According to a Gallup Poll, Americans want a second U.N. resolution if Iraq fails the inspections. According to my husband: "Why would we wage war with someone just because they have weapons of mass destruction when we ALSO have weapons of mass destruction?"
[Note: That comes from a man who says we should've made Japan a state of the Union after WWII.]
Could they be birds of a feather? David Morris of AlterNet says "It takes one to know one".
In an interview with ABC News, Whitney Houston says that she prays daily for the strength to stay off drugs. Let's all keep this intention in our prayers.
The Bipolar Catholic Spirituality group is for Catholics who are interested in learning more about the spiritual aspects of living with a mental illness, particularly Bipolar Disorder. Discussion will center on traditional Catholic spirituality including, but not limited to, the Holy Scriptures; the catechism; Canon Law; and the works and lives of St. John of the Cross, St. Therese, St. Faustina, St. Catherine of Sienna, and St. Gertrude the Great. We will explore the topic of redemptive suffering particularly in hope that we can come to some conclusions about the spiritual role of the mentally ill person in the Body of Christ.
Click to subscribe to Bipolar_Catholic
Please support Palestine Chronicle financially, if possible.
\"They forced Yasser to take off all his clothes including his underwear.they ordered him to walk like a dog and then he burst into tears ..\"
By Suzanne Russ
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PC) - On Monday, November 25, Israeli soldiers ordered a young resident of the town of Nablus to strip completely naked in the street, according to Palestinian witnesses.
Yasser Sharar, 25, was caught violating the curfew in Nablus and was stopped by Israeli soldiers at gunpoint, who immediately ordered him to remove his clothes.
In an interview with Reuters, a witness explained, "They forced Yasser to take off all his clothes including his underwear.they ordered him to walk like a dog and then he burst into tears,"
The eyewitness who watched the scene from a few meters away continued, "He kept crying and was in a very stressful situation.many residents, including women watched him and he was very embarrassed."
Israeli soldiers refuted the claim, saying that they merely asked him to lift his shirt, but he voluntarily removed all his clothing to get media attention. The Reuters report also claimed that this is the first time Israeli soldiers have ordered Palestinians to completely strip naked publicly in a security operation.
However, recent interviews conducted by the Palestine Chronicle with scores of residents of the Jenin refugee camp contradicted the Reuters claim. Dozens of residents of the refugee camp claimed that during the Israeli invasion of April, 2002, it was a common practice to force residents to strip naked as a form of humiliation, or as the Israelis say, a "security operation."
Na'el Ammar, 43, is a resident of the Jenin refugee camp and explains how Israeli soldiers arrested and detained scores of men from the refugee camp, and forced many to strip naked, " We were mostly older people, sick and wounded. We had nine handicapped people with us, three were from the same family, sons of Abu Ibrahim. Some of us were too old, they were senile. When they told them "go left" they would go right, but they stripped them naked anyway. I tried to help them as much as I could. I was the only one who spoke Hebrew.Close to us was a group of young men. They were handcuffed, naked and lying on their stomachs. The Israeli tanks would pass by them so fast, only forty centimeters away from their heads."
Nawal Hawashin, a mother of eight, told Palestine Chronicle reporters that they threatened her 18 year old son with death if he did not follow their orders to strip naked, "They ordered my son and other young men to take off all their clothes and throw them on the ground. The soldiers warned that if the boys made any move, they would be shot. Near the Sahah, there was a body of a man with a white beard. He was lying dead on the ground, and tanks were rolling right over him. I couldn't recognize him. My son Mohammed said, "Mother, I am too ashamed to take my clothes off in front of women." I told him, 'Son, this is our fate."
Jamal Hussein has a family of thirteen. A man who worked as a cheap laborer in Israel before the invasion of Jenin described in detail how terrified Jenin residents were gathered in the center of the camp and forced to undress, "Soldiers stationed on the top of a nearby house started throwing dirt on us.. We remained 15 men and boys. Half an hour later a tank came and stood near us. They pointed the canon at us. And they spent over an hour terrifying us that way. The commander of that unit spoke in Arabic to us, "Go to Saha". While we were on our way, we kept reading Koran. We felt that they were going to execute us. Once we arrived there, we found a large number of men, forced to strip completely naked. There was a big pile of clothes. Soldiers started shooting right above our heads, they would call on us, one by one. Once they pointed at you, you would have to pull your pants down and your shirt up, when it was my turn, as I stood up, I noticed the body of a man, Jamal Sab!
bagh. It was some sort of a test. If you pass, you are arrested and if you don't, they'll shoot and kill you."
According to Jenin residents, Israeli forces were not discriminatory in their aggression, young men, old and disabled were targeted. 45-year old Um Siri lamented how her son was not only forced to strip naked, but how he was later used as a human shield, "Then they took my son, they had him strip naked, and they also started firing between his legs to terrorize him."
Israeli soldiers arrested and detained Um Siri's son for days, during this time, she did not know if he was dead or alive. Finally she found him in a rescue shelter where he recounted how he was treated, "When I also found my son, he told me that the soldiers took him to a field near the camp with many other young men, he told me that the soldiers had them walk in front of the tanks, as they were looking for fighters."
The vulnerable and elderly, according to residents, were treated just as mercilessly. Um Siri recounted how the women of Jenin tried to come to the aid of some men, forced to stand naked publicly, in the pouring rain, "We passed by the sons of Sheikh Abdel Salam. They were standing there in the rain, after the Israelis had them strip completely naked. There was a woman who came with us. She took her headscarf and tore it to several pieces and gave it to the young men to cover themselves. A very thin old man approached while screaming, 'My sons, my money, for God's sake, they took everything!' The Israelis had him strip naked like the day he was born. Once the women saw that, they started pulling their hair, hitting their heads, and wailing. He has all of his life's savings with him, because he was worried that he might lose it in the invasion, but when the Israelis stripped him naked, they found the money and took it."
