The monastery church, built sometime between 1220 and 1235, is a stunning monument of Hungarian medieval architecture. Inspired by French architecture, the church shows elements of late Romanesque and early Gothic styles. The church was a private family church, built by a single family, the family of Aynard, and might have been the last of such churches in Hungary. Aynard arrived from France to Hungary with the wife of king Bela III.
The church was a three-nave chatedral; the cloister was attached to one of the sides. In 1398, the Aynards went out of favor, and the king ordered their property to be confiscated. In 1477 King Matthias Corvinus transferred the monastery to the Pauline Order. The church and the monastery were subsequently rebuilt in the Gothic style.
After the Siege of Buda in 1541 it was badly damaged. It was rebuilt again in 1754 but an earthquake in 1763 destroyed a large part of the building, its stones were used for other constructions in the village. The ruin became unclaimed, the neighbourhood ones carried away the stones. Nothing would have been left of him, if Rómer Flóris, a Benedictine teacher,and an art historian and Henszlmann Imre would not called for the necessity of the rescue of the valuable memory in 1870. Uniquely in Hungary in the walls of the church original medieval mason’s signs can be seen.
I really don’t talk that much about how much I love Alpha church. But man do i Love this Fucker. he is like the world’s Biggest Ahole, but he is also this incredibly lovable dork, he simultaneously cares the most and gives zero fucks, His level of delusion is only matched by his constant bitterness, I miss him every day
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Sometimes I get really angry at the Western-Protestant church for our consumerism in Christianity and how we base our worship services on emotional highs and raise our hands to the bridges and hooks of songs, out of emotion, and neglect the God they are being sung to.
Hey dear friend, I get mad about that, too. There’s a lot of strange fakery out there and I think people are catching on.
Here’s one thing I’d gently like to suggest, and as I have no pastoral authority with you and I’m just a stranger online, you may please feel free to dismiss what I’m saying and to disagree. I hope you will hear me with a pure heart of grace and love for you.
I absolutely believe you’re coming from a genuine place of desiring authenticity. The only thing is, I wouldn’t want that to make you run the opposite way against a certain subculture or a group of people, as if “I’m not gonna be like those Christians” is going to help. I can promise you with guaranteed certainty that it will not.
Consumerist Christianity is bad; emotionalism is bad; legalism and fundamentalism is bad; those are true sentiments. But at times these sincere convictions can filter the way we see all of church, so that by slow degrees we begin to think buildings are bad, programs are bad, techniques are bad, schedules are bad, and let’s not do it like those guys with big speakers and jumbotrons, and we’ll show them what it really looks like, and I’m so anti-institutional and counter-cultural, and I’m so over the plastic manufactured Sunday machine, and let’s be organic and “get back to our roots.” This is such a common temptation to every Christian that I’m sure it’s Satan’s favorite game-plan.
An over-desire to be “purist” is still idolatry. It’s exactly how Satan fractures the church so that Christians will bicker and grumble at each other instead of looking past the box and getting into the battlefield.
How would Satan divide the churches? By making us hate the packaging of the church. By making us hate materialism so much that we’d rather burn down the house than strengthen its structure. And I can tell you, many of these emotional songs and hand-raising moments and jumbo screens are not going away. In fact, they can still be used in a righteous way that would bring Christians closer and not further from the truth: because God redeems culture as much as He redeems crack addicts and criminals. There’s no extra glory for trying to worship in a garage (though I would love that, too).
We can’t get mad at the people in the church, either. There will always be hypocritical Christians who are actually infants learning how to walk, who will shop for churches based on professionalism and will act differently on Monday-Saturday: but we were like that too, and God still worked through us, and He had no contempt for the consumerism that we were still wrestling with inside, and He was there on the first lap of our faith just as much as He’s here now in our animosity.
And can I also say: there’s nothing more boring and bland than a Christian who acts like the modern church is the enemy, instead of seeing her as a friend who has lost her way. There’s nothing worse than a person who sees problems instead of a way through them. And we need grace for that guy, too.
In the end, we will either see these things with contempt or compassion. We will either look at a Westernized church with disgust and reactionary backlash, or we will see her and ask, “What can I do to help?”
Trying to fix the church with our criticism is still part of the problem and only perpetuates a Western hero-savior mentality, in which bad Christians are making bad churches and only the “True Christian Elite” can bring restoration.
