Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Hiding Place

"You are a hiding-place for me; you preserve me from trouble." Psalm 32:7 RSV

Tuesday night I watched a movie that I hadn't seen for a long time, The Hiding Place. The movie recently came out on DVD.

This movie was based on Corrie ten Boom's autobiography of the same name. I 1st discovered her story my freshman year in college when I found her book, Tramp for the Lord. This book told the story of her life after World War II & the events in The Hiding Place. After reading Tramp for the Lord I wanted to know what happenned to her in WW II so I got a copy of The Hiding Place & read it. I was excited when I heard Billy Graham was going to make a movie of her 1st book through his World Wide Pictures division. The movie came out in 1975.

By now, those of you who are reading this & aren't familiar with her are probably curious about Corrie's story.

Corrie ten Boom was a single woman who lived in Haarlem, Holland with her father, Casper, & her sister, Betsie. The family were very devout Christians. The front part of their home contained the family watch shop. Corrie was the 1st woman in Holland to be licensed as a watchmaker. 1 of her areas of Christian service was teaching mentally handicapped children about Jesus.

Then came World War II & the Nazi invasion of Holland. When the Nazis began their extermination of the Jews, the ten Boom family became involved in the underground. They opened their home to protect the Jews & help them escape. It is estimated that they saved 800 Jews. Eventually, her family was betrayed & arrested by the Nazis. Her father died 10 days later. Eventually, Betsie & Corrie ended up at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp 90 km North of Berlin. Betsie died there. Due to a clerical error Corrie was released shortly before all women her age were to be killed. After the war she travelled the world spreading the message of God's love even in the worst of situations. There were times when she met some of those sho had been cruel to her in prison & in her 2nd book she is honest about her struggles to forgive. She died on her 91st birthday, 15 April 1983.

The movie is basically divided in 2 halves. The 1st part starts with the invasion by the Germans & tells how they got involved in the underground. Part of the movie shows how the secret room, the Hiding Place, was built. You get a good idea of what they went through to develop their sorces, the struggles to do what they were required without compromising their faith. At times this even ment refusing to do certain things.

The 2nd half begins with their arrest & imprisonment. The scenes of the events at Ravensbruck show the horrors & cruelty of the Nazi prison camps. Often in the exterior scenes you will see in the background a smokestack that, unlike the others is spewing out black smoke. While not explained, anyone who knows anything about those camps knows that those are the crematoriums where the bodies of those executed were burned. Another horror of the camp is that some of the infamous medical experiments done by the Nazis were performed there. This was also referenced to in the movie. (For more on the horrors of Ravensbruck go to:

At the end of the movie, the real Corrie makes an appearance & gives a short summary of her life post-Ravensbruck. By this point you also come to understand the 2nd & deeper meaning of the term the Hiding Place, that it refers to Jesus. The title comes from the quote from Psalms at the start of this blog. What type of refuge is beautifully expressed in Psalm 91. Corrie's story is a beautiful example of the truth expressed by it, that Jesus will be with you & protect you even in the worst of situations. The movie ends by telling how the rest of her family died.

1 of the thoughts that crossed my mind as I rewatched the movie is how sad it is that there is still another form of holocost going on today. That is the holocost of abortion. About 4000 innocent children are being murdered each day. & like then, there are plenty of Christians & orginizations, like American Life League, who are speaking out against abortion & trying to end it. Other groups, like Birthright, as a part of the battle, are working to provide alternatives for those women contemplating abortion. & others, like Silent no More, are getting out the message of the psychological damage does to women & men involved in abortion. I am involved a bit in 1 of those orginizations, Dubuque County Right to Life. Their website is:

They have a links page that included all of the above mentioned groups as well as many other like Priest for Life, Human Life International, Project Rachael & Rachael's Vineyard.

The Hiding Place is a movie that offers hope to those who don't know Jesus. It also is encouragement for all of us who let Jesus be Lord of our lives. Finally, it is a challenge to each of us to pay more than lip service to our faith. With the holocost of abortion going on, each of us is called, like Corrie was, to rescue those being lead to death. If you have any doubts about the truth of what I am saying check out this page at Operation Rescue's website:

. Too many people were silent before & during WWII. (Despite the myths, the Catholic Church was not 1 of those who was, from the Pope on down people in the Church did what the could to rescue the Jewish people. Yes, some Catholics were antisemitic, but they did not & do not represent what the Church truly stands for.) Lets be, like Corrie was, a living light to the truth of God's love & a Hiding Place for those in need of shelter, esp the unborn.


Friday, June 23, 2006

The Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

People who aren't from a Catholic background may wonder why we honor a part of Jesus' anatomy. There is a perfect logic behind it.

Think about it, What does the heart symbolize? If you are still puzzled, think about St. Valentine's Day. The heart is the symbol of love. & thus what we are doing is not merely honoring a piece of anatomy, we are remembering in a special way the love & mercy that God showed us.

For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, so that whoever believed in HIm might not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe. For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: "Not a bone of it will be broken." And again another passage says: "They will look upon him whom they have pierced." John 19:33-37

This devotion has been arround throughout the centuries. But in the 17th Century there was a special impetus to spread this devotion. It came about because of what happenned to the saint who is most associated with this devotion, Margaret Mary Alacoque. In 1675 Jesus appeared to her & asked her to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. He included 12 promises for those who followed this devotion. (Note: This revelation is considered a private revelation by the Catholic Church. As such, no person is required to believe in it. After careful discernement the Church will give the OK to a private revelation. All this means is that there is nothing contrary to the faith in the message. Each Catholic is free to act on it however he or she chooses.)

In the middle of the 20th Century, St. Faustina after another private revelation, promoted a new devotion to the Divine Mercy. But, in a way what it was is a deeper understanding of the meaning of what The Sacred Heart devotion symbolized. Everything points to the love & mercy that God extends to everyone.

But, each of us still has the option to accept or reject that love, that mercy, that forgiveness won by Jesus on the Cross. God doesn't want a single person to go to hell because of his/her sins. The penalty has to be paid by someone. But, there is not a single human being who can save himself. That is why Jesus came, that is why he died & rose from the dead, He paid the price so that God could extend His mercy towards each of us. Yet, we have a choice as I said. If we choose His mercy, God will show His mercy & extend to us that forgiveness won by Jesus on the cross. If we reject what Jesus did, then God has no choice but to allow us to bear the consequences of that choice. His justice requires us to pay the price of our sins. His mercy offers us the alternative, Jesus. The choice is ours. Do I choose God's mercy or do I choose God's justice. Mercy brings healing, forgiveness, salvation. If a person chooses to reject Jesus, then he or she chooses God's justice. THe result, eternal seperation from God in hell.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm Back

I've let this slip for way to long. So I'm back & going to start trying to update this on a regular basis. Headlines

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Get this widget!
Visit the Widget Gallery