In God’s Land: Lazarus’ Tomb, Mount of Temptation and Masada

8 09 2019

Bethany

We had early breakfast, by 6.30am to be precise, so we can leave on time for Bethany. Bethany is in the Palestinian territory. So we had to take our passports again. As we left the great city of Jerusalem, we began descending into the rift valley towards Bethany, soon on both sides huge expanse of desert and Sand Mountains, the mere sight of which is sufficient to make you thirsty. We could see Bedouins living in tents and very primitive conditions. Soon we caught sight of the Dead Sea

Dead Sea is 80km long and 400 meters, it is considered concentrated salt. What this means is that if you take a cupful of Dead Sea water and put a spoon of salt in and stir, the salt cannot dissolve, because water is already saturated.

 Sodom and Gomorrah is on South end of the Dead Sea. Along the coast of the Dead Sea, we could see Israeli Kibbutz (farming communities) with stretches of green house farms and miles and miles of date palms, a testament to the industrious people who can make even the desert fertile.

Bethany: Church of St. Lazarus

We arrived at the West bank town of al-Eizariya, and drove to the St. Lazarus Catholic Church, built on the home of Maria, Lazarus and Martha. The Lord Jesus Christ came here many times, friends of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

Luke 10:38-42 Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

“Now, as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.  She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.  But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.[a] Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Entering Church of St. Lazarus in Bethany

During Mass at side chapel beside the St. Lazarus Catholic Church: Bethany

After Mass we entered the main Church to view the interior

Tomb of Lazarus

The Tomb of Lazarus

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have … to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died…John 11:21

Climbing a little hill from the St. Lazarus Church is the tomb of Lazarus

And Jesus Wept

Jesus wept where when heard that his friend was dead. Jesus gave life to Lazarus to foreshadow our resurrection. We ask him to give us the love he gave to Lazarus and Mary and Martha

Masada

Fortress of Masada

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling!  Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate.” Matthew 23

Jesus left the Temple, and as he was going away his disciples came up to draw his attention to the Temple buildings. He said to them in reply, ‘You see all these? In truth I tell you, not a single stone here will be left on another: everything will be pulled down.’

Matthew 24:2

This prophesy of Christ was fulfilled in the year 70 AD when the city of Jerusalem was completely destroyed and The Temple burnt by the Romans

As the story goes, in 66 Ad there was a great Jewish revolt against the Roman, resulting in the destruction of the city and the temple in 70 Ad by Roman army

After the destruction of Jerusalem, some surviving Jews (about 900 men, women and children) took shelter in Masada, a fortress built by Herod. There spent two years training and arming to defeat Roman but in 72AD, the Roman army laid siege on Masada, breached the walls and entered and found that the 900 Jewish survivors all committed suicide.

“As Judaism prohibits suicide, Josephus, a Jewish historian, who recorded the incident, reported that the defenders had drawn lots and killed each other in turn, down to the last man, who would be the only one to actually take his own life.

 Josephus says that Eleazar ordered his men to destroy everything except the foodstuffs to show that the defenders retained the ability to live, and so had chosen death over slavery.” (Source Wikipedia)

Today, Israel regards Masada as a symbol of courage.

From Bethany, it was a short bus ride to Masada. Below are pictures of us arriving at Masada

The Israelis have built cable cars that take tourist and visitors up the mountain fortress.

We rode a cable car to reach the fortress of Masada

Walking among the ruins of Masada

Qumran

When we left Masada, our next stop was at Qumran

Besides the Dead Sea, Qumran is best known as the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a young shepherd boy who was looking for one of his sheep that got missing. Reaching one of the caves in the hill, while calling his sheep, he threw stones to check if the cave was flooded. Surprised to hear potteries shattering, he investigated and discovered plenty of clay jars, when he opened one, he saw that they contained ancient manuscripts.

He sold of it to antique dealers and after changing hands several times they reached scholars who could accurately evaluate the age and value of the parchments. Further exploration uncovered a total of 972 texts including the oldest known existing copy of the Old Testament. The texts are written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Nabataen. The scrolls are believed to have belonged to the Essenes sect. St. John the Baptist was an Essene

 The Dead Sea Scrolls are 1,200 years B.C. These range from small fragments to a complete scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and every book of the Hebrew Bible except Esther and Nehemiah.

Jericho

Our next stop was in the town of Jericho. It is the oldest city in the world.

The children of Israel where praising the lord and the wall of Jericho came tumbling down… Joshua 6:2-5

Joshua, crossing River Jordan, achieved his first victory at Jericho. The children of Israel blew trumpets, and the walls came down.

Jericho is also the town of Zacchaeus, the tax collector who climbed a Sycamore Tree in other to see Jesus

Jesus said to him, “Zacchaeus’, come down for I shall stay in your house today. “

Most important is that in Jericho, Jesus was tempted by the devil . a mountain approximately 366 metres (1,201 ft) high, towering from the northwest over the town of Jericho in the West Bank .

Mountain of temptation of Jesus

“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”…Matthew 4:8, Luke 4:5

Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights praying and fasting, after he was tempted, and the devil came to him and said, if you are the sin of God, order these stones to turn into bread, and Jesus said to him, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God

Standing by the rock on which Jesus was tempted by Satan

Standing by The rock of Temptation( The rock on which Jesus was tempted

River Jordan

Still in Jericho, our next stop was by the river Jordan where John the Baptist Babtized Jesus

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased, listen to him.”….Matthew 3:17

It is also at the Mount Nebo in Jordan, that Moses ascended to heaven, and Elijah ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire.

 Across the river Jordan is the border between Palestinian and Jordan with armed guards





In God’s Land: Bethlehem and The Shepherd’s Fields

5 09 2019

“But you, 0 Bethlehem-Ephrathaha, least among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, and then the rest of his kindred shall return to the children of Israel.”…Micah 5:2

The saying above was from prophet Micah, a Jewish prophet who lived 700 BC. Today we visited Bethlehem; the place where this prophesy came true 2000 years later.

