Tears to Joy (Ekundayo)

4 04 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Tybello

Photo journalist, TY Bellow, who discovered the bread seller model also discovered an unsung hero, Ms Ekundayo, a woman who had single handedly cared for near 500 orphaned children without any public or private applause.

An economist graduate, who had a brief stint in Government, Bello is a passionate Christian who has an amazing eye out for underdogs. Transforming the life of an illiterate bread seller caught in her camera by accident to a supermodel. But she wasn’t done yet.

In 2003, on a whim of philanthropic spirit, she decided to go visiting orphanages round the country to see which was in dire straight and how she could help, to her great surprise, she discovered an unknown and unsung heroine, who had quietly fed and sheltered close to 500 children in the backwaters of Kogi state.

In 1959, Mama Ekundayo, a married woman with five biological children of her own, decided to take care of orphans and abandoned children as well. Without money or power, she set about her goal and by 2003, she had taken care of well nearly 500 children without any government or international aid.

mama ekundayo

Mama Ekundayo

“Ekundayo,” which translates, “(my) tears have turned to joy,” captured Bello’s sentiments the days she met this woman.

“After talking to her about 10 minutes, I just started to cry,” TY Bello said.

“I felt so empty, you know there is something about her that is very peaceful, very wholesome. You can tell that she was happy but I felt that my whole life was just about me and my project and the things that I wanted.”

Greatly edified by sheer munificence of the woman and the gloriousness of this hidden sacrifice and the contrast of her own life Bello wrote a song for her which she turned to a music video called “Ekundayo.”

ekunday ophanage

Just like many things in life, there are many unsung heroes, people who do good quietly while the world largely remains unaware. Men and women who spend their lives serving others selflessly, at the cost fortune and family. They are so noble, inspiring and out of the ordinary.

It is like catching a glimpse of that image of God we bear in our souls, so obscure and difficult to see in a world marked by unchecked greed and selfish ambition for power, lust and personal gratification.

Using one’s talents or money to serve the greatest number of people is obviously more rewarding and effective, yet it is strangely not common in Africa, and in Nigeria especially. The truth is that it requires degree of spiritual awareness rare and hard to acquire, and even more, it requires willpower and self mastery over the animal instincts of self preservation that only very few can achieve in society rife with insecurity and poverty.

Yet, the Ekundayos of this world aren’t superhuman. They are people with deep convictions who choose to live out the consequences no matter the odds.

ty bello with mama

TY Bello with Mama Ekundayo

But they are the truly free. Those who understand freedom as the radically arbitrary license to do just what they want and to have their own way are living in a lie, for by his very nature man is part of a shared existence and his freedom is shared freedom. His very nature contains direction and norm, and becoming inwardly one with this direction and norm is what freedom is all about.

It is this radical shift in thoughts and philosophy that distinguish Ms Ekundayo from many. Yet, all Nigerians retain the capacity to walk the footstep of this giant.

Admittedly this is no easy task from start to finish in Nigeria. From scarcity of adoption agency to fraudulent agencies that run orphanages with a mind of achieving a clandestine agenda, to lack of proper documentation, to legal challenges to bureaucratic bottle necks ensure that only the truly convinced can walk this course on scathe.

“Mama Ekundayo has shown us how you can do so much with so little. There are countless examples of people like her out there,” said Bello,   “I hope the videos inspire us to help make their work easier or at least spread the word as much as we can.”

EKUNDAYO – TY BELLO (video)

LYRICS: EKUNDAYO – TY BELLO

Ekundayo sugbon E mi ko

Ise Oluwa ni

Her words resound over and again

Undoubtedly I’ve been changed

Madam your life your heart touched mine

And finally I realized

Even I can give a life

Ekundayo sugbon emi ko oluwa lo fun mi se

Mo dele ever before open my door

Jojolo

 

Life was all about me

My life was all about me

Did not see nothing wrong

The life that I lived

Was far from her reality

Don’t know how empty I was

Madam your life your heart touched mine

I was struck by the purity of your smile

Now I know

Realize the change I can bring (Change I can be)

