

cat blogger

No doubt, our faithful readers have noticed that three days ago, ads started appearing on Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM). They are called WordAds. Allow me to explain.

FOTM‘s server, WordPress (WP), offers something called WordAds to blogs that have achieved a certain minimum of traffic. What that number is, we don’t know. If a WordPress blog agrees, WP would insert ads into the blog, a portion of the revenue from those ads would go to the blog.

The ads I’ve agreed to are two for each post: a static ad and a video ad placed at the bottom of the post.

So far, the ads I’ve seen aren’t offensive. They are ads for national brands, e.g., LifeLock, Macy’s, Ford, a movie or documentary. The coolest one I’ve seen is a video ad for Northrop Grumman, the U.S. aerospace & defense technology company. Watching that ad is a treat! For the video ads, you can turn down the volume of your computer, tablet, or smart phone, thereby muting the video.

I’m not a fan of ads, but I honestly don’t find the ads on FOTM offensive, nor are they as obtrusive and cluttered as what I see on other blogs and websites. Out of respect to them, I’m not naming names, but you all know which ones. They are legion. LOL

To be honest with you, I’m fascinated by the fact that both WordPress and the businesses that place their ads are willing to take on FOTM, a conservative “right-wing” Christian blog.

After thinking long and hard about this, here are my reasons for hosting WordAds:

  1. Revenue ($): I have no idea how much ad revenue FOTM will get; I’ll have an idea after the first 45 days. I don’t expect a lot, but even $10 a month is still more than zero. For myself, I hope to recoup the expenses that I incur every year for FOTM:
  • $99 a year to WordPress for our own domain name (fellowshipoftheminds.com), extra storage space, etc.
  • About $100 a year for membership in people search engines and genealogy sites, which help me in my investigative research into, for example, Sandy Hook and the crew members of Space Shuttle Challenger.
  • About $100 a year in donation to sites that I/we frequently use for information, e.g., Wikipedia, Judicial Watch, Campus Reform.
  1. Some extra dollars in financial compensation for FOTM‘s writers, who have been giving you their time, energy, and talent for years for zero pay.
  2. There is nothing wrong with hosting ads on FOTM, as long as the ads are not offensive or contrary to our values. It is called capitalism. I promise you that:

  • Two ads per post will be the maximum.
  • We won’t “sell our souls” by changing our values and what we write to please advertisers. If an advertiser or WordPress objects to our content, FOTM will quit WordAds.

For years, our loyal readers have been getting FOTM for free. This hasn’t changed; nor are you being asked to donate, as some blogs do. The only difference is that now there’ll be 1 or 2 ads at the end of a post.

So, how about it? Is this new arrangement okay with y’all?

On behalf of the FOTM writing team, thank you for reading our posts and for your intelligent, provocative, and often funny comments.

~Eowyn

Amazing bubble show!

h/t Laura

DCG

Christian daycare workers fired for refusing to call a little girl a boy

Reality doesn’t exist in proggieland.

 

Children’s Lighthouse/Facebook Photo

Breitbart: HOUSTON, Texas — Two daycare workers have been fired for refusing to go along with the center’s transgender agenda. Madeline Kirksey, one of the workers who is an author of a Christian book, says her religious liberty rights have been violated. The two were fired after refusing to call a little girl a boy.

The two male parents of a six-year-old little girl told employees at the school to refer to their daughter as a boy, and to call her by a new masculine name. The little girl’s hair had also been cut like a boy’s.

Kirksey told Breitbart Texas in an interview, that the problem was not so much with the transgender issue as it was with telling young children that the little girl was a boy when she was not, and with calling her “John” (not the name given) when that was not her name.

She, and another worker who does not want to be identified, were fired from the Childrens’ Lighthouse Learning Center in Katy, Texas, a city just west of Houston.

The school distributed guidelines to the teachers called “How to Handle Transgender Students.” The printed guidelines were obtained from the internet and can be read at this link.

