2,700-Year-Old Phoenician Shipwreck Discovered

Discovery News:

An international team of researchers has discovered the remains of a Phoenician ship that sunk in the waters off the island of Malta around 700 BC, Maltese authorities announced this week.
One of the oldest shipwrecks found in the Mediterranean, the vessel is about 50 feet long. It was found at a depth of 400 feet on the sandy seabed of Gozo island, the second-largest island in the Maltese archipelago.
“There are very good chances that the wooden hull is still present, buried beneath the sand,” Timmy Gambin, a senior lecturer in maritime archaeology at the University of Malta and the co-director of the project, told Discovery News.
Gambin and colleagues from Texas A&M University and the French National Research Agency, found the ship’s cargo spread over a 700-square-foot area. According to Gambin, it was “in a fantastic state of preservation.”
The sandy seabed likely cushioned the impact when the ship sunk, leaving jars and ceramic containers unbroken.
According to the researchers, the ship carried a mixed cargo of jars and grinding stones.
About 20 grinding stones made from volcanic rock, each weighing as much as 75 pounds, were identified at the site.
“The stones, probably coming from Sicily, were being transported to be sold elsewhere in the Mediterranean,” Gambin said.
The researchers also spotted some 50 amphorae — containers with two handles and narrow necks used to hold wine and oil — made in seven different types and sizes. This would indicate the vessel had traveled to numerous harbors before sinking.
Like other Phoenician trading vessels, the ship might have made stops in Sardinia and Malta to sell its cargo…

More here.

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iron Dome At Work

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system does its job, intercepting 15 terrorist rockets at once.

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Essay: Rockets, Rockets, Rockets…

The Jewish Press:

IDF reserve soldiers recite morning prayers near the Israel- Gaza border, August 5, 2014.

Rest here.

HT:  Our Irish Anglican

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rules for Troll Handling

No Trolls Allowed

Via Route 5:9

Ah, internet trolls. They can be found in their natural habitat all over the world wide web from the comments sections of YouTube, Reddit, and CNN to Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition. If you’ve ever spent any time online, you’ve probably come across one which is why I found this article by Emily McFarlan Miller over at the Her.menuetics blog so helpful (and humorous!).
As a Christian, engaging (or not) with internet trolls requires us to realize that there’s a person on the other side of that keyboard and we are called to treat them as Christ would. That’s why Emily’s advice is so good.
Here’s her three tips with a little snippet of the explanation she gives for each point:
1. Thou Shalt Not Feed the Trolls
The first commandment of the Internet is this: “Don’t feed the trolls.”
The reasoning is simple. If the intent is to make people angry or otherwise disturb them, the way to shut it down is simply not to respond. And certainly, there are Proverbs that speak to the futility of answering – or not answering – a fool.
2. Thou Shalt Not Troll
Our response to trolling, Harrington suggests, begins with our own online behavior – removing the digital plank from our eyes, so to speak.
For Jones, deciding how to respond to Internet postings begins with checking herself, asking if this is somebody with whom she normally would engage. Sometimes the seminarian tries to take the interaction offline, a tactic she learned about a year and a half ago when she was shown the same grace.
3. Love Thy Trolls
But even when a person is trolling, Jones said, “they’re still a human being. They’re still a person Jesus is crazy about. … It sounds cheesy, but it really does boil down to loving that person – am I being kind to that person? And it can be real hard to do on the Internet.”
It’s the Golden rule: Treating others on the Internet the way you would want them to treat you, even on your snarkiest, most impulsive of days.
There’s a lot more explanation over at Her.menuetics, so be sure and go read the whole thing.

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

James Foley’s Last Letter Home

Which comes via released hostages:

