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March 12th, 2016

Beauty For Ashes song – Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly

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Play the song ‘Beauty For Ashes’ by Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly

Lyrics:

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair (2)

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy o’er your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair (2)

When what you’ve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair (2)

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I’ve been set free
I’ve been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see (2)

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair (4)

Also check out the book Beauty For Ashes by Joyce Meyer

January 16th, 2016

Tau Cross

Tau Cross

Tau, the Cross much-loved by St. Francis was used symbolically in the Old Testament and is based on the last letter of Hebrew alphabet. Tau Cross is also called the Cross of Tau, the Cross of St. Francis and the Cross of St. Anthony.

Tau Cross in The Bible

First time TAU was mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel: “The Lord said to him, ‘Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over the abominations” (Ezekiel 9:4). Hence based on Ezekiel, an angel, St. Gabriel was directed by God to go and mark the foreheads of the faithful with the Tau symbol. Thus those who marked with the Tau were saved from the destruction.

St.Francis and Tau Cross

Traditionally it is believed that St. Anthony, the Egyptian hermit carried a Tau cross. But it was St. Francis and the Franciscan order that popularized the use of the Tau cross. St.Francis was familiar with the religious community that was led by St. Anthony the hermit, a community which was active in Assisi during St. Francis’s time. And it is believed that this is probably where St.Francis first encountered the Tau Cross.

St.Francis used the TAU cross symbol in his writings, painted it everywhere, on the walls and doors of the places where he stayed, used it as his only signature on his writings and the symbol for his order.

Tau cross – A Symbol

The Tau cross as a symbol is typically very simple and it remained us of our own Christian call and sincerity of response. And it is a sign of the awareness of a Christian, i.e. a sign that reminds us that we too must be strong in time of trial, ready to obey the Father, as Jesus was obedient before the Father’s will.

– – – written by Binu Jose

December 24th, 2015

Should God Die For Man?

Should God Die For Man

The Bible says: ‘The earth shook’ when Jesus breathed his last breath. Not only the earth, but also the heaven with all the angels, saints and wise men, stood in awestruck state of perplexity, to see the mighty God hang on the cross bleeding drop by drop between the heaven and earth. No one ever understood the greatest mystery behind this great event, the climax scene of the life of Jesus, fulfilling every prophesy.

Questions One May Ask

To a person who has not known Christ, a series of questions come rolling down like:

Three people die on the same day, same way, crucified…yet we know not the name or the face of the other two…only Jesus is known by almost all the mankind for 2015 years. How can this happen? Why only him? Why churches only for him? What is so special about his death? Were not the apostles also crucified? Why don’t we do the same for them? …and many more questions like these.

God’s Plan For Jesus

John 3:16 says God so loved the world. Yes, His love for us was so infinite and unfathomable that He chose His only son as the man to die on the cross with one and only one crime and that is LOVE.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. [song of solomon 8:6-7] Yes indeed, Love is as strong as Death. He needed His own son’s blood as a redeeming sacrifice. “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains” (Taken from the hymn ‘There is a fountain filled with blood’).

Jesus understood his father’s plan and willingly came forward to offer his body as a living, loving sacrifice. He says “sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; behold, I have come to do your will, O God.” [Hebrews 10:5-7] For he knew that it is impossible for blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Amen! [Hebrews 10:4]

Why Should God Die The Way He Did?

14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the “eternal spirit” offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. 16 Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.

19 For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.23 Thus it was necessary for copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself now to appear in presence of God on our behalf. [Hebrew 9:14-23]

Consequences Of Crucifixion

In the book of Isaiah we read ‘He poured out soul to death’ [Isaiah 53:12]. This is the difference between the death of others crucified and death of Jesus. They are not the same, never! His soul was tormented by the evil power, the entire world’s sin was upon him, his communion with God the Father was disconnected, for sin is defined as ‘going away from God’.

The physical torture lasted for three full hours on the cross which everybody saw. Parallelly in the spiritual realm, his soul so pure and unblemished underwent pain and agony, words cannot explain. That was the price the devil wanted from God to release mankind from his grip. We are all bought with a price. We are priceless. We are liberated, ransomed, forgiven, healed, renewed. Our access to heaven for eternal life was made possible by and only by the blood of our lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit. [1 Peter 3:18]

Stigmata

The lover wants to be like the beloved! The sheer depth of immense love is a divine gift to his bride. This is a mystical ecstatic love intimacy with Jesus in everything. St.paul, Catherine, Helen, John of cross, Padre Pio, Sebastian, Francis of Assisi and many more experienced this intimacy and sustained the wounds, sometimes even invisible, as in the case of St.Faustina. Deep meditations on the passion and death of Christ brings the scenes alive, becomes flesh in them. One surprising thing to be noted is that all these saints have taken holy communion and had undoubted faith in the Eucharistic Lord.

Crucifixion Through Holy Mass

Jesus says “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. [Matthew 26:28] Thus crucifixion is happening every moment, every second, as and when each priest lifts up the host and says “this is my body” and not ‘like’ my body. The priest gets transformed into Christ. This transubstantiation is in accordance with the divine exchange that took place on the cross. It has to be this way till the second coming, that is why he said “do this in memory of me”. He humbled himself to nothing and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross…[Philippians 2:6] “In him we find redemption through his blood ,forgiveness…” [Ephesians 1:7]

Victim Becomes The Victor

“When love meets sin, it is crucified; but it will rise again” says Fulton Sheen. Jesus is love personified, love is God. This love became flesh, took our pains, sins and shame and came back to glory in the fullest form. We can never bury the truth and expect it to be there. It will definitely surface and come out just as Jesus did. He said I am the way, the truth, the life and He proved it. So let us not have an iota of doubt in our minds in surrendering our lives to Jesus and walk out of our graven situations with full glory, honour and might as Jesus did. Amen!

The emptiness of the tomb of Christ is enough to fill any emptiness in your life. It is the greatest symbol of hope! Let us march towards that glorious finish. Amen!

– – – written by Cecilia Francis

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