To suffering children who’ve got no home

Pray for me so I can see

Through your eyes

Repeat Do you know beautiful you become

When you make way

For the all little ones

Who otherwise would not have made it through their day

You become a part of their tale

Oh how beautiful are the feet of every man

Who brings tidings of hope to children broken

Blessings from heaven gate

Will shower you every day

Everytime you open the door to link a child

Open my door

Eje ko mode ko wa

Eje kan wa oh oh

 

Open up my door (Say yeah)

Open my door

Eje ko mode ko wa

Ki won wa oh oh

 

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





Even Cardi B’s Dirty Past Can be Forgiven

30 03 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

carddi

Cardi B

This year’s Grammy best rap winner, singer and songwriter,  Cardi B may soon be in deep waters. A video in which she claimed that she used to drug and rob men to survive, has surfaced.

Many are clamoring for her to be held accountable, especially in the wake of the women take down of many men by the famous #MeToo movement

Accused of sexual assault that happened years ago, super celebrity like Bill Cosby is doing time and R.Kelly’s fate hangs on the edge. Why should we forgive Cardi B?

“Is there any chance at all that a man could admit to drugging and robbing women and still keep his career?”  Some ask.

While critics are calling for her head, as the only fair way to deal with the revelation, her fans argue that she committed the crime out of desperation, unlike other celebrities who allegedly committed their crimes at the height of fame and fortune abusing their privileges

She admits she isn’t proud of that ‘dirty past’ and no longer tows that path.

And a dirty past it is. She became a gang member at 16 and a stripper at 19 when she was fired from the supermarket where she was working, and yet she is Catholic and claims a “strong relationship” with God in interviews, often saying that she directly communicates with God.

But as the saying goes, “Behind very dark clouds, there is sometimes a silver lining”, in age where celebrities daily celebrate their disdain for marriage and having babies, Cardi B surprised everyone by doing both.

She secretly married her friend and confidant, Offset, in their bedroom in September 2017 and when the rumors broke, she confirmed it on social media.

They have a daughter and have been together for 3 yrs a now are rare feat in music industry today. Her husband even accompanied her to the stage to receive her Grammy.

cardi and baby

Cardi B with her Husband, Offset and their daughter

“All I can do now is be a better me for myself my family and my future,” the mother of one said on Instagram.

While it is true that it is never right to do evil so that good may come and her rise to the top will never justify her criminal actions and that she may probably go to jail for soon, yet, her dirty past can be forgiven, wiped clean by God, through the sacrament of confession if she is truly contrite and has sincerely repented of her past life.

Confession is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, in which the faithful obtain absolution for the sins committed against God and neighbour and are reconciled with the community of the Church. By this sacrament Catholics believe they are freed from sins committed after baptism. The sacrament of Penance is considered the normal way to be absolved from mortal sin, by which one would otherwise possibly condemn oneself to Hell ( click here for a complete guide to confession)

 

No matter how black our sins are God always forgives

“I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; I desire that the wicked turn back from his way and live.” Says Holy Scriptures, and as Pope Francis said, “There are people who are afraid to go to confession, forgetting that they will not encounter a severe judge there, but the immensely merciful Father.”

In human tribunal we can only expect justice, in Divine tribunal we only expect mercy

“In itself, mercy is the greatest of the virtues, since all the others revolve around it and, more than this, it makes up for their deficiencies…..it is proper to God to have mercy, through which his omnipotence is manifested to the greatest degree”. (Apostolic exhortation, Gauduim et spes)

The problem is that there is a great loss of sense of sin today, a loss which originated in Hollywood in the 60’s and have spread everywhere via movies and many today do not feel they need forgiveness.

Yet sin multiplies daily in the world and we all need forgiveness

Catholics distinguish between two types of sin. Mortal sins are a “grave violation of God’s law” that “turns man away from God”. Acts like murder and robbery are good examples, but still are specks in a wide spectrum of sin men are capable of.

