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by Kahlil Gibran
جبران خليل جبران
Translated from the Arabic of Kahlil Gibran by Juan R. I. Cole
Humanity is a mourner who enjoys lamenting the memories and heroes of the Ages.... If Humanity were possessed of understanding, there would be rejoicing over their glory. Humanity is like a child standing in glee by a wounded beast. Humanity laughs before the strengthening torrent which carries into oblivion the dry branches of the trees, and sweeps away with determination all things not fastened by strength.
Humanity looks upon Jesus the Nazarene as a poor-born Who suffered misery and humiliation with all of the weak. And He is pitied, for Humanity believes He was crucified painfully.... And all that Humanity offers to Him is crying and wailing and lamentation. For centuries Humanity has been worshipping weakness in the person of the Saviour.
The Nazarene was not weak! He was strong and is strong! But the people refuse to heed the true meaning of strength.
Jesus never lived a life of fear, nor did He die suffering or complaining.... He lived as a leader; He was crucified as a crusader; He died with a heroism that frightened His killers and tormentors.
Jesus was not a bird with broken wings; He was a raging tempest who broke all crooked wings. He feared not His persecutors nor His enemies. He suffered not before His killers. Free and brave and daring He was. He defied all despots and oppressors. He saw the contagious pustules and amputated them.... He muted Evil and He crushed Falsehood and He choked Treachery.
Jesus came not from the heart of the circle of Light to destroy the homes and build upon their ruins the convents and monasteries. He did not persuade the strong man to become a monk or a priest, but He came to send forth upon this earth a new spirit, with power to crumble the foundation of any monarchy built upon human bones and skulls.... He came to demolish the majestic palaces, constructed upon the graves of the weak, and crush the idols, erected upon the bodies of the poor. Jesus was not sent here to teach the people to build magnificent churches and temples amidst the cold wretched huts and dismal hovels.... He came to make the human heart a temple, and the soul and altar, and the mind a priest.
These were the missions of Jesus the Nazarene, and these are the teachings for which He was crucified. And if Humanity were wise, she would stand today and sing in strength the song of conquest and the hymn of triumph.
Oh, Crucified Jesus, Who are looking sorrowfully from Mount Calvary at the sad procession of the Ages, and hearing the clamour of the dark nations, and understanding the dreams of Eternity... Thou art, on the Cross, more glorious and dignified than one thousand kings upon one thousand thrones in one thousand empires....
Thou art, in the agony of death, more powerful than one thousand generals in one thousand wars....
With Thy sorrows, Thou art more joyous than Spring with its flowers....
With Thy suffering, Thou art more bravely silent than the crying angels of heaven....
Before Thy lashers, Thou art more resolute than the mountain of rock....
Thy wreath of thorns is more brilliant and sublime than the crow of Bahram.... The nails piercing Thy hands are more beautiful than the sceptre of Jupiter....
The spatters of blood upon Thy feet are more resplendent than the necklace of Ishtar.
Forgive the weak who lament Thee today, for they do not know how to lament themselves....
Forgive them, for they do not know that Thou has conquered death with death, and bestowed life upon the dead....
Forgive them, for they do not know that Thy strength still awaits them....
Forgive them, for they do not know that every day is Thy day.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide into the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. (Kahlil Gibran)
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Isa al Masih
Within the story of Jerusalem is the history of the entire world. From the time of Adam until now there has been constant fighting. Wars have occurred all over the world for these two hundred million years, but they have been especially concentrated in this central point of Jerusalem ever since the time of Abraham. We have witnessed so many blood baths in this area; we have seen the cutting off of heads and hands and so many other acts of cruelty and violence. Every person of every religion who has heard of this sacrifice of human life and these rivers of blood must realize what is happening. We who belong to the human race must learn from the example of Jerusalem, for the history of this Holy City shows us the state of the world. [M.R.Bawa Muhaiyaddeen]|
libera me, domine
Martin Luther King began one of his sermons proclaiming:
"Every time I look at the cross I am reminded of the greatness of God and the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. I am reminded of the beauty of sacrificial love and the majesty of unswerving devotion to truth. It causes me to say with John Bowring:In the cross of Christ I glory,[FROM A SERMON BY Martin Luther King, Jr .... Quoted in Strength to Love]
you*tube version by american mahalia jackson - were you there when they crucified my lord
U Y Z U Y Z U Y Z U Y Z U Y Z U Y Z U Y Z U Y Z
'Signs of the Times'
|Ralph Martin records|
Even in the concentration camps of World War II, where evil was so concentrated and apparently so triumphant, story after story of the powerful working of God's grace continues to be revealed. . . . One story not well known is that of a secularized Jewish agnostic, Etty Hillesum, a young Dutch woman whose diaries have only recently been discovered, who by the grace of God was led to a life of faith and prayer and love all the way to Auschwitz and was able to interpret something of the "signs of the times." The following words were written during a short respite from a transit camp in Holland shortly before she was sent to Auschwitz, where she and her whole family died:
"How is it that this stretch of heathland surrounded by barbed wire, through which so much human misery has flooded, nevertheless remains inscribed in my memory as something almost lovely? How is it that my spirit, far from being oppressed, seemed to grow lighter and brighter there? It because I read the signs of the times and they did not seem meaningless to me . . . there among the barracks , full of hunted and persecuted people, I found confirmation of my love of life . . . . After the war two torrents will be unleashed upon the world: a torrent of loving-kindness and a torrent of hatred. And then I know: I should take the field against hatred." [An Interrupted Life]
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