Other residents described how young men were stripped naked and then shot. Yusuf Shalabi, a young man from the camp explained how the Israeli soldiers denied medical treatment to the wounded, ".I remember this nightmare very well. It is very difficult to talk about it. I remember them stripping the people naked, they would handcuff them and blindfold them. I remember seeing two wounded men, one was wounded in the shoulder and the other in the leg. They were screaming in pain and the soldiers would not allow them to be treated.
The Israeli army, who according to Amnesty International committed war crimes in Jenin in April of 2002, targeted medical workers as well. They also forced the women to remove their head scarves. Seham Shalabi, a young woman who works in a textile factory in Jenin recounted her memories of those days last April, "An army jeep came and started circling the house, then it opened fire at us. Why would they open fire at us? Then they came and they searched us, and had us walk two by two, out of the camp. Just as we began moving, we saw another group of tanks and bulldozers. We found some doctors and medical workers, forced strip naked, handcuffed. Then they put them in trucks and took them to the Salem detention center. The Israelis started shouting and ordering us to take off our head scarves.
Humiliation of medial workers was not only reported by the residents of Jenin, but these events were also narrated by the medical workers themselves. Mohammed Rafi' the director of the Red Crescent Society's youth development programs in Jenin recounted how the Israelis held medical workers hostage in the Jenin hospital for days, and then forced them to strip naked as well. "They did not allow anyone in or out. If one of us wanted to leave to the hospital across the street, it would take two hours of telephone calls and deliberation. Ambulance drivers would be forced to wait for two hours with people bleeding inside before they were allowed entry to the hospital, they would take our volunteers or drivers, have them stripped naked, and interrogated and insulted.
Of the scores upon scores of interviews conducted by Palestine Chronicle reporters in the Jenin refugee camp, that act of forcing civilians to strip naked was reported time and again. The Israeli army has defended the action, saying that such tactics are necessary to assure that Palestinians are not carrying explosives.
-(Many of the quotes within this article will be included the book titled Searching Jenin, edited by Ramzy Baroud, Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle. Searching Jenin will be available in bookstores in December 2002.)
-(Palestine Chronicle (palestinechronicle.com). Redistributed via Press International News Agency (PINA)).
Webshots! Over 20 MILLION FREE screen saver and wallpaper photos!
November 21, 2002 --Fbi, Nbi Investigate Catholic Nuns' Death --Taylor Discloses Monrovia News
Liberia's outspoken bishop
What a saintly man to uplift us all with his courage in the face of trying circumstances. Bishop Michael Francis of Liberia speaks out about the five slain nuns in Liberia. The government's response? Accuse Bishop Francis and the Church of the crime. God bless you, Bishop Michael Francis.
More News: In Solidarity With Bishop Francis: Council of Churches Joins Protest - Orders Institutions Closed for 3 Days
St. John Vianney, patron of priests wrote:
Do you see, my children, except God, nothing is solid--nothing, nothing! If it is life, it passes away; if it is a fortune, it crumbles away; if it is health, it is destroyed; if it is reputation, it is attacked. We are scattered like the wind. . . . Everything is passing away full speed, everything is going to ruin. O God! O God! how much those are to be pitied, then, who set their hearts on all these things! They set their hearts on them because they love themselves too much; but they do not love themselves with a reasonable love-they love themselves with a love that seeks themselves and the world, that seeks creatures more than God. That is the reason why they are never satisfied, never quiet; they are always uneasy, always tormented, always upset. See, my children, the good Christian runs his course in this world mounted on a fine triumphal chariot; this chariot is borne by angels, and conducted by Our Lord Himself, while the poor sinner is harnessed to the chariot of this life, and the devil who drives it forces him to go on with great strokes of the whip.
A prayer for Bishop Francis and all priests
Dear Saint John Vianney, your childhood dream was to be a Priest, to win souls for God. You endured years of toil and humiliation to attain the Priesthood. You became a Priest truly after God's own heart, outstanding in humulity and poverty; prayer and mortification. Totally devoted to the service of God's people. The Church has exalted you as model and patron saint of all Parish Priest, trusting that your example and prayers will help them to live up to the high dignity of their vocation to be faithful servants of God's people, to be perfect imitators of Christ the Savior Who came not to be served but to serve, to give His Life in ransom for many.
Pray that God may give to His Church today many more Priests after His own Heart. Pray for all the Priests under your patronage, that they may be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd. May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance; be examples of humility and poverty; shining modelss of holiness; tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God; zealous dispensers of God's Grace in the Sacraments. May their loving devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary His Mother be the Twin Fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry. Amen.
By Uri Avnery
Are you like me?
Now, before answering "NO" so emphatically, maybe there's something we
can agree on.
The recent survey conducted by Crisis Magazine, combined with the fact
that my dinner got ruined last night, got me to thinking about how many of us celebrate the Mass.
If that seems like convoluted thinking to you, why not confirm it for yourself? Wander over to http://www.pewlady.com and see if I'm dealing with a full deck or not...I'd appreciate it!
Enjoy a blessed week-end,
December 2000 Letter From Hans von Sponeck to minister Peter Hain
December 2-3 Speech of Hans von Sponeck
December 6, 2001 Iraq: The Hostage Nation, by Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday
December 23, 2001 Hans von Sponeck: The Inside Story of U.S. Sanctions on Iraq
January 10, 2002 Iraq: There are alternatives to a military option, by Hans von Sponeck
July 22, 2002 Go on, call Bush's bluff -- If Iraq lets the arms inspectors back in, America's case for war will be exposed as fiction
Another America, by Hans von Sponeck
On November 16, Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, issued this statement. It reads in part: "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the shocking and reprehensible attack on Jewish worshipers on Friday. The fact that these worshipers and Israeli security personnel who came to their rescue were gunned down on the way back from Sabbath prayers only adds to the horror of this attack." Since then it has been revealed that Israeli officials lied about worshippers being killed on their way back from prayer. In fact, the 12 men killed were soldiers, border patrolmen or armed settlers. No unarmed civilians were killed or wounded.
