(Not for the fainthearted):   

With great sorrow  appropriate to a Friday in real life, and in union with the Passion that we remember on all Fridays, I turn from “beauty” yesterday to beastly actions of those who live without God’s beauty.

15 ball

What is it about the number 15 that keeps coming up in the last 24 hours?   It was fun yesterday to think about the date:  1-15-15.  But I read newspapers from all over the world, and  blogs and editorial comments too, and the date isn’t fun anymore.

And 15 has unfortunately  come up in my readings — on this Friday .

So,  on the one hand, everywhere that Christendom (still) exists,   Friday is a day for penance, in the form of fasting, perhaps, and abstinence, certainly,  and a duty to  contemplate Good Friday, the day of the week of the Crucifixion, that 3-day , history-splitting event which ended all animal sacrifices because the One Sacrifice was accomplished.

cry unlabeledAll men must still die.   All Christians must still follow the Lamb of God all the way through death.  True Christianity is not for sissies:   We unite ourselves with Him and with His Passion and with sorrow, suffering, passion, and death of all people all over the world.   Because the world-without-Christ is a dark and sorrowful place.

cru manAnd so I come to that number 15 on this day of the Crucifixion of Christ.

The man above was crucified by ISIS.   It was explained in a news article today that crucifixion is the preferred way, that is, the most chosen method,  of execution by the ISIS militants.   In Syria alone,  in the past two days,  15 civilians were crucified.    Many times the victim is shot first,  but not always.  I’ve seen photographs of men and woman,  without clothes,  affixed to crosses. too graphic to post here.

15 people in the last two days.

saracen sword

And then there is the news story out of Saudi Arabia.    A woman in the “holy” city of Mecca was beheaded this week in public.   They weren’t too good at it because although the executioners used a big sword,  the first cut only injured her.  Eyewitnesses say she was screaming in pain.  It took two more slashes with the sword to get her head to come off.

Graphic?   It sure was to this poor woman, who cried out her innocence for as long as she could.   The story continues that sometimes the victims of official beheadings are given painkillers first,  this woman was not.   She was Burmese, and the date of her death was January 12th, and YouTube had the video for a while; perhaps it’s still up there.

The year 2015 is proving to be a more deadly year than years past.  Nine people have been beheaded in Arabia’s first city so far this year.   What is that,  a little more than one every other day?

“2015” doesn’t have such a happy ring to it anymore.   Want to know what’s happening to Christians in Nigeria today?    How about a local  Hindu government decree to wipe out every Christian from  villages under its jurisdiction as reported last week?

This is a time for sobriety underlying our joy.

Or a time for joy underlying our sobriety.

Use Fridays well.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2015 Issues, Christendom, Christian Analysis, Friday

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