 Bethlehem is in Palestinian territory, and crossing from the Jewish quarter to the Palestine, we cross the border, from Israel into the West Bank, with border walls and armed check point. We had to carry our passports.

Our first stop was at the Shepherd’s field, where the Angels appeared to the Shepherds announcing to them the good news of the birth of the Son of God.

The Sheppard’s caves

“West bank and Gaza are deserts and like all deserts, temperatures spike by day and by night. During winter, things get worse, and at night, it’s not uncommon for it to snow.

The Sheppard herding their sheep, foraging for what little grass they can find by day had to take shelter in caves at nights or freeze to death.

 One winter night, an Angel appeared to some Sheppard and said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger

These hard, rough living men who would give their lives to save one sheep, tough looking, and yet gently carrying the wounded sheep on their shoulders, caring for them until healthy.  The Angels came to announce them, the birth of the True Shepherd

During Mass at Sheppard’s Cave

After Mass we went to small chapel by the caves, called the Chapel of the Angels. We also went to inspect the ruins of 1st Century Byzantine Church by the side.

Outside the Chapel of The Angels, Sheppard’s Field

Remains of 1st century Byzantine Church near the caves and the Chapel of Angel
A look at Palestinian homes at Bethlehem from the Shepard fields
Exterior view of the Chapel of Angels
Taking pictures behind the Chapel of Angels

Inside the Chapel of the Angels

Bethlehem: the Church of the Nativity

We continue to thread on the footprints of Christ.

While gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne.

Our next visit was to the Church of Nativity, built on the rock on which Christ was born.

Door of humility

To enter the Church of the Nativity, one must stoop low because the door to this most holy site is very low. The story goes that in ancient times, robbers on horseback would ride into the church, snatching anything they can grab. So the door was made low so that a horse cannot enter.

Providentially, it became a good metaphor of how to reach God. To approach God we must stoop and come down from our high horse.  We must bow and admit that we do not have a monopoly of knowledge. Those who refuse to do this will not find God.

Outside the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Arriving the city of Bethlehem
Sites and sounds of the city of Bethlehem
Queing to enter the door of humility at the Church of Nativity

Inside the Church of Nativity

Columns inside the Chuch of Nativity
Queue of people waiting to enter the Nativity grotto
Getting nearer to the Nativity grotto

Crowd of people waiting to enter the Grotto of the Nativity

Line waiting to enter the Nativity grotto
At the tip of the entrance of the the Nativity Grotto

Inside the Grotto of the Nativity

O marvelous exchange! Man’s Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.

The spot where Christ was born
Touching the Manger where Mary kept the infant Jesus
The star mark the spot
Kissing the spot where Jesus was born
Touching the spot where Jesus was born

Christ is unique, unlike Mohammed, he isn’t only a prophet, unlike Buddha, he is not just enlightened, unlike Socrates, he is not just a wise man; he is much more. He is God.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.





In God’s Land: Ein Kerem and Emmaus Nicopolis 

3 09 2019
Bright and sunny morning at Saxum vistors center.  Joe and Fr. Gabriel ready for the adventures of the day

Sometimes, to reach heaven above, you have to descend and the valley spread before you shall appear as an ancient wonder—Book of Genesis

This saying was on a plaque was on the wall along uphill path that led to a Church  at the village of Ein Kerem. The Church is believed to be the house where the pregnant blessed Virgin Mary visited her pregnant cousin Elizabeth. The Church of the Visitation as it is called is a magnificent church standing on the spot where Elizabeth, on hearing the greeting of Mary, felt the child leap in her womb. This is the site where tradition tells us that Mary recited her song of praise, the Magnificat: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me…Luke 1:46–55

Pictures of outside the Church

Pilgrims, young and old, making the steep uphill climb following the footsteps of Mary

Entrance of the Church

Someone said that this is a statue of the Crusaders

Pictures of inside of the Church of the Visitation


We discovered on the walls facing the Church of the Visitation, the Magnificat of the Virgin Mary, written in many languages including 2 Nigerian languages:f Yoruba and Igbo

The Magnificat of Mary in Yoruba, one of the three main Nigerian languages.

The Magnificat in Igbo Language

Valley of Ein Kerem seen looking from the hill of the Visitation

Mass beside the Church of the Visitation

Having arrived a little late, our group could not celebrate Holy Mass inside the Church of the Visitation since another group was already having Mass there, but the Franciscan caretakers of the Church where kind enough to allow us celebrate outside, right next to the Church of the Visitation. It sort of reminded me of being under the mantle of our Lady

Mary’s Spring

Not far from the Church of the Visitation, is a small spring. This small spring where it said that the Virgin Mary stopped to drink while visiting Elizabeth. The water runs there till today and the village actually takes its name from this spring, since Ein Kerem in Hebrew means “spring of the vineyard” Below are pictures of our visit there on the 3rd of September 2019

Spring of Mary
A beautiful Russian Convent, Ein Kerem seen from the Church of Visitation

Church Where St John de Baptist was born

In this same village, just down the road is the birthplace of St John the Baptist. St John the Baptist is the Lord;s immediate forerunner, sent to prepare his way. He surpasses all the prophets, of whom he is the last. He inaugurates the gospel, already from his mother’s womb, he welcomes the coming Christ.