The family of the kidnapped American journalist killed by Islamic State militants last week have posted a letter they say he sent while in captivity, via a fellow hostage.
James Foley was unable to write letters to his family because they were confiscated by his jailers.
Instead he asked another hostage who was about to be released to commit his letter to memory.
When that hostage was freed he dictated the letter to James’ mother, Diane.
The family posted the letter on Sunday evening, on a Facebook page they had set up to campaign for James’ release.
Earlier they had attended a memorial mass for James in their home town of Rochester, New Hampshire.
James Foley, a freelance journalist was abducted in northern Syria in November 2012, while covering that country’s civil war.
Last week, Islamic State militants released a video showing his beheading by a masked man with a British accent.
On Sunday, he British ambassador to the US told CNN that British officials were close to identifying the killer.
line
Last letter home
Dear Family and Friends,
I remember going to the Mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.
I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.
Eighteen of us have been held together in one cell, which has helped me. We have had each other to have endless long conversations about movies, trivia, sports. We have played games made up of scraps found in our cell… we have found ways to play checkers, Chess, and Risk… and have had tournaments of competition, spending some days preparing strategies for the next day’s game or lecture. The games and teaching each other have helped the time pass. They have been a huge help. We repeat stories and laugh to break the tension.
I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength. We are being fed better now and daily. We have tea, occasional coffee. I have regained most of my weight lost last year.
I think a lot about my brothers and sister. I remember playing Werewolf in the dark with Michael and so many other adventures. I think of chasing Mattie and T around the kitchen counter. It makes me happy to think of them. If there is any money left in my bank account, I want it to go to Michael and Matthew. I am so proud of you, Michael and thankful to you for happy childhood memories and to you and Kristie for happy adult ones.
And big John, how I enjoyed visiting you and Cress in Germany. Thank you for welcoming me. I think a lot about RoRo and try to imagine what Jack is like. I hope he has RoRo’s personality!
And Mark… so proud of you too Bro. I think of you on the West coast and hope you are doing some snowboarding and camping, I especially remember us going to the Comedy Club in Boston together and our big hug after. The special moments keep me hopeful.
Katie, so very proud of you. You are the strongest and best of us all!! I think of you working so hard, helping people as a nurse. I am so glad we texted just before I was captured. I pray I can come to your wedding…. now I am sounding like Grammy!!
Grammy, please take your medicine, take walks and keep dancing. I plan to take you out to Margarita’s when I get home. Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life.
Jim
line
 parishioner holds a prayer card in memory of James Foley after a Catholic mass in Rochester, New Hampshire The US and UK intelligence services are investigating Foley’s killing by Islamic State militants

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Terrorists Disguised as Nuns

DSS issues alert:

The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned the general pub­lic to be wary of persons of questionable charac­ters who may disguise in Catholic Church Reverend Sisters’ regalia to perpe­trate heinous crimes on innocent citizens.
According to a release signed by Deputy Director, Public Relations (DSS), Mari­lyn Ogar, msi, the warning became necessary following the alleged theft of some pieces of Catholic Church Reverend Sisters’ regalia at Sabon Gari, Kano, by unidentified persons, and the possibility of using same to launch terrorist attacks on the innocent citizens.
It reads: “On 20th August, 2014, about 0400 hours, some unidentified persons broke into a tailoring shop located at No.55 Odutola Street, Sabon Gari, Kano, and stole about thirteen (13) pieces of Catholic Church Reverend Sisters’ re­galia. With the recent trend of female suicide bombings in the country, the theft of these rega­lia heightens concerns about the possibility of terrorist ele­ments using same to perpetrate acts of terror.”
The security operative fur­ther called on the citizens to be vigilant and report any suspi­cious persons to the appropri­ate authority. “Consequently, this Service wishes to draw the attention of the public to this development, and to call on all citizens to be more cir­cumspect and exercise greater vigilance with users of such peculiar attires. We therefore enjoin all to continue to co­operate with law enforcement agencies through the provision of useful information on sus­picious activities within their immediate environment. This Service will continue to col­laborate with all stakeholders as we strive to keep our coun­try safe,” it added.

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pope Francis Donates $1 Million to Iraqi Refugees

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has given $1 million as a personal contribution to help Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq who have been forced from their homes, according to his personal envoy to the country.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, visited Erbil as Pope Francis’ envoy from Aug. 12-20.
Erbil, where more than 70,000 Christians have fled from the Islamic State, is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan and is within 50 miles of territory held by the Islamic State.
Cardinal Filoni met in private with Pope Francis the day after he returned to Rome and spoke to CNA Aug. 22.
Cardinal Filoni said he carried with him one-tenth of the Pope’s contribution and that “75% of the money was delivered to Catholics and the remaining 25% to the Yazidi community.”
The Islamic State is a recently established caliphate that has persecuted all non-Sunnis in its territory, which extends across swaths of Iraq and Syria.
“Pope Francis gave me a humanitarian mission, not a diplomatic mission, and this is what I always emphasized to Iraqi authorities,” Cardinal Filoni said.
The Pope’s decision to send a personal envoy to Iraq, the cardinal said, “meant to me that, if he had been able to go, he would have.”
Cardinal Filoni recounted that Pope Francis entrusted him with letters for Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and Iraqi President Fuad Masum, presenting him “as his personal envoy and expressing his concern for what Christians and minorities in general are suffering, because they have been uprooted from their lands and persecuted.”
The Islamic State has forced more than 1.2 million Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims from their homes in Iraq, under threat of death or heavy fines if they do not convert.
In the face of such violence, Cardinal Filoni said intervention to stop the aggressor is a legitimate option.
“The Church does not back any war. The right to defend one’s self is legitimate. But our Christians in Iraq have no arms. Therefore, it is necessary that someone — in this case, the legitimate authorities of the country — should defend minorities, especially those most in danger.”

Read more here.

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Images Surrounding the Crucifix

shutterstock_180430817

Catholic Exchange.

