so I’ve always sort of liked the idea that within the communion of saints there the Heavy Hitters, the Career Saints who are invoked widely and in situations of grave need—I’m talking your Catherines and Francises and Theresas, the Twelve Disciples and Michael; the Big Time Major League saints who intercede on behalf of so many, and so are always in conversation with the divine, case managers for the sick and dying and hurting and faithful of the world.
but that also means that there’s a bunch of saints hanging around who are just—minor holy women, lesser martyrs, incidental virgins, doctors of the church who never managed to find a publisher. They’re not prayed to very often, and rarely called on to manage the difficult cases; they have a lot of free time.
so what do you do, if you’re a saint with some free time on your hands? You answer all the not-quite-prayers, the “jesus, don’t turn red don’t turn red’ muttered by cab drivers and the “christ, can you just try it to see this from my point of view?” spat out by a furious girlfriend and all the “oh god please let me make this meeting in time” “please don’t let me fail” “I’m so tired I hope I can get home”
or maybe I just like the idea that every time you mutter “god, let me be okay” there’s some girl killed in 9th century for refusing to marry who falls into step beside you—and though no book or chronicle or living person remembers her name, she squints up at you and says with holy authority, “yeah, you’re going to be fine.”
When we Christians use
words like “forgiveness” and phrases like “True love keeps no record of
wrongs,” I find myself wondering how that would apply to certain
contexts, namely with victims of abuse (sexual, physical,
emotional/mental)? I wonder if we should even be using these words when
speaking with victims/survivors of abuse and how it might come off as to
For example, when we say to forgive
an abuser, what does that look like? Does that mean we forget the harm
they did and pretend like everything is okay? Do we welcome them back
with open arms? The same questions also apply to phrases such as “love
keeps no record of wrongs”. I ask because as Christians it would be good
to be mindful how these words and phrases can sound like and that we
tend to throw these terms around much without thinking. What is your
take on this?
Hey dear friend, I truly appreciate your heart and care in this question. I am with you absolutely 100% here. The Christian culture so easily falls into a martyr syndrome that unnecessarily risks our safety, and it so often assumes that “church people” have no pre-existing baggage that makes “love and forgiveness” an extremely painful endeavor.
The thing is, love must absolutely include truth, wisdom, boundaries, and grace for yourself. Love is not enabling, pampering, coddling, or letting someone off the hook—or it wouldn’t really be love at all.
For those who have been abused or traumatized: Forgiveness doesn’t mean friendship. No one should ever be rushed into forgiveness for the sake of “getting right with God.” We need healthy boundaries. We need to recognize patterns of unrepentant abuse and gaslighting and manipulative language that will only guilt-trip you back into a vicious cycle. We can never mindlessly open the door again on an abusive relationship.
Many well-intentioned Christians try to act the part of a psychologist or social worker or therapist and have absolutely no idea about the real dangers of abuse, codependency, and compassion fatigue.
The other thing is that “Christian love” is overly romanticized, where if we just love enough, then we get the Hollywood montage of reconciliation and hugs and high-fives. But having been at the deathbed of many, many patients in the hospital, I hardly ever see it work out that way. Abusers will use up good will and spit it right out. Survivors of abuse have tried again and again to reconcile, only to find out that opening the door to their heart is no better than unlocking the cage of a pack of wolves.
It’s absolutely atrocious that preachers harp on forgiveness without listening to the stories of their churches. And still, Christians are slammed with the Bible to “forgive” because “it’s the Christian thing to do,” without any nuance for individual situations and without, you know, reading the rest of the Bible that says a lot of other stuff about abuse and trauma.
God is for the victims, for the abused, for the survivors. God is for
the exile, the foreigner, the despised, the despondent who crossed the
Jesus told us to be as pure as doves and as wise as snakes. Pure, but wise. Wise, but pure.
There’s a destructive idea in Christian subculture that breeds a martyr-hero syndrome, at the expense of yourself, and eventually everyone else. I spent too many years consumed by the “sacrificial radical love” model of Christianity, which required that I pour out more than I had—but it only scooped out my guts and left me bitter and resentful and exhausted. I had to remember that only one person really did love all the way to death so that we wouldn’t have to.
My friend once asked me, “Are you trying to be like Jesus, or are you trying to be Jesus? Because you can’t be crucified for all these people. He already did that.” I had to re-work my idea of love and forgiveness to include self-care and proper distance.
