This stained-glass image of Our Lord is in what used to be the Church of the Holy Communion, an Episcopal Church, on 6th Ave. @ 20th St. in Manhattan. The Church was constructed in 1844-5. From 1983-2007 it was the Limelight nightclub. Today it’s a mini-shopping mall. The image remains.
“Where can I go from your spirit? from your presence where can I flee? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; If I sink to the nether world, you are present there. If I take wings of the dawn, if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea, Even there your hand shall guide me, and your right hand hold me fast.” Psalm 138 (139) 7-10
Commentary: It’s a gift to be able to thank our Lord in front of the tabernacle. But we are in his presence wherever we are. If only the same can be said for our heart, which needs to be united with His.
The Committee to Protect Journalists held their 22nd International Press Freedom Awards benefit dinner last evening at the Waldorf in NYC. The event was hosted by PBS senior correspondent Gwen Ifill. The dinner was chaired by David Boies.
CPJ’s work includes denouncing anti-press violations, providing assistance to targeted journalists, and advocating for press freedom worldwide. Journalists from Brazil, China, Kyrgzstan and Liberia were honored, as well as Alan Rusbridger, editor of the London-based Guardian.
Photograph: Stephen Wise
Commentary: The Israeli government claims to be acting to protect her people, but is acting unjustly with the Palestinians — occupying their land. The dominant forces driving Israel are seeking identity and freedom in ways that are material and apart from God, while claiming to be biblical.
“You have developed among you a dangerous Messianic spirit…I have learnt from my own experience that the sword alone offers no solution…Israel will not survive as a democratic state if she continues being a society that occupies another nation.” Ariel Sharon, presenting his Gaza plan to the Knesset, 25 October 2004
The most famous of all Italian immigrants to America, Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini, arrived in New York City in 1889. Her initial meeting with Archbishop Corrigan was not a happy one. He told her to go back to Italy in the mistaken belief that she had come to America in defiance of his orders. Once the initial misunderstanding was resolved, however, the two got along well together. Mother Cabrini personally took charge of the faltering Columbus Hospital and put it on firm financial footing. Her Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart soon became familiar figures in the New York Italian community as nurses, teachers and social workers visiting poor Italian immigrants in their own homes. The History of the Archdiocese of New York, 1999
Feast November 13
The Great War (World War I) ended on this day 11 Nov 1918, when the Germans signed an armistice agreement. The cost of the war (human and economic) was staggering. It all could have been avoided if leaders were better.
Sadly, the lessons of the Great War and all the other wars are not being learned and taken to heart by people of our time. A pastor of a church in NYC wrote in his 11/11/12 Sunday bulletin: “Our freedom exists because of their (veterans) service.” A lot of people have that dangerously mistaken view.
In his book: “The Fall Of The Russian Empire” (Blue Ribbon Books, 1928) Fr. Edmund A. Walsh addresses such thinking: “If history be a looking-glass, it is intended for seeing men; a mirror is useless to a blind man. It is a ruinous conceit and stupid chauvinism to imagine that the perpetuity of any state, be it monarchy or republic, can be assured solely by industrial preeminence, superior armament, mastery in the technique of foreign and domestic commerce, or shrewdness in the conduct of international relations. Valuable assets, these, but edged tools and engines of destruction, unless controlled by minds liberalized by habits of self-analysis, comparison and reflection. Nor have we on the American continent any divine guarantee that these material excellencies — too often and too grossly proclaimed as irresistible — will insure indefinitely our institutions against the cycle of degeneration through which sister nations have already passed. Some see the decline already.”
In his biography on Benjamin Franklin, The First American, 2000, H.W. Brands recounts words uttered by Mr. Franklin as he was leaving the Constitutional Convention: A matron of Philadelphia demanded to know, after four months’ secrecy, what he and the other delegates had produced. “A republic,” he answered, “if you can keep it.”
The ‘Founding Fathers’ understood the need for ‘virtue’ in the people, and checks-and-balances in the government — if the United States was to succeed and endure. The recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee, which prohibits the government from restricting independent political donations from corporations or unions, resulted in $7 billion being pumped into the just completed U.S. elections.
Commentary: It’s hard to overstate the consequences of Citizens United in undermining checks-and-balances and personal integrity. It has perverted an already perverted U.S. election process and contributed to dysfunction in the U.S. Congress. People are talking about dealing with America’s problems without admitting that most of her problems are self-inflicted.
The conundrum for any society seeking to be free is not to be undone by the wrongheaded exercise of freedom, by individuals or institutions.
Amid the ruins in a section of Queens, NY destroyed by storm Sandy, stood a statue of the Virgin Mary — a fitting reminder of her presence in the world and our lives. Unfortunately, many have not listened to Mary as she works to bring the ‘faithful’ to closer union with her Son and the Triune God.
In the economy of salvation we need to be purified of our sins in this world or the next. On the Feast of All Souls we remember those who died and are in Purgatory — knowing that one day they will be with Our Lord and also knowing that they can benefit from our prayers and sacrifices.