Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's day!

St Patrick (385 - 461)
He was born in Roman Britain around the end of the 4th century, and died in Ireland about the middle of the 5th century. As a missionary bishop, he endured many hardships and faced opposition even from his friends and fellow Christians. Nevertheless, he worked hard to conciliate, to evangelize, and to educate local chieftains and their families. He is remembered for his simplicity and pastoral care, for his humble trust in God, and for his fearless preaching of the gospel to the very people who had enslaved him in his youth. 

St. Patrick's Breastplate: 
I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Liberating Truth: How Jesus Empowers Women

I recently wrote a book about women. I thought it'd be a great way to celebrate International Women's Day by suggesting that people get educated about gender issues and the gospel. Many in the western world simply fail to recognize the way women are systemically oppressed around the world... and until we do, we won't have a gospel that is true to it's promise. The good news is all about setting people free, declaring dignity to all - letting people know that Jesus came to make the world a better place to live - right now, as it is in heaven. And I can guarantee there is no public stoning, female circumcision or sexual slavery in heaven. Jesus is a feminist. There is no question about this (I've written a whole chapter to back it up - so go on and read it!). :-) So, if you feel like changing the world and you are wondering where to start - start with women. 

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day!

On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, each of us should reflect on the reality of the society that we live in today, recognizing that the aims of feminism certainly have not been achieved in full. We have a long way to go.
The theme of this year's international women's day is equal access to education, training and science, and technology, the "pathway to decent work for women."
This year should especially resonate with college and university students, as it directly calls into question the conditions of the various workforces they seek to enter upon completion of their respective programs and job training.
A study was recently released, which showed that only 17% of CEOs of major corporations are women. Only 22% of members of parliament in Canada are women. And last year, Statistics Canada removed the question that would track and put a price tag on women's work inside the home.
Sociologists and others who study demographic trends have recently suggested that women in the modern world are facing a backlash to the equitable gains sought by the three waves of feminism in the past century.
One might ask: what is a feminist? I believe it is someone who champions the cause of equality. Is it relevant to still have an international women's day, some might ask? Indeed, I think it is important while women still earn 29% less than men for the same job. I think it is important in light of the unequal divide of politically represented genders.
I also think it is especially important to recognize women annually in the international community, in developing countries where many women still do not have access to universal health-care, including reproductive rights, as well as education and protection against domestic violence.
This year, women and men together should take the time to consider the implications of a growing movement on International Women's Day, with the recognition that we cannot give up what we have gained here in Canada, because, for our sisters overseas and across the globe, their battle is just beginning.
By: Nicole Birch-Bayley is majoring in English. She is currently studying in the Laurentian University program at Georgian College