Church

Cleaning Our Spiritual House: Clean Monday

Via About.com:

For Western Christians, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. For Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholics, however, today is the first day of Lent.

Known as Clean Monday, this is a day to reflect on cleaning our spiritual house. For Eastern Christians, Clean Monday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence from all meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Even Western Catholics who don’t observe Clean Monday can take advantage of this day to start to get their spiritual house in order. Clean Monday is a good day to decide on some spiritual reading for Lent–either a book such as Thomas à Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ or the Scripture readings that the Church prescribes for every day of Lent.

It’s also a good day to learn a new prayer. Throughout Lent, Eastern Christians will frequently pray the Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian, which, in three short, easily memorized verses, sums up the goals that we should all have for this Lenten season.

Lent FAQs:

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Church

Mexican Church Takes a Closer Look at Donors

And well they should!

Mexico — The large orange chapel here, with its towering cross, would be just another Roman Catholic church if not for a bronze plaque announcing that it was “donated by Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano” — better known as “the executioner,” commander of the ruthless crime syndicate called the Zetas

Mass at a Pachuca church whose major donor was a Zetas leader, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano. Longtime government restrictions made the Catholic Church in Mexico reliant on the wealthy.

The nameplate goes on to quote Psalm 143: “Lord, hear my prayer, answer my plea.” But Mexican Catholics are the ones struggling with how to respond.

Ever since the chapel’s financing spawned a government investigation four months ago, the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico has been trying to confront its historic ties to drug traffickers. Long dependent on gifts, but often less than discriminating about where they come from, the church is grappling with its role as thousands die in turf wars among rich, and sometimes generous, criminals…

Read the rest in The New York Time here.

A place of worship built with ‘blood-money’ is no good I’m afraid…

Culture

Facebook Blamed for 1 in 5 Divorces America

Hmmm… [I remember reading about this stat some time last week, but never got to post it.]

Facebook is cited in 1 out of every 5 divorces in the United States, according to the Loyola University Health System. Furthermore, 81 percent of the country’s top divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years, according to a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Last but not least, Facebook is the unrivaled leader for online divorce evidence with 66 percent citing it as the primary source, the AAML said.

It’s not that Facebook is solely to blame: already-strained marriages are bound to break with or without the service. Still, a couple doesn’t have to be experiencing marital difficulties for an online relationship to develop from mere online chatting into a full-fledged affair.

In the end, Facebook is a social tool. For single people, social networks can help them meet that special someone. Even for marriages, social networks can help further along a relationship. Just like with any other social medium, however, even the most innocent of intentions can turn ugly with improper use…

More here.