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UNPrayerService2015aUNPrayerService2015The traditional Prayer Service, ahead of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, was held this evening at the Church of the Holy Family in Manhattan. Attendees included Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mogens Lykketoft, President-elect of the Seventieth Session of the General Assembly, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington.

“Let us join in prayer to give hope to the world.” Ban Ki-Moon

Having been to a number of these prayer services, one senses that Mr. Ban is appealing for greater truth, in and out of the UN, hoping religious leaders will move their communities to a fuller, more faithful, living out of their creeds—which should then lead to greater justice and peace in the world. And yet how often, even in religious circles, materialist ideologies, with their faux liberation, have replaced real theology as the guiding truth — and the refugees pile up.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

US-TheStrainThe machinations around the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran offer a glimpse into the toxic U.S. efforts to control the World, made worse by the extent to which Israel has bought control of the U.S. Congress and the presidential candidates.

A commonly heard refrain today, directed at American Jews by Isaeli officials, is: “Give us your money and your Congress…” But to what end? The hysteria and fanaticism of the Zionist movement continues to plague the world, the U.S., and Jews themselves. Even after delivering money and Congress, American Jews are often told by Israelis that they aren’t really Jews. Writing in Forward (July 24, 2015), Gal Beckerman characterized the state of being an American Jew today as: “gut-churning, fraught, panicked and uncomfortable.” This is not because of anti-Semitism, but rather, he says: “the fear of losing Jewish identity… and the struggle to construct Jewish identity.”

History has shown the best hope for finding peace (of mind) and being fulfilled, authentic Jews, is through assimilation — not with Xanax or Zionism, but with the New Covenant.

EIDArtEIDArt2Photographs: Stephen Wise

GermanyIsrael2015aMay 12, 2015 marked 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The German Consulate in New York hosted an event this evening commemorating the anniversary with a panel discussion that included representatives of ARSP (Action Reconciliation Service for Peace), a German non-profit that sends volunteers to work with Holocaust survivors.

In remarks before the panel discussion, an Israeli official said that Germany and Israel together were “repairing the world” and “making the world a better place.”

Among the 10 milestones noted by the panel, in the German/Israeli reconciliation, was #3 Germany providing Israel with nuclear capable submarines in 1957, which was against German law.

In activities such as this, that focus on “remembrance and lessons” from the Holocaust, a blind spot often exists, as the Germans are presented (even by themselves) as the sole perpetrators, and the Jews as the sole victims — who maintain they have nothing to be “ashamed” of. And yet an honest reading of history reveals plenty of Jewish culpability (Marxist and Zionist) for both World Wars, and reasons to be ashamed, up to the present day, with the wiping of Palestine off the map.

One panelist said: “Forgiveness is not a concept for Israelis.”

We would suggest that people who cannot forgive others, or seek forgiveness for themselves (especially with nukes in their hands), are in no position to “repair the world.”

Tree-FathersDay“God was my shaper.
He hammered. He wrought me.

Mightily, frailly,
Insculpted and embosed,
With His hammer of wind,
And His graver of frost.”
–Francis Thompson

The challenge is to be in the hands of the Heavenly Father.
Then we know who we are.

FATCA-Vatican2015On a day that saw the Vatican sign on to the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Russia’s Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis in the hope of finding peaceful solutions in Ukraine and Syria.

Americanized Catholics have time and again opted for the darkness of American Foreign Policy over the light of the Gospel.

An honest person following events in Syria and Ukraine knows the U.S. is the black hand in both situations, and the greatest threat to peace and stability in the world today. Most troubling are Catholics (going back to U.S. Cardinal Gibbons snubbing Pope Benedict XV’s attempt to end WWI) who have appeased and even supported America’s treachery.

CorpusChristi2015aCorpusChristi2015cThe Catholic Feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated with a procession, organized by St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Church, in the East Village today.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

IsraelParade2015i“It is hard to grow up without faith.” Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd, (Vintage Books, 1960)

At the Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC today, one is reminded that the followers of the religion of the Old Testament, who after rejecting their Redeemer, have tried to make themselves new and into the redeemers of the world.

The Modern State of Israel is not leading the Jewish people to maturity in the Lord (commensurate with the gifts they’ve been given), but rather to infantilism and absurdity, that ultimately undermines their fulfillment and that of the World.