When Jesus was dying on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them,” let’s notice that Jesus did not say, “Father, help me forgive them.” It was very specific wording. In other words, Jesus was concerned that his murderers would find forgiveness from God, but not necessarily that Jesus would “feel forgiveness” towards them. Jesus was deliberately not condoning the murderers’ behavior, but also concerned for the destiny of their souls.
This is a perfectly balanced love that cooperates with truth. Of course, Jesus did offer forgiveness to them, and to everyone else who was ever born, and we’re called to work towards such divinity. But no, we’re under no such illusion that we must befriend those who have hurt us or hurt the ones we love. Jesus may pour out unlimited grace from a cross, but each of us are finite beings, with limited resources, who must go to Jesus who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Since I’ve started working alongside social workers and psychologists, I was at first surprised how blunt and to-the-point they were. But they’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands of abusers and victims, and they’ve heard all the excuses and rationalizations. They know that victims feel obligated to stick up for their abusers and that abusers will hijack language around forgiveness to be taken back. The medical staff’s sole goal here is to advocate for the victim. That requires tough talk, no bull-crap, no beating around the bush, but actuallove that’s as sharp as surgery, for both sides. The victim needs to know it’s okay to call the police and get a restraining order and defend themselves. The abuser needs to know they’re actually an abuser and that “forgiveness” is not some cheap ace-card that glosses over all they did.
In that kind of love, people are held accountable and responsible, because that sort of love is for the very best of each person, not to trap them or trick them, but to help them heal. So for the abused, it will mean empowering them with boundaries and the ability to say “no.” It will mean re-framing their religious obligations to “forgive.” It includes safety and boundaries and self-care. And perhaps one day, it includes the hopeful possibility of reconciliation, whether on this side of life or the other.
cry during the funeral for those killed in a Palm Sunday church terrorist attack
in Alexandria Egypt, at the Mar Amina church, Monday, April 10, 2017.
Egyptian Christians were burying their dead on Monday, a day after
Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in coordinated
attacks targeting Palm Sunday services in two cities. Women wailed as
caskets marked with the word “martyr” were brought into the Mar Amina
church in the coastal city of Alexandria, the footage broadcast on
several Egyptian channels. (AP Photo/Samer Abdallah)
Lamenting Mourning Women Tomb (TT55) of Ramose c. 1411-1375 BCE, Thebes.
John William Waterhouse 1849-1917 Born in: Rome (Lazio, Italy) Died in: St John’s Wood (London, Greater London, England) Saint Cecilia, 1895 Oil on canvas, Private collection ___
One of Waterhouse’s greatest master pieces is Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music, lying asleep in a chair. Two angels kneel by her side, both playing stringed instruments. The angels as well as Cecelia herself share a look of gentle innocence and vulnerability (which Peter Trippi compares to the Nymphs in much King Hylas and the Water Nymph). The angels look at Cecelia admiringly for her strong faith and lasting virginity. The book in her hand is most likely the holy gospel which the actual saint always carried concealed from her non-Christian family. Saint Cecilia is considered to be one of the Catholic Church’s greatest martyrs. She converted many to Christianity which eventually cost her her life. She was ordered to be suffocated by steam, but survived and was found smiling inside the chamber. She was then ordered to be beheaded, but the executioner could not sever her head with the three blows allowed. She supposedly survived for three days, throughout which she was said to be fully coherent and joyful. She finally died after being blessed by the holy Pontiff Urban. (Catholic Encyclopedia) (Magnificat) Saint Cecelia currently holds the world record for a 19th century Victorian or non-Impressionist work, sold at auction, selling in the summer of 2001 for 6.6 million pounds, or roughly 10,000,000 American dollars. – Kara Ross
eto, the one-eyed king, and the book of revelations
at the beginning of the “exterminate tsukiyama operation”, ishida sui may have foreshadowed not only eto’s appearance as the one-eyed owl, but her overall role within the series. although eto is hinted and referred to as the one-eyed king, there is a possibility she is not the actual king, as a key figure in the book of revelations may be the actual source of her character’s inspiration.