I don’t buy into that narrative for a second. It’s the devil’s script. It’s too easy to be dissatisfied and discontent. It’s a false binary war where we pit cultures against each other for no other reason than pride and superiority. I’m not saying you’re doing that: but it’s worth exploring if we’re doing that. If I’m to call myself a Christian, that means I’m part of the ugly parts of the church that I dislike as well as the parts that I like, and I have to do something with both.
Jesus died for all of her and for all of you and me. And it takes a day at a time to dismantle the lies and hypocrisy and sin inside each of us: and that starts where I’m sitting before I look at anyone else.
I’m sorry that it sounds like I’m taking it hard on you. There are certainly terrible things in the church that must be stopped, immediately. But the question remains: What then? And what now? I believe your passion will be a huge element to restoring the church to her true beauty. I hope we can join each other in that good fight, with weapons of love and grace and truth, gentle as a scalpel with the force of a death-breaking power.
The Pope is in America. I’m reminded of Pope John Paul II’s 1987 visit to the U.S., which my father and my maternal grandmother sat together and watched on TV. Dad and Grandma didn’t have a lot in common, but they were both descendants of the German-Catholic diaspora that flowed into Minnesota in the 19th century. If you were raised Catholic, it’s hard to ignore the Pope.
I was raised Catholic—attending Mass twice a week, and Catholic school five times a week—until I graduated from high school in 1993. I then went to college and surprised everyone, most of all myself, by fairly promptly abandoning the faith; it’s now been over half my life since I’ve been a practicing Catholic.
Over the course of those years, I have to say, the Church hasn’t made it particularly difficult to stay away. There have of course been the child abuse scandals, with the tragic evidence of predation and deception cascading in waves that have crashed particularly loudly in Minnesota. Then there was John Paul’s dogmatic successor, Pope Benedict, whose appointment seemed intended to please the most reactionary elements of the Church. The new Pope Francis—who aims both to promote social justice and perpetuate the Church’s longstanding traditions—has been, for me as for many current and former Catholics, at once refreshing and frustrating.
Though some lapsed Catholics (a euphemism I’m surprised hasn’t been more widely picked up: “Oh, she didn’t dump me—she’s just lapsed from our relationship”) are waiting for reforms that would inspire them to return to the fold, I’m not waiting for anything. There are any number of alternate faiths I could join if I were looking for an alternate theology.
Still, the Church and its actions will always resonate strongly with me: it’s what I knew and was taught to honor for my entire childhood, it’s the faith that many of my friends and family members still practice, and it’s been foundational to my community. Every day when I bike to work, I pass the “Holy Trinity” of buildings representing Minnesota’s traditionally towering institutions: the James J. Hill House (industry), the State Capitol (government), and the Cathedral of St. Paul (church).
Watching the coverage of Francis’s visit to America, I’m reminded of just how many Pope-watchers there are. Beyond the country’s millions of practicing and formerly practicing Catholics, the Pope’s visit has interested politicians of both parties—he was personally greeted by President Obama, and invited by John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress—as well as a wide swath of observers interested in the Pope’s position on social and environmental issues, in addition to the good old-fashioned celebrity gawkers.
In all the coverage, I’ve particularly noticed all the reminders of just how many Americans are like me: people who feel a strong connection to the Church, but who don’t subscribe to all of its theological tenets.
A substantial majority of practicing Catholics disagree—in principle and/or practice—with the Church’s ban on birth control, and many also depart from orthodoxy in their views on homosexuality and the need for priests to exclusively be celibate men. Beyond those who consider themselves active members of the Church, there are many millions more who exist along the spectrum from faithful but occasional churchgoers to people like me who have left the Church behind as an institution but continue to live with the Church as part of our personal histories.
Like my dad and my grandma, we’re all drawn together in front of the TV when the Pope gets off the plane. The Papacy is quintessentially Catholic: an elaborate, ritual-laden embodiment of God’s purported presence on Earth, with a lineage believed to extend straight back to St. Peter himself. Love him or hate him, when the Pope appears, we children of his faith can’t look away. We watch, we listen, and—even if we don’t know what for—we wait.
So a local church was doing an outreach today at the place I decided to eat lunch. They were purchasing lunch for people in an attempt to get them to attend their church. To say the least, I was pleased that I was saving $6, but then I started thinking I should pass along the good deed.
First I thought I could give it to NPR, but then I remembered members of this church liked to protest abortion, so what better thing to do than give the $6 I saved to Planned Parenthood.
So here is the email confirmation thanking me for my donation. A donation that would not have been made if it weren’t for the kind folks at Element Church in Cheyenne.