Call or email Secretary of State Powell and urge him to issue a clarification on two points:
1) Hebron is not in Israel. The city is recognized by the United States and the international community as being under an illegal Israeli military occupation. Secretary Powell himself has called on several occasions for an end to the occupation.
2) Israeli military officials have admitted that no unarmed civilian worshippers were killed or wounded. The 12 men killed and the 15 wounded were soldiers, border patrolmen or armed settlers.
3) Finally, encourage Secretary Powell to demonstrate that the United States places equal value on all human life. It is inappropriate for the United States to only condemn the deaths of Israeli civilians while remaining silent as Palestinian civilians are killed on a daily basis.
In the past week alone, Israeli forces killed three Palestinian children: two-year-old Nafez Mashal; three-year-old Hamed al Masri; and nine-year-old Mohammad Abu al-Naja. Over the past four months, 80% of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers enforcing curfews in Palestinian cities have been children under the age of 16. (B'Tselem, Lethal Curfew) Send an email
Al Qaeda 'big catch' in U.S. custody
Feds warn of 'spectacular attacks' from al Qaeda
Terror On Tape: Archive of Al-Qaeda videotape
US captures senior al Qaeda leader
U.S. says tape shows bin Laden alive
Bush Brushes Aside Criticism of War on Terror
Israel arrests 17 in Ramadan raid
Iraq Issue Looms Over Annan's Mideast Talk
Family fighting husband's efforts to disconnect wife's feeding tube
Docs' Prescription for Teen Sex: Don't Do It
Anti-abortion movement says proposal not broad enough - CNN.com
Newborn Suffered Broken Bones, Burns and Cuts in 8 Weeks of Life -- ABC News
Iraqi Assyrians Speak the Language Jesus Spoke — But For How Long? -- ABC News
She throws back her head and she laughs
Her hair is as wild as an arsonist's dream
I wake and brush off the cinders, she turns and whispers,
"Ain't life a scream."
~Waltz, Richard Krueger~
Revised APA Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder
Re-Examining Seasonal Affective Disorder -- What is SAD? -- Psychiatric Times
Health Care Faces Malpractice Crisis
Restoring hope to traumatized children -- Dawn
Militant Jewish Leader Slashes His Throat
Sharon Goes Down Firing -- Pravda
Are you like me? Do you think maybe the Body of Christ might be getting a little too "down to earth?" From PR lessons to trade-union priests to giving alms with "strings attached," do you think maybe we're concentrating on the wrong "kingdom?"
Join me at http://www.pewlady.com and see what you think!
Have a great week,
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mal 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10
Cursed is the deceitful man that hath in his flock a male, and making a vow offereth in sacrifice that which is feeble to the Lord: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the Gentiles. And now, O ye priests, this commandment is to you. If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, saith the Lord of hosts: I will send poverty upon
you, and will curse your blessings, yea I will curse them, because you have not laid it to heart. But you have departed out of the way, and have caused many to stumble at the law: you have made void the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible, and base before all people, as you have not kept my ways, and have accepted persons in the law. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why then doth every one of us despise his brother, violating the covenant of our fathers?
Ps 131:1, 2, 3
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Lord, my heart is not exalted:
nor are my eyes lofty.
Neither have I walked in great matters,
nor in wonderful things above me.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
If I was not humbly minded,
but exalted my soul:
As a child that is weaned is towards his mother,
so reward in my soul.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Let Israel hope in the Lord,
from henceforth now and for ever.
R. In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
1 Thes 2:7b-9, 13
Whereas we might have been burdensome to you, as the apostles of Christ: but we became little ones in the midst of you, as if a nurse should cherish her children: So desirous of you, we would gladly impart unto you not only the gospel of God but also our own souls: because you were become most dear unto us. For you remember, brethren, our labour and toil: working night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you, we preached among you the gospel of God. Therefore, we also give thanks to God without
ceasing: because, that when you had received of us the word of the hearing of God, you received it not as the word of men, but (as it is indeed) the word of God, who worketh in you that have believed.
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men's shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts and the first chairs in the synagogues, And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master: and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Commentary on the Sunday Readings by Lisa Graas
The readings of this Sunday are a lesson to us in humility and of thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness -- a reminder to us that without God we are nothing, but with God we are everything.
The priests in the reading from the book of Malachi were merely going through the motions of service to God. Their sacrifices were not pleasing because their offerings were blind and lame sheep rather than the best of the flock. It is clear that the hearts of the people were not turned to God because they did not see the necessity of honoring God. They placed God in the position of subservience to themselves by sharing with Him the weakest of the flock. They did not believe they needed Him, so the faithful relationship with Him became faithless and forgotten in their hearts. In going through the motions of their faith, they made void the contract. They willingly separated themselves from our faithful and loving God.
God's covenant is not a mere contract which was or can be renegotiated. It is an eternal promise. Because God is faithful, He will not violate His covenant with mankind, but He gives each of us the choice to make it void. God wills that we love Him because He loves us. Without this choice, we could not possibly love Him. We may choose to separate ourselves from His covenant or to participate
in it. Participation in the life that God wills for us requires our humility. Our humility is an act of giving -- an act of sacrifice -- and when we give of ourselves this pleasing sacrifice we receive back from Him the promised life. Those sacrifices made in our bodies, our minds and hearts, we bring with us to the altar. Without humility, full participation in a life with God is impossible because our sacrifices are meager and flawed, at best, like the blind and lame sheep. In pride, we hold back the best for ourselves and give to God the weakest portion.
We've learned from the examples of the saints that a life of humility is very difficult, but in today's Psalm we hear of the reward of humility. The reward in this life is the hope in our hearts that we will be fully united with God. This hope and its realization is the fullest happiness which we may attain in this life. If we live our lives in a state of forgetfulness about our relationship with God, we may have a false sense of happiness, but there will be an emptiness within us still -- hopelessness. In God alone is true hope and salvation. He responds to our faithfulness as the truest of spouses. He will never turn from us when our humble hearts seek Him. He is faithful to the covenant, so we have reason to hope in Him.