The best hope for Jews to progress, to be new and have peace in their hearts, is to unite themselves with their Redeemer and the New Covenant — so the Heavenly Father may be all in all.

Israel25aOn this the 67th anniversary of the proclamation of the Modern State of Israel, we note that history has shown the ‘seekers of justice’ to have been unjust before God and man. The Modern State of Israel is far from the House of Israel (People of God).

The best hope for Jews and the world is to remember true freedom and fulfillment come from being united with the Lord — and His New Covenant, which has been in effect for 2000 years.

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed for you. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me at table. For the Son of Man indeed goes his way, as it has been determined; yet woe to that man by whom he will be betrayed.” Luke 22: 20-22

“Behold the days are coming, saith the Lord, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, unlike the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I held them by the hand to bring them out of the Land of Egypt, which covenant of mine they broke, although I was their husband. But this is the covenant I shall make with them after those days, saith the Lord: I shall put my Law within them, in their hearts will I write it, and I shall be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33 (2500 years ago)

The new household of Israel calls its members to a transformation of heart — recognizing that the just way to treat one’s neighbor is to respect and serve them — not exploit and dominate them.

JTS-Dolan2Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, spoke at the Jewish Theology Seminary, 5/6, at an event marking the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate (“In Our Time”), the Vatican II Declaration on the Relations of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.

As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation, nor did the Jews, in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading. Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls he issues—such is the witness of the Apostle. In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and “serve him shoulder to shoulder” (Soph. 3, 9). Nostra Aetate 4

In his remarks Cardinal Dolan suggested that Jews and Catholics need to work together to “recover the primacy of the spiritual” in society.

On this the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the 1948 words of Holocaust survivor Odd Nansen remain unheaded—by Jews and Christians.

One thing is certain: hate, revenge, and retribution are not the way. They lead back to the abyss. We should have experience enough by now to know that If we nourish the rising generation on them it is tantamount to spiritual murder and to signing the death sentence of our culture.

The message for which bleeding humanity craves is neither legal, political, nor diplomatic. A starving man does not need revenge to feed him up, he needs food. A sick man does not need a political program to get well, he needs drugs and doctors. A shivering man does not need diplomatic agreements to get warm, he needs clothes and shoes and a roof over his head.

If some of them strike you as being your enemies, because they were on the other side of the war front, do you really think that is the vital thing? They are human, too. They too have a country, a home, a family they love. They too are longing for peace. Perhaps they are longing to meet you!

“Love your enemies” was the command of Him who wished peace on earth. Surely the hardest, the most rigorous, and perhaps the harshest of all commandments.

If He, the Prince of Peace, had been among us today and talked like that, how do you suppose we would have received His message? Don’t you think, dear reader, to be honest, that we should have shrugged and smiled condescendingly at that good-natured softy of a carpenter who was going round preaching anything so sky blue, naive, and childish as “faith in goodness” in the world? Who thought He could build on anything so ridiculous as human worth? And—if He had become too persistent in His zeal, too great a nuisance to our conscience, with His eternal truths and fussing—don’t you think we should have overthrown Him, stoned Him, and crucified Him?

Yet His commandment still remains, and has remained through the ages—unshaken, written in the sky with letters of gold, high above the din and the fumes from our sink of degradation. Unassailable. Simple. Strong and everlasting. “Love your enemies.”

Who would dare presume to raise that demand today, in a world where even to recall it passes for an unforgivable weakness, a betrayal of justice? “Justice!” What is justice exactly, since it counts for more than anything else? An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That is justice, if I remember right—in all its harshness and heartlessness. Truly nothing to aspire to, no ground or principle to build a new world on. We know the world that was built on that principle. It is the one trembling today on the verge of the abyss.

Just suppose that, from tormented, starving, fear-ridden humanity, instead of the cry for justice, there arose a cry for kindness—for love! the wellhead and deepest ground of all life, and goal of its eternal longings.

In the echo of that cry from human hearts a new justice would be created, the outlines of a new, more human world would appear, and the way to it would open.

Don’t you think the Carpenter from Nazareth was pointing toward a world like that? And do you suppose there is any other way there? Odd Nansen, From Day to Day (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1949)


Stephen B. Wise


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