The guidelines and the instructions given the teachers included six rules, one of which was “Help defend their dignity.” Another, was to “Educate yourself and your students.” The Christian worker said she did not believe it “was our job,” to thrust the issue on the small children of other parents. She said the school should not force their beliefs on the children, or on her, or upon other parents.

The author of the Christian book, “In Pursuit of the Promise,” said the other children should not be exposed at such an early age to the issue of transgender or “gender identity,” and felt that the two male parents were imposing the issue on their little girl.

“I don’t think we should be talking to other people’s children who are under the age of 18 about being transgender,” Kirksey said in an interview with Fox26 in Houston. Both of the fired workers agreed on this point.

Kirksey said that prior to this happening, she had been commended for the good work that she was doing at the school. After she refused to call the little girl by her new masculine name, and to tell the other children to do so, and to say that the little girl was a little boy, the daycare worker was written-up for alleged infractions that she did not believe were based in reality. She has worked at the school for over a year.

The fired worker notified Child Protective Services that the little girl was being told that she is now a little boy. She believes that it is up to professionals to determine if the little girl is just confused, or if the new gender is being forced upon the little girl.

Kirksey says sometimes the little girl refers to herself as a little boy, and sometimes she tells the other children to not call her a boy or to refer to her by her masculine name.

The Childrens’ Lighthouse in Katy is just one of the school franchise’s that are all over the country. The company is based in Fort Worth and according to its website, there are 37 learning centers in seven states. The school cares for children ages six weeks to twelve years old.

The City of Houston just received national attention for an election that submitted a city ordinance to the voters. The measure, defeated by a margin of 61-39 percent, would have allowed transgendered men, or men who “identify” with being a woman, to use women’s bathrooms, locker room, and shower facilities. Houston’s openly gay mayor said that passing the ordinance is something that is very “personal” to her. As reported by Breitbart Texas, pastors who worked to defeat the ordinance say the measure is part of a leftist national agenda.

DCG

All Souls’ Day – November 2nd; We Pray for the Faithful Departed

Yesterday, in my Church History post on All Hallows’ Eve/Halloween and All Saints Day, I indicated I would set forth the importance of the next day attached to the three important days, November 2nd, All Souls’ Day.

On this day is observed the commemoration of the faithful departed, in which our common and pious Mother the Church, immediately after having endeavored to celebrate by worthy praise all her children who already rejoice in heaven (October 31st – All Hallows’ Eve/Halloween, preparation for All Saints’ Day and November 1st, All Saints Day) strives to aid by her powerful intercession with Christ, her Lord and Spouse, all those who still groan in purgatory, so that they may join as soon as possible the inhabitants of the heavenly city.”  Roman Martyrology

The Church, after celebrating All Hallows’ Eve/Halloween, October 31st, the preparation for All Saints Day, and All Saints Day, November 1st, today prays for all those who, in the purifying suffering of purgatory await the day when they will be joined to the company of saints in the Church Triumphant.  A union exists between the Church Triumphant, those saints in heaven, the Church Militant, those of us on earth and the Church Suffering, those souls experiencing the cleansing of purgatory so that they will be ready to go into heaven.  These branches, the Church Triumphant, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering compose the Mystical Body of Christ.

We celebrate the Mass for All Souls’ Day in commemoration of all of the Faithful Departed.

“The writer of 2 Maccabees praises the offering of prayers and sacrifices for the dead (see 12:38-46).  Why do the departed need such assistance from us?  So that their sins “might be fully blotted out” (12:42).

The final destiny of the redeemed is to live in heaven eternally with God, where “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 Jn 3:2).  Since God is holy, to be like Him we, too, must be  holy (see Mt. 5:48).  Without that holiness, “no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14), for “nothing unclean will enter” the glory of heaven” (Rv 21:27).