Someone who is aware of having committed mortal sins must repent of having done so and then confess them in order to benefit from the sacrament. Venial sins, the kind that “does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God”, can be remitted by contrition and reception of other sacraments but they too, “constituting a moral disorder and are rightly and usefully declared in confession”.

Yet, for my money, there is more to contrition and confession than just the act. When you rob someone of his money, you need to give it back. The Catholic Church teaches that the penitents practice restitution, returning of stolen goods and prayerful reparations to those whom our sins have wounded.

Cardi B needs to examine her conscience and ask God for a soul sensitive to sin because without interior repentance, confession is useless. She needs to make attempts to repair her past misdeeds.

One area she could work on is her music dance videos. While some are brilliant, most cuts too close to sexual immorality and sexually suggestive moves could lead her millions of teeming fans to temptation and sin from which she cannot be exonerated.

Again, her use of four letter words, wide currency in modern music, is scandalously out of control, and contributes to the corruption of her young fans. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea,” says sacred scripture.

Unfortunately, her spiking fame and fortune will make her battle to come clean tougher, for it’s harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, than for a camel to pass through the eyes of the needle. Yet all things are possible with God.

 

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

 

 





A boxer’s Kiss and the Story of Virtues

26 03 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Flaunting female journalist gets forcibly kissed by a shirtless boxer. Both need virtue therapy.

Bulgarian heavyweight boxer abruptly grabbed a female reporter Jennifer Ravalo on live television, and kissed her on the lips. Jennifer who works for the Vegas Sport Daily was interviewing the still bleeding and shirtless boxer Kubrat Pulev, Pulev had just knocked out Bogdan Dinu in a Las Vegas fight, his 27th victory in 28 professional fights, according to gaurdian.uk

She was all smiles, leaning in way too close, cleavage clearly visible, as she smiled to the camera and right in his face. His drawled responses was getting more and more distracted, and he lost  self control, abruptly  grabbed and forcibly kissed her on the lips and walked away.

“Thanks you, Jesus Christ!” Jennifer exclaimed, embarrassed.  This seemly abrupt and strange action may not be entirely inexplicable. A boxer brimming with adrenaline, in close proximity with a sweet female with some flesh in display may just grab her. It is called original sin, a sin as old as mankind; it led to the fall of the first man and woman according to Christian scriptures, and occasioned the banishment of man’s first ancestors from paradise.

It’s clear that simply being a good person requires some kind of self restraint. If a man gives in to his anger he’ll be impossible to live with, and may even end up a murderer. Furthermore, if a person doesn’t know how to deny his excessive desire for alcohol, he’ll become drunkard, a child who does not curtail his desire to watch television or play computer games will fall behind in his school work, a boxer who does not want to control his desires will grab female reporters on live television and kiss them on the lips.

Virtues are what we use to control ourselves.

What are the virtues?  Virtues are habits that help us act according to right reason, to move us towards what is truly good. Virtue come from the Latin, vir: Life .Virtue is a state of character and excellence that make a person do good. They are realized and grown by constant practice. There are four virtues, called cardinal, on which hinge the whole moral life. They are: Prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. Each of these four virtues has bullet points.

The Catholic Church describes these four cardinal virtues as “human” (in contrast to the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, which are of divine origin).  The cardinal virtues are habits that, when practiced and cultivated, allow us the ability to make right choices.

Prudence

Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is going.”… It guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. If boxer Pulev practiced prudence, he would know that forcibly kissing a woman could land him in big trouble and possible lawsuits in this age of #MeToo.  Again, one of the bullet points under the virtues of temperance is modesty. Perhaps, if Jennifer kept a modest distance from the boxer and showed less cleavage, she would have helped him maintain control. This is not to say that she is responsible for what happened.

boxer kissing reporter

Justice

Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor … Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good.

Fortitude

Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. Pulev might have resisted the Jennifer’s alluring lips, perhaps looking away,  this resolved could be strengthened by thinking about his wife and children, not wanting to embarrass them.