Below are pictures of Church of St. John the Baptist

Church of St. John the Baptist
Canticle of Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79) printed in different languages on the walls facing the Church of St. John the Baptist. Zechariah was John the baptist father. He saw the arch-Angel Gabriel at the temple who told him that his old wife would bear a son and he must call him John, but he did not believe the angel, so the Angel struck him dumb until it came to pass. Luke 1:5-25
The yellow spot marks the where John the Baptist was born
Touch of birth spot of St. John the Baptist
Still the beautiful Russian orthodox church with golden dome can be seen from the Church of the St. John the Baptist
Russian Convent, Ein Kerem

Emmaus Nicopolis

The last place we visited today was the Emmaus Decapolis, one of the possible sites where our Lord Jesus after his resurrection, walked alongside two of his sad disciple on the road to Emmaus. Below are picture of our visit to Emmaus

Our guide explaining 1st Century Jewish Cemetery lying on the Emmaus route
1st Century Jewish Cemetery
Becoming the unknown disciple walking with Cleopas when our Lord joined them on the road to Emmau




In God’s Land : City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel

2 09 2019

Day 1: Arriving Jerusalem

The flight from Abuja to Addis Ababa was uneventful except for the one and half year old baby girl, who was my co-passenger. She was seated right beside me, looking at me with big round eyes filled with mischief. She was comfortably strapped in seat belt as we were about to take off. I was worried she would become frightened by the roaring of the aircraft as we took off, but she didn’t seem to be bothered at all and was busy making faces at me as the plane took off. She would put the index fingers of both hands in her mouth and show me her teeth and I would do the same and be rewarded with giggles and rolling over to her mother. Her mother, a young woman of about 35 was seated by the window was trying to catch some sleep, grateful that that someone was managing baby.

We had a brief stopover over at Aminu Kano Airport where some passengers disembarked and even more passengers came on board. I hadn’t been to Kano for more than twenty years and I looked out the plane windows, I had a faint hint of nostalgia

I grew up in Kano and left after the riots and religious killings of the 90’s. I was pleasantly surprised that among the disembarking passengers where Chinese and some southerners, men and women.

I couldn’t believe many southerners and even expatriates risked living in this place after all that happened. Perhaps things were not as bad as imagine.

We took the air shortly after and soon the cabin crew mostly young Ethiopian girls where bringing out things for lunch. It was standard flight meals: rice and chicken, even for baby diamond. They had no baby food. In any case the mother was there to help if the baby couldn’t finish.

Midway into the flight, the Diamond’s mom felt ill, complaining of headache. Lucky, I had some medicine which I gave her and told her that perhaps all she needed was to get some sleep. I continued distracting baby so that her mom could sleep, but I don’t think I succeeded.
Situation soon deteriorated as mom soon said she felt nausea. Frightened at the prospect of her going all over me, I volunteered to call on of the hostess and see if a doctor was on board.
The hostess soon returned with a sizzling bottle juice and a glass she poured out some and handed it to mother who sipped it and after a while I asked her how it was. She said she was feeling much better.

They say that time flies when you are having fun, and it flew like a jet

Time flew like a jet propelled rocket and we were soon at Addis Ababa
We started disembarking, mother asked me to help with baby since I had just a small hand luggage. I picked baby and was surprised that she wasn’t very light.

Mother and child where continuing to Thailand and there interconnecting flights their terminal was C5. We hurried to find it, and as we searched, baby was getting heavier and my arms were aching. I began to respect for mothers.

I considered myself fit, swim daily fir 2hr and yet a 1yr old baby was giving me a tough time. We finally found their terminal and sweating profusely, I handed her to mom who thanked me profusely.

I wished them a safe trip and proceeded to look for my terminal for my connection to Tel Aviv. I was standing scrutinizing the airline monitor when someone called my name. Spinning 360, I saw Pius, and the Nigerian contingent. We shook hands and I was grateful that I have found my team. Thanks to carrying that baby, I was exactly at the right place to be found, talk of children’s guardian Angels. In another 4 hours we landed at Tel Aviv airport, Israel. We then drove to the great Land of God: Jerusalem. A land where God lived .

Saxum Center 

After about 5 hr wait at the airport, a bus came to take us to Saxum Conference center. It is located in Jerusalem at Abu Ghosh The Saxum Visitor Center helps pilgrims to deepen their knowledge of the Holy Land through different multimedia resources in order to enrich each person’s Holy Land experience.

Saxum Visitors Center

Day 2 City of David and Hezekiah’s tunnel
After Mass and breakfast, the group went on a tour of the city of Jerusalem by bus.

Here we enter the great city built by King David

At the gate of the city of David

Hezekiah Tunnel

Next, we experience a bit of the old Testament by climbing down the tunnel of Hezekiah. This tunnel was built in search of water for the old Testament Jews by their king, Hezekiah. Below is a the old Testament scriptural verse that talks about this tunnel

“As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?” (2 Kings 20:20)

The Bible verses relating to a tunnel in Hezekiah’s time are these: 2 Kings 20:20

Climbing down Hezekiah’s tunnel





Mother deer offers her life to crocodile to save her baby

1 08 2019

All the forces on this planet will never beat that of a mother’s love. The video of a mother deer that ran in to save her young from the jaws of a crocodile, offering herself to the crocodile in place has proved the saying true. Seeing her little child struggling to get out of reach of a giant crocodile racing to make a snack of him, mother deer jumped into the lake and placed herself between her baby and the crocodile. Steel jaws soon clamped and dragged her under water in a pool of blood, a proof of true motherhood.

Equally amazing is the video of a Lapwing bird braving farming machinery to protect her egg, not budging at all to the huge steel contraption overhead, but instead raised its wings to protect her eggs, another powerful example of the virtue of sacrificial love of true mothers.

If lower creatures are capable of such noble deeds, then higher creatures like human should be capable of nobler deeds. Unfortunately this is not the case. In many parts of the world human mothers shed the blood of their children to save themselves.

In 1973, the US Supreme Court decided that mothers could abort their unborn children at all trimesters of pregnancy for any reason whatsoever. This grievous decision called Roe vs. Wade has put human mothers beneath the deer and the lapwing bird, and has led to countless deaths since then. Every year, according to WHO, an estimated 40-50 million are killed via abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 children killed per day by their own mothers.

Studies claim that many of these mothers choose abortion because having a baby would dramatically interfere with their education, work or ability to care for their dependents or when they have no other choice, given their limited resources and existing responsibilities to others. Well, mother deer had good reasons too to abandon her baby. She knew that saving that baby would cost her life, but she did it anyway.

