The Manchester Bombing
On Monday 22nd May 2017 at approximately 10.30 in the evening, just after a concert in the Manchester Arena by the American singer Ariana Grande, a suicide bomber detonated a home made explosive device killing himself and twenty two other people and injuring over one hundred others. The ISIS organisation claimed responsibility for the attack.
I ask your prayers for all involved in this horrible tragedy.
It is somewhat easy to be dispassionate about this event because I do not personally know anyone who was either killed or injured in this attack, nevertheless I am acutely aware that we must not in any way take from the fact that this was a great evil. That being said I want to share a few thoughts that have come to my mind over the last few days.
Media Coverage of the Bombing
In the aftermath of the bombing, there has been wall to wall media coverage of the event. Almost four thousand soldiers have been put on the streets of Britain, security has been tightened around official government buildings, some concerts have been cancelled. At least one major media outlet created a website where eye witnesses could post images from the scene of devastation and most media outlets were eager to give eye witness accounts. The coverage will go on for the days and weeks ahead with political correspondents, terror analysts and politicians all telling us how evil this act was and what needs to be done. Security measures will seek to contain the situation whilst trying to calm people’s fears. We will be told that we are not going to let the terrorists win and that our way of life will not be destroyed by these terrorists.
The Ferial Canticle of Moses
I am reminded of some lines of the Ferial Canticle of Moses, from the Benedictine Monastic Psalter of the office of Lauds on Saturdays, taken from the book of Deuteronomy chapter thirty two. The canticle speaks of how God found Jacob in the wilderness and of God’s goodness to Jacob. It then laments how subsequently the people abandoned God for false gods.
“They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominable practices they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons which were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come in of late, whom your fathers had never dreaded. You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.” (Deuteronomy 32:16-18)
The canticle then tells of God’s response to this infidelity of the people.
God Will Provoke Those Who Abandon Him With a Foolish Nation
“The Lord saw it, and spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. They have stirred me to jealousy with what is no god; they have provoked me with their idols. So I will stir them to jealousy with those who are no people; I will provoke them with a foolish nation.” (Deuteronomy 32:19-21)
A few lines further on we read the following.
A Nation Void of Counsel
“For they are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them. If they were wise, they would understand this, they would discern their latter end! How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had given them up?” (Deuteronomy 32:28-30)
It is this last line above that has stayed with me when I read of the killings of the twelve staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, of the tragedy in Nice and most recently of the bombing in Manchester. “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight?”
A Few ‘Terrorists’ Hold Whole Nations Ransom
In the aftermath to the Charlie Hebdo killings the whole of France, a nation of almost seventy million people, was on high alert due to the actions of two men. In England, thousands of troops are being deployed on account of the actions of one man! These countries and their multi million populations are being held to ransom by a few individuals.
We see this in the back to back media coverage of this atrocity. Somehow people who are murdered by a suicide bomber, become more important than those who are murdered by other means. The emotional ‘value’ of this story is milked for all it is worth by the popular media because it sells newspapers. I know that there are those who will call me cynical but first, hear me out.
Ten Thousand Children ‘Legally’ Murdered Each Year in Manchester
In the greater Manchester area on Monday 22nd May 2017, the same day as the bombing, going by the statistics from the National Health Service of 2015, at least thirty children were put to death in hospitals and medical clinics. These deaths were largely funded, (up to 98%) by the British government. There is no outrage over these murders because they were committed by ‘well educated’ men and women in white coats and surgical scrubs, in medical facilities that receive government funding, and under the sanction of a false law that was passed in 1967.
What was the crime of those who were put to death? They were not yet born and their little lives were inconvenient for one reason or another to those into whose charge God had entrusted them, and so they died, with no one to mourn for them except the blessed in Heaven.
No Media Interest in Children Murdered by Abortion
The media don’t want to publish any images of them from ultrasound scans or any images of the scenes of their deaths! Those directly responsible for the killing will never be charged with a crime! There will be no videos of emotional women crying over the deaths of these least of the little ones! No one will be given the label ‘terrorist’, even though over ten thousand children are killed under this law in the greater Manchester area every year.