Solemnity of Pentecost – 4 June 2017 – Wishing you all a Holy, Blessed and inspired Pentecost! The Solemnity of Pentecost is the birthday of the Church:
The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit ushers in a new era in the “dispensation of the mystery” the age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates his work of salvation through the liturgy of His Church, “until he comes.” (CCC, #1076)
Pentecost is not just an isolated feast of the Holy Spirit but an integral feast of the Easter season. Pentecost is also an elementary feast — not as in getting to back to the basics or beginnings of the Catholic Church but can be described elementary as in the four elements of Aristotle: earth, wind, fire and water.
Red Easter: Pentecost closes the Easter season and not in an anticlimactic fashion but in a grand finale. We so often tend to look at this feast as a separate entity for the Holy Spirit but the Church integrates this feast into the Easter season as a whole. there is significance in the number of days and weeks during the Easter season and in the eyes of the Church, the 50 days are viewed as “one feast day.” The Italian name for Pentecost, Pasqua rossa (Red Easter) is a great reminder of this connection.
22. The fifty days from the Sunday of the Resurrection to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated in joy and exultation as one feast day, indeed as one “great Sunday.” These are the days above all others in which the Alleluia is sung.
23. The Sundays of this time of year are considered to be Sundays of Easter and are called, after Easter Sunday itself, the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Sundays of Easter. This sacred period of fifty days concludes with Pentecost Sunday. (From the General Norms of the Liturgical Year and Calendar).
The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is closely linked to the feast of the Resurrection, our Passover Feast:
On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance. On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #731-732)
In reading the account of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles, there is very pronounced imagery. It is easy to recognise the wind and fire but all four classic elements of Greek philosopher, Aristotle, are present at Pentecost, earth, wind, fire and water.
First in the account of Pentecost from Acts 2:1-11 came the wind: “And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.”
Most Biblical renderings of the God or the Holy Spirit is through a gentle breath, such as Jesus breathing on the Apostles in the Resurrection appearance in the Upper Room. At Pentecost it is the same room, but here the Holy Spirit comes as wind of strength and power.
There is nothing subtler than the wind, which manages to penetrate everywhere, even to reach inanimate bodies and give them a life of their own. The rushing wind of the day of Pentecost expresses the new force with which divine love invades the Church and souls (p. 592, In Conversation with God, Volume 2, by Francis Fernandez).
Next came the fire: “Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.” It is this combination of wind and fire that is the gift of tongues. One of the optional readings for Pentecost is the story of the Tower of Babel. Pius Parsch, as quoted on the Catholic Culture’s Pentecost page, explains that is was the sin of pride that separated and divided those at Babel. The Holy Spirit brings unity and love, which allows those languages to be spoken and understood by all.
The liturgical color for Pentecost is red, the color of fire and blood and the symbol of love. The last time we have seen red vestments outside of the feasts of martyrs or apostles is Palm Sunday and Good Friday. The red for those days recalled the blood of Christ. Today the red recalls the tongues of fire and we ask the Holy Spirit to ignite our hearts, just as we pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy Faithful; and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love….
“In medieval times, many churches had a “Holy Ghost Hole”, a small circular opening in the ceiling of the church. The holes would be decorated on Pentecost, with various items symbolising the Holy Spirit lowered through the hole. This practice calls to mind the elements of wind and fire. Father Francis Weiser describes the tradition (emphasis mine):
In medieval times the figure of a dove was widely used to enact in a dramatic way the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday. When the priest had arrived at the sequence, he sang the first words in a loud and solemn voice: Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Ghost). Immediately there arose in the church a sound “as of a violent wind blowing” (Acts 2, 2). This noise was produced in some countries, like France, by the blowing of trumpets; in others by the choir boys, who hissed, hummed, pressed windbags, and rattled the benches. All eyes turned toward the ceiling of the church where from an opening called the “Holy Ghost Hole” there appeared a disc the size of a cart wheel, which slowly descended in horizontal position, swinging in ever-widening circles. Upon a blue background, broken by bundles of golden rays, it bore on its underside the figure of a white dove.
Meanwhile the choir sang the sequence. At its conclusion the dove came to rest, hanging suspended in the middle of the church. There followed a “rain” of flowers indicating the gifts of the Holy Spirit and of water symbolizing baptism. In some towns of central Europe people even went so far as to drop pieces of burning wick or straw from the Holy Ghost Hole, to represent the flaming tongues of Pentecost. This practice, however, was eventually stopped because it tended to put the people on fire externally, instead of internally as the Holy Spirit had done at Jerusalem. In the thirteenth century in many cathedrals of France real white pigeons were released during the singing of the sequence and new around in the church while roses were dropped from the Holy Ghost Hole (Weiser, Holyday Book).
