Black history month day 17: St. Moses the Black.

Saint Moses the Black (330–405), (also known as Abba Moses the Robber, the Abyssinian, the Ethiopian, and the Strong) was an ascetic monk, priest,and a notable Desert Father.

St. Moses was a servant of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence. Once while attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Wadi El Natrun, then called Sketes, near Alexandria. Their peace, faith. And commitment deeply influenced Moses deeply and he soon gave up his old way of life and was baptized and joined the monastic community at Scetes.

St. Moses was known for his imposing strength. He was once attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell. He fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he did not think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them.

Though Moses was very zealous, he became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, Saint Isidore, abbot of the monastery, took Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, “Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative.”

Once Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance for a fellow monk who had sinned, When he came to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water, or possibly a basket full of sand, and carried it on his shoulder. Upon being asked why he was carrying the jug, he replied, “My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.” On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.

St. Moses died at around 75 while defending his monastery from bandits. He is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, and the Lutheran Church. He is the patron saint of Africa and pacifism.

Modern religious discourse

A Protestant and a Catholic are fighting over who’s the real Christian. The Anti-theist is yelling at them.The atheist laughs. The Orthodox Christian is quietly eating popcorn and rolling his eyes. The pagan is outside making a statue of Odin. The Sunni Muslim is reading wahhabist literature and getting ready to tell people about the wrath of Allah.

anonymous asked:

what are assyrians

*who are Assyrians

they’re an Aramaic-speaking people indigenous to the middle east specifically mesopotamia (modern day Iraq)

they’re not Arab, they’re a distinct ethnic group with their own language, culture, & history which goes back to 2,500 BCE

they were one of the first people to convert to Christianity & they follow a number of distinct eastern churches indigenous to the middle east such as the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, & the Syriac Catholic Church; not all the followers of those churches identify as Assyrian, some identity as Chaldeans, Syriacs, & Arameans

the traditional Assyrian homeland is in northern Iraq, south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, & north-western Iran, it roughly corresponds with Kurdistan

today more Assyrians live outside of their traditional homeland than inside it

since 2003 around 90% of Iraq’s Christians have left the country

anonymous asked:

Hello! I'm having some denomination trouble with a character. He is highly religious and faith-centric in his life. I'd like him to carry prayer beads/rosary beads, and he also has internalized a lot of extreme guilt and martyr mentality. That being said, he has extreme distrust of a hierarchical system like the Orthodox Catholic Church. Do you have any suggestions? He's South African, if that helps.

Hmmm…I don’t know anything about South African culture and religion, although some demographic research tells me that it’s a heavily Christian country.  The Roman Catholic Church does have quite a strong presence there, but the most popular denominations are African-initiated churches that I know nothing about (Zion Christian churches and other Apostolic churches).

Anyway, you want your guy to have a lot of emotional/mental baggage and carry beads around, which me being me makes me think “Catholic” right away.  XD  But you tell me that he’s distrustful of hierarchy.  So the two options I can think of (and if my readers can think of others, feel free to chime in!) are:

  1. He was raised Catholic, left the church some time ago (perhaps as a youth), and still finds the rituals and prayers comforting and so still does them.  This isn’t outré; I know a lot of “recovering Catholics” who consider themselves “culturally” Catholic but no longer attend church for whatever reason.  Plenty of people in the U.S. who consider themselves very religious don’t attend church on a regular basis and engage in prayer and Bible-reading on their own.  I see no reason why it couldn’t be the same in South Africa, but I also know zero things about South Africa, so take that with a grain of salt.
  2. He’s Muslim, perhaps converted later in life.  You get to have your prayer beads, and while Islam is not completely free of hierarchy it’s certainly not as hierarchical as either the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church(es).  I’m less clear on whether or not Islam facilitates the kind of guilt that Catholicism is so famous for, although certainly you could find some fodder for a martyr complex there.  (I think people who are really determined to be martyrs will find any reason, though.)

Hope that helps!  Feel free to write back if you need any clarification.


anonymous asked:

tbh the ethnic identity thing really depends on the place…like a lot of Italian- and Irish-Americans still have a strong sense of ethnic identity, and more recent immigrant populations have even more so. And obviously religion is a huge source of ethnic identity (Armenian churches, Russian orthodox churches, Irish Catholic Churches, etc). Whether or not white Americans should have a sense of ethnic identity is a different question, but a lot of them undoubtedly do

yeah…no…they really don’t and it really doesn’t. immigrants are one thing, but even the children of white immigrants are white americans first and foremost. white americans absolutely do not have a cultural and ethnic identity in the same sense that ethnic people of color do, because we are seen as foreigners. we are not absorbed into the american mainstream. american culture is composed of white cultures, so white ethnicities have no trouble assimilating. white ethnic american identities are differently constructed and cannot exist in the same manner that nonwhite ethnic identities do.


