Please pray for a man undergoing a heart procedure
13 hours ago
"If the old servant woman decisively corrected every one of the girls' (Monica and her sisters) failures, she was also wise, loving and prudent in her teaching and advice. She was a fervent Christian, and she instilled in Monica and her sisters a Christian view of life, reverence for the prayers and customs of the Christian community, and love for the poor. The accounts contained in the Augustinian breviaries about Monica praying through the night, sneaking out of the house to do to church, and depriving herself of food in order to give it to the poor are legends. But given her good natural disposition, the work of grace, and her upbringing, it is likely that she made quick strides towards holiness even as a little girl.
As would eventually be the case for Augustine, Monica's conscience was so delicate that in her latter years she would recount to her son things that she considered shameful failings, although these may well produce a good-natured smile from the modern reader. For instance, Monica's parents had given her the job of drawing wine from the casks in the cellar and bringing it to the table, because they knew that she was a sober and virtuous girl. Forbidden fruit tends to exercise a unique fascination on the young. Why should she not be able to say taht she, too, had drunk wine? It was something reserved for her elders, which was precisely why trying some herself became so attractive.
Monica may have been virtuous, but she was still weak enough not to be able to resist this temptation. She began by barely touching her lips to the flask; then, sipping a little more each time, she got to the point of gulping down almost a whole glassful. The only witness to her actions was another servant who accompanied Monica to the cellar. Shortly afterward, a disagreement arose between the two for reasons we do not know: In the course of the argument, the servant hurled in Monica's face the epithet meribibula, meaning "wine-swiller." Instantly ashamed of herself, Monica acknowledged her fault. So great was her humiliation that she decided to quit her bad habit immediately."
It is a curious thing considering how often it is brought up in conversation and Internet debate by lay a-theists, but in "The God Delusion," Ichardray Awkinsday conspicuously neglects to detail what he describes as the "horrors" of the Spanish Inquisition. Ristopherchay Itchenshay and Anielday Ennettday both avoid discussing it altogether. Only reason's clown, Amsay Arrishay, is sufficiently foolish to swallow the old, black legend, hook, line and sinker, as he attempts to portray the collective inquisitions as one of the two "darkest episodes in the history of faith."
On June 9, 721 ad., Duke Odo of Aquitaine defeated Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani before the walls of the besieged city of Toulouse. This battle, followed by the victories of King Pelayo of Asturias and Charles Martel at the battles of Covadonga and Tours, brought to an end a century of remarkably successful Islamic expansion. Over the next 760 years, the Umayyads' conquests on the Spanish peninsula were gradually rolled back by a succession of Christian kings, a long process disturbed by the usual shifting of alliances as well as varying degrees of ambition and military competence on both sides of the religious divide. The "Reconquista" was completed with the fall of Muslim Granada in 1492 to the Castilian forces of King Ferdinand.
The Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1481, cannot be understood without recognizing the significance of this epic 771-year struggle between Christians and Muslims over the Spanish peninsula. What took the great Berber Gen. Tariq ibn Zayid only eight years to conquer on behalf of the Umayyad Caliphate required almost 100 times as long to regain, and neither King Ferdinand II of Aragon nor his wife, Queen Isabella of Castile, was inclined to risk any possibility of having to repeat the grand endeavor. Isabella, in particular, was concerned about reports of conversos, purported Christians who had pretended to convert from Judaism but were still practicing their former religion. This was troubling, as it was reasonable to assume that those who were lying about their religious conversion were also lying about their loyalty to the united crowns, and it was known that some Jews were encouraging Muslim leaders to attempt the recapture of al-Andalus. ("It remains a fact that the Jews, either directly or through their coreligionists in Africa, encouraged the Mohammedans to conquer Spain." The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906). Vol XI, 485.)
An investigation was commissioned, and the reports were verified, at which point the Spanish monarchs asked Pope Sixtus IV to create a branch of the Roman Inquisition that would report to the Spanish crown. The pope initially refused, but when Ferdinand threatened to leave Rome to its own devices should the Turks attack, he reluctantly acceded and issued "Exigit Sinceras Devotionis Affectus" on Nov. 1, 1478, a papal bull establishing an inquisition in Isabella's Kingdom of Castile. One tends to get the impression that Ferdinand was less than deeply concerned about the potential converso threat and may have even been acting primarily to mollify his wife, as he promptly made use of this hard-won new authority to do absolutely nothing for the next two years. Then, on Sept. 27, 1480, the first two inquisitors, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martín, were named, the first tribunal was created, and by Feb. 6, 1481, six false Christians had been accused, tried, convicted and burned in the Spanish Inquisition's first auto da fé.
One version of the legend of the virgin and martyr Saint Avia tells that the saint, imprisoned for adhering to her Christian beliefs, miraculously received communion from the Virgin Mary. In this miniature the crowned Virgin appears with an entourage of adoring angels carrying liturgical objects, including an incense holder and a processional cross. The Virgin herself offers the host and holds the chalice.
In this book of hours, the miniature accompanies an intercessory prayer written in French rather than in the more common Latin. The use of French rather than Latin illustrates the local and contemporary popularity of Avia, one of many fictitious saints who were widely venerated in fifteenth-century France. Intercessory prayers, appeals for assistance addressed to God or to specific saints, were grouped together in books of hours. The contents of these sections varied, since they were personalized with prayers dedicated to locally popular saints or to saints with personal meaning for the patron.
2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.
2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.