Category Archives: God

ISIS Fighters in Iraq Killed by Wild Boars

Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), male showing his teeth, Bavaria, Germany, Europe

Bacon got the bast*rds…

Feel good story.

From Newsweek: Three militants loyal to the Islamic State group (ISIS) have been killed by wild boars as they planned to ambush Iraqi tribesmen opposed to the group, according to a local anti-ISIS leader.

At least eight ISIS fighters had reportedly taken cover among dense reeds in Iraq’s al-Rashad region, about 55 miles southwest of Kirkuk, in preparation for a surprise attack on local anti-ISIS tribesman when a herd of wild boars attacked the jihadists on Sunday, killing three. The militants likely disturbed the notoriously short-tempered animals, said Sheikh Anwar al-Assi, a chief of the local Ubaid tribe and head of the group of local tribesmen who took up arms after ISIS took control of the nearby town of Hawija.

“It is likely their movement disturbed a herd of wild pigs, which inhabit the area as well as the nearby cornfields. The area is dense with reeds, which are good for hiding in,” Assi told The Times.

The event was corroborated by local Kurdish fighters who have joined Iran-backed Shiite Muslim militias in attempting to oust ISIS from nearby Hawija. The jihadists’ mutilated bodies were reportedly discovered by refugees fleeing the violence that has beset the war-torn nation. An alliance consisting of Iraqi military, majority Shiite Muslim militias (called Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi), U.S.-led coalition forces and Kurdish units (known as peshmerga) are seeking to drive ISIS out of Iraq, according to Brigadier Azad Jelal, the deputy head of the Kurdish intelligence service in Kirkuk.

“Three fighters from ISIL were near the Peshmerga checkpoint in al-Rashad. They met some feral boars and the boars killed the three fighters,” Jelal told The Telegraph, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

“Some refugees saw the bodies on the edge of a farm when they were fleeing and they told us. A few days later ISIL started to kill pigs around the area,” he added.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

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Sunday Devotional: Have mercy on us and on the whole world

John 20:19-20

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked,
where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came
and stood in their midst
and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
When He had said this,
He showed them His hands and His side.

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday.

The message of The Divine Mercy is simple: It is that God loves us — all of us, saints and sinners. He has an “ocean” of mercy, which is greater than our sins. We are to call on Him with trust and contrition, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others.

When I encounter great difficulties and find myself overwrought, desperate and suffering, I turn to Him with a child’s simple faith, and whisper: “Jesus, I trust in You.”

He always answers my plea.

So, to anyone out there whose soul and conscience may be stirred by this post, if you hear His voice, harden not your heart.

Take that first step by acknowledging you have sinned:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.”

All you have to do is make that first step . . . .

See also:

~Eowyn

Saturday Funny: Pets who accidentally saw you naked

Does your cat(s) or dog(s) follow you to the bathroom?

Like these?

If so, chances are your pet has seen you naked. s_shocked-16

H/t maziel

~Eowyn

Friday Funny: Simon’s cat

~Eowyn

New evidence dates Shroud of Turin to time of Christ

The Shroud of Turin is a rectangular 14 ft 5 in × 3 ft 7 in piece of woven flax cloth, believed by Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus. The cloth bears the faint, brownish 3D imprint of the front and back view of the face and body of a bearded naked man — muscular and tall (various experts have measured him as from 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 2 in). The imprint shows reddish-brown stains from wounds at the man’s wrist and pinpricks around his brow which are consistent with Christ’s wounds from being nailed to the cross and from the “crown of thorns” mockingly pressed onto his scalp.

To this day, scientists cannot account for how the image had been impressed on the cloth. They have dismissed the image being a painted or photographed image. A reigning hypothesis is that the image is the result of an intense blast of ultraviolet radiation.

Even those who don’t follow every development concerning the Shroud probably know that in 1988, carbon-14 dating tests performed on scraps taken from a corner of the Shroud dated it to the Middle Ages, between the years 1260 and 1390.