St. Paul risked his life to preach the Gospel to the Thessalonians. Eventually, he was martyred for his ministry. There is no greater act of humility than martyrdom. In martyrdom, one gives the utmost he has to give from his store -- his very life. Paul was not only humble before God, though. He was humble before those he ministered to, becoming a "little one" in their midst. It is not enough to stand in awe of the greatness of God. We must also be humble toward one another, no matter our station in life. If we do not practice humility toward others, we cannot truly be humble in the eyes of God.
Humility proceeds from the virtue of temperance because it is a willful act of refraining from disordered desires. In humility, we determine to see faults in ourselves that we do not see in others, or we seek out and find the good in others that we do not see in ourselves. Paul shows forth this humility of submissiveness most especially in his allusion to the matrimonial relationship we have with God and, therefore, to each other when he speaks of the desire to impart even his own soul, and not just the Gospel, to those he
ministered to. The term he uses for this desire has the meaning of "yearning" or "longing" as the spouse longs affectionately for her husband. This is the humility which comes from the love of a holy priest for his congregation and it is an example to us of the depth of humility we must have toward each other.
It is humility that Christ speaks of in the Gospel, and not only the humility of the priests but also of the laity. It can be difficult to show humility when we are in subjection to a priest if that priest has no humility or has fallen into some other great sin. Christ commanded that the people should do what the priests tell them to do because they sit on the "seat of Moses", a traditional term for the authority of the office. Christ is not abolishing the priesthood by saying that we should call no man "father". To the contrary, in our service to God, Christ commands that we are to be in a certain manner of subjection to the priests who have authority over us. He is teaching that it is in humility that we respect the office of the priest since his authority comes from God. When the priests do not live holy lives, however, we should not mimic them and we should not respect their sinful deeds in our hearts. We should do the will of God always, even when those in authority over us do not. It is not an act of humility to endorse or otherwise accept the sins of another. True humility is in seeing the good in others despite their sins, and seeing the sins in ourselves which others do not have. In a healthy understanding of humility, the distinction between good and evil remains clear.
Other Scriptures about pride and humility.
For thou wilt save the humble people; but wilt bring down the eyes of the proud.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart: and he will save the humble of spirit.
He hath had regard to the prayer of the humble: and he hath not despised their petition.
Humiliation followeth the proud: and glory shall uphold the humble of spirit.
Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall
find rest to your souls.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.
Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not
wise in your own conceits.
But he giveth greater grace. Wherefore he saith: God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble.
And in fine, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood,
merciful, modest, humble:
In like manner, ye young men, be subject to the ancients. And do you all insinuate humility one to
another: for God resisteth the proud, but to the humble he giveth grace.
Other writings on humility:
The Concept of Humility in the Writings of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Marcel Dube, O. Carm.
Josemaria Escriva > The Way > Humility
The Call to Humility: St. Benedict's Twelve Steps
LITANY OF HUMILITY
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
>From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I,
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase,
and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others become holier than I, provided that I may
become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
Imprimatur: + James A. McNulty - Bishop of Paterson, N.J.
Contraception is anti-spousal by Msgr. Vincent Foy
Title X Commentary by Ed Szymkowiak
Silence: The sin of omission by Fr. Denis O'Brien, M.M.
Did you know that October was National Family Sexuality Education Month courtesy of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion providers in America? Darn. I missed it. Oh well, there's always next year.
by Lisa Graas
Graceful dawn speaks madness to my mind;
wraps gently 'round my heart in layers kind.
Whispers softly. Whispers, "I am here".
Underneath and round the layers fold.
Mind, inside, I hide. I'm lost. I'm cold.
Whisper softly, "Mind cannot be bold."
Heart so bold it cries, it cries to all.
Mind so cold, its bitter daggers fall.
Whisper softly. Whisper. Let me hear.
Heaven's sunlight, clear and white and plain.
Bitter daggers fallen still remain.
Leap, my heart. Cry and let me hear.
Whisper softly. Whisper. Heaven's near.
Good-Byes -- OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PINA) - In the past five days, I’ve said good-bye to friends in two extraordinarily different ways, but both have relevance to life in the Middle East in the current situation and both illustrate the tragedy that is taking place here – for all concerned. READ MORE
Arafat Initiates New Government by Denouncing Violence - Palestinian Killed in the West Bank -- RAMALLAH, West Bank (PINA) - The new Palestinian government held its first meeting Wednesday, one day after winning a Parliamentary approval in Ramallah. Meanwhile, a Palestinian was shot dead in the West Bank. READ MORE
Report: Palestinian Stillborns Up by 500% Due to Israel’s Human Rights Violation -- OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - The number of stillborn births in West Bank villages gripped by occupation, curfew and choking siege has risen by an unprecedented 500 percent, Physicians for Human Rights reported Monday. READ MORE
To read the story of the Assumption of Mary, go HERE
Another really great page is HERE
~Love from Lisa~
October 20, 2002
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6 (Douay-Rheims)(Isa 45:1) Thus saith the Lord to my anointed Cyrus, whose right hand I
have taken hold of, to subdue nations before his face, and to turn the backs
of kings, and to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut.
(Isa 45:4) For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my elect, I have
even called thee by thy name: I have made a likeness of thee, and thou hast
not known me.
(Isa 45:5) I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God besides
me: I girded thee, and thou hast not known me:
(Isa 45:6) That they may know who are from the rising of the sun, and they
who are from the west, that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and
there is none else:
Ps 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10(Psa 96:1) A canticle for David himself, when the house was built after the
captivity. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the
(Psa 96:3) Declare his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all
(Psa 96:4) For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to
be feared above all gods.
(Psa 96:5) For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made
(Psa 96:8) Bring to the Lord glory unto his name. Bring up sacrifices, and
come into his courts:
(Psa 96:9) Adore ye the Lord in his holy court. Let all the earth be moved
at his presence.
