Church

Brave Nun Rips Down ISIS Flag in London

International Business Times:

Isis sympathisers in east London met their match in the form of a nun who tore down a flag glorifying the Islamist fanatics accused of genocide agianst non-Muslim minorites in Iraq.
There was outrage in east London after the black flag of Isis (also known as the Islamic State) was hung over the entrance of the Will Crooks estate in Tower Hamlets.
Reports claimed a gang of youths patrolled the area and intimidated members of the public who stopped to photograph the flag. Anti-Semitic threats were issued by thugs, reported the Standard.
But overnight, a plucky nun shrugged off the potential danger and tore down the flag from the gates, where it had been flying alongside a Palestine flag.
That nun was Sister Christine Frost, a Roman Catholic 77-year-old who has lived in and served the deprived local community for 44 years, as a member of the order of Faithful Companions of Jesus.
Sister Frost is a well-known and popular figure in the East End community, where she runs a project which organises bingo nights and lunches for residents who might otherwise be isolated in their homes.
When not tearing down Isis-style flags which Tower Hamlets council said risked fuelling community tensions in an area already well used to controversy, Sister Christine fights to raise educational standards for more than 1,000 local youngsters.
But she is by no means an agent of the local council and appears to have been a thorn in the side of local government.
In 2010 she made national headlines by blasting the council over a health and safety panic during which tenants were ordered to remove all doormats and cut their washing lines.
Children’s bicycles were even confiscated during the debacle, prompting Sister Christine to call it “Big Brother gone mad.” She led a public protest which prompted a climb-down by Town Hall bureaucrats.
She has also spoken up for people who are living in the shadow of Canary Wharf and feel they have been left out of the financial boom which followed the arrival of the gleaming skyscrapers.
Public honours have come Sister Christine’s way for her tenacious social work, with the award of an MBE in recognition of her voluntary work with young and old in Popular.
It seems that tearing down a divisive flag is only the latest action in service of the community by East London’s dedicated community champion.

Kudos to Sister Christine!

 

Church

Hoard of Jewish Revolt Coins Discovered Near Jerusalem

The World of the Bible:

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, near the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway, Israel Antiquities Authorities (IAA) archaeologists uncovered a trove of bronze coins dating back to the Year Four of the Jewish Revolt against Rome (around 70 AD). The hoard appears to have been buried only a few months before the fall of Jerusalem, perhaps by someone who anticipated the imminent turmoil of the region. A total of 114 coins was found. Each of the coins is decorated on one side with a chalice and the inscription “To the Redemption of Zion” in Hebrew, and on the other side with palm branches and citrons, as well as the Hebrew inscription “Year Four.” The coins could have been a form of pro-rebellion propaganda. The palm trees stamped on the coins, for instance, symbolize the land of Israel. The site of the discovery, today known as Hirbet Mazruk, used to be a Jewish stronghold during the Revolt, and as a result was entirely destroyed by the Romans.

For more information: http://www.timesofisrael.com/trove-of-jewish-revolt-coins-discovered-near-jerusalem/

 

Church

How Christians Can Rebuild Our Culture

A Public Discourse by Archbishop Charles Chaput.

In the beginning, Genesis tells us, “the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2). Creation begins in chaos. On each day of creation, God brings new things into being and orders them according to a plan. God makes things for a purpose. He creates the world out of love. As Aquinas teaches, God orders the universe as a whole, and that order reflects his glory.

The world works better when it follows God’s design. We see this in our own moral lives. God gives us the law and the beatitudes because they lead us to joy. Jesus shows us the plan God writes into human nature so that, by his help, we can flourish. Too often we think of rules as things that keep us from being happy. But rules, understood as God’s order, are good for us because they show us how to live in a way that shares in his glory. They lead us to embody what God intended human beings to be and do. This is one of the things Scripture means when it says Jesus came “so that we would have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10).

If creation has a moral order, then how should we think about our human laws?

Since we’re made in the image of God, human beings can order their actions and communities just as God orders his creation. The German political philosopher Eric Voegelin taught that the law is “the substance of order in all realms of being . . . The law is something that is essentially inherent in society,” but we give it practical force through the lawmaking process. Law binds us together. It reflects our society’s order, but it also secures that order. It shows who we are as a people, but it also forms us as a people. So if we want to thrive, we need to ensure that the laws we make—what we call “positive laws”—ground themselves in a right understanding of what it means to be human.

Some key points follow from this…

Worth reading, here.