In the same way, the lapwing bird must have felt that she had no other choice than to flee the metal tractor, yet she braced herself for impact, ready to die rather than abandon her eggs, her unborn chicks. And to think of it, not all her eggs are wanted, or planned. Male lapwing often mount without asking permission, yet once the deed is done, she is ready to die and as mother birds she loves each more than her life.

Shamefully, in these same countries where mothers are encouraged to kill their children, dying for country and for others is revered—yet their muddled minds fail to grasp that abortions are the opposite of the virtues they revere –a cowardly, deliberate assault on innocent human lives

The mainstream media and social media perhaps are responsible for the sad muddling of minds. Puppets in the hands of the cliques who own them, they are bent on propagating whatever they want while using the sledge hammer threat of “smear campaign” to knock every one into servile obedience.

Thankfully the deer and the lapwing are not rational animals. They are thus impervious to unrelenting propaganda of the dark and sinister, screeching for wholesale abandonment of the very laws of concord that makes rationality rational.

A creature cannot be greater than its creator

How come such noble instincts inhere in such wild beasts? Who put it there?
Christians believe that God created all creatures, and thus they bear a certain resemblance to God, most especially man, created in the image and likeness of God. The manifold perfections of creatures – their truth, their goodness, their beauty all reflect the infinite perfection of God. Consequently we can name God by taking his creatures” perfections as our starting point, “for from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator (CCC41)

Who else would put sacrificial love in animals if not Sacrificial love itself? Like an artist’s great mind is reflected on his canvas so the goodness in creatures is a reflection of the mind of God. And, just like mother deer gave her life to save her child, Christians believe that God, in the person of Jesus Christ, gave His life to save sinners.

Yet, those who advocate that human mothers behave less nobly than beasts are sadly mistaken, because a mother’s love is powerful precisely because she is ready to give up her life in defense of her child. This is true for mother deer, but equally true of human mothers.

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Inspiring Story of “Iron Lady” Muniba Mazari

19 07 2019
Muniba Masari

Sometimes just existing is an act of bravery. Muniba Masari, 20, was involved in a car crash when her husband, who was driving, fell asleep and the car crashed into a ditch. Though he was able to jump out and save himself, she suffered numerous injuries, including a fractured wrist, collar bone, and rib cage; the rib cage injury severely injured her lungs and liver. She couldn’t breathe, and she’d lost control of her urine and bowels. In addition, her backbone was completely crushed. For the rest of her life, she was paralyzed.

After two and a half months in the hospital and multiple surgeries, the doctor told her she would never be able to walk or have a child again.

“Why me?” she asked her mother, devastated. “Why am I still alive?”

“This, too, shall pass,” her mother assured her. I’m not sure what God’s plan is for you.”

Muniba’s heart was set on fire by those magical words. She had always wanted to be an artist, and even though the doctors said she couldn’t use her hands, she asked her brothers to bring her canvas, and when they did, she did her first painting inside the hospital, which started her recovery process.

Her doctors advised her to lie down straight on her bed for two years after she was discharged.

“That’s when I realized how fortunate people were to be able to walk around, go outside, and not even realize it,” she explained. She resolved to help others realize how fortunate they were.

Her first step was to break free from her fears. So she took out a piece of paper and jotted down all of her fears.

Her greatest fear was losing her husband through a divorce. She married the man her father chose when she was 18 years old. It was never a happy union. Her husband had survived the accident unscathed, despised her for her condition, and was having an affair with another woman.

“I was clinging to this person who didn’t want me,” Muniba explained, “and from that day forward, I resolved to liberate him, to set him free.”

“In fact,” Muniba continued, “I was so free that when I found out he was getting married again, I texted him and said congratulations, I am happy for you, and he knows I am praying for him today.”

Muniba had unknowingly followed Jesus’ teaching, which stated, “You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be called children of God. He makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. What is the reward for loving those who love you? Aren’t the tax collectors doing the same thing? And what are you doing more than others if you only greet your own people? Do pagans not do the same? Therefore, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48) 

Therefore, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48) her fear of never having her own child vanished when she realized there were thousands of children in Pakistan who had no one to love them. So she decided to assist them by adopting one, and a cool stream of happiness returned to her bruised heart. Muniba now has a healthy young son whom she adores and who adores her. She also travels around giving talks and encouraging people to see the bright side of life and appreciate what they have.

Every great athlete will tell you that they are at their best when they are not self-conscious or self-focused, but rather when they are completely focused on the outside, on the game. Similarly, people who have suffered a disaster are best able to overcome when they resist the urge to bitter self-pity and instead focus on helping others.

Muniba’s pain and suffering opened her eyes and made her more understanding of other people’s sufferings, making her a better person.

“There are incidents that happen, that deform you, but they mold you into the best version of yourself,” Muniba said, confirming the truth that, behind the dark clouds of pain, lies the silver lining of realizing a better, more beautiful version of ourselves, like gold purified by fire, or rough diamond made valuable by knocks and chisels blows.

God’s Understanding

“God has a purpose for you,” her mother had told her, and those magical words had set her heart on a search, looking outside of herself. It piqued her interest in learning what she could do to help others, because suffering need is something that can happen to anyone, but knowing how to endure it belongs to great souls, souls who have loved deeply.

Most people understandably avoid suffering like a bat avoids fire, but if suffering is inevitable, rejection would be futile and harmful because the hand of the clock, no matter how much we wish, cannot be turned back.

Acceptance is the prudent course of action. Making the most of a bad situation

This is why the Christian message is so powerful, and why it is referred to as the good news. God emptied himself, became man, and humbled himself to die on the Cross so that people like Muniba can know that God loves them because he chose to suffer similar affliction, not just her, but all men and women throughout history.

Suffering was unbearable before Jesus’ message, and those who suffered had no hope. Then, worldly power and wealth were everything, and a man’s worth was largely determined by his possessions.

