Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Friday, 3 July 2020
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
1. The Preliminaries
One of those things we often hear about marriage is that it was not like this or like that before. So, let us start by saying that marriage has never been what we think of it today. It was never about love. And neither was it either Christian Union or a sacrament. It was also not just a monogamous union nor a union of two hearts in love. But let no one twist this!
Europe was not, initially, a continent, and the Germans were once called savages just like non-Jews were all regarded as pagans. Non-Europeans were once regarded as uncivilized, blacks and many peoples were once sold in the market, and many nations treated as lesser humans. The Chinese were stereotyped, Native Americans were forcefully disindianized, some Indians are treated until today as untouchable and many people continue to be discriminated against in our society for one reason or the other. Still, we know that as years pass by, we learn how ridiculous each of those things we believed, for centuries, to be a gospel truth fall into desuetude. Therefore, let no one think that I’m against the beautiful evolutionary story of the marriage. On the contrary, I think that it still has a lot of ways to cover.
Unfortunately, the evolution of marriage has never really had a happy ending for womenfolk. It has always been like the hunting tales which always favour the hunter for always being the only storyteller. Marriage has always been, with few exceptions, mainly men’s thing to decide. Men have always made the rules and set the principles that govern the evolution of this institution.
2. So, what was Marriage All About, ab initio?
At the Stone Age, marriage served as a means of organizing and controlling sexual conduct providing a better structure for child-rearing. Some call that a primitive setup, but what makes a culture primitive is always debatable. In many cultures like the Chinese, Jewish, Native American, and African cultures, a man getting married to more than one wife was very popular. It was very important to them as it portrayed how buoyant a man was.
Monday, 29 June 2020
What is the Sign of the Cross ?
It is a sacred gesture which Christians use to express their faith in the resurrected Christ who through his death on the cross obtained salvation for humanity. It is also for Christians a sign of their belief in the unity of the Holy Trinity. This gesture is mainly observed among the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox communities, as well as certain Anglican communities, and even among some other Christian communities, the sign of the cross is also expressed and even sometimes signed.
The Origin of the Sign of the Cross
The sign of the cross was not always there as we know it today. But its origin could be traced back to, as early as in the old testament. It is, however, necessary to state that the cross as we know it today dates back only to the Roman civilization. And the cross, in that civilization was a sign of death. It was only reserved for hardened criminals and those that have committed serious atrocities.
In the Bible
Some theologians make some allusion to a Hebrew letter thau which is the last Greek alphabet and signifies, like the Greek Omega, God in his perfection (Catopedia, Segno della Croce). This usage refers to the book of Prophet Ezekiel 9:4, where it is written, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark (thau) on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it." This passage brings to mind the injunction of Exodus 12: 13 “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
In each of these cases, the mark, like the cross was to be the sign of salvation for those who received it.
Among the Fathers of the Church
Among the early extra-biblical writers on this subject is Tertullian (d. c. 250). There were other apocryphal writers but his description of the sign of the cross is one of the best among his contemporaries. Here is how he presents it: “in all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross” (De corona, 30). Tertullian was surely not talking of the sign of the cross as we know it today, but little signs made on the forehead. Other shreds of evidence of the place of the sign of the cross in the life of the Church show that it was marked with the index on the forehead and in certain cases on objects to be blessed, even objects in distance. Even the sick people were signed on the sick parts of the body, (Catopedia, Segno della Croce).