Twenty two people are killed by a bomb and we have wall to wall media coverage around the world. In the same area, in one year, ten thousand innocent children are killed by abortion, and the media remain in complaisant silence!
“How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had given them up?” (Deuteronomy)
The answer? “For they are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them. If they were wise, they would understand this, they would discern their latter end!” (Deuteronomy)
Forces Gathering to Legalise Child Murder in Ireland
This is the world we now live in and there are forces and people at work who want to make this murderous practice of abortion freely available here in Ireland. Most people cannot see that there is a direct connection between the bombing at the Manchester Arena, in which twenty two people were killed, and what happens in Britain’s abortuaries where over five hundred children are put to death on a daily basis. When the law of God is abandoned, evil is given free reign.
I will be criticised if I mention that the concert where the bombing took place was part of “The Dangerous Woman Tour”. I googled the lyrics of some of the songs from the album of the same name. They are laced with sexual innuendos and one song also blasphemes God, and yet, mothers brought their young daughters, some as young as eight years old, to hear an immodestly dressed lady sing about committing mortal sins which, if un-repented, would lead souls to hell. “They are a nation void of counsel!”
The Solution is to Return to God
The solution to both the abortion dilemma and the terrorist dilemma is the same. As a nation we need to come back to God, to uphold His laws, and to make sure that our own legislation conforms to God’s laws. The time for making only secular arguments against abortion is long past! The time for Catholic pro-life people remaining silent about the evils of contraception is long past! The time for remaining silent about the primary end of marriage, is long past!.
In his letter to the Corinthians St Paul tells us
“When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Secular Arguments will not Lead People to Christ
This is not to say that there is no place for secular arguments, but that they cannot be the only arguments we make otherwise we will be led astray.
In January 2013, a rally was organised in Merrion Square in Dublin, called the ‘Unite for Life’ vigil, by two of Ireland’s leading pro-life organisations. A group of people from Mayo arrived with a large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and they were told that they could not bring the image into the main rally area on Merrion Square. It seems that the organisers did not want the gathering to be seen, or to be portrayed by the media, as some sort of a religious demonstration. If you look at the online pictures of that rally, you will see that the organisers were very successful as there are no religious images on display. The organisers effectively ‘controlled’ the message that they wanted to send to the government.
I was recently told that a Catholic priest at the same rally, who was dressed in full clericals including a cassock, was told to hide himself among the crowd for fear that his picture would appear in the media. I later attended a meeting at which this priest confirmed the story.
This is madness pure and simple! This is not how Catholics should behave!
The Power of Heavenly Images
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was given to St Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Catholicism. The Aztecs had been known for their barbaric practices of human sacrifice to please their gods. Within six years of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, it is estimated that six million Aztecs had converted to Catholicism and yet some pro-life Catholic people seek to distance themselves from images of the Mother of God in public and to hide her image from view.
This is God’s battle – We Are Mere Creatures
This is not our battle! This is God’s battle and it will be won only on His terms by proclaiming His name, by bearing witness to His Catholic Church and her infallible teachings, or not at all. I have spoken many times about the appalling behaviour of Catholics in the ‘marriage’ referendum of 2015, whereby Catholics publicly contradicted church teaching on the disordered nature of homosexual practices and the homosexual lifestyle, in order, as they thought, to win a referendum. They sought to win the referendum through a clever marketing campaign and through the thinking of men, rather than through bearing witness to the Truths of the Catholic faith which they hid from view.
I greatly fear that these same people are set to make the exact same mistakes in the run up to a referendum on the eight amendment. They will erroneously try to hide the Catholic faith from the debate and we will lose more ground and more children will die.
Let us rather with St Paul, proclaim Christ crucified, so that our faith rests in the power of God and not in the thinking of men.
© John Lacken 2017
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