Christ turned everything on its head. He was born in a Manger, the dwelling place of animals, lived poor, and preached that the poor are blessed and that all the things that men cringe and flee from are the true treasures, hunger, thirst for Righteousness, and meekness. Furthermore, He not only preached but His death and resurrection validated His teachings as genuine and divine.

Though Muniba is not a Christian, she has grasped the tenants of Christianity, and just as the Cross ceased to be a symbol of punishment and instead became a symbol of victory in the Passion, Muniba’s wheel cheer and urine bag are a symbol of hope and victory for all. She has received numerous international awards as an artist, motivational speaker, activist, TV host, and Pakistan’s first Goodwill Ambassador to UNWomen Pakistan at the age of 42.

“I always go around with a big smile on my face,” Muniba, an ironwoman whose example is urging everyone to make up their minds to follow the way of self-surrender even when the Cross is on their shoulders, says.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





The Girl Who Looked Death in the Eye and Smiled

8 03 2019

#InternationalWomensDay

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

People the world over flee illness and suffering and despise death as an evil that must be avoided at all cost. They feel themselves most unfortunate, even unlucky if ever one or the other should overcome them. Yet, there was a young girl who did not despise and fly from suffering and pain, but even looked death in the eye with a smile, accepting and embracing it as a gentle caress full of affection from a God who loved her so much.

Who was this girl and how did she come to have such uncommon attitude in the face of pain, suffering, even death. What gave her mind to understand that acceptance rather than hatred and rejection are the most effective antibiotics against infecting the soul with bitterness. What were the outcome of these her radical ideas?

Her name was Maria Montse Grases, a young Spaniard who lived in Barcelona. She was only 17 in 1957 when she was diagnosed with a rare and painful bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. In the 50’s   Ewing’s sarcoma was a death sentence.


Maria Montse Grases

 Montse loved life and had an infectious smile straight from the heart. Her eyes shown like diamonds, tall and strong, it seems there was almost always a perpetual smile on her face, a smile that came straight from the heart. Her eyes were kind, friendly and filled with playful mischief.  She was neat and tidy and her clothes reflected style and taste. She especially liked a green plaid skirt that reached her ankles

  She liked sport and music as well as traditional local dances. She was a good athlete, playing basketball, tennis, and ping-pong. But her favorite recreation was outings with friends.

In many sense she was like any other girl; yet, she was unlike many other girls because she radiated an inner charm and her virtues and character made her attractive to all who met her. 

She almost never worried about herself but busied herself taking care of others, she showered love and attention on the needy and suffering; and took her friends to visit poor families and sick people, and she regularly gave religions classes to the local children in parishes, and would sometimes bring them toys and sweets.

 She took great care of her spiritual life of prayers because she loved God with a personal love that was both intimate and filled with reverence.  To her, God was a friend with whom she could share everything, the deepest secrets of her soul, she laid bare to him daily in prayer and anything that worried her.

Like every young woman, she had her personal shortcomings.  Impulsive and brusque at times, she however never compromised with her personal defects, wrestling resolutely against them and struggling to control her occasional ill temper, and be friendly and jovial with everyone.

This greatness of heart shone like a brilliant star when she demonstrated a rare capacity to dedicate herself to something greater than herself. 

When she was 11, her parents came in contact with Opus Dei an institution in the Catholic Church that shows ordinary people how to be holy in the ordinary circumstances of each day. They readily understood the message of Opus Dei and within two years both had joined Opus Dei.

Montse’s parents thought her how to deal with Jesus with confidence, they strove to make her stable companion of Jesus sparing no effort to make it happen.  It was her mother who first suggested she visited a center of Opus Dei, where Christian and human formation is give to young girls. In attending the means of formation given in the center of Opus Dei, she perceived one day God was calling her to serve him as a celibate member of Opus Dei. She was sixteen

After meditating, praying, and seeking advice, she asked to be admitted to Opus Dei. From then on she struggled decisively and with constancy to seek holiness in her daily life. She struggled to be in constant conversation with God, to discover the will of God in the fulfillment of her duties and in caring for little details out of love, and to make life pleasant for those around her. She was able to transmit to many of her relatives and friends the peace that comes from living close to God.

Her brother George soon took notice that Montse had changed. Though externally, she was the same, same dress, she still attended classes on cooking and arts, but her brothers noticed that she was no longer arguing with him, and was more affectionate and tactful. She seemed to have suddenly grown up.

What made her so readily generous with God?  Some people attribute it to her parent’s generosity with God in having a large family. Montse was the second of nine children.

“Me and my wife agreed in everything, ready to start a Christian family, accepting all children God wanted to send.” Her father said.

Ewing’s sarcoma

One day on June 1958, Montse went skiing with friends and injured her leg. The pain was excruciating and won’t go away; her parents took her to a clinic. After lengthy investigations, the doctor took her parent aside, and told them she had a rare kind of bone cancer, causing the great pain she had been experiencing. But worse, it was incurable. She was going to die.

Devastated, her parents wept inconsolably, unable to speak or break the news to her.

Finally, they told her.

“Would it help if they cut the bad leg?” she asked.

“I am afraid my daughter, that will not help.” her sad father said.

To her parents surprise she brightened up and began singing a Mexican song and that night, as her mother recalled slept soundly.

Little by little, her illness got worse though, and she spent many a sleepless night squirming in pain; the treatment made her suffer a lot. Her pain increased to the point of being almost unbearable. From February 16th on, her leg was so swollen up to the hip that her skin began to crack.

Treating the leg was terribly painful. But instead of complaining, she hummed a song. She always had an affectionate word for those who treated her leg, even though they couldn’t help hurting her.

She couldn’t eat. To take anything was a real torture. Since she couldn’t swallow anything, she sucked on a piece of ice for refreshment. She usually commented that she was a coward because she was afraid the suffering would come.  

Jesus was afraid to die?

At first, she naturally was afraid to die. One day she said to a friend: “I’m afraid of dying, because I’m afraid to be alone.”

Her friend tried to encourage her by mentioning the scene of Jesus in Gethsemane was afraid to die.

“Jesus was afraid to die?” She exclaimed, astonished that she hadn’t thought about that before. Joy flooded into her heart.

“What joy to find myself afraid together with Jesus,” Montse exclaimed ecstatically clasping her hands, her face radiant with peace and joy.

 “Together with Jesus I will face death happily!”

The end drew to a close rapidly however.  At the beginning of March they had to call the doctor quickly because. Montse had such a weak pulse that it was hardly noticeable.

The doctor, when he took her pulse couldn’t hide his concern that was noticed by all. Montse broke the anguished silence by picking up the doctor’s bag from the bed and saying: “Mama, have you seen this strange bag?”

This made everyone smile.

She grew much worse. They thought the moment had arrived to give her the Blessing of the Sick. She also thought it would be good to have it as soon as possible. A priest of Opus Dei administered this sacrament. Montse followed the ritual with great devotion, showing no sadness. Every once in a while she smiled at her mother who knelt at the foot of the bed.

On March 18, eve of the feast of St. Joseph, it seemed that the hour of her death had arrived. Montse was very happy.

“How do I look,” she asked those who were staying with her.

 “All right,” someone answered. Montse wanted them to say, “Worse.” And when asked, “How do you feel?” she answered unenthusiastically, “Me? Fine; just look.” The clock struck eleven, and she asked, “What time is it? Am I still here?”

At twelve she was asked, “Montse, do you want to pray?”

 They said the Angelus. At that moment she was more awake, and she said: “Do you know what I think? I’m not going to worry any more. When God wants, he’ll take me.”

Soon to Heaven

St. Joseph’s day passed, and her general condition improved somewhat. The doctor came to see her and Montse asked later: “What did he say? What’s happening? Aren’t I going?”

“He said you might go at any moment,” they answered.

 “Can you imagine? Soon to Heaven, soon to Heaven! Will you let me go?” she exclaimed happily, hugging the person who had told her the doctor’s comment.

Little by little she weakened. The nights were the worst. A continuous sweat left her exhausted. She became very thirsty and felt suffocated. The night before her death, Montse wanted to say something. But in spite of the effort she made no one could understand her. Early in the morning of that Holy Thursday, March 26, 1959, the directress of the Opus Dei house that she attended was close to her bed, and Montse asked her to say aspirations since she herself couldn’t talk anymore. About ten o’clock she tried to sit up to see the picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary that she had in front of her bed.

She whispered: “How much I love you. When are you coming to take me?” These were her last words. Her life ebbed away little by little.

At noon, those who were with her prayed the Angelus. She must have followed it with her heart. It was her last glance toward the One she loved so much, and to whom she had said so many things during her lifetime. Those who were with her began to say the Rosary in a soft voice, and they had just finished the first mystery when Montse died

Montserrat Graces, an 18 year old girl when she died on March 25, 1959 and was recently declared venerable by Pope Francis. She is a model for all women on women’s day. 





Angel Priest

21 01 2019

It was a pleasant surprise when the relentless fog of bad media enveloping on Catholic priesthood was momentarily lifted by a bright ray of sunshine. In August 4, 2013, a young woman, Katie Lentz was trapped inside her crushed Mercedes Benz rammed by a drunken truck driver. Her life was slowly ebbing away. The rescue workers huffed and puffed as they cut and drilled trying to free her, but were getting nowhere. They were about to give up when a priest appeared and asked the sheriff if a priest was needed. He was carrying a bottle of anointing oil. The sheriff said yes and the priest knelt by the wrecked car and started talking with the young woman inside. She asked him to pray that her leg stops hurting. He did so.  She asked him to pray aloud, he did and absolved her from her sins, anointed her with oil”

He then stepped aside to allow the workmen continue their jobs.

Shortly after, things began to work and the workmen cut and pulled the woman out of the wreck. She was immediately flown to a hospital and survived. When they turned to thank the priest, he was nowhere to be found.

The workmen where unanimous, a miracle had occurred. They all agreed that the priest’s prayers helped pull this off. The officials at the scene said it seemed he appeared from nowhere, and he couldn’t be found in any pictures taken at the scene and left without anyone seeing where he went.

She survived but, for days, no one could figure out who the priest was, and the media was agog.

“Mystery Angel priest appears at Missouri Car crash” one headline went.

“The power of prayer and the Miraculous Angel priest,” screeched another.

At last the priest in question caught wind of the hubbub and quietly came out. Fr. Dowling, for that is his name, said that he was pleased that he was able to help by performing his ordinary ministry and noted that that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident. “I think there may have been angels there too,” he added.

Fr Dowling

He was a good priest, and like all good priests, took no credit for what happened, rather, he selflessly attributed the success to others.

Suddenly, the story was no longer sensational, not even entertaining.

“Mystery Angel priest is just an ordinary priest who did nothing,” scoffed one headline.

 Disappointed, the media moved on in search of other sensations. They are like children who had flocked in looking for ghost stories and found an ordinary priest who had no wings, and couldn’t vanish.

 Search for the extraordinary, celebration of scandals and lethargic indifference to common place things are traits of today’s media culture, often at the mercy of the unscrupulous who, spurred by money, no doubt, fabricate titillating stories that are rewarded with instant media attention.  

Yet ordinary life is chockfull of miracles and God works great miracles from the ordinary. So as the world reels from the ugly acts of some priests, it’s worth remembering that there are plenty of good priests like Fr. Dowling, whose prayers, self effacing work and ordinary priestly duties makes the world a better place yet never acknowledged or celebrated by the media.

Katie Lentz

Out of hospital, and on her 20th birthday, Katie Lentz finally met Fr. Dowling and was so happy.

 “I feel so honored to be with such a man of faith,” she said. “He was there to do his job the day of the accident, and I’m so thankful he was there.”

