A scence from Jesus of Nazareth and the song 'By the Sea' by Pete Mason
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Monday, 28 July 2008
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
No one saw the complete plans for the church until it was finished. When the people gathered, they marvelled at it's beauty. Then someone asked, "But where are the lamps? How will it be lighted?"
The nobleman pointed to some brackets in the walls. Then he gave each family a lamp, asking them to bring these with them each time they came to worship. "Each time you are in church, the area where you are seated will be lighted," the nobleman said.
"Each time you are not here, that area will be dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God's house will be dark."
Monday, 21 July 2008
Saturday, 19 July 2008
On the top of the hill is a beautiful old church. You can walk up winding paths to the church as I did one cold January day, taking care of the black ice that rimmed the paths.
I came across three ladies who looked as if they were in their 70's, kneeling on the ice in front of a statue of Our Lady. They were praying the Rosary and I watched them for a while. They completed 15 decades, unfazed and unflinching as gusts of cold air rattled up the path and made me shiver.
When they finished and stood up, the youngest lady turned to me and smiled. I said 'hello' and asked where they were from. She told me that she and her companions were from a rural village about 2 hours away by bus.
I asked why she came. Her story was simple. She and her 2 friends are members of the Leigon of Mary. They worked in their tiny village, visiting the sick and the needy. Her 2 friends had visited a sick farmer taking him a hot meal every day and on one visit left him a miraculous medal.
Another visitor saw the medal and reported the 2 ladies to the magistrate. (Its an offense for Christians to spread their faith in China). He sentenced them both to three months in a labour camp for the crime of spreading their religion.
They had just completed their sentence the previous day and had come immediately to the shrine of Sheshan to say thank you to Our Lady for helping them get through their sentence and also for the opportunity to do penance in a small way (Xiao - Xiao) in suffering for their faith.
I watched them walk slowly away up the hill to the main church. One had a limp. I wondered if their experience would stop them visiting the sick and giving out miraculous medals in the future..but I doubt it somehow..