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The Gospel of Blood

 
Jenkins
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User ID: 1021524
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07/02/2010 07:57 PM
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The Gospel of Blood
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It is a long time since in our milieu ones speaks of the "Gospel of Blood". This phrase begins to become familiar. What does it mean?



We can explain it in this way: "It is a good news that comes from understanding profoundly the mystery of the Blood of Christ". Such good news, like that of the Gospel, from which it is taken to the point of constructing an important and all-inclusive nucleus, is not something that is peripheral but comprehends all of human life and radically transforms it. The Gospel of Blood, therefore, is appropriately called also, the Gospel of Life. The text of Pope John Paul II expounds magnificently upon this assertion.



The Pope places the reader before two classic scenes of importance to the blood: two emblematic stories: that of Abel and that of Christ. One cannot avoid it. It is intentional. John Paul II --according to the author of the Letter to the Hebrew-- makes from the two bloods, two archetypes. The blood of Abel, poured out by Cain and the Blood of Christ sprinkled over humanity, convey two messages. In the blood poured out by Cain, the Pope sees the beginning and the key to interpreting all the evil that has poisoned human life until our own day. In the Blood of Christ, on the contrary, he sees a way out from the evil towards salvation, that which the Christian calls redemption.



The first chapter of the encyclical is titled: "The Voice of Your Brother's Blood Cries To Me From The Ground" and has as a subtitle, "Present Day Threats To Human Life". The chapter is all full of these two bloods that confront one another. God has created the human person for life. The immortal breath of the Creator penetrates the person, it is located in the blood, and makes him crowned with glory, a little less than an angel. Death enters into the life of the person because of the envy of the devil; and enters in a violent way as a consequence of sin.



"Am I my brother's keeper?" responds Cain to God when God asks about Abel.



When Cain responds in such a way to God, he has already killed Abel. The phrase is therefore arrogant; an attempt to avoid a discussion; it is an evasive response. But taken in itself, it appears fascinating and indisputable and seems that humanity today wishes to appropriate it for herself.



Yes, cries the Pope. Everyone of us ought to feel responsible for our brother and sister. God will ask us about our brother..."I shall demand an account of man as regards his fellow man..." (Gn. 9,5) Human life is sacred and is not to be disposed of by another human person. This is inviolable. God has entrusted it to us because, living it according to its intrinsic value and in the bond of love with God and neighbor, we reveal day after day the glory of God. "The Glory of God is the human person fully alive."



The irresponsibility which is at the bottom of the phrase of Cain, is the same which leads to indifference towards the marginalyzed and --let us think well-- is the same that leads to violence against others. In fact, if the other is free to do what he wants, to go where he wants without me being "his keeper", then I am also free to do what I want and no one can pretend to have the right to be my guardian. The conclusion: I am not accountable to anyone! No one is accountable to anyone else! No one has the right to ask me anything about anything. On the contrary, if such a society wants to have a task, it should be that of allowing everybody to do whatever he wants.



No! cries the pope. God did not leave the weak helpless. The blood does not permit it. God says to Cain: "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground!" (Gn. 4, 10) Cain did not hear the voice of the blood, of his own blood that flowed through the veins of his brother. That voice called him to be pleased with his own brother, and that he follow his example. However, jealousy and anger armed his hand. Now that spilled blood invokes justice from the ground which is soiled by it.



But, comments the pope, "the voice of the spilled blood of humanity does not cease to cry out from one generation to another, assuming tones and different and always new accents." "It is not only the voice of the blood of Abel, the first innocent man to be murdered, which cries to God, the source and defender of life. The blood of every other human being who has been killed since Abel is also a voice raised to the Lord" (n. 25).



The question God directs to Cain remains very current if we direct it to the human beings of our days: "What have you done?" How much blood is shown, how much blood is hidden, how many insults against the blood in the chronicles of our time! The blood remains intact in its power to denounce. Pay attention to it. All the expressions of violence wherever they be found, are at least loathed by public opinion: wars, massacres on Saturday nights, syringes infected with AIDS, acts of violence... It is a blood which cries for justice from the earth. But it doesn't cry any less than that blood which dirties the antiseptic hands of the surgeon which extracts the embryo by means of suction; or the test tube of the apprentice magician, which manipulates the genetic patrimony; or the formula of the chemist which prepares poisons destined to kill off the first seeds of human life; or the cold minds of the industrialist which calculates how and where to place his factory in order to exploit the poor, underpaying their work...There doesn't exist in the criminal annals cases more "premeditated crimes". It is an affirmation which may make a stir, but is difficult to deny it. The cream of science and the best of technology are involved in this; enormous capital has been invested...



"In an absolutely singular way", writes the pope, "the voice of the blood of Christ of whom Abel in his innocence is a prophetic figure, cries to God". The blood of Christ is the true purifying blood; or, if one prefers, is the blood of the true cleansing. It is not only a figure of salvation, but carries it out. In this, all who prefigure it and all who await it, find their completion. This inaugurates and upholds the new era of which so many of the prophets speak.



(Don Michele Colagiovanni, "Evangelium Sanguinis", Nel Segno del Sangue, Rome, May 1995, pp. 95-107)
Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o.
And on that farm he had a cow, ee-i-ee-i-o.
With a moo moo here and a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo
Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o.
Jenkins  (OP)

User ID: 1021524
Canada
07/03/2010 09:51 AM
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Re: The Gospel of Blood
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Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o.
And on that farm he had a cow, ee-i-ee-i-o.
With a moo moo here and a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo
Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o.