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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

International Day of Charity – 5 September

The International Day of Charity was conceived as a Hungarian civil society initiative supported by the Hungarian Parliament and Government in 2011, to enhance visibility, organize special events, and in this way to increase solidarity, social responsibility and public support for charity.

September 5 was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta,[2] who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 « for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace. »

Source: Text: Wikipedia

In the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the United Nations recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

The Agenda also calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth in the Agenda can be grouped into six critical areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. They have the potential to transform our lives and our planet by providing the framework needed for philanthropic institutions to enable all people to contribute to the betterment of our world.

Source: Text: UN Image: nationaltoday.com

 

22nd Sunday of Year B

« It is a question of perspective… »
These words are sometimes spoken by someone who does not agree with a statement from somebody else.
That person does not want to express disapproval outright.
He, or she, does not want to manifest too bluntly a difference of opinion, or taste.
But, the person wants to distance him/herself from the affirmation heard.

It could be a temptation to react in this way to the texts of the gospel.
Jesus’ example invites us to a completely different attitude.
In the scene of this Sunday (22nd Sunday of Year B – Mc.7:1-8.14-15.21-23),
we see him responding with force to the Pharisees and scribes who challenge the attitude of his apostles.

What we see happening is, yes, a change of perspective, but much more than that.
Jesus leads them to change their focus from the following of traditions for traditions’ sake
to a genuine faithfulness to God’s message.
He calls his audience to move from appearances to the heart.
It is quite a change indeed!

Nowadays more than ever our society focuses on appearances.
‘Image-making’ has become an art and success in business, politics, entertainment, depends very much on this.
The gospel does NOT!

We are faced with the on-going challenge to move

  • from the outward expressions to the inner reality,
  • from what is manifest to what is hidden,
  • from what is superficial to what lies in the depths of ourselves and others –
    • the place where God is present and where our true self is being shaped by his Spirit…

“Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them,
but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them…
The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”

A change of perspective indeed!

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/22e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Image: twitter.com

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – 1st September

Pope Francis has asked Catholics and others throughout the world to pray this day and until the Feast of St Francis on 4th October for the care of creation, in line with his recent encyclical Laudato Si.

According to a letter from the Pope announcing the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, this time “offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” (Letter from the Vatican, 6th August 2015)

The Orthodox Church also honours 1st September as a Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and Pope Francis notes his hope that this should become an annual occurrence so that it “will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers. We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective.  Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue.” (ibid)

Source : Text : World Methodist Council  Image: nyfaithformation.org

 

 

International Overdose Awareness Day – 31 August

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global campaign that works towards preventing overdose, reducing the stigma associated with it, and providing support to families and loved ones of overdose victims. The unofficial awareness day is observed every year on August 31.

The day was established in 2001 by Australians Sally J. Finn and Peter Streker as a way to commemorate those who have lost their lives to overdose, and to support the loved ones whose lives have been affected by drug abuse.

Since 2012, the responsibility of organizing International Overdose Awareness Day has been taken over by the Penington Institute, an Australian non-profit health organization. Despite its Australian roots, the day is now observed all over the world.

Recognizing Symptoms of Overdose
Medical professionals define overdose as the accidental or intentional use of a drug or a substance such as alcohol or a narcotic beyond the recommended dosage. An overdose can have serious consequences, with effects ranging from mild disorientation to seizures, brain injury, and death.

Part of International Overdose Awareness Day’s agenda is to spread information about how to detect signs of substance abuse and overdose, and what to do when encountering a person who may be having an adverse reaction to a drug. Disorientation, agitation, difficulty in breathing, and vomiting can be signs of overdose and should not be ignored.

A Global Problem
Overdose is an increasing global problem. A 2014 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that about 183,000 people succumb to overdose around the world every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an American public health organization, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States.

A vast majority of overdose deaths occur due to opioid abuse. Opioids are a class of drugs that reduce the intensity of pain by interacting with proteins called opioids found in the human brain, spinal cord, and other organs. Opiates include illegal substances like heroin, as well as legally prescribed medication such as oxycodone, codeine, and morphine.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: Latino Public Radio

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances – 30 August

Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole.

Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. Once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearances can nowadays be perpetrated in complex situations of internal conflict, especially as a means of political repression of opponents. Of particular concern are:

the ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses and legal counsel dealing with cases of enforced disappearance; the use by States of counter-terrorist activities as an excuse for breaching their obligations;
and the still widespread impunity for enforced disappearance.

Special attention must also be paid to specific groups of especially vulnerable people, like children and people with disabilities.

On 21 December 2010, by its resolution 65/209 the UN General Assembly expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction, when these are part of or amount to enforced disappearances, and by the growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.

By the same resolution the Assembly welcomed the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, to be observed beginning in 2011.