Except for the burning bits, some of these practices have been revived in these older churches. In parts of Italy and Sicily, red rose petals are dropped through the hole. This is an especially spectacular sight in the church in Rome dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs that was formerly the Pantheon. There is an opening in the dome and the rose petals are dropped, filling the church and covering the floor.
Red and fire are the dominant images used in Pentecost celebrations. In many places of the Northern Hemisphere, this is height of strawberry season and the red fruits shapes like tongues of fire seem perfect for the feast day that falls in the warmer months.”
The earth element doesn’t seem to be as obvious with the connection more as it relates to God’s creation. Pentecost, which means “Fiftieth Day” in Greek, was a Jewish festival marking the 7 weeks or 50 days after the Passover. It was a harvest festival, offering the first fruits in thanksgiving to God. Later the feast also commemorated the giving of the Law or Ten Commandments to Moses at Sinai. Our civilization has become less agrarian but this “earth element” should be a universal reminder to us as respect and thanksgiving for creation. Pope Benedict explains and elaborates:
“From its earliest prehistory [Pentecost] has been a feast of harvest. In Palestine the crops were ripe in May; Pentecost was the thanksgiving for the grain harvest. Man sees the fruitfulness which results from the interplay of heaven and earth as the miracle by which he lives and he acknowledges that gratitude is the appropriate response to this miracle….Has this become meaningless today? If we think of “Holy Spirit” only in terms of Christian inwardness and of “harvest” only in terms of technology and commerce, our view of the world has become schizophrenic. At Pentecost the church prays a verse from the psalms which runs: Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth. Initially this refers to the creative Spirit which has called the world into being and maintains it in being. It is important to have a new reality of this at Pentecost: the Holy Spirit who came down upon the apostles is the same Spirit who fashioned the world….”
Against this background we must also understand that, in Israel, Pentecost was the remembrance of the arrival at Sinai and the celebration of the Covenant which had set out a path for Israel to travel in the form of the law. Christians have always seen their Pentecost as a continuation of this idea: the New Law is love, breaking down barriers and uniting people in the New Covenant. Love, too, is not formless or arbitrary; it is a formation from within, a wakefulness of the heart which takes up the rhythm of creation and perfects it. (Seek That Which is Above, 79-81)”
The final element, water, is not an image of the Holy Spirit but a direct result of the coming of the Paraclete upon the Disciples. After they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they left the Upper Room and began to proclaim the Gospel. And on hearing their words, 3000 were baptised that day. The matter of baptism is water.
From the very day of Pentecost the Church has celebrated and administered holy Baptism. Indeed St. Peter declares to the crowd astounded by his preaching: “Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
26. The apostles and their collaborators offer Baptism to anyone who believed in Jesus: Jews, the God-fearing, pagans. 27 Always, Baptism is seen as connected with faith: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household,” St. Paul declared to his jailer in Philippi. And the narrative continues, the jailer “was baptised at once, with all his family” (CCC, #1226)
With every baptism comes the reminders of the first Pentecost. Today is also a good feast to celebrate our reception of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. ( Jennifer Gregory Miller)
Christians commemorate on March 9ththe Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, or the Holy Forty, (a group of Roman soldiers from the Legio XII Fulminata - Armed with Lightning - whose martyrdom, in 320, for the Christian faith is recounted in traditional martyrologies).
They were killed near the city of Sebaste (present-day Sivas in Turkey), in Lesser Armenia, victims of the persecutions of Licinius, who after 316, persecuted the Christians of the East.
The earliest account of their existence and martyrdom is given by Bishop Basil of Caesarea (370–379). According to Basil, forty soldiers who had openly confessed themselves Christians were condemned by the prefect to be exposed naked upon a frozen pond near Sebaste on a bitterly cold night, that they might freeze to death.
Among the confessors, one yielded and, leaving his companions, sought the warm baths near the lake which had been prepared for any who might prove inconstant.
One of the guards set to keep watch over the martyrs beheld at that moment a supernatural brilliancy overshadowing them, and, at once proclaimed himself a Christian, threw off his garments, and joined the remaining thirty-nine. Thus the number of forty remained complete.
