Jun 19, 2007

Be not afraid...

...in Iraq, who's history has not been completely written yet, embed extrodinaire Michael Yon reports that something big is about to happen. Yon presents a balanced view, a view with criticism and hope. He has praise for General Petraeus, and addresses the issue of 'smart politics' as the key to settling Iraq.
"At least part of the reason we are not seeing even wider-spread open-necked reprisals for the recent bombings (though the reprisals have been serious) is because our current leadership under Petraeus is adroitly pushing political buttons behind the curtains. Based on things I saw, heard, and even videotaped while out among Iraqi tribal leaders in Anbar, unseen hands are reaching out and finding peace with tribes where others found war. Based on what I see all around Iraq, and not just in Anbar, I believe intuitively that most of this war can be ended through smart politics."

Read for yourself.


Paul Anthony Melanson said...

It is my daily prayer that peace will be restored to Iraq and the entire region soon. Thank you for this important update Jay. On an unrelated note, I just wrote Michael Brown at Spirit Daily with the following:

Dear Mr. Brown,

I hope this email finds you and your family well. Please be assured that I pray for all of you everyday and I hope that you remember me in yours.

Your article today on rosaries which some allege are New Age was most interesting: http://www.spiritdaily.com/
newagerosaryfolo1.htm. But then, your website is always interesting and very informative. I do have an observation I would like to share if you don't mind.

It is this. While we must always be on guard against New Age practices and the symbols of occultism, we should examine this rosary very carefully and what the intent was if indeed it is a snake that is represented on the cross. Some time back, I stumbled across a fundamentalist website which featured a photograph of Pope John Paul II sitting on his chair in front of an upside-down cross. This website made the allegation that this was proof of the Vatican's Satanic agenda. What those poor misguided souls do not understand is that this cross was merely a symbol of our first Pope who chose to die crucified upside-down. This because he didn't feel worthy to die in the same fashion as Jesus His Lord.

As far as a serpent represented on the cross in question, we may also recall Numbers 21: 4-9. The bronze serpent which Moses made and mounted on a pole was actually a prefigurement of the crucified Jesus. In fact, Jesus explains in the Gospel of John that: "And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." (John 3:14,15).

I only offer this observation so that we may not rush to judgment in this regard.

God love you,

Your friend

Paul Anthony Melanson

JayG said...

Good point on the rosaries Paul, the bronze Seraph serpent that God commanded Moses to carve and then lift up on a pole so that those who looked upon it might be saved did pre-figure Christ, who was also lifted up a cross, and who we should look upon to be saved. So you have to understand the exact symbolism of these specific crucifixes, they may be alluding to Moses and Numbers 21: 4-9 and John 3:14,15.

My wife's aunt, now deceased, RIP, had a crucifix with a skull at the base, which I learned from Catholic Answers represented Adam; his original sin which brought us death was nailed to the cross so that we might be saved.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Yes Jay, I actually have one such rosary. There is a pious tradition which says that Jesus (the second Adam) was crucified directly over the remains of the first Adam.

Our Catholic Faith is never boring.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

What is meant in Genesis Chapter 3 by the "heel"?

Dear Mr. Brown,

Thoroughly enjoyed your article on the heel which will crush Satan's head: http://www.spiritdaily.com/GenesisHeshe.htm. St. Louis de Montfort explains in his True Devotion to Mary that:

"..Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him...They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ." (TD, No. 54).

This passage in your article is most significant:

"The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the earliest translations of the sentence in question was most widely translated as "it": "And I will put enmity between you and the woman [widely perceived to be the Virgin Mary], and between your offspring and hers; it will crush your head"

According to Montfort, the greatest of the Marian Saints, this "it" is the faithful remnant, consecrated to the Virgin, who will crush the Devil's head (the head representing the intellect and therefore Satan's pride). The heel by contrast represents the lowest part of the body. In other words, those of us who are consecrated to the Immaculata and who are despised by the world because of our lack of wordly "sophistication" and "intelligence." But the wisdom of this world is foolishness. In time, Satan's cohort will come to understand this.

May that day come soon!

God love you,


Prayer meditation:

1 Corinthians 1:18-25