(Psa 96:10) Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath
corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with
(Psa 96:7) Bring ye to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the Gentiles, bring ye to
the Lord glory and honour:
1 Thes 1:1-5b(1Th 1:1) Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians:
in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Th 1:2) Grace be to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you
all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing,
(1Th 1:3) Being mindful of the work of your faith and labour and charity:
and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our
(1Th 1:4) Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election:
(1Th 1:5) For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power
also: and in the Holy Ghost and in much fulness, as you know what manner of
men we have been among you for your sakes.
Mt 22:15-21(Mat 22:15) Then the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to
insnare him in his speech.
(Mat 22:16) And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians,
saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker and teachest the way of
God in truth. Neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the
person of men.
(Mat 22:17) Tell us therefore what dost thou think? Is it lawful to give
tribute to Caesar, or not?
(Mat 22:18) But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me,
(Mat 22:19) Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny.
(Mat 22:20) And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this?
(Mat 22:21) They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render
therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things
that are God's.
Today's Readings as referenced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
First Reading -- References in the catechism***
Responsorial Psalm -- Reference in the catechism
#2143 Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the
revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he
reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs
to the order of trust and intimacy. "The Lord's name is holy." For this
reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving
adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless,
praise, and glorify it.
Second Reading -- References in the catechism
Gospel -- Reference in the catechism
#2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of
civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order,
to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel.
Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to
those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction
between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore
to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are
God's." "We must obey God rather than men":
When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps
its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is
objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for
them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against
the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law
of the Gospel.
Note: References in the catechism were found by searching the catechism at
christusrex.org. Some references could not be found with this search
engine. It's possible that I made an error. If you would like to search
the catechism, you may do so at
It is advised that you search the catechism for keywords and/or themes that
you think are applicable. Also, as you search the catechism, take note of
other Scriptural references listed for that passage in the catechism. This
will help you to see the theme(s) flowing through the readings. If you do
not have searchable Bible software, you can search the Douay-Rheims for free
online at http://olivetree.com/bible/index.html
Sorry no blogging for a while, and perhaps not for some time to come. I have been hanging out HERE because the discussion has been so enlightening, and HERE because the discussion has been so uncanny. As I'm looking in my history folder, I see the sock smell-o-meter. I'm going to have to have a talk with my son. He was supposed to be doing something educational while he was on here. Or could that be my husband's file? Hmmmm.
I've been HERE getting coloring pages for my preschoolers and HERE reading about Augustine's thoughts on the Eucharist (and Baptists say he was Baptist???). My son and I were reading about Spanish Exploration in the Americas (coolorama), and I was HERE reading about inclusive language in Bible translations. I was only on this page about dissecting the eye of a cow two seconds. ICK. Must run. I'll return when I can.
Love from Lisa
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Oct. 10, 2002
This Worldwide Caution Public Announcement supersedes the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement dated September 9, 2002. In light of the recent audio tape attributed to Usama bin Laden and other reports of threats to American interests, this Worldwide Caution is being issued to alert Americans to the need to remain vigilant and to remind them of the continuing threat of terrorist actions that may target civilians. This Worldwide Caution expires on April 8, 2003.
The U.S. Government continues to receive credible indications that extremist groups and individuals are planning additional terrorist actions against U.S. interests. Such actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations. Because security and security awareness have been elevated within the U.S, the terrorists may target U.S. interests overseas. We remind American citizens to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.
Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Attacks on places of worship and schools, and the murders of private American citizens, demonstrate that as security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers will seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans are generally known to congregate or visit, such as clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools or outdoor recreation events. Americans should increase their security awareness when they are at such locations, avoid them, or switch to other locations where Americans in large numbers generally do not congregate. American citizens may be targeted for kidnapping or assassination.
U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy. In those instances, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens. Americans are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to Americans overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, U.S. travelers can hear recorded information by calling the Department of State in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touch-tone telephone, or receive information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
3339 Massachusetts Avenue
June 22 1943
In reference to our conversation of a few days back, I wish to present for Your Excellenecy's consideration and attention the following points relative to the situation in Palestine.
The Holy See has despite grave difficulties constantly manifested deep interest and concern in “non-arians.” This is quite clear from the recent action taken in favor of the Jewish youths and infants interned in Slovackia to prevent their removal from that Republic.
The aid of the Holy See has recently been enlisted to assist In the removal of difficulties so that Jewish children may be transported to Palestine. Their immigration from European countries has been permitted by this British Government.
Although the Holy See is deeply interested in the welfare of these children, it seems opportune to recall at this time of general question of the “Hebrew Home” in Palestine. Since 1917, when the question first arose, the Holy See has made known its attitude on the point and has repeated it in several formal documents.
In 1919 His Holiness, Pope Benedict IV, in speaking to a Consistory of Cardinals, mentioned the great solicitude the Popes have shown for the preservation of the venerable and holy places in Palestine. For years they hare sacrificed to keep them from the hands of infidels. Now that their possession has been secured, it must be protected and strengthened. If the power of the infidels in Palestine increases, the monuments will again be in danger. (A.A.S. Vol. XI, page 100).
On June 13, 1921, the same Sovereign Pontiff pointed out that although he did not want to interfere with any rights of the Jewish people, neither did be desire to prejudice in any way the rights of Christians in Palestine. (A.A.S. Vol. XIII, page 283). The attitude of the Church was set forth in an “Aide Memoire” to the Council of the League Of Nations on June 4, 1922. A copy is attached to this letter. There is also a copy of a letter from Cardinal Gasparri under date of March 6, 1922.
In this question two points must be considered. The first concerns the Holy Places (for example, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem, etc.). Catholics rejoice in certain rights regarding these places and in justice their rights must be rocognized, and respected. Repeated formal assurances that these rights will be respected are ever necessary and will again be required after the present war,
The second point concerns Palestine itself. Catholics the world over are piously devoted to this country, hallowed as it was by the presence of the Redeemer and esteemed as it is as the cradle of Christianity. If the greater part of Palestine is given to the Jewish people, this would be a severe blow to the religious attachment of Catholics to this land. To have the Jewish people in the majority would be to interfere with the peaceful exercise of these rights in the Holy Land already vested in Catholics.