At daybreak, the stiffened bodies of the confessors, which still showed signs of life, were burned and the ashes cast into a river. Christians, however, collected the remains, and the relics were distributed throughout many cities; in this way, veneration of the Forty Martyrs became widespread, and numerous churches were built in their honour.
In Romania, for this day, which coincides, as well, with the start of the agricultural year, a special sweet dish is prepared, called Mucenici (Martyrs), or Sfinţişori (Saints), depending on the region.
In Muntenia and Dobrogea (regions of Romania), small circles of dough are boiled in water with sugar, cinnamon and crushed nuts, symbolizing the lake where the Martyrs were cast.
In Moldavia region, the dough, in a large shape of the figure 8 is baked, then smeared with honey and walnuts.
OKAY LET’S GET THIS DONE, sorry for the wait, Bunny TwT
of all I want to say that I firmly believe Logarius was not designed
with the idea of him being the leader of the Executioners. Most of the
optional bosses and areas in the game feel like content that was created
before the story was completely defined by the developers and got partially
scrapped. Yes, I’m looking at you suspicious fade to black that looks a
lot like a deleted cutscene that was supposed to play after the
activation of the Altar of Despair! …but my headcanons are, of course,
based on what we currently see in the game and on my idea that the Healing Church took over an already existent cult,
which once again would explain why all the big events took place in the
course of Laurence’s lifetime (according to my other theory :P). He did not build all the cathedrals
overnight, just redecorated them with more accurate representations of
the ‘Gods’ who were Great Ones from the start.
This religion and its institution, which I’m simply going to call ‘the Church’, were part of the legacy of the Pthumerians the same way Cainhurst was.
I mean, the EVIDENCE IS STRONG.
This, would also explain why Gascoigne and Viola’s music box plays a song dedicated to a Pthumerian god-child.
Just like many other aspects of Yharnamite culture, that particular
piece of music was
handed down across the centuries untill the humans adopted it as a
traditional, ancient song (perhaps for the same reason why they named
their city after a long dead queen bearing a name with classic roots?). Its original significance was lost, not only to humans but to the
Pthumerian descendants themselves, in a similar way to how the Elves in
the Dragon Age setting don’t know a single thing about their own history
and traditions after centuries of slavery.
So, we finally get to Logarius! Who is he? A Pthumerian, for sure, and probably a member of the not-so-healing
Church. He and his executioners were the military force of the chantry
of the time the same way Ludwig’s hunters will later be for the Healing
Church. The Executioners were not Vileblood Hunters at the time, because
well, the Vilebloods didn’t exist before someone Laurence
brought the Old Blood to Cainhurst, and they accepted both Pthumerians
and humans in their ranks. I imagine the two races living side by side back
then, the same way they do (though not that peacefully) when our hunter arrives in Yharnam and
encounters tons of enemies that I believe to be Pthumerians or at least,
hybrids, such as the Church Giants, the Snatchers and of course,
Logarius himself who even wields the exact same weapon as the Pthumerian Elder we fight in the dungeons.
The Chapel Dweller is PROBABLY a Pthumerian too, one of the very few “sane” ones.(And by sane I mean non-hostile :P)
Sinister Pthumeru Ihyll Root Chalice‘s description reads:
The bell-ringing woman appears to be a mad Pthumerian.
The Pthumerian monarch was traditionally a woman who assumed a name with classical roots.
If Chime Maidens are considered _mad_ this means that not all Pthumerians are like them, or at least were. Am I right? XD
Long story short, Logarius was this Pthumerian dude who used to lead a heroic crusaders-like army, possibly the very same that inspired Ludwig’s ideals…
Radiant Sword Hunter Badge:
These hunters, also known as Holy Blades, are what remains of an
ancient line of heroes that date back to a very early age of honor and
chivalry. (which could possibly date back to the times of Queen Yharnam since we encounter actual Pthumerian Knights in the dungeons.)
…and who, like everybody else at the time, didn’t know that the Gods he and the humans worshipped were in fact Great Ones.
The reason why his Executioners will later become Vileblood hunters could also be because the Cainhurst people, were HIS people, or at least the closest to what Pthumerian civilization used to be. Seeing them corrupted by tainted blood and turned into something ‘vile’ would probably justify his hatred for them.
Or perhaps the Healing Church offered him a higher salary :P who knows.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.”
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.