Katie Lentz meets Angel priest

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Wishing You and your family Holy Christmas

24 12 2018

This Christmas, may you and your families experience the joy and peace proclaimed by the angels, and be ever more open to God’s wonderful surprises!’

In this busy season, we might ask ourselves how the Lord himself would like us to keep this feast.

If we look at the first Christmas, we see that it is full of God’s surprises. Mary is visited by an angel; Joseph is told to take her in, to become a father to her Child and to flee with the Holy Family to Egypt.

But the greatest surprise of all is that God himself becomes a little Child, born in humility and poverty.

Christmas changes our world. It speaks to us of God’s self-giving love that should inspire the way we live and relate to one another. It tells us that we best celebrate the Saviour’s birth by imitating Mary’s trusting faith and Joseph’s quiet openness to God’s will, and by opening our hearts to the Lord, who asks us to make room for him in our busy lives.

Amid the bustle of our Christmas

preparations, may we not forget the very One whose birth we are celebrating! And in worshiping the Son of God, born in the poverty of our flesh, may we be mindful of the poor and those in need all around us.

This Christmas, may you and your families experience the joy and peace proclaimed by the angels, and be ever more open to God’s wonderful surprises!

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

DECEMBER 19, 2018 12:52

GENERAL AUDIENCE

https://zenit.org/articles/pope-reflects-on-christmas-during-general-audience/

Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:

***

Speaker:

Dear brothers and sisters: In a few days it will be Christmas.





Brett Kavanaugh’s INNOCENT! why he wept

4 10 2018

Breaking news, FBI just completed its investigations and found Brett Kavanaugh INNOCENT.

Last week, in tears, Brett Kavanaugh defended his innocence and honor and that of his family, against an accusation  so blatantly false, it rankles. Yet for that, liberal ideologues and their cronies, the fake media, steeped in lies and deception, are vilifying him. They say that he is weak and unfit for the Supreme Court.
He should have been able to keep calm, smiling, and cheering, they howl.

But they are wrong; Bretts tears showed that he is human. He isn’t the coldblooded and reptilian eyed judge they want, capable of sentencing millions of innocent unborn children to death, so that adults could have universal access to recreational sex.

Bret Kavanaugh is a kind man who weeps when women and children are violated.
He wept for the innocent men and women whose honor and good name would follow his to the refuse bin, if falsehood triumphs.

He wept for his country, once the pinnacle justice, fair play, freedom and liberty, now at rock bottom and digging.
He wept because justice can no longer be expected even for a judge.

He wept for the people charged with upholding the constitution now blinded by rage and thirst for political power.

Perhaps,  he wept at the shock of realizing how far gone some people are along the path of perfidy, as they try to rationalize an evil and fabricated liean uncorroborated sex assault allegation, rushed in at the very last minutes to derail his nomination hearing by a woman who couldnt get her story straight after 36 yrs.

The Fake news media sometimes admit that he is an upright man, but, they say, other people wont be willing to admit this and argue that he is a gang rapist. Now, how does he prove that he is not a gang rapist?

At other times, they say that he is always claiming that his conduct is clean, noble, and upright, and ask if he minds examining the matter again to see if, on the contrary, it might not be dirty, twisted, and ignoble.”

They are take polls to prove the obvious, yet cannot believe the results of their own polls because they have chosen not to believe.

The world isnt blind to the fact that the assault on Brett is an unscrupulous assault upon a basic natural right of all men to be treated with respect.

A minimum of justice demands that, even when actual wrongdoing is suspected, an investigation of sorts be carried out with caution and moderation, lest mere possibility be converted into certainty. Yet, he has been pronounced guilty till he proves himself innocent. And they proceed to carry out an autopsy of every inch of his private life.

It is clear that an unhealthy curiosity to perform last minute autopsies on a good name built over long years of hard work and selfless sacrifice for his country should be ranked under the heading of perversion.

Faced with traders in suspicion who prey on the intimacy of others, we must defend the dignity of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, because it’s to defend the dignity of every person and his right to peace. All honest men, Christians or not, agree on the need for this defense, for a common value is at stake: the legitimate right to a good name unsullied by false accusations.

Brett Kavanaugh wept because he was forced to declare all the good works he did in private, publicly. But for the rash accusation, he would have wished them remain hidden, and for the eyes of God only.

And yet, for declaring them, and not slinging a ton of mud upon himself instead, his critics immediately assume that, in addition to being a devious villain, he is also hypocritical and arrogant.

Yet the truth is out, thanks to false accusations. Now we know that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, never took advantage of any woman that he was a virgin at college , an indictment of liberal sex addicts prowling arround college campuses, and a good example to the young. Brett saw in every woman, a sister and a mother, worthy of honor and respect.

In defending Judge Brett Kavanaugh, we are defending, no less, the right to do good without publicity, to help the disadvantaged out of pure love, without feeling obliged to publicize ones efforts to serve others, much less to bare the intimacy of ones soul to the indiscreet and twisted gaze of persons who know nothing and want to know nothing of disinterested generosity, except to mock it mercilessly.

But how difficult it is to be free of this meddlesome sleuthing. The means invented by liberals to prevent this good man from being left alone have multiplied

More women are coming up with more incoherent accusations, all of them vague and shifty, puppets of their liberal sponsors.

Lets all close ranks and defend this innocent man, Brett Kavanaugh against those vilifying him, for who knows? You might be next.

Article by Chinwuba Iyizoba
Editor of Authors – choice





The SMEAR of Brett Kavanaugh

1 10 2018

bret

From lurid promotion of gay sex and pornography in junior high school, to the absurd notion of gender neutrality, the Democratic Party of the United States is shoe-honing perverse ideologies all over the world.

Not many years ago, it was out right crime for a man to use high school girls bathroom, today it is legal.

Any Tom, Dick and Harry who says he is a girl can use the girl’s bathroom in any girl’s school in the US.