It is true that at one time Palestine was inhabited by the Hebrew Race, but there is no axiom in history to substantiate the necessity of a people returning to a country they left nineteen centuries before.
If a “Hebrew Home” is desired, it would not be too difficult to find a more fitting territory than Palestine. With an increase in the Jewish population there, grave new, international problems would arise. Catholics the world over would be aroused. The Holy See would be saddened, and justly, so, by such a move, for it would not be in keeping with the charitable assistance non-arians [sic] have received and will continue to receive at the hands of the Vatican.
I am confident that from these points, Your Excellency will appreciate the position of the Holy See in this matter.
'With sentiments of esteem and every good wish, I remain
Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) A. G. CICOGNANI.
Archbishop of Laodicea
A Muslim apologist, Dr. Ja`far Sheikh Idris, writes:
One cannot truly believe in ‘Issa [Jesus] and not believe in Muhammad (SAAW). To truly accept one Prophet or Messenger necessitates the acceptance of all those who came before him and all who will come after him, ending with Muhammad (SAAW).
There is not enough information in the formula given above to classify it as a statement of logic.
If the first "prophet" (1) warned of false prophets, (2) founded an authoritative Church to teach, (3)AND if that Church has taught from the beginning of its life on earth that there would be no new revelation, then the second prophet could not be accepted.
To better understand the plight of Christian Arabs in the Holy Land, I recommend books by Fr. Elias Chacour available at Amazon.com.
Who is the Most Capable Individual to Lead the Palestinian People?
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi 35.56%
Will Israel go through with its plan to expel relatives of accused Palestinian fighters? Yes 64.68%
Should The Palestinian Resistance Retaliate Against The Israeli Massacre In Gaza? No 52.20% | Yes 42.16%
Following Annan’s report, is Israel off the hook regarding the Jenin Massacre? Yes 55.53% | No 41.47%
Is the US serious in its call for Israeli withdrawal? No 79.67% | Yes 15.33% | I Don't Know 5.01%
Is the International Community Doing Enough to Provide Relief to Palestinians? No 77.69%
Should the PA Stall Talks with Israel after 15 Palestinian Deaths in a Week? No 48.75% | Yes 44.85% | I Don't Know 6.41%
Do You Agree with Fatah’s Decision to Halt Its Operations Inside Israel? Yes 52.14% | No 43.41%
Does Sharon Intend to Kill Arafat? Yes 64.12% | No 35.88%
Does Arafat have the ability to control suicide bombings? No 68.39%
Should Sharon Be Tried for War Crimes? Yes 74.85%
Will the Jenin Massacre Change the World’s Perception of the Palestinian struggle? No 51.04% | Yes 42.65%
Will Israel Be Held Accountable for the Jenin Massacre? No 60.25% | Yes 36.07%
Will the UN Eventually Investigate the Massacre in Jenin? No 72.36%
SEE COMPLETE RESULTS OF THESE POLLS >>>>>>HERE<<<<<<<
The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church's history.
Pope John Paul II
October 14, 2002 -- Monday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31 - 5:1
OLD THUNDER: A LIFE OF HILAIRE BELLOC, By Joseph Pearce, Ignatius Press, was reviewed by James E. Person, Jr..
Merle Rubin reviews The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Rubin reveals an interesting irony about this book's popularity in feminist circles. This book is not recommended, but the review is worth reading.
Kelly Clark has been doing a fantastic job keeping us all up to date about VOTF in her column The Lady In The Pew and the Lord knows I have enough to keep me busy without tackling something else, but I just have to say something about it. I can't keep quiet about it. I was reading this (sarc on) completely unbiased (sarc off) account by Steven Rosenberg in The Boston Globe this morning and it occurred to me that there is a KEY POINT that should be continually pressed home to those who may be soothed by the siren song of VOTF.
If you will notice on their website VOTF has enumerated three 'goals' of the organization. These are (1)"To support those who have been abused". This is definitely a good thing. The second is "to support priests of integrity". This, too, is a good thing. Of course, a "priest of integrity" can mean different things to different people. There are those who believe that a priest who refuses communion to those who publicly advocate homosexual behavior is not a priest of integrity whereas others would marvel at his COURAGE (pun intended). For the sake of argument, though, I will give them that one and assume they are referring to priests who agree that pederasty in the Church should be stopped. Now, however, let us examine goal #3 which is "To shape structural change within the Church." WHOA!! WHAT??? Shaping structural change in the Catholic Church??? What could be more Protestant than that??? Laity changing the structure of the Church? "Shaping" means "changing", right? And what is the "structure" of the Church?? Why, we have a hierarchical church, do we not? Why would I want to turn it upside down and start looking at the universe through the wrong end of the telescope? It's a no-brainer.
VOTF states on it's website that it's internal "working group" (Structural Change Working Group) is a nine-member (all laity) group working to "clarify church structures: 1) as they are defined, (2) as they actually function, and (3) as they ought to be" and then adds, "to fulfill the vision of Vatican II." Um, excuse me? For more information on this "vision of Vatican II" garbage, please see "I was robbed", by Leila Miller. For you progressives, you can rest assured that Leila's story is a FRESH look at OLD mistakes, one of which is a mischaracterization of Vatican II (i.e., application -- or rather MISapplication -- of "mandates" that cannot be found anywhere in the actual text of the council decrees).
Oh!! I nearly forgot!! You must must MUST also read I. Shawn McElhinney's Vatican II and Authority for another good look at this "spirit of Vatican II" hogwash.
PARDON MY CANDOR, but, you see, I am a convert, and we converts do not take kindly to a bunch of cradle Catholics who have little or no appreciation for what they have in the Catholic Church, starting up these little committees to subvert the very heart of those doctrines of the Church that we cherish so much that we have abandoned all to cling to Her. If they want to be Protestants, I say, let them start up their own church somewhere!! But do not start throwing rocks at the beautiful Bride of Christ simply because you think she has a little mud on her face.