Q: I have a very old crucifix which has a skull and crossbones at the bottom of the cross. What does that mean? Also, what does INRI mean? I have heard people pronounce it as though it were one word.
Both the INRI and the skull and crossbones are mentioned in the passion accounts of our Lord. First, INRI is an abbreviation for the Latin Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, meaning “Jesus the Nazorean, King of the Jews.” In sentencing our Lord to death, Pontius Pilate had this inscription written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek (Jn 19:20) placed on the Cross above the head of our Lord.
Each of the Gospels testifies to this inscription, although with slight variations: St. John’s Gospel, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews”; St. Matthew’s Gospel, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews”; St. Mark’s Gospel, “The King of the Jews”; and St. Luke’s Gospel, “This is the King of the Jews.” Since St. John stood with the Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross, his Gospel is the most accurate, although all of the Gospels agree in substance as to what was written.
Another interesting point arises in artwork depicting the Crucifixion. Sometimes the inscription will be fully spelled-out (not simply INRI), but spelled backward. The artists are mindful that Hebrew is read from right to left, not left to right as in English.
Finally, the use of all three languages — Hebrew, Latin and Greek — served a dual purpose. First, these were the languages that would have been spoken in Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. Secondly, Hebrew was the language of the chosen people, the people of the Old Covenant; Latin and Greek were the languages of the Gentiles and Imperial Rome. Jesus came to save not just the Jew but also the Gentile, so the proclamation reminds us that the sacrifice is for all mankind. While the powers of this world labeled Him as an earthly king, Jesus, crucified and risen, is the King who conquered sin and death, and whose kingdom will not end.
Next, the skull and the crossbones has a dual significance. First, Jesus was crucified just outside the old city of Jerusalem at Golgotha, meaning “Skull Place” in Hebrew. The four Gospels all attest to this fact: Matthew 27:33, Mark 16:22, Luke 23:33, and John 19:17. The word “golgotha” is an Aramaic form of the Hebrew word “gulgoleth“, meaning “skull.” The Latin word “calva“, also meaning “skull,” is the root for “Calvary.”
Secondly, an ancient tradition relates that this spot was also where Adam was buried, hence the depiction of both the skull and crossbones. Today, at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Greek Orthodox have a chapel built over the rock of Calvary itself, and the place where the Cross was erected is marked by a silver disk right below the altar. To the right of the altar, there is a crack in the rock. The Gospel of St. Matthew states that when Christ died on the Cross, “the earth quaked, boulders split, tombs opened” (Mt 27:52). The crack continues down to the Chapel of Adam (in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher) where tradition holds Adam was buried and where the Precious Blood of our Lord dripped upon his bones and his skull. Here the blood of Christ flowing from the Sacred Heart of our Lord would have been a stream of redemption, touching all, even Adam himself.
Christ, the new Adam, obedient to the Heavenly Father’s will unto to death, conquered the sin committed when the first Adam disobeyed God. The gates of heaven closed by the sin of Adam were now opened by the sacrifice of our Lord.
These two symbols placed on the crucifix help us to remember that our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross is the greatest act of love God has shown to us. Therefore, each time we gaze upon our crucified Lord we should be moved to say as did St. Francis of Assisi, “We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, for by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Do Not Be Afraid — I Am With You!

This portion of Scripture, I shared in Church today. Powerful…

1 Israel, the Lord who created you says,
“Do not be afraid — I will save you.
I have called you by name — you are mine.
2 When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burnt;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the holy God of Israel, who saves you.
I will give up Egypt to set you free;
I will give up Ethiopia and Seba.
4 I will give up whole nations to save your life,
because you are precious to me
and because I love you and give you honour.
5 Do not be afraid — I am with you!
“From the distant east and the farthest west,
I will bring your people home.
- Isaiah 43:1-5

 

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California Persecuting Christians

(One News Now) – Romanian Christians are familiar with persecution in their home country but they didn’t expect to encounter it in America.

The Holy Resurrection Romanian Orthodox Church struggled to find a place to worship in California. After finding a place in the Rio Linda area of Sacramento, church members discovered their biggest stumbling block is city government.

Brad Dacus, founder of Pacific Justice Institute, says one reason Sacramento gave for refusing permission was the location was near a bar, so the location might not be compatible with the neighborhood.

“Another reason given was that they said there were too many churches already,” says Dacus, whose law firm is representing the church. “You know, it’s not the business of government to dictate how many churches we need.”

Church members were shocked at the city’s attitude and observed that it reminded them of the hostilities they experienced in Romania, which had been ruled under Communism for almost 30 years during the Cold War.

The country’s most infamous leader was Nicolae Ceausescu, whose reign of terror included spying on and imprisoning churchgoers.

Dacus explains: “They recognized clear similarities of the hostility that they had experienced in Romania, being persecuted as Christians, and they were having some of the same kind of resistance to be able to have a place to worship here in the United States.”

The law firm reported in a press release that PJI attorney Kevin Snider spoke on the church’s behalf at a planning commission meeting, where a 5-0 vote approved the church’s plans

Source.

Posted in Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments