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Pope's Christmas message urges peace in troubled lands
December 26th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

Pope's Christmas message urges peace in troubled lands

In his traditional Christmas message delivered Saturday to crowds braving winter's chill, Pope Benedict XVI urged peace in the Middle East and asked for God's comfort upon beleaguered Christian communities in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

The annual "To the City and the World address, known in Latin as "Urbi et Orbi," mentioned other global hot spots.

The pope wished for security in places overcome by conflict like Somalia, Sudan's Darfur region, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan and the Korean peninsula and those nations like Haiti that are grappling with the consequences of disease and natural disaster.

"May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence," Benedict said in the speech delivered in 64 languages, from English and Latin to Maori and Maltese.

Read the full story of the Pope's Christmas message here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Mass • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Wonder if the Pope and the Vatican admits to that Muhammed is a Prophet and Messenger of God and that Islam is a religion of God? But if still they deny that I wonder how peace can be secured on earth or between those of faiths ??

    December 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  2. Muneef

    An-Nisa sura 04
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Hast thou not turned thy thought to those who were given a portion of the Book? They traffic in error, and wish that ye should lose the right path. (44) But Allah hath full knowledge of your enemies: Allah is enough for a protector, and Allah is enough for a Helper. (45).

    An-Nisa sura 04
    Or do they e-n-v-y mankind for what Allah hath given them of His bounty? But We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom and conferred upon them a great kingdom. (54) Some of them believed and some of them averted their faces from him: and enough is Hell for a b-urn-ing fire. (55).

    Al-Baqara sura 02:
    Quite a number of the people of the Book wish they could turn you (people) back to in-fide-lity after ye have believed, from sel-fi-sh en-vy, after the truth hath become manifest unto them; but forgive and overlook, till Allah accomplish His purpose; for Allah hath power over all things. (109) And be steadfast in prayer and given Zakat: and whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah; for Allah sees well all that ye do (110).

    December 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  3. Answerman28

    Two priests are in a bathroom using
    the urinals.

    One of them looks at the other one's penis and notices there's a Nicoderm patch on it.

    He looks at the other priest and says, "I believe you're
    supposed to put that patch on your arm or shoulder,
    not your penis."

    The other one replies, "It's working just fine. I'm down to
    two butts a day."

    December 28, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  4. Bob

    Another speech at the end of the year about working towards world peace, another year filled with war, death and suffereing.

    Instead of wishing for peace, how about you break out that vatican bankroll and start feeding the poor. I think it'd be interesting to see how much money the Catholic Church has squirreled away. I bet it's in the trillions.

    December 28, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  5. Muneef

    Al-Tawba sura 09:
    Now hath come unto you an messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful. (128) But if they turn away, Say : "Allah sufficeth me: There is not god but He: On Him is my trust – He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme! (129).

    Al-Isra sura 17:
    Say: "O my Lord! let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)." (80) And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." (81) We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss. (82) Yet when We bestow Our favours on man, he turns away and becomes remote on his side (instead of coming to Us) and when evil seizes him he gives himself up to despair! (83) Say: "Everyone acts according to his own disposition: but your Lord knows best who it is that is best guided on the Way." (84).

    December 28, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  6. Apostle Eric vonAnderseck

    Pope says;"May the birth of the Saviour strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the Church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his Church, may keep alive the flame of hope,"
    Apostle Eric says; I would say amen, but only when the real millennial reign of Christ (Enoch’s 9th week) will this be a reality, but until then the Beast of Rev.13 will promise ‘Peace and Security’ but end at Armageddon. http://apostlestoday.net/

    December 28, 2010 at 5:14 am |
    • Reality

      Dear Apostle Eric vonAnderseck

      The Apostles' Creed 2010: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary.

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension story was promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      December 28, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  7. Scott

    Just another demonstration of the power of prayer. For as long as I can remember (and I’m a bit over 50) every year the pope (Christ’s vicker on earth, the most powerful prayer on earth, Mr. religion himself ) has prayed for peace in the Middle East every Christmas and it hasn’t done a bit of good. He might just as well have wished upon a star. So if decades of praying by Mr. Big doesn’t change anything, them I’ m left to the conclusion that either god does not answer prayer (if not for the big guy then for who?) or there is no god to answer prayers

    December 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • Reality

      One possible reason that prayer by anyone does not work:

      o From Schillebeeckx, Church: The Human Story of God,
      Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

      "Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" .

      "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human
      activity there is possibility of free choices.

      Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

      December 28, 2010 at 8:33 am |
    • Scott

      @Reality: So you are saying that god does not and cannot see the future and is incapable of affecting it. Not omniscient (all knowing) and not all powerful (omnipotent). Well I can’t argue with that.

      December 28, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  8. Ykcyc

    In Reality, people create (fabricate) "their" God in "their" own image. Some worship idols, some rituals, some money,
    objects, themselves, etc...
    In Reality (not you, @Reality) people don't know anything, they only think that they do. (That includes you, David Johnson.))
    Most of the time, these believes, ideologies, positions, etc., have nothing to do with Reality. They are only thoughts, opinions,
    ideas, believes. They come and they go. The intensity of these believes is no proof of their validity.
    All believes (to be the truths) will disappear forever, regardless of their host's desire to be right and therefore a smidge
    higher, better, smarter, etc. All this is like writing something terribly important on top of the water with a stick.
    Just like all the other thoughts, posts, and comments, waiting their turn to enter the oblivion. Now that's fn funny! ;0))
    No human thought can be the absolute Truth. There is nothing to die or kill for. Whatever we think, God gets what God wants. God help us all.

    December 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • Reality

      A surfactant for the soul searchers:

      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:

      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani (sp?)
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”

      more “logic”?

      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      December 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • Scott

      Without data you are only an opinion

      December 28, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Ykcyc

      Interesting take... per usual, my friend.

      Peace...

      December 28, 2010 at 4:11 am |
    • Ykcyc

      Hi there, friend. I looked up the book you recommended on the Amazon web site: "Science and Sanity" by Dr. Alfred Korzybski and it is over $100. I will try a local library, but am not ver hopeful. I would highly recommend the following two books for anyone with an open mind and an open heart. One is called "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle and the other "Dimond in Your Pocket", by Gangagi. It could be an eye opening and a life-changing experience. Or not. In either case, peace.

      December 28, 2010 at 9:30 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Ykcyc

      Hi back at ya'...!

      Sorry to hear that Korzybski's book was sooooooooo expensive. However, if you can get your hands on a copy, i would highly recommend it.

      Actually, I am a big 'Tolle' fan. Read all books, and have seen pretty much all of his videos and heard all the audios. And... the book by Gangagi have read as well.

      So... I thought we might have some similar world-view or philosophies on life. Good to know...!

      Talk with ya' soon -Ykcyc...!

      Peace...

      December 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
  9. NM

    http://www.islamicsolutions.com/a-very-special-gift-for-the-holiday-season-quote-of-the-day-239/

    December 27, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  10. X-Mas Nutt

    "Something, something, something dark side."

    -The Emperor

    December 27, 2010 at 6:34 am |
  11. Reality

    B16's words "May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence,"

    What he should have said:

    May the light of history shine forth in the land where the embellished and "mythicized" Jesus was born therefore inspiring the current inhabitants to realize the shams that have been pulled upon them by imams, ayatollahs, rabbis, bishops, popes and evangelicals.

    Summaries of said shams are available for the asking.

    December 26, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
    • jeff

      nobody's asking...

      December 27, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  12. Reality

    B16's words "May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence,"

    What he should have said:

    May the light of history shine forth in the land where the embellished and "mythicized" Jesus was born therefore inspiring the current inhabitants to realize the shams that haves been pulled upon them by imams, ayatollahs, rabbis, bishops, popes and evangelicals.

    Summaries of said shams are available for the asking.

    December 26, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  13. HotAirAce

    If there is a god, this will be the year pope-a-dope is arrested for crimes against children.

    December 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  14. David Johnson

    It's okay CatholicMom. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Or, his own blog...

    December 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  15. David Johnson

    @CatholicMom

    Yep, and thanks for saving thousands of lives by allowing condom use. As I told CatholicMom a long time ago.

    Am I a prophet or not?

    Love and Prayers!

    December 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • Reality

      B16 actually was correct for a change when he questioned the safety of male condoms:

      Using Guttmacher Inst-itute data on birth control method failure rates, one is able to calculate the number of unplanned pregnancies resulting from the current use of male condoms. It is an horrific number of 1.2 million/yr. Even perfect use of would result in 138,000 unplanned pregnancies.

      (And what is the abortion rate in the USA? ~1,000,000/yr CDC data.)

      And B16 et al expect male condoms to prevent contracting AIDs?

      Conclusion: currently, a perfect barrier system does not exist. Time to develop one. In the meantime, mono-masturbation or mutual masturbation are highly recommended for those at risk. Abstinence is the another best-solution but obviously the se-x drive typically vitiates this option although being biological would it not be able to develop a drug to temporarily eliminate said drive?

      December 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,
      You may have misunderstood Pope Benedict’s remarks about condom use.
      Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the court of final appeal at the Vatican, explains what the Pope said….. ‘He’s simply making the comment that if a person who is given to prost!tution at least considers using a condom to prevent giving the disease to another person — even though the effectiveness of this is very questionable — this could be a sign of someone who is having a certain moral awakening. But in no way does it mean that prost!tution is morally acceptable, nor does it mean that the use of condoms is morally acceptable.’

      December 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Reality

      Finally...! B16– I got it...! You no longer need to claim me as 'bingo challenged' and give me lessons. 🙂

      Peace...

      December 27, 2010 at 2:15 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Reality

      If you and I were in a bar in Africa, and we decided to take advantage of the girls generous and quite reasonable offers, would you not take a condom from the well placed dispenser, before disappearing for a short rest?

      I would think that a latex condom, properly used, would be way more effective than, sowing our wild oats and then lighting a candle and praying for a crop failure...

      Cheers!

      December 27, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      Hmmm... By saying condoms are okay for $ex with a prost_itute, the Pope is admitting that condoms offer at least some protection against HIV.

      One might ask, if I am going to have $ex before marriage or commit adultery, Shouldn't condoms be allowed, using the same logic that the Pope uses to justify their use with prost_itutes?

      And, if I am married wouldn't it be best to use condoms, just in case one of the partners is doing something sinful?

      Once the Pope has admitted that condoms do offer at least some protection against HIV, then the argument becomes one of dogma alone.

      The real worry seems to be that someone uses the condoms as a form of birth control.

      OMG!

      Third world countries' failure to reduce their populations, assures the world of everlasting misery from a mult_itude of problems.

      You argument is that it is man's fault that there are starving people in the world. Plenty of food, just greedy people who won't distribute it.

      I use to love to handicap horse races. One axiom in horse racing is: "Weight will stop a locomotive".

      The more we feed, the more these countries will breed. Increased population puts more burden on our finite resources. Enough "weight" placed on our earth, and catastrophe is sure to follow.

      Humans must control their numbers.

      We should feed the desperate, but we should also include birth control methods and education.

      Catholicism is a beautiful religion, but their stand on birth control is outrageous.

      Cheers!

      December 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,

      Why would you want to pile sin upon sin? Condoms will never wipe out greed. Condoms will never keep a marriage blessed in the harmony which is in the covenant the couple has with God. Yes, the world will witness a mult!tude of problems when they try to leave God out of their lives. Living in sin and using condoms will never take the place of the joy you are meant to have.

      Remember, Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

      It is when we try to live life our way that life becomes a yoke and the poor who need help become like a burden and we think we know how to loosen the yoke and relieve the burden we feel and want to do it without God. David, we can do nothing good without God. I know you can see it……………

      December 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Catholic Mom

      Hi CM...! Hope that you had a great Christmas...?

      I have to ask. Does it say 'anywhere' in the Bible that humans are not allowed to use any form of contraception...? And if so, is there a passage that there are 'no' circ-umstances that humans would be allowed to use said contraception...?

      Curious...

      Peace...

      December 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Peace2All,

      Hi, and Merry Christmas!

      Here are a few verses that might shed some Light….there are many more…

      "See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.... I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live" (Dt 30:15,19). [If you choose life you will not choose contraceptives.]

      "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen 1:28) [How can you be fruitful and multiply with contraceptives?]

      “Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic potions, their unchast!ty, or their robberies.” Rev 9:21
      [Some scholars hold that these New Testament words represent, in context, a stinging condemnation of contraception and chemical abortion. Usually translated as “sorcerer” and “sorcery,” they refer more specifically to a mixer of potions or to the potions themselves, medicines that were commonly directed at preventing fertility or at achieving abortion.]

      And then you know what happened to Onan, in the ‘Onan Incident’….?

      December 27, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
    • Scott

      @Catholic Mom: What part of an “easy yoke” and a “light burden” are the MILLIONS of cases of AIDS in Africa, that could have been avoided if only the pope had sanctioned the use of condoms 30 years ago?

      December 28, 2010 at 12:01 am |
    • Peace2All

      @CatholicMom

      Hi CMOM.

      You Said: "Here are a few verses that might 'shed some Light' "

      Your usage of 'shed some light' does not give any direct evidence of the answers to my questions... only 'your' interpretation. Which is very different. We could all interpret these biblical verses given in a variety of ways. I know, I know, I'm sure your interpretations come from some of the Pope's... 'their' interpretations.

      "See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.... I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live" (Dt 30:15,19). [If you choose life you will not choose contraceptives.]"

      "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen 1:28) [How can you be fruitful and multiply with contraceptives?]

      Heck, with the development of sciences and technologies and people living longer, and the population explosion, you do know there will come a time when the Earth and it's resources are just not capable to hold everyone...? The projections are that we are going to have, just by the end of the century, around 9 Billion humans on this planet. I just don't think that 'everyone' who is married, in order to have s-e-x, is required by God to 'only' do it for children. I think something is 'lost in translation' from the RCC towards these things and within the Bible. They just don't seem to have any real basis in reality... in my opinion anyway.

      If... there is a God, do you 'really' think that IT truly meant that you should...'never' have s-e-x, (even if you are married) just for fun...? 'Always' for 'pro-creation'...? Just because you are having s-e-x, does that mean that 'everyone' 'all the time' 'must' procreate...? That just doesn't make 'any' sense now, does it... CMOM...? Well, again at least in my opinion.

      BTW- I guess it's in the 'golden years' of the elderly, when they are no longer of child bearing years, it becomes p.c. for your guys to have s-e-x just for fun...? God won't smite you for performing an act of procreation, as you are no longer able to conceive...? 🙂

      Well, I just realized...that you 'end of days' believers... that is your out, as far as the growing populations and diminishing resources...yes...? Jesus is coming soon to an Earth near you to destroy everyone and everything, except for non-believers. Is that part of the plan, in that Jesus is coming soon to 'thin the herd'...?

      Hmmmmmm...

      Peace...

      December 28, 2010 at 4:47 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Peace2All,

      If people get married just to have s3x because ‘it is fun’ then they go into it with the idea that that is the main reason for s3x and that it is not a fullness of expression of love towards one’s spouse. It could become something you ‘do’ because it feels good and then it is based on the ‘me-me-me’ aspect of s3x, and not the ‘oneness’ of the two married people in the act of making love. People who go out looking for s3x must not use the expression ‘making love’ because they are not making love but are just seeking to pleasure themselves by using another person’s body to do it. If they do say ‘I am out looking for a man/woman tonight to have love-making’, then the love making is on themselves and has nothing to do with loving another person.

      One does not expect that having this gift of love towards one’s spouse means that God will grant a new life out of the act every time but the couple should be open to the will of God should He decide that a new life will come from it. Old people can still show love completely and with the att!tude of it being an expression of love towards one’s spouse. Love does not stop in a marriage towards one’s spouse just because babies stop…it is still the fullness of love that can be expressed by two married people at any time throughout their marriage. The beauty of a long marriage is the expression of love manifests itself daily in a mult!tude of ways and not just s3xually.

      It doesn’t look to me as though the earth is subdued yet.

      I look to the Church and the Magesterium for the interpretation of Bible verses so I hope I my expression is correct………..If you read Pope John Paul II’s ‘The Theology of the Body’ you can get a much better explanation of our human s3xuality than mine…..

      December 28, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Scott,

      Where did you get the idea that condoms would have caused Africa to avoid the millions of cases of AIDS for the last 30 years?

      You must read what condom use has NOT prevented by its use…just ask Reality…he has the statistics. Condoms provide a false hope…causing even more people to have illicit s3x more often…and with improper use, failing to even use every time, and failure on the part of the condom…has brought on greater numbers of people experiencing anguish over AIDS and other STDs.

      The yoke is easy when you decide to follow Jesus Christ. How can we follow Him?…listen to His Word [Bible] as the Church and Magesterium pronounce it….partake of the Sacraments that He inst!tuted and by the grace received though this means He provided, the burden becomes light. It is He who is working through us…helping us carry our Cross that we take up.

      December 28, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • Reality

      As referenced by CatholicMom:

      Matt 11:28-30

      /11:28/ "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. /29/ Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. /30/ For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

      But did the historic Jesus really say these words? No he did not according to many contemporary historic Jesus experts.

      e.g.

      "Marcus J. Borg

      This saying is one of several "Sophia" texts cited by Borg in "Jesus, the Wisdom of God" [Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, ch 6]. It also has some parallels in Sirach 51:23-26.

      Draw near to me, you who are uneducated, and lodge in the house of instruction. Why do you say that you are lacking these things, and why do you endure such great thirst? I opened my mouth and said, Acquire wisdom for yourselves without money. Put your neck under her yoke, and let your souls receive instruction, for it is to be found close by.

      A full listing of the texts cited by Borg is available online."

      John Dominic Crossan

      Item: 52
      Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
      Attestation: Triple (but only once in the NT)
      Historicity: negative

      Crossan [Historical Jesus, 349] notes that this cluster could be included in a set of materials relating to Jesus' historical mission and message: "the open secret." However, Crossan discounts this saying as less likely to have originated with Jesus because its focus is on Jesus himself as the one giving rest. Other related traditions in this complex include: 14. Eye, Ear, Mind [1/4], 32. Hidden Made Manifest [1/3], 45. Father and Son [1/3], 66. Wise and Understanding [1/3], 67. Hidden Since Eternity [1/2], and 92. Knowing the Mystery [1/2].

      David Flusser

      David Flusser [Jesus, 107] cites the following rabbinic parallels to this cluster:

      If Israel kept the words of the law given to them, no people of kingdom would rule over them. And what does the law say? 'Take upon you the yoke of My kingdom and emulate one another in the fear of God, and practice kindness to one another.' [Sifre on Deut 32:29]

      Every individual who takes upon himself the yoke of the law removes from his shoulders the yoke of government and daily sorrows. But whoever removes the yoke of the law will be burdened with the yoke of government and daily sorrows. [M.Avot 3:6]

      (A scribe complains when the Zealots had forcible assumed government and the rebellion had been bloodily suppressed by the Romans:) the rulers of the cities of Judah, who have put off the yoke of heaven and assumed the yoke of the government of flesh and blood. [Mekhilta de Rabbi Ishmael]

      The Jesus Seminar took the view that Matthew and Thomas have independently attributed to Jesus a saying about Sophia/Wisdom providing a (gentle) yoke that leads to rest as its reward. They also noted that, in addition to the parallel in Sirach 51, there is an earlier passage that deals with these themes:

      /23/ Listen, my child, and accept my judgment;
      do not reject my counsel.
      /24/ put your feet into her fetters,
      and you neck into her collar.
      /25/ bend your shoulder and cary her,
      and do not fret under her bonds.
      /26/ Come to her with all your soul,
      and keep her ways with all your might.
      /27/ Search out and seek, and she will become known to you;
      and when you get hold of her, do not let her go.
      /28/ For at last you will find the rest she gives,
      and she will be changed into joy for you.
      /29/ Then her fetters will become for you a strong defense,
      and her collar a glorious robe.
      /30/ Her yoke is a golden ornament,
      and her bonds a purple cord.
      /31/ You will wear her like a glorious robe,
      and put her on like a splendid crown. [Sirach 6:23-31]

      While this seems a reasonable conclusion so far as the historical derivation of this saying is concerned, it fails to note that the cluster is nonetheless part of the the surviving evidence for an early line of thought that understood Jesus in categories derived from the Sophia figure of Jewish writings of the second Temple period.

      Samuel T. Lachs

      Lachs [Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament, 280] cites B.Ber. 61b in which the regular recital of the Shema (Deut 6:4ff) was called

      The acceptance of the yoke of the kingdom of heaven.

      Gerd Luedemann

      Luedemann [Jesus, 174f] notes the parallels in the wisdom writings (including Prov 8:1-21) and dismisses the saying as inauthentic since he judges the identification of Jesus with Sophia to be a post-Easter development.

      John P. Meier- Professor at Notre Dame

      Meier [Marginal Jew II,387 n. 174] indicates a preference to regard this saying as coming from the special Matthean source, rather than as being derived from Q or created by Matthew. He clearly does not consider the saying authentic. "

      December 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Scott

      @CatholicMom: I got my idea that condoms would have prevented many cases of AIDS in Africa from the Center for Disease control and the World Health Organization. Perhaps you would be so kind as to post the sources for Reality’s statistics?
      While condoms are not foolproof, they are highly effective in preventing HIV infection. According to the CDC, studies examining s3xually active people at high risk for contracting HIV have found that “even with repeated s3xual contact, 98-100% of those people who used latex condoms correctly and consistently did not become infected.3 The CDC recently issued prevention guidelines for state health departments that state “correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce the risk of s3xually transmitted infections.4 On August 16, 2001, the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization issued a statement that said that condoms were “the best defense” in preventing s3xually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

      December 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Scott

      @CatholicMom: I found Reality’s post about condoms. All he says is there is an estimated 1.2 million failures every year; but, does not state out of how many people are using them. For example compared to the 6 billion people on the planet 1.2 million is a very, very small number. He also states that condoms do not provide a perfect barrier to STD’s. They do however provide a very good barrier. It’s just like body armor, it doesn’t always work; but, if someone is shooting at you it’s sure nice to have.

      December 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Reality

      The numbers, the calculations and two "bottom liners":

      "Facts on Co-ntraceptive Use

      http://www.gu-ttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

      January 2008

      WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVES?

      • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]
      • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a contraceptive method.[2]
      • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use contraceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]

      WHO USES CONTRACEPTIVES?

      • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had inte-rcourse have used at least one contraceptive method.[2](and men?)
      • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)
      • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inter-course; or are not s-exually active.[2]
      • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using contraceptives.[2] (and men?)
      • Among the 42 million fertile, s-exually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing contraception.[2] (and men?)

      WHICH METHODS DO WOMEN (men?) USE?

      • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice contraception use reversible methods, such as oral contraceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]

      FIRST-YEAR CONTRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES

      Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unplanned pregnancy (a few examples)
      Metho Typical
      Pill (combined) 8.7
      Tubal sterilization 0.7
      Male condom 17.4
      Vas-ectomy 0.2
      Periodic abstinence 25.3
      Calendar 9.0
      Ovulation Method 3.0
      Sympto-thermal 2.0
      Post-ovulation 1.0
      No method 85.0"
      (Abstinence) 0
      (Mas-turbation) 0

      More facts about co-ntraceptives from

      guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

      "CON-TRACEPTIVE METHOD CHOICE

      Con-traceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002
      Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users

      Pill 11,661 30.6
      Male condom 6,841 18.0 "

      i.e.
      The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).
      i.e.
      0.087 (failure rate)
      x 62 million (# child bearing women)
      x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
      x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =
      1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of pill use.

      For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

      1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

      The Guttmacher Insti-tute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
      (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

      o Bottom Line #1: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

      Bottom line #2-

      Ccurrently, a perfect barrier system does not exist. Time to develop one. In the meantime, mono-ma-sturbation or mutual ma-sturbation are highly recommended for hete-rose-xuals who need a contraceptive. Abstinence is the another best-solution but obviously the se-x drive typically vitiates this option although being biological would it not be able to develop a drug to temporarily eliminate said drive?

      December 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @CatholicMom

      Peace2All,

      You Said: "If people get married just to have s3x because ‘it is fun’ then they go into it with the idea that that is the main reason for s3x and that it is not a fullness of expression of love towards one’s spouse."

      Well, I don't know of too many people that 'get married just to have s-e-x because it is fun. However, I suppose it is possible. And if so, who cares...?

      However, you didn't really answer my questions concerning people wanting to have s-e-x just because. I mean, if I am reading your response and responses from the past accurately, then you seem to be saying that it is 'never' o.k for anyone to have s-e-x just because...? Maybe they don't want any children. Not everyone wants to or needs to have children. To think that a God somewhere is demanding that anyone of child-bearing years not use contraceptives and everyone 'shouldbe open to the 'will of God' in case 'He' wants you to have kids, seems like... and I hate to say it to ya' CM, because you know I like and respect you... but it seems like 'absolute insanity' to even think that way...!!!

      You Said: "Old people can still show love completely and with the att!tude of it being an expression of love towards one’s spouse. Love does not stop in a marriage towards one’s spouse just because babies stop…it is still the fullness of love that can be expressed by two married people at any time throughout their marriage. The beauty of a long marriage is the expression of love manifests itself daily in a mult!tude of ways and not just s3xually."

      O.K... then why not the same rules for younger people too...? Why can't it be just an expression of Love for them as well...? If someone wants to have kids great... if not, then if they choose(free will) to use condoms or other contraceptives, then that really should be absolutely o.k. too. Still can be an expression of Love... or mutual pleasure, which is o.k. for people.

      It's really hard for me to get my mind around the fact that someone truly has this kind of world view and thinks like you do CMoM...!

      You Said: "It doesn’t look to me as though the earth is subdued yet."

      Say what...?

      You Said: "I look to the Church and the Magesterium for the interpretation of Bible verses so I hope I my expression is correct………..If you read Pope John Paul II’s ‘The Theology of the Body’ you can get a much better explanation of our human s3xuality than mine….."

      I think that your explanation on s-e-x and your interpretations of it have been enough. I'm good with my views on this... thanks...!

      Who knows CMoM... like I say... that's one of the things about this blog, you really get to see very radically different view points from your own. Who knows, maybe i'm going to 'sizzle' in hell, because you are right...? Geez... i hope not...!

      Peace...

      December 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Peace2All,

      Gosh, I never thought of my opinion as being radical!

      Why do people want to get married? Are they tired of having s3x outside of marriage and hate the guilty feeling or do they think marriage will make their love real or do they want God in their marriage or all of the above? Entering into a covenant with God which is what the Sacrament of Marriage is…. is a covenant with God and man and woman. Marriage is a covenant with God and His part in it is the ‘life giving’ part. If two enter into marriage but say ‘we will not be open to children’ then they have not entered into the covenant at all…it is just a display or a man-made ritual and they are not looking for God’s blessing just man’s blessings………..

      If each enters into marriage with the purpose of keeping the Sacrament of Marriage holy, one does not ‘leave out’ God’s part in the union. Those who have a need to not have another child just now have options that do not fly in the face of God and are sanctioned by the Church. But to not be ‘open’ to children due to worldly reasons such as greed is shutting out God from the covenant they made.

      Why are there so many divorces, do you think? My thought is that many enter into marriage not thinking about God as the important part of it. It is all about the ‘event’ and how elaborate an affair can they afford. Starting out like that gives a weak foundation, I think. After the newness wears off they don’t feel any different about their lives than they did before they entered into Marriage.

      Marriage is good for families; children are good for families; God is good for families, and families are good for people.

      If you are going to ‘sizzle’, Peace2All, it will not be because of anyone else but yourself…but having gotten to know you some on these blogs, I think your
      heart will accept Truth when confronted with it…and that is all any of us can do.

      See you later, remember?!

      P.S. this thread is getting rather long...why not start a new one?

      December 29, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  16. CatholicMom

    Merry Christmas to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and may the world hear your message of Peace.

    December 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  17. Muneef

    Al-Shuara sura 26:
    And re-he-ar-se to them (something of) Abraham's story. (69) Behold, he said to his father and his people: "What worship ye?" (70) They said: "We worship idols, and we remain constantly in attendance on them." (71) He said: "Do they listen to you when ye call (on them) (72) "Or do you good or harm?" (73) They said: "Nay, but we found our fathers doing thus (what we do)." (74) He said: "Do ye then see whom ye have been worshipping― (75) "Ye and your fathers before you?― (76) "For they are enemies to me; not so the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds; (77) "Who created me, and it is He Who guides me; (78) "Who gives me food and drink (79) "And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me; (80) "Who will cause me to die, and then to live (again); (81) "And Who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgment… (82) O my Lord! Bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; (83) "Grant me honourable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations); (84) "Make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss; (85) "Forgive my father, for that he is among those astray; (86) "And let me not be in disgrace on the Day when (men) will be raised up― (87) The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, (88) "But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart; (89)

    Al-Araf sura 07:
    The companions of the fire will call the companions of the garden; "pour down to us water or anything that Allah doth provide for your sustenance." They will say: "Both these things hath Allah forbidden to those who rejected Him.― (50) "Such as took their religion to be mere amusement and play and were deceived by the life of the world." That day shall We forget them as they forgot the meeting of this day of theirs, and as they were wont to reject Our signs. (51) For We had certainly sent unto them a Book, based on knowledge, which We explained in detail― a guide and a mercy to all who believe. (52) Do they just wait for the final fulfilment, of the event? On the day the event is finally fulfilled those who disregarded it before will say: "The Messengers of our Lord did indeed bring true (tidings). Have we no intercessors now to intercede on our behalf? Or could we be sent back? Then should we behave differently from our behaviour in the past." In fact they will have lost their souls, and the things they invented will leave them in the lurch. (53)Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then He established Himself on the Throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil O'er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the cherisher and sustainer of the Worlds! (54) Call on your Lord with hu-mi-lity and in private: for Allah loveth not those who t-res-pass beyond bounds. (55) Do no mis-chief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good. (56) It is He who sendeth the winds like heralds of glad tidings going before His Mercy: when they have carried the heavy-laden clouds, We drive them to a land that is dead, make rain to descend thereon, and produce every kind of harvest therewith: thus shall We raise up the dead: perchance ye may remember. (57) From the land that is clean and good, by the will of its Cherisher, springs up produce, (rich) after its kind: but from the land that is bad, spring up nothing but that which is n-igg-ardly: thus do We explain the signs by various (symbols) to those who are grateful. (58)

    December 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Once again we come to save Muneef and the other 1.5 billion lost Muslims from their Three B Syndrome, i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam but this time reducing to the Five Step Program for Deprogramming Islam to One Step in order to by-pass most of the language barrier:

      Gabriel never existed!!!!!! No Gabriel, no communiques from heaven and therefore Islam and the koran have no heavenly foundation!!!

      December 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  18. Muneef

    As seems US and Allies have failed to conquer the world as atheists or say seculars although they in every latest wars they were distributing bibles but still they had no morals of their bible as we seen what has been done in the Iraqi prison Abu Gureeb as an example... As since their warriors were not determent or courageous as religious warriors so they thought of changing as a Chameleon to change color and become as good as Crusaders by becoming religious...
    The Vatican and such as Christian Famous are to spread in to the east to recruit warriors as believers for the upcoming religious wars among citizens of one nation and among nations... The fights in Gose, Nigeria is just a start to segregate nations and same being now followed by separating Sudan North and South for the future to come having them to fight against each other as Muslims and Christians.... Minorities of Christians in the East are being supported to rebel against their own to weaken countries frontiers for US and Allies to come with gates open or an excuse to break out fights and wars by the excuse of those minorities?? A secular Allies for their advantage declare wars and fight Muslims in the name of Christianity although they have long left back and rejected it calling it fairytales?!....Dirty Politics over and over again.
    Only because irresponsible acts like these they had created hatred towards Westerns at US or Allies and now the same they will generate for Christians living among other nations and beliefs as a repeated story of the Jews and Israel...

    December 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  19. Muneef

    What a joke...All year bring Wars and end of year bring Peace??

    December 26, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef

      Should we not continue to work towards and strive for Peace...?

      Peace...

      December 27, 2010 at 2:20 am |
    • Muneef

      For your eyes only...
      Well we should but it doesn't seem to work much! As it seems it looks as it is a cease fire only now that they need all Muslims to stand with them against one the troubles them to see she is advancing in science and not as sleepy as the other sheep? The thing that it makes me want to laugh and cry in the same time that this nominated country was under siege for nearly 35 years since the Shah and was able to do all that while our other sheep were and still are not under any siege and had to money for it but made nothing to be proud of in front of world nations...! And a pride for Muslims and a prove that our religion does not tell Muslims to sleep but the present rulers are which you support so much to keep them sleep as was said before about the Red Indians that is now been applied on Muslims the goes as "The only good Muslims are the Sleeping ones or better the Dead ones?? Israel killing Muslims in Palestine and Gaza while USA has Afghan,Pakistan,Iraq and the list is expanding to add Iran, then,then,then one by one and as sheep keeping their Chairs rulers follow thinking it will last for them...!? Am fed up and better go to pray and sleep. Thanks friend for reminding me about dreaming of peace which I wonder if man can get that in grave or not there as well.!?

      December 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef

      Well, my friend, I certainly see your frustration from your posts. And, I guess the only thing to do is to keep 'trying' and 'striving' for Peace...yes...?

      What other choice do we have...? I mean, at least if we continue to work towards Peace as our aim and goal with others of Peaceful intentions... to live and let live kind of a creed, I think we are on the right track.

      I hope that your prayers of 'Peace' get answered.

      Peace...

      December 28, 2010 at 4:08 am |
    • Muneef

      Yes strive for peace but where? Only in America or the Middle East or all over the World? Well if we pray for peace to the world many at yours will be left with out job since majority work for war equipment's and weapons factories for which they will be happy with peace?

      December 28, 2010 at 7:08 am |
    • Muneef

      @Peace2All.
      Wonder if the Pope and the Vatican admits to that Muhammed is a Prophet and Messenger of God and that Islam is a religion of God? But if still they deny that I wonder how peace can be secured on earth or between those of faiths ??

      December 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef

      You Said: @Peace2All- "Yes strive for peace but where? Only in America or the Middle East or all over the World?

      Everywhere... Muneef.

      "You Said: "Wonder if the Pope and the Vatican admits to that Muhammed is a Prophet and Messenger of God and that Islam is a religion of God?"

      I'm actually not sure what the Vatican and the RCC's true thoughts are about Muhammed or Islam being a religion of God. But some thoughts:

      Obviously, Christians of all denominations(maybe there are some exceptions to this rule) believe that Jesus was the Son of God, or God himself expressed as part of a trinity or triune God (3 in 1). I am aware that while Islam recognizes Jesus as a prophet, they do not recognize him as the Son of God, or his Divinity. Just another prophet like Abraham and Moses, etc... while Muhammed is considered the last, best and final prophet of Allah or God.

      So, obviously, there are some differences. My observation is while there is certainly some shared history between Judaism, Islam and Christianity, they all think that 'their' respective religion or view point is the 'correct' or 'most accurate' one.

      You Said: "But if still they deny that I wonder how peace can be secured on earth or between those of faiths ??"

      Yes, if 'all' the religions continue to argue and at times wage terrorism and war in the name of their religions and their God being the 'right' one, then we all will continue to have a lot to be concerned about before there is ever... if ever... true and lasting Peace.

      Peace...

      December 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Muneef

      Peace2All.
      Well said and am happy to see your comments which is about Reality but not the Reality we known here, any way just got another wonder here;
      Do all Christians believe either on Jesus being ;
      -Son of God.
      -Being God himself.
      -Being Three in One.
      Are there any Christians in the west or east believe that Jesus was a Miracle of God and his prophet & messenger of God?? Because if there are any those then are on the straight true path and as good as the Islamic faith...

      December 29, 2010 at 7:08 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef

      Thank you for your compliment...

      You Said: "Do all Christians believe either on Jesus being ;
      -Son of God.
      -Being God himself.
      -Being Three in One."

      You know -Muneef, first a disclaimer (I, personally, am not a Christian). So, with that said, I certainly cannot speak for what 'all' Christians believe any way, as I don't think that even a 'Christian' can say what 'all' of Christianity thinks.

      So, from what I know, I can only tell you my observations, and from what I ascertain from a 'majority' standpoint:

      -Son of God: As far as I am aware, 'most' Christians 'believe' Jesus to be the Son of God.

      -Being God himself: Again, from my observations, that one seems to be a bit more 'debatable' between the different denominations of Christianity. Some do 'believe' that Jesus is God, again, with the 'trinity' analogy or the 'triune' God concept (God–the Father, God–the Son, and God– the Holy Spirit). 3 in 1.

      -Being Three in One: See my answer above under (Being God himself), however, as I understand it, this is where it gets a little dicey for the Muslim's and the Jew's, and for some Christians (in general), because this triune God or Trinity concept (3 in 1) can make some people perceive that Christianity looks more like a 'Polytheistic' religion, vs. a 'Monotheistic' religion.

      I think that the majority of Christians that hold to the God as Trinity concept (3 in 1) would definitely argue that this concept does not promote Polytheism in Christianity, but is just showing... the 3 different 'facets' or 'expressions' of God. They would argue that it is still... 1 (one) God.

      You Said: "Are there any Christians in the west or east believe that Jesus was a Miracle of God and his prophet & messenger of God?? Because if there are any those then are on the straight true path and as good as the Islamic faith..."

      Don't really know the answer to that one.

      Hope that my answers have helped...?

      Peace...

      December 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      Peace2All.
      You have been most helpful and I respect your observations and they were important to understand although have read that there were Christian groupe who considered Jesus as Prophet and Messenger of God but they were wiped out during the Christian wars and they are now either vanished or keeping silent avoiding what they may face if the declare their belief..

      Just wonder if Cristians kneel towards Jurusalem as used to or they just kneel towards where ever the Cross is?

      December 29, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      I found this interesting…..maybe it will help……

      LONDON, 21 SEPT. 2007 (ZENIT)

      Father Lang of the London Oratory, and recently appointed to work for the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, is the author of "Turning Toward the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer." The book was first published in German by Johannes Verlag and then in English by Ignatius Press. The book has also appeared in Italian, French, Hungarian and Spanish.

      Q: How did the practice of celebrating the liturgy "ad orientem," or "facing east," develop in the early Church? What is its theological significance?

      Father Lang: In most major religions, the position taken in prayer and the layout of holy places is determined by a "sacred direction." The sacred direction in Judaism is toward Jerusalem or, more precisely, toward the presence of the transcendent God — "shekinah" — in the Holy of Holies of the Temple, as seen in Daniel 6:10.

      Even after the destruction of the Temple, the custom of turning toward Jerusalem was kept in the liturgy of the synagogue. This is how the Jews have expressed their eschatological hope for the coming of the Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the gathering of God's people from the diaspora.

      The early Christians no longer turned toward the earthly Jerusalem, but toward the new, heavenly Jerusalem. It was their firm belief that when the Risen Christ would come again in glory, he would gather his faithful to make up this heavenly city.

      They saw in the rising sun a symbol of the Resurrection and of the Second Coming, and it was a matter of course for them to pray facing this direction. There is strong evidence of eastward prayer in most parts of the Christian world from the second century onward.

      In the New Testament, the special significance of the eastward direction for worship is not explicit.

      Even so, tradition has found many biblical references for this symbolism, for instance: the "sun of righteousness" in Malachi 4:2; the "day dawning from on high" in Luke 1:78; the angel ascending from the rising of the sun with the seal of the living God in Revelation 7:2; and the imagery of light in St John's Gospel.

      In Matthew 24:27-30, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man with power and great glory, which appears as the lightning from the east and shines as far as the west, is the cross.

      There is a close connection between eastward prayer and the cross; this is evident by the fourth century, if not earlier. In synagogues of this period, the corner with the receptacle for the Torah scrolls indicated the direction of prayer — "qibla" — toward Jerusalem.

      Among Christians, it became a general custom to mark the direction of prayer with a cross on the east wall in the apses of basilicas as well as in private rooms, for example, of monks and solitaries.

      Toward the end of the first millennium, we find theologians of different traditions noting that prayer facing east is one of the practices distinguishing Christianity from the other religions of the Near East: Jews pray toward Jerusalem, Muslims pray toward Mecca, but Christians pray toward the east.

      December 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef

      You Said: -Peace2All-- "You have been most helpful and I respect your observations and they were important to understand."

      Good to know that i was able to be helpful in your quest for knowledge.

      You Said: "Although have read that there were Christian groups who considered Jesus as Prophet and Messenger of God, but they were wiped out during the Christian wars and they are now either vanished or keeping silent avoiding what they may face if the declare their belief.."

      I think that in general, again, most Christians would consider Jesus as a Prophet as well as part of Who he was/is. Again, just my observations.

      As for other Christian groups, that might have in the past or currently do consider Jesus as only a 'Prophet' and 'not' (God or a facet of God– is this what you are inferring...?) I really don't know. Maybe -Catholic Mom, or some other Christians may want to weigh in here to help. Also you can search the web...yes...?

      You Said: "Just wonder if Cristians kneel towards Jurusalem as used to or they just kneel towards where ever the Cross is?"

      I have been in plenty of Churches, and 'never' in any of them were the people asked to pray towards the East or towards Jerusalem. There may have been a few that were pointed that way, but... from -Catholic Mom's article above, you can see the history, but I haven't seen it in Churches.

      Peace...

      December 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @CatholicMom

      So... how am I doing so far with my 'Christian' knowledge...? 🙂

      Peace...

      December 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Eric G.

      From the posts on this thread, it seems the only way we will have peace is by acknoledging others beliefs? This has never happened throughout the history of humanity. (All 200,000 years of it.) If peace is only attainable through validation of unsubstantiated belief, the inevitable differences and lack of factual boundries associated with different belief systems will continue to move the target of acceptance. To be blunt, the only hope humanity has for peace is when reason and factual evaluation replace unsubstantiated belief.

      December 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Eric G.

      Well said...

      Peace...

      December 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Eric G.

      I agree – the way forward is to continue to discuss current knowledge and believes *and* to discard those, including extraordinary supernatural claims, that do not stand up to objective investigation. Also, I believe it was announced in the last couple of days that a 400,000 year old human fossil has been found – way way older than the 6,000+ years the bible would have us believe. There is not a shred of credible scientific evidence to support a young earth, so deleting genesis would be a good start.

      December 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • civiloutside

      I hope you recognize, Muneef, that your suggestion that there will be peace when the RCC accepts Muhammed as god's prophet is equivalent to them saying there will be peace when Muslims accept that Jesus is the son of god. So it might be a good idea to take it as given that it's not gonna happen and start looking for other reasons to make peace.

      December 29, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Peace2All,
      You do not surprise me at all…I knew you had it in you!

      December 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
    • Muneef

      CatholicMom.
      Thanks for same but wonder if it was right to change what God has implied to us to do by changing Direction or Qiblah as from Jerusalem to no where other than the Cross ? Some how it looks wrong as if like those who worshiped Idols no direction to them other than where the idol stands...and sorry to say that made of the cross as if idol being worshiped? And not God? Why I said that is because in our country Southern Arabia an old musque was found in the desert and they found out from it's Qiblah that it was directed to Jerusalem and was used by Jew and then Christians until finally it became a mosque and they had the Qiblah changed towards Mecca...which means all Arabian Christians were doing that before those changes made by man with out a reason when God has already specified for each his prayers direction Qiblah...?

      December 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  20. Muneef

    A New Year Gained or a New Year Lost ?
    by Asma bint Shameem
     http://www.alhudapk.com/reading-material/articles/new%20year.pdf

    December 26, 2010 at 11:12 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.