Okay, I've had my little spew about VOTF. Just one last thing, though. A Rev. Curley was quoted in that Boston Globe story (linked above) saying, ''I'm trying to work within the existing structure,'I think they're reinventing the wheel.'' AMEN, FATHER!! Amen.
What the US President Wants Us to Forget
Stop Ethnic Cleansing in the Mideast Before It Starts
Israeli Troops Kill Six Palestinians
Two Jewish Authors Underscore "Israeli Holocaust" Against Palestinians
IOF Blow Up Rafah Homes, Crush 4-Year Child to Death
Survey Asks British Writers to Take Sides: Half Vote for Palestinians
Arafat Set to Announce New Cabinet within 10 Days
"Kingdom Not Bound by UN Resolution on Iraq"
Bloody Takeover Vandalises Holiest City
Please consider taking this new poll about Voting and Mental Illness.
View current results of celibacy poll here
Take the poll on Celibacy of Priests
Mental Illness and Voting
I was robbed! by Leila Miller has been available online for a couple of years. In all this time, I don't recall receiving even ONE negative comment about it although I have received countless words of agreement with it. Please note that I AM NOT LEILA MILLER. I am Lisa Graas -- the tiny little webmistress who is GRATEFUL to Leila for allowing me to post her story on my site (The Lighthouse). I only WISH I could write like that. People confuse us all the time, so I had to mention that. :-) I don't think "Leila Miller" sounds ANYTHING like "Lisa Graas", and I can assure you that we look NOTHING ALIKE. She is a Palestinian city girl with a college degree and I am a white trash girl with a diploma from an Appalachian high school......but whatever, people!!!!! AS LONG AS YOU READ IT!! :-) Here's the lead-in... just a little hors d'oeuvre to whet your appetite....
I was robbed.
I am a "Generation X" Catholic, raised and catechized in the tumultuous aftermath of Vatican II. I was a victim of "renewal" and experimentation gone awry, and so were my peers. With great regret and without exaggeration, I contend that the results have been catastrophic for my generation. It is my firm belief that the overwhelming majority of young Catholics don't have even an elemental understanding of their Faith. As a direct result of that ignorance, young Catholics are leaving the Church in a steady stream (or, dare I say, tidal wave?).
It's not entirely accurate to say that I left the Catholic Church (though I considered it), but it's clear to me now that for most of my young adulthood, I was not in the Catholic Church. Read more.......
See the beauty of Palestine at the online gallery of photographer Luke Powell.
In the Palestine Chronicle, William Hughes writes about Attorney General John Ashcroft's push to convict those who have financed al Qaeda. Hughes is correct to be critical of Ashcroft's charge that the conspiracy of Muslim terrorism originated in the camps of the Mujahideens. Although Hughes' charge of McCarthyism seems to fall short of fairness, Ashcroft's remarks are indeed another vile bowl of that duplicity stew that our government keeps serving up to us. Ashcroft has brought to my mind those immortal words of Richard III...
"A horse, a horse. My kingdom for a horse." Reagan piped loads of money to the Mujahideen, you silly Ashcroft!! So, are we in the conspiracy to fund terrorism, too? Sheesh.
After praying the Angelus, Oct 10, 1999, the Holy Father spoke of the World Day of Mental Health,
Today we are observing the World Day of Mental Health, promoted by the World Health Organization. In her multifaceted commitment to the sick, the Church is always attentive to those affected by psychological disturbances. I assure these brothers and sisters of ours and their families a special remembrance in my prayer, and I encourage everyone who works at any level in this challenging field of health care.
Peace in the World, Dialogue among Christians and with other Religions..PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY
The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible...PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL COMMISSION
Spiritual Childhood...The Life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Peoples everywhere, open the doors to Christ!...REDEMPTORIS MISSIO...Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II on the permanent validity of the Church's missionary mandate
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Peace and Everyday Life...PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
Ut Unum Sit...Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism
Hooray for parents! Mental Health Week: Psychiatry Making America Mindless
Mona Charen commentary: ADHD disinformation
Anorexia in Korea Op-Ed / Korea Herald
Teen Drug Abuse Recovery ABC News: When Rich Kids Go Bad
Houston Chronicle report Nat'l Depression Screening Day
Children with birth defects are a joy to loving parents
Couple embraces highs, lows of raising sextuplets
Human Genome Project Genome sequencing is about to get personal
Kazakhstan: President orders study on effects of decriminalizing 'soft' drugs
State Rep. John S. Martinez killed in car crash
Belgian outcry over first mercy killing under new law
Ten Things Your Pharmacist Won't Tell You
Ten Things Your Health Insurer Won't Tell You
Mental health care for poor 'beyond crisis,' report finds
Courts told to reconsider retardation claims in cases
Fragile X Syndrome Scientists Identify Possible Link To RNAi
Frightened and Deprived: A report on the lives of Palestinian children
Let Hamas Send Its Own Sons: Letter to the Editor written by the father of a suicide bomber
Sharon doing to courts what he has done to TV
"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source."
~~~Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher.
Prince Andrew, in War and Peace, bk. 12, ch. 4 (1868-1869).
Phil. 4:12-14, 19-20
EWTN's Catholic Almanac
Today's Homily (EWTN)
I'm sharing with you today these stories written by Palestinians for the Palestinian Chronicle. You can find more information about the plight of the Palestinian people, including pictures from what is being termed as "the massacre in Gaza", via the Palestinian Chronicle website. I cannot imagine that the American people will continue to stand by and let our leaders make decisions for us that are not based on our principles of peace and justice. I believe that God is all-loving AND all-just, and I believe that the oppressed will see justice in God's time, not ours, but those who stand opposed to justice in the world, whether it be in impeding justice toward the Israelis, the Americans, the British, the Arab world as a whole OR the Palestinians, do so at their own peril. May God help the Palestinians to know justice. May God help the Israelis to know justice. May God help us all. May God bless you. ~Love from Lisa~
The Case against Ariel Sharon
Demolition of Palestinian Homes a War Crime: UN Expert
Iraq Ready to Resolve All Inspection Issues
This Year’s Palestinian Olive Crop is Stained by Blood
Israel Under Fire for Its Treatment of Palestinian Children
Israel Bar Palestinians from Praying at Al-Aqsa
US Plans Postwar Occupation of Iraq
Lawyers in Sharon Case Seek European Parliament Support
Khan Yunis: Before the Juggernaut
By Jennifer Loewenstein
For Palestine Chronicle
MADISON, Wisconsin (PC) - A mobile watchtower, lifted into the air by a crane, surveys Khan Yunis day and night. An ambulance from the city waits behind a nearby concrete building day after day; it waits so that the next child shot for playing too close to the wall can make it to the local hospital before dying. The wall is a vast, menacing construction stretching down the coast as far as you can see, separating Khan Yunis from the Gush Katif settlement block in the Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers sit poised with machine guns in the cylindrical bunker at the northern edge of the wall overlooking the ruins they've made of the Khan Yunis refugee camp.