Temperance

Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable … In the New Testament it is called “moderation” or “sobriety.” We ought “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.”

It’s clear that these qualities are essential for everyone, today as they were yesterday, if not more…and for celebrities, much more.

Chinwuba Iyizoba is the editor of Authors-choice





Breadseller or model, a good job is attractive

15 03 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Jumoke the bread seller whose ordinary work turned her into a model has uncovered how extraordinary and attractive an ordinary work done well, with love and a smile can lead to success.

In 2016, 27 yr old breadseller, Olajumoke Orisaguna—Jumoke, a mother of two was pounding the streets, carrying her wares on her head, eking a living to save her family from starvation.
Unawares, she walked into a street photo-shoot and was caught in the background. While editing the pictures later, the female photo-journalist was so smitten by her photogenic beauty and determined to find her, she posted the picture on instagram and successfully tracked her down and offered her a job as model, thus making an inspiring rag-to-riches story that held Nigerians spell bound for years. Fans couldn’t get enough of her, hope spread among desolate millions in the streets that one day their luck will change.

Olajumoke Orisaguna walks into a photo-shoot accidental
The Picture of Jumoke at background that made her famous

Her parents were too poor to send her to a formal school, Jumoke had trained as a hairdresser because and in 2010, met and married a craftsman. But their combined income wasn’t adequate to feed their two children. To haul the family out of appalling straits, she moved from Osun to Lagos with one of her daughters, to work in a bakery. It was a hard and difficult work, on foot each day with a tray laden with bread loafs on her head. Yet, come rain or shine, she kept a smile on her face.
That afternoon walking past people talking pictures, unconcerned, she smiled and hurried on, calling for customers; little did she know that Lady Luck saw her.

She had since become a runaway success, yet she remains inwardly unaffected by it, humble and straight talking her reality TV shows are filled with great street wisdom and is the darling of you-tubers.

In one of the episodes, she spoke with her usual unadorned candidness, of the shocking things she had seen on social media, things like a man getting married to a man and a woman marrying another woman.

With the candidness of a child she expressed it as utter “unNigerian” and unthinkable.

Jumoke’s wisdom

She was simply expressing her opinion, and besides she isn’t a lettered woman, and as Peter Kreeft, philosophy professor of Boston College said, “There are certain falsehoods that you need a PhD to believe.”

Yet, the floodgates of hate and cyber bullying were immediately flung wide open and attacks on her person and family began. Orchestrated and led by a Ghanaian self proclaimed transsexual who continues to smear her, intent on ruining her, and getting her blacklisted by modeling companies.

Not satisfied with hounding her job, they have turned on her husband and marriage, spreading vicious rumors that she was sleeping with other men and disrespecting her husband.

Yet, come hell or high water, Jumoke is refusing to succumb to threats, and continues sharing her hard gotten wisdoms with Nigerian youths who adore her. And she is not all talk, often swinging into action when she comes across women in grim straits. She recently convinced her promoters to intervene and build a house for an aged woman she saw being evicted from her home.

Jumoke

Yet, young people best remember that Jumoke’s success wasn’t entirely of her own making. “Lady Success” lent her a hand whilst she was busy with her ordinary work selling bread, for love of husband and children.

How true what someone said, that success, true success is really carrying out the duties of everyday and the little things of each day well, with a smile if possible and always elegant. For it is along ordinary paths of life that we meet our destiny.

Still her success is an unlikely story for millions of indigent youths. A rare combination of luck and the goodness of a relentless photo-journalist had made her what she is today, and many Nigerians may never have such luck. They should not be disheartened however, but rather continue doing their ordinary work well, throwing in a smile along, even if their work should suffer the privation of remaining unclaimed till death.

They should remember that just as a man submits to the cruel torture of a surgical operation in order to save his lives; it is quite possible ordinary life’s cruel sufferings might save the life of their souls if accepted with love and a smile. “Pain or suffering of any kind for that matter can, be bearable when accepted as a form of purification,” some spiritual writers say.