1. We are The Church. 
We are not a denomination since our Founder was Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. Jesus built His Church on the Apostle Peter (Cephas-Rock) in Matt. 16:18 as a Dynastic office supported by the Holy Spirit and those Apostles and Bishops in full communion with the Bishop of Rome who holds the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Pope is the direct and unbroken successor of Peter. No other Church in the world can trace its roots through Peter to Jesus. Only the Catholic Church has this.

2. Our name is the “Catholic Church”. 
We are not just Roman Catholics. Latin and Eastern Catholics form the Catholic Church, the world’s largest single religious body and the largest Christian Church with 1.2 Billion members. The word “Catholic” means Universal; we are everywhere and for everyone, every nation, every race and every colour.

3. The Bible is a Catholic book. 
The Catholic Church, by God’s authority to bind and loose and to be led into All Truth by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 16:19), put the Canon (list) of the Bible together in the 4th Century. We chose 27 books for the New Testament out of 50+ choices, and 46 books of the Old Testament from the Septuagint as that was the Jewish Scriptures Jesus and the Apostles used for a total of 73. The words; Bible, New Testament, Old Testament were chosen by the Catholic Church to define the final terms of the Canon of Scripture. The Catholic Church put together the Bible you now use. The original Bible was intact with 73 books from 300 AD till the 16th Century. This was the Bible all Christians used (73 books) until the Protestants breakaway when they removed 7 books from the Bible and now have 66 though the Bible says we should not take anything away from it (Rev. 22:19). We still use the original Bible in our Churches.

4. Our form of Worship is called the Mass. 
This is from the Apostles who inspired by the Holy Spirit gave us this Sacred Tradition making our worship Divine in origin. No other form of Christian worship, despite its respectful nature, is divine like ours. We worship as the angels do in heaven with incense (Rev. 8:4). This was the way the Apostles worshiped and this is the way they taught us to worship. We have a heavenly worship.

5. The Eucharist (communion) is the true and real presence of Christ; body, blood, soul and divinity. 
While the species’ properties remain bread and wine to the senses, they are in whole changed into the Flesh and Blood of Christ. Through our holy priesthood with valid Apostolic succession the prayers of consecration make this change, and the one time sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is represented to the Father. Only Catholic and Orthodox Churches have a valid Priesthood with Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. All other forms of celebrating the last supper in Protestant communions are symbolic in nature as they lack a valid Priesthood.

6. We do not worship Mary or the Saints. 
We worship the one true God of the Holy Trinity (Trinity was a word invented by the Catholic Church to describe one God in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We honor Mary and all the Saints who did the will of God and lived heroically holy lives. All Saints are created beings and therefore are not Divine and worthy of Adoration which alone belongs to God. Since nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:35) we believe that not even death can so we believe that all Christians who have died are alive with God and together we form one big spiritual family of God which we call the body of Christ and communion of Saints. Since they are already home with God (where we hope to be someday) and see God face to face, we ask them to intercede (pray) for us just as we ask our living brothers and sisters on earth to pray for us. They are our holy siblings just as we have physical siblings. If we believe in the power of prayers of human beings like us, how much more the power of people who are in heaven praying for us. Mary and the Saints are home in heaven with God our Father.

7. We accept all Protestants as our separated brothers and sisters in Christ. 
Together, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants make up the one body of Christ. The Orthodox share the most in common with the Catholic Church as they are valid churches because they have retained Apostolic succession with all seven sacraments. They are wounded by their lack of union with the Bishop of Rome who holds Primacy among all Bishops, and serves as a source of unity which the Orthodox do not enjoy. Protestants have a valid Trinitarian Baptism and they are incorporated into the body of Christ and should be deemed worthy to be called a Christian though they have not maintained a valid Priesthood nor Apostolic worship. Over time Protestantism, by its very nature, has continued to divide from one another and water down the Christian faith, form of worship and Christian moral view. Off shoots from Protestantism like Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarian, Church of Christian Science and Oneness Pentecostals are not considered Christian and are a completely different religion.

All Christians are to blame for our disunity. The Orthodox in rejecting the Primacy of the Pope, successor of Saint Peter. The Protestants in their revolt creating many man made ecclesial communions not founded by God rejecting parts of the Apostolic Faith. The Catholic Church while having the fullness of Christian Truth, has sinned against our neighbor at times creating unrest in the body of Christ, that was in part responsible for this division.

We pray as Jesus prayed for the unity of all Christians to return to full communion in the Catholic Church, sharing all their gifts in unity at the Eucharistic table of our Lord. We also pray for all non-Christian religions and non-religious to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior reconciling the whole world to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church for their is no salvation except through Jesus Christ. God bless you and please pray for me

Saint John the Baptist Church - Jordan River, Jordan

The church is located on the site believed by some to be where Jesus was baptised by Saint John.