What is less known is a probable explanation for the dating — that in 1532, the Shroud had been damaged in a fire in the chapel where it was stored; Poor Clare nuns repaired the damage with patches; and the carbon-14 dating was performed precisely on a repaired patch, thereby skewing the test result.

Two discoveries in recent years lend support to that explanation, as well as to the authenticity of the Shroud as the burial cloth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1) Pollen

Doug Stanglin reports for USA Today, March 30, 2013, that a new test by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy, using the same fibers from the 1988 tests, dates the Shroud to between 300 BC and 400 AD, which would put it in the era of Christ.

The latest findings are contained in a new Italian-language book, Il Mistero Della Sindone (The Mystery of the Shroud), by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and journalist Saverio Gaeta.

The new test:

  1. Determined that the 1988 carbon-14 results may have been skewed by contamination from fibers used to repair the cloth when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.
  2. Supports earlier findings of traces of dust and pollen on the Shroud which could only have come from the Holy Land in the time of Christ.

Marco Tosatti reports for Vatican Insider that the pollen that covers the Shroud corresponds to that of flowers used for funerals in Asia Minor 2000 years ago.

Marzia Boi, a university researcher at the University of the Balearic Islands and an expert in Palynology, the science that studies pollen, wrote:

“The pollen traces on the Holy Shroud which have so far been linked to the geographic origin of the  relic reveal what oils and ointments were put both on the body and on the sheet. These discoveries have an ethno-cultural meaning linked to ancient funeral practices. These non-perishable particles capture the image of a 2000-year-old funeral rite and thanks to them it was possible to discover what plants were used in the preparation of the body that was kept in the sheet. The oils allowed the pollens, as fortuitous ingredients, to be absorbed and hidden in the shroud’s fabric like invisible evidence of an extraordinary historical event.”

Using a electron microscope, Boi identified the pollen on the Shroud as “from a plant called Helichrysum which is part of the Asteraceae family” (29.1%), Cistaceae pollen (8.2%), Apiaceae pollen (4.2%), and trace amounts of Pistacia pollen (0.6%). She writes:

The list of pollens reveals traces of the most common plants used in ancient funerals . . . that followed the customs of Asia Minor, 2000 years ago. They are the components of the most precious oils and ointments of the time and have extraordinarily remained sealed in the [Shroud’s] fabric… The correct identification of the Helichrysum’s pollen, wrongly believed to be that of the Gundelia flower, confirms and guarantees that the body wrapped up in the sheet was an important figure.

(2) A Second Face


Second face on backside of Shroud of Turin

Jerome R. Corsi reports for WND, April 27, 2010, that scientists examining the Shroud of Turin since the restoration that began in 2000 have found a “second face” on its reverse “hidden side,” a discovery they believe adds evidence to the argument it is not a medieval painting or photographic rendering.

The second face image, also 3D, on the back of the shroud had been hidden for centuries, until the 2002 restoration when the Holland cloth – the backing cloth placed on the shroud by the Poor Clare Nuns to preserve it after the 1532 fire – was removed, permitting for the first time in centuries an examination of the back side.

In 2004, Professors Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Padua in Italy published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Optics their study, “The Double Superficiality of the Frontal Image of the Turin Shroud.” They concluded there exists a second, even fainter face image on the backside of the Shroud of Turin, corresponding but not identical to the now-familiar face image of the crucified man seen in head-to-head dorsal and ventral views on the front side.

To the naked eye, the backside of the shroud appears to show no image whatsoever. But Fanti and Maggiolo used image-processing techniques, including Gaussian filters and Fourier transformations to highlight the extremely faint second face on the backside of the shroud, including details of a nose, eyes, hair, beard and mustache.

Like the face image on the front side of the shroud, the previously hidden image on the backside is a superficial image that exists only on the topmost linen fibers, created by the same dehydration process characteristic of the face and body image on the front.

The researchers concluded that the image of the face on the backside of the shroud had neither been created by a photographic process nor by painting in which the facial image on the front “bled through” to create an image on the reverse side, because the front and back facial images are not identical and the center fibers show no image creation whatsoever.