Missing Persons
Since 1999 in Kosovo more than 6,000 people have been registered as missing. The UN Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, together with OHCHR has supported the creating of a missing persons’ resource centre.

Source: Text: UN Image: OHCHR

International Day against Nuclear Tests -29 August

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day against Nuclear Tests brings public awareness and education about the effects of global nuclear weapon tests. The day aims to end nuclear testing and to promote peace and security.

Background
The history of nuclear testing began on July 16, 1945, when an atomic bomb was used at a desert test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in the United States. More than 2000 nuclear tests were carried out worldwide between 1945 and 1996. Nuclear weapons tests are generally broken into different categories reflecting the test’s medium or location:

  • Atmospheric tests.
  • Underwater tests.
  • Underground tests.

Over the years, there have been calls to ban nuclear test to ensure the protection of people’s lives and the environment around them. The UN approved a draft resolution in late 2009 for an international day against nuclear tests to raise public awareness about the threats and dangers of nuclear weapons.  It was also hoped that UN’s member states would move towards the idea of nuclear disarmament.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests was declared to be annually held on August 29, which marks the closing of one of the world’s largest nuclear test sites (in Kazakhstan) in 1991. The day is devoted to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. It also promotes the need for a nuclear weapon-free world. The day’s first official observance was marked for August 29, 2010.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: Abolition 2000

21st Sunday of Year B

Making choices, taking decisions…
Not easy when the choice is … Someone, and when the decision is for a lifetime!

This is the situation we see in the 1st reading of this Sunday (21st Sunday of Year B – Jos.24:1-2.15-18)
where the people of Israel are told by their leader, Joshua, to make such a choice and take such a decision.
What prompts them to answer without hesitation?
They look back, they remember, they recall what happened…

“Was it not the Lord our God who brought us out of Egypt…
who worked those great wonders before our eyes…
and preserved us all along the way we travelled
and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed?

In other words: the past is a guarantee for the future –
If God has cared, sustained, protected in the past, how could he fail to do so in the future?

I pause and think of my own experience: I, too, look back and recall…
Before making the next important, life-changing decision…
I will make a list – a list of what the Lord has done in my own life.

That should be enough of a guarantee for me!
What about you?…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: iStock   Bullet Journal

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition – 23 August

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is annually observed on August 23 to remind people of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade. It gives people a chance to think about the historic causes, the methods, and the consequences of slave trade.

Background
In late August 1791, an uprising began in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that would have a major effect on abolishing the transatlantic slave trade. The slave rebellion in the area weakened the Caribbean colonial system, sparking an uprising that led to abolishing slavery and giving the island its independence. It marked the beginning of the destruction of the slavery system, the slave trade and colonialism.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in many countries, in particular in Haiti, on August 23, 1998, and in Senegal on August 23, 1999. Each year the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reminds the international community about the importance of commemorating this day. This date also pays tribute to those who worked hard to abolish slave trade and slavery throughout the world. This commitment and the actions used to fight against the system of slavery had an impact on the human rights movement.

Source : Text : timeandate.com Image : Breaking Buzz

 

World Humanitarian Day – 19 August

Every year, thousands of men and women the world over put their lives in danger working in Humanitarian causes all over the world. Working in the most poverty and illness stricken third world countries the world over, often in areas of great social violence, these dedicated heroes put their lives on the line, and sometimes lose them in the pursuit of their goals. World Humanitarian Day is when we remember these heroes and their sacrifices.

History of World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his fellow humanitarians in a bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN. Sergio had worked at great length attempted to pull together the Draft for the official designation of World Humanitarian Day.

Sergio was born in Brazil, and worked tirelessly over three decades to help those victims of armed conflict by easing their pain and making sure the world did not forget them. Awareness was a vital part of his campaign, trying to ensure that those in First World Countries and places of peace remembered that there was more to war than the deaths of combatants and conflicts between governments. These people struggle every day to survive against odds that were created in spite of their desire to just live in peace and safety.

World Humanitarian Day was officially established to recognize Sergio and the thousands like him who work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged, and those living in places of war, starvation, and pestilence.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR Image: Askideas.com

20th Sunday of Year B

Going through the readings of this Sunday (20th Sunday of Year B),
I am surprised at the number of… recommendations… injunctions… commands…
we are given to take into consideration!
I note but a few and I find them… quite demanding…

“Leave your folly and you will live,
walk in the ways of perception.”     (1st reading: Proverbs 9:1-6)

“Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord…
Listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord…
Never yield to evil, practise good,
Seek peace, pursue it.”     (Response: Ps.34:23,10-15)

“Be careful about the sort of lives you lead…
Recognise what is the will of the Lord.
Be filled with the Spirit…
Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns…”   (2nd reading: Eph.5:15-20)

I make a summary for myself and it comes to this simple formula:
“Recognise what is the will of the Lord.
Be filled with the Spirit…

Enough there for… a lifetime!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/20e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: seton.com