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptised by him” (Matthew 3:13)

anonymous asked:

1) The conflict between Catholic and Orthodox churches is actually MUCH pettier then "is Jesus God or the son of God". Both churches agree that God is one being, existing as three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; the difference is that according to the Orthodox church the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, while the Catholic church believes that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. Over the last millenia (not quite, but nearly) other differencies

2) have emerged, for example, the Orthodox chirch does not accept the concept of Purgatory, but the word “filioque” (“and from the Son”) is basicly what formally started the Schism. - an atheist Russian anon, who for some reason knows all of this

That’s amazingly petty, wow. Thanks for sharing!

228: Old Christmas

Many people don’t know this, but for many years Ozark and Appalachian hillfolk celebrated Christmas on January 6th, not December 25th. It’s said this was because the immigrants brought over the January 6th Christmas tradition from Europe with them, but sort of missed the memo for the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar that England and Scotland made in 1752. 

Many hillfolk were abiding by the old calendar well into the 19th century and some even into the 20th. I’d say you wouldn’t find anyone in the Ozarks still celebrating Christmas on the 6th (outside of the Orthodox and Catholic churches that use the old calendar) but many people do celebrate “Old Christmas” on the 6th instead of the usual Epiphany day (as most Ozarkers are Protestants and don’t celebrate all of the feast days.)

Here are a few quotes about “Old Christmas” from Vance Randolph’s “Ozark Magic and Folklore”:

“A great many of the old-timers call December 25 ‘New Christmas’ in order to distinguish it from ‘Old Christmas,’ which falls on January 6. They tell me that in pioneer days nearly everybody celebrated Christmas twelve days later than they do now. Old folks say that elderberry always sprouts on the eve of Old Christmas even if the ground is frozen hard, you’ll find the little green shoots under the snow. A man at Pineville, Missouri, told me that bees in a hive always buzz very loudly exactly at midnight on the eve of Old Christmas; if several bee gums are set close together, the ‘Old Christmas hum’ can be heard some distance away. This shows that January 6, not December 25, is the real Christmas.”

“Mrs. Isabel Spradley, Van Buren, Arkansas, tells me that the old folks in her neighborhood sometimes call January 6 ‘Green Christmas’ or the ‘Twelfth Night.’ It is on January 5, the eve of Old Christmas that the cattle are supposed to kneel down and bellow, exactly at midnight, in honor of the birth of Jesus. Some say that the critters have the gift of speech on this night, so that they may pray aloud in English. Mrs. Spradley quotes an old woman with reference to the family water supply: ‘Our well had a charm put on it the night the cows talked, and I wouldn’t clean it out for silver!’ I don’t know what the charm is that this old woman referred to, but there are people in Arkansas today who say that the water in certain wells turns into wine at midnight on January 5.”

“It is said that on the morning of Old Christmas there are two daybreaks instead of one I have talked with men who claim to have seen this phenomenon. Boys born on Old Christmas are supposed to be very lucky in raising cattle; some say that these ‘Old Christmas children’ can actually talk the cow brute’s language.”

“There are old men in the Ozarks today who swear that they have actually seen cattle kneel down and bellow on Old Christmas eve. But skepticism sometimes prevails, even in the Ozarks. A neighbor tells me that when he was a boy he watched repeatedly to see his father’s oxen kneel but was always disappointed. His parents told him, however, that the presence of a human observer broke the spell, and that cattle must always salute the Savior in private. ‘But I just drawed a idy right thar,’ he added thoughtfully, ‘that they warn’t nothin’ to it, nohow.’”

“When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.”

+ St. Basil the Great, from Homily V. In martyrem Julittam. A different translation is quoted in the Prolegomena in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II Volume 8


Happy Christmas Eve to my friends who follow the old calendar!

January 7 is Christmas Day for Russian Christians, the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, as well as for some Protestants who use the Julian calendar. According to the Julian calendar, the holidays come thirteen days after the Christmas festivities in the Catholic Church.

anonymous asked:

Biblical literalism in regards to the Genesis is only about 200 years old, and a majority of churches including the catholic and orthodox church view that brand of fundamentalism as unbiblical, just so you know. Genesis is theologically rich, but isn't a telling of a literal event, Bishop Robert Barron has a great youtube video on the subject if you'd like to know what most christians believe

I’ve written several articles which touch on these subjects. Genesis was borrowed from Babylon which in turn borrowed it from Sumer. Throughout the last 2000 years, biblical inerrancy was the norm and you could be burned as a heretic for questioning it. Modern fundamentalism started in Britain in the mid 19th century and was a response to the influence of science and humanism on religion.