Fanti and Maggiolo concluded the shroud image was created by a “corona discharge” — a radiant burst of light and energy that scorched the body image of the crucified man on the topmost fibers of the shroud’s front and back sides, without producing any image on the center fibers.

Daniel Porter, editor of ShroudStory.com, points out that images on the Shroud of Turin, at their thickest, are as thin as “slicing a human hair lengthwise, from end to end, into 100 long thin slices; each slice one-tenth the width of a single red blood cell.

Here’s a video showing how the Man in the Shroud, with scratches and wounds cleaned and removed, might have appeared.

~Eowyn

The Empty Tomb

John 20:1-9

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved.

“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she said, “and we don’t know where they have put him.”

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They…saw the linen cloths lying on the ground…and…believed. Till this moment they had still not understood the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Below is a reconstruction of what happened from the book The Truth About the Shroud of Turin (Regnery, 2010), pp. 189-191, by my friend Robert K. Wilcox. No matter how many times I read this, it never fails to move me to tears.

The tomb, a rocky chamber carved out of a hillside, a stone rolled against the door, is dark and silent. Lying on a slab is a long, rectangular cocoon, the hills and valleys of which are clearly the contours of a human body. The body of Jesus lies there, face up, a ribbon around the head and chin to keep the mouth closed, packed on all sides with bags of spices.

At some unknown moment in the dead of night, the air in the tomb becomes electric.

At first the vibrations are minute, the sort that could be detected by sensitive twentieth-century instruments; then they dramatically increase until they shake the ground and blow the boulder from the door.

A glow, faint at first, emanating from the shroud suddenly intensifies until rays of light shoot through the threads, star-filled golden rays filling the tomb and pouring out the door.

For thirty seconds — no more — the blinding, pulsating movement continues.

The source of the activity is the corpse, the body, somehow being revitalized, dematerialized, its mass being converted into energy, pure energy, which in the material world is radiant white light.

The body rises from the slab through the cloth, hovers for a moment in midair, then disappears.

The cocoon collapses. Darkness returns. Shouts of “Earthquake! Earthquake!” diminish as the guards run for their lives. And in the air, the distinct odor of scorched linen.

When dawn comes, the women in Jesus’ life draw tentatively toward the tomb, look in the opening, and see the shroud unopened, still wrapped, but definitely deflated. The body is gone. At sunrise the disciples come. John enters the tomb, puts his hand on the cloth, and presses it to the slab. Jesus is there no longer. The disciples and the women quickly gather up the burial garments — the chin band is still in the shroud — and the spice bags and leave before the Romans can return.

At another time, in another place, when they have a chance to gather their wits, they will discover the figure of their master imprinted on the inside of the shroud. The images would be faint, probably not as dark as the passage of time and exposure to air have made them; and the images would be negative ones, a phenomenon that would also become clearer with the passage of time. Regardless, they would view these images as holy — imprints of their precious Lord. The disciples would pay more attention to the images on the shroud if they weren’t already waiting, with the greatest anticipation, for Jesus himself, who, before his death, had promised to visit them after he rose from the dead.

Our Lord is Risen!

A Joyous Easter to all!

~Eowyn

lilies

Holy Saturday: Our Lord stormed the gates of Hell

“. . . was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead….” –Apostles’ Creed

The Saturday between Good Friday (when our Lord was crucified) and Easter Sunday (when He rose from the dead) is given little attention, although what Jesus did in that interregnum is no less significant.

On Holy Saturday, Jesus undertook some of the most dramatic and important work of his salvific mission. He went into the depths of “hell” — a realm of the dead called “the limbo of the patriarchs,” which was without the punishments of the damned and which no longer exists.

There, awaiting Christ’s coming, were the departed just, including Adam and Eve, St. John the Baptist, and Jesus’ foster-father Joseph. To the souls of the just, Jesus proclaimed He had won their salvation and led them as the first entrants into Heaven.

What a magnificent sight that must have been!

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday:

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him, Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying:

“Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise.

I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth.

For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God.

The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”

H/t ChurchPop

~Eowyn