Over there to the south and west, in the Jewish settlements, no one worries about water shortages or electricity outages. Families don't live in corrugated iron shacks unrecognizable as homes from the outside until someone points out what is supposed to be a door; until you see ragged clothing hanging up to dry above a parched piece of earth beside the shack. Parents in the settlements aren't afraid that their children will be murdered for absentmindedly playing too close to a wall. Their panorama is the buoyant, sparkling Mediterranean lapping the white sands outside their windows; an occupied view: for settlers only.
There are children from the refugee camp playing in the shell of a building not far from the wall. A small Gaza girl eyed me with a dark face, suspicious but curious, the last time I walked this area. When I asked to take her picture she simply stood still with the same brooding expression on her face as I clicked the camera. A year later and here she is playing among the ruins; taller and longer haired but with the same knowing look. When she sees me she stops and we both flash a quick smile of recognition. She's not dead, I think. One cannot help but wonder this about those who go on living here.
And now I wonder again about her and her playmates; about the men and women mulling about in the hot streets of the market. I wonder about the boy who was shot in the arm by a soldier in the mobile watchtower target practicecarried away by the ever-present ambulance just after I arrived to gape incredulously at the wall. I wonder about the boy who draped a Palestinian flag over his shoulders like a cape after the funeral of two others killed in the night by a tank. He ran past us to his home, a white apartment building with bullet holes and tank-blasted craters in the concrete decorating its sorry façade. Can it really be this bad? Can you expect people to keep listening to the morbid descriptions of life here without questioning your accuracy? Perhaps not, and yet the most striking feature of all is that it is so much worse than these paltry words can express.
I've awoken to a most disturbing email message from a friend. "Massacre in Gaza" the subject heading reads. "Things grew very bad tonight in Khan Yunis. After an incursion into the refugee camp two people were killed and ten injured. A tank then stopped suddenly in the road and the Israelis started behaving in a crazy way, firing everywhere. A helicopter fired a rocket killing eight more people and wounding about 100. Later we heard that they were shelling the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis. Things are going so much to the worse here."
It's déjà vu in the Gaza Strip: more incursions, more firing, more dead, more dazed children, more grieving relatives, more wreckage in the wasteland of the Strip. I still tense up at the sound of airplanes flying overhead because of my nights spent in Rafah and Gaza City. Five months of listening to fighter jets, helicopter gunships, tank firing, machine gun fire, grenadesand the slightest "bang" now makes me jump. What are we turning a population of full-time inhabitants of this hell into??
My friend Ghada writes to me the next day, "The attack in Khan-Yunis was more than horrible. I went numb when I heard of it. The only thing I can say is 'what can we do?' We pray God to stop the Israeli madness soon."
The signs aren't looking good. The specter of war in the region is looming. Talk of "transfer", of the forced expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, is gaining in popularity not only in Israel but also in pro-Israel circles in the United States. Members of Congress and of the Bush administration are echoing the most outspoken advocates of this policy in Israel, people like Effi Eitam in charge of Israel's settlements programs and an outspoken advocate of expulsionor General Eitan Ben Elyahu, former head of the Israeli Air Force who recently announced that "eventually we will have to thin out the number of Palestinians living in the territories." No one protested.
Under cover of war, the Gaza girl with the dark eyes and her playmates, the bereaved family members of the recent massacre, the children at the kindergarten near where the Mezan Center for Human Rights office is, my former co-workers themselves Ghada with her beautiful English and hopes to study abroad, and Mais with her beaming 'good-mornings', and Anwar, the maintenance man, and the diligent Ramiz, Adnan, and Hazem, and the owners of the Matooq restaurant who welcomed me every time I came in for lunch, and the storekeepers and the taxi-drivers, the beggar-children and the women shopping for food they're all supposed to disappear, like chemical-treated stains.
The juggernaut advances and there is blood on our hands. The oranges and olives will witness the last of the just the people I met who told me they would never leave Palestine. Will their deaths move us to open our eyes?
EWTN's Catholic Almanac
Today's Homily (EWTN)
Luk 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little is unjust also in that which is greater.
Attention drugs 'do not shrink brain'
Predicting Behavior Is Brain Teaser to Scientists
Animal-assisted therapy works wonders
Autism Observed: A Conversation with Child Psychiatrist Dr. Milton Anderson
Families of autistic children 'not getting enough support'
Abbott [maker of Depakote] Plans 2,000 Job Cuts; Profit Rises
'Brain link' to manic depression
Congressmen introduce anti-andro bill
Calif. State EPA chief met with company before gift to Davis campaign
Racing needs to find a way to help jockeys
A labor of love
Experts Sound Alarm on Health of Americas' Natives
Drug czar decries Arizona pot measure
France wages war on dangerous drivers
Indian film star charged with homicide
Web sites offer help, answer questions on learning disabilities
ST Pocket Money Fund helps boy with disability
Grisly hanging video stuns murder trial
Counseling resources underused
Ruling would let firm label anti-depressant as non-addictive
HOPE dims for homeless -- Funding cutbacks are about to kill an acclaimed program to help mentally ill on the streets