Nevertheless, few people, even among devout Christians, are fully cleansed of sin and its effects when they die.  And God will not reject any penitent sinner, even one who has been notoriously wicked yet repents at the last moment before death (see Lk 23:39-43).  How, then, can we enter heaven immediately at death if we aren’t yet perfected in holiness?

St. John tells us that everyone who hopes to be holy as God is holy, and to see Him face-to-face, “makes himself pure, as he is pure” (1 Jn 3:3).  That process of purification begins in this life as we submit in faith to the dealings of God that help to make us whole.  “Purgatory” is simply the name given to that process of purification as it continues after death.  (Like “the Holy Trinity”, “purgatory” is a term not occurring in Scripture; but the reality it refers to is implied by scriptural truths.)

God doesn’t purify us instantly in this life by waving a magic wand, bypassing the cooperation of our free will.  So we shouldn’t expect Him to do so at our death, either.  And since His work to heal us of the effects of sin is usually painful now – just as surgery for our bodily health is painful – the purgatorial process will likely be painful as well.

The traditional image of cleansing purgatorial fire comes from such Biblical passages as 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, which speaks of those who “will be saved, but through fire” (3:15).  The Bible also speaks of God’s holiness in this regard as “a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29).  Yet just as the physician’s cauterizing fire burns in order to heal, so does any pain we might experience in purgatory.  In the end it is a work of God’s mercy.”

Why do we pray for the Dead?

One day as the Jewish general Judas Maccabeus and his men were burying comrades fallen in battle, they discovered that the slain soldiers had been secretly practicing idolatry (see 2 Mc 12:39-40).  “Turning to supplication”, Scripture says, “they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out” (12:42).  Then Judas took up a collection for an expiatory sacrifice for them in the temple.”  In doing this, he acted in a very excellent and noble way ….Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin” (12:43, 46).

Why did the ancient Jews pray for the dead?  For the same reason they prayed for the living:  It was an act of fraternal charity.  They recognized that the departed needed their help to be cleansed of their sins.  And they were confident that such spiritual works would benefit those who had died, just as it would have benefited someone who was still living.

The first Christians, who were Jews, maintained this “excellent and noble” practice.  For example, St. Paul prayed for a friend named Onesiphorus, who was apparently deceased (see 2 Tm 1:16-18). . .

Not surprisingly, then, many inscriptions on ancient Christian tombs ask the living to intercede for those buried within.  Clearly, from earliest times, the Church has offered prayers and sacrifices for the faithful departed – especially the most valuable of all, Holy Mass.

Some Christians object to praying for the dead.  For those who are in heaven, they insist, our prayers are unnecessary.  And for those who are in hell, our prayers are useless.

But there are faulty assumptions here.  First, most people who go to heaven still require purification after they die before they are ready to live with God forever.  Our prayers can help in that process.  Second, we don’t know for sure who is in hell, so we should still pray in hope for even the worst of sinners.

In short, charity demands that we should pray for the dead.  And humility demands that we should ask others to pray for us when our day comes to depart this life.”

Let us pray today for all of the Souls of the Faithful Departed with earnest faith, hope and love.  In fact, in the Universal Catholic Church, we pray especially for all the Souls of the Faithful Departed for the entire month of November.

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.  Amen.

O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.

O God, the creator and redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your departed servants the remission of all their sins that through our prayers they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired.  Amen.”

Joan

Sources:  The New Catholic Answer Bible;

http://www.catholicculture.org

“Doom Porn” and Preparedness Go Mainstream, “Why Now?”

Memory Hole

koppel ABC’s Ted Koppel

For several years independent authors and alternative news media have sought to raise awareness of the possibility that an attack on one or more of America’s three antiquated electrical grids could result in the end of society as we know it. Now veteran broadcast journalist Ted Koppel has authored a book (or perhaps more accurately lent his name to a ghost-written book) on this very threat–indeed one that’s been looming for years, even as it remains almost completely ignored by US political leaders.

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath will be published by Penguin/Random House on October 27. “In this tour de force of investigative reporting,” the book’s description reads.

Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

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