And anyone who examines himself honestly will find much to purify: sins, omissions in love, disorderly inclinations which must be paid either in this life or in the next. Suffering is necessarily part of this life, and those who wish to go straight to heaven, after a life spent wholly in God’s service must not shrink from it

And St Paul exhorts in scriptures, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us when we contemplate God face to face.”
And St. Josemaria Escriva adds,“ Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.”

Infact, Escriva, with Gospel in hand, constantly taught that God does not want us simply to be good . . . , he wants us to be saints, through and through. However, he wants us to attain that sanctity, not by doing extraordinary things, but rather through ordinary, common activities. It is the way they are done which must be uncommon. There, in the middle of the street, in the office, in the factory, we can be . . . holy, provided we do our job.”
Young people might not all become famous like Jumoke, but their work no matter how ordinary, done with love, and extraordinarily well, is attractive and is a sure path to happiness.





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. 





Marvel Superhero Actress Pained by Past Nude Scenes

7 08 2018

Marvel superhero actress, Evangeline Lilly revealed that she is still distressed over doing partially nude scenes on a hit TV show called “Lost” that ran from the mid-to-late 2000s

Lily’s admission is coming on the heel of the explosive sex scandals rocking Hollywood. This is yet another proof that harassment is a multifaceted vice that isn’t just limited to acts of soliciting for sex from vulnerable actresses, by rich and powerful movie producers, on whose hands, their fate and careers rest. Pressing an actress to undress on screen is in itself a pernicious form of sexual harassment.

According to Lilly, she felt pressured to doing those nude scenes as a young 20-something actress. She went on to exclaim that she will never do nude scenes again now that she has more control over her career.
She hated those scripts which was casting her character, Kate, as a sex object. Kate went from being a strong woman with her own story to just chasing men around the island.

“I did throw scripts across room when Id read them,” she added. “Theres nothing wrong with womens lives being characterized by their relationships. But there was this eventual lack of dimension to what was going on with her.”

The ever growing number of Hollywood movies laced with nudity and licentiousness do in fact harm the women and men who are forced to act these scenes.

Often young and insecure, they easily succumb to subtle or not so subtle threats of contract terminations and censures hovering like the executioner’s axe over their necks. Not many have the mettle to say no, fewer still, have the courage speak up like Lilly did, even after many years have passed.

Again, it’s not uncommon for people who do nude scenes to be scorned by family and friends who may feel embarrassed and humiliated, leaving a string of strained relationship with spouse and children. In poor countries like Africa, criminals are often paraded nude on the streets to the shame of their families. Rich countries like Europe and America should hold themselves to a higher standard— even if it’s only a movie. Sadly, this is far from being the case; there is rather a mindless nudity everywhere. Online click-baiting nudes pervade the Internet. Drool baiting nakedness on primetime television, glossy magazines and billboards are wide currency. Thanks to Lillys story, we know a little more about the hidden costs of these lascivious indulgences: wrecked lives and regrets.

Why should we be surprised that Lilly is hurt when forced to go naked for the public. Even for a large sum of money, how many people would throw their bathroom doors open to crowds of onlookers while taking their showers. Yet sex scenes are regular staple in movies.

Nude scenes do harm to the viewers as well, especially the young. Studies show that teen and young adults who spend more time watching movies (80% of Hollywood movies have nude scenes) do less well than their peers in school.

According to brietbiet.com, the director who forced Lily to undress has apologized, but this hardly goes far enough. Hollywood should take responsibility for what has been going on for far too long.

They should thank Lilly for bringing it to light, take a cue and learn the scripts: nude scenes can and do violate people’s dignity! They should stop making box office earnings their only consideration and encourage people to opt out of nudes without retributions.

Government and regulatory institutions shouldn’t be silent either. They should see to it that that these people do the right thing and initiate changes or pay punitive fines and have their licenses revoked–a good deterrent for those wish to act like pimps and sex traffickers

Perhaps next time you come across a nude scene on your screen, you would look behind the scene to see the tears and anguish.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

 

 








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