Wondering what the hell is going on?

The Democratic Party is transforming society from human to anti-human, from life to anti-life and from God centered to anti – God.

Not many years ago, you would be bat-in-the-head crazy if you seriously couldn’t point out the physical difference between a man and a woman. Today you would be in deep trouble if you did, especially among enlightened University professors at Ivy leagues.

13 yrs old girls are cutting off their breasts—without telling their parent– to become boys, and the freak show is just warming up.

Not many years ago, it would be criminal insanity for men to parade streets in their underwear. Yet yearly, in many cities all over the US, at televised “gay pride”, naked men march through streets kissing one another.

All these perversions are made possible via the Supreme Court

In 2013, a gay man, Jim Obergefell, wished to get his fingers on the money of his dead partner. He sued the state of Ohio for denying him the right to list himself as his widower. Losing in all federal courts; he went on appeal, all the way to the Supreme Court. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalized it in all fifty states, and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage license.

Way back in 69’ a 22yrs old woman, unwed, mired in addiction and alcohol, and desperate for a way out of an third unwanted pregnancy sued the state of Texas, in the famous Roe v. Wade. The case was decided by the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973, legalizing abortion throughout the US.

Between 1970 and 2014, CDC reports nearly 44.5 million legal induced abortions, and the universalizing of partial birth abortion– killing children as they exit the birth canal.

There are many cases pending at Supreme Courts, like the Bathroom bill that would allow any man, who self identifies as a woman, to walk in and use girl’s restroom.

The ultra feminist are waiting outside the hall of the Supreme Court with various class action law suits designed to destroy the nuclear family, replace men and make them irrelevant. All are headed to the Supreme Court.

Thus, the Supreme Court is power and any man occupying that seat has the power to change the world.

Thus, it is understandable that the democrats hate  Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee to replace retired Justice Kennedy. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a family man, a practicing Catholic, who loves God and mankind and may not enjoy the devils game that  Democrats love. He may be an obstacle to the institutionalizing of immorality, anti-life, anti-family, anti-God ideology  that the  democrats so desire.

kav6

Hence, they, the democrats have used, and are ready to use any means, any method, and any measure. Nothing is out of bounds to make sure he is not confirm, or that he withdraws his candidacy.

Kava pic1

At his confirmation hearing, hysterical mob sponsored by democrats tried to disrupt hearing, even as ordinary Americans and indeed the rest of the world watched, astonished. When that failed, they moved to the next stage. SMEAR tactics

 

Enter Dr Ford and sexual allegations.

ford

Just as the confirmation hearing was rounding up, and precisely on the last day, a democratic senator unleashed a bombshell. She brandished a letter where Christine Blasey Ford, a 50 something year old woman, levied unsubstantiated claims of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.

 

Scores of Democratic senators, commentators and unhinged protesters rushed to defend Ford even though what she claims happened more than three decades ago is devoid of corroborating evidence.

Ford could not remember key details like when and where. She claims the alleged groping incident was at a teenage drinking party 36 years ago and named four witnesses. They have all since come forward saying they don’t know what she’s talking about.

Like a script from the smear masters, details of her claims were sketchy, engineered to avoid specifity, an important part of creating falsehood and smear.  Specific claims can be hazards because if they are refuted, the gig is up.   So everything needs to be vague, ambiguous and easier to shape. Ms Ford couldn’t remember or specify the *house* where the event took place, because that would lead to specific ownership trouble.  If the owner of the residence refutes the false claim, the lie cannot advance.  Hence, the “where” must be generally ambiguous.

Neither could she say concretely when the Judge Brett attacked her sexually. This is because “when” can also be a problem.  It would suck to give a specific “WHEN” only to find out the accused wasn’t in town, or was elsewhere.  Hence any specific “when” must be avoided to retain the false assertion?

According to the Senate majority leader,” The Committee thoroughly investigated the last-minute allegations that have been brought forward. The evidence that has been produced either fails to corroborate these accusations or in fact supports Judge Kavanaugh’s unequivocal denial.”

To paraphrase Sheryl Atkinson in her book, “The Smear” A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth gets its pants on.

All this conforms to basic smear tactics: When confronted: 1. Admit nothing 2.  Deny everything 3.  Demand proof 4.  Make counter allegations 5.  Discredit the opposition.

The Democrats are now at no: 5 of Sheryl Atkinson: the character assignation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. But what someone wrote on twitter should sound as a warning to any American voter who wishes to sit and do nothing while they savage an innocent man:

 

“If that’s the new normal, voters must realize this: Your husband’s not safe, your brother, son, uncle or any man you know. They can all be falsely accused of sexual misconduct — and have their lives destroyed — thanks to feminists and liberal lawmakers who care more about their party’s political agenda and ideology than any semblance of due process.”

 

Article by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Editor of Authors-Choice

 

 

Editors Note*

Diabolical ideologies must be defeated through the concerted effort of right thinking people who fight to resist evil with everything they have, and through prayers. It is prophetic that Pope Francis  has asked all Christians to say the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel, this October, for the protection of the Church. Angel Michael is the prince of the angels who defeated the devil in the apocalyptic war. I urge everyone to pray it also for the defeat of the devils possessing the democratic party in the US

 

 

 

 





Kim Kardashian toes the path of Theresa of Calcutta

7 06 2018

Kim Kardashian toes the path of Theresa of Calcutta by helping a grandmother, Alice Johnson, who has spent 21yrs years in prison, regain her freedom. We pray that Kim continues on this path of light. Watch and enjoy





Supreme Court sides with Christian Baker: Jack Philips

4 06 2018

The Supreme Court held Monday a Christian baker’s religious liberty was violated when Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission penalized him for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The 7 to 2 ruling found the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not view the baker’s case with “religious neutrality.”

“The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in the opinion for the court.

Though the court sided with the baker, it did so narrowly, noting, “It is proper to hold that whatever the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these, the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause.








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