Amidst the downward tendency and proneness of things, when every voice is raised for a new road or another statute or a subscription of stock; for an improvement in dress, or in dentistry; for a new house or a larger business ; for a political party, or the division of an estate; will you not tolerate one or two solitary voices in the land, speaking for thoughts and principles not marketable or perishable?
Around Christmas 2016, went to some churches in Mississauga, and remembered some sermons and Churches of Tripoli region. In these places of spiritual regeneration heard some thoughts, principles which were not marketable or perishable.
CHURCH OF DAHRA-TRIPOLI
The Midnight mass of 2006 at San Francisco Catholic Church-Dahra Tripoli, headed by Bishop Giovanni Martinelli. The congregation which grows around a church has many manifestations. Here I met Nigerian footballer Carlos, who told about the different facets of community work, through making papers for illegal immigrants, visits to elderly, trying to help brothers caught up in prison system of Libya, to sisters who have been exploited. Through Carlos , I learnt about many things of the San Franscisco Church, which was established around 1937.
Here is a video of a Franciscan Friar-telling of the Bishop’s coat of Arms. When he became Bishop in 1985 Bishop Giovanni chose two words to guide him, Humility and Patience. These are inscribed in the Bishop’s coat of Arms.
CHURCHES IN MEDINA AREA-TRIPOLI
The site of St.George Orthodox church has served as a Turkish prison, a school, an art gallery. It is here that I talked in depth about the Civil war in Balkans, to get a perspective of the Serbs, who felt that that they have been wrongly targeted. Over the years, as NATO Bombed Libya, and seeing the ensuing chaos-five years on- we have no stable government, no army, no banks, one gets an idea of what NATO sponsored nation building amounts to.
“We were Europe before anyone dreamt of Europe” One member of the congregation of St.George smiled as we discussed how the EU will not give membership to Serbia.
In Medina, the Anglican Church has a different dynamic. One remembers fondly the many sermons prepared by Father Vasihar, which tell of who one can reinvent the body and resurrect the Soul.
These made me reflect on the different manifestations of the church.
The Choir, the food Harvest festival. Here is a Video of the different food stalls at the Anglican church-Medina-Tripoli-2015-November.
Having lived for long in historically Biblical lands (Libya, Malta) now seeing the churches in Mississauga, I could relate to the way these narratives have been linked.
This year, I visited Malta and went to the Cathedral at the Citadel of Gozo and the Chapel of St.Edward’s Cottonera. (Click on photographs to see larger version)
Here are some churches-and the displays of the Saints and the Nativity story
In these Churches-Around Christmas 2016-I turned them into Reading Places- and went through the works of Brother Lawrence.
Click on images to see larger versions
BROTHER LAWRENCE-Went through the works of Brother Lawrence-written by Nicholas Herman of Lorraine, a lowly and unlearned man, who , after having been a footman and a soldier, was admitted a Lay Brother among the barefooted Carmelites at Paris in 1666, and was afterwards known as Brother Lawrence
Brother Lawrence told in his first conversation on 3rd August 1666, that GOD had done him a singular favor, in his conversion at the age of Eighteen. That in the winter , seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the Providence and Power of God, which has never since been effaced from his soul.
Being associated with the narratives of the Church- I went through the sermons given on North African Christian Spiritual traditions-by Father Daniel-about St Augustine of Hippo in 2012 and the discussions on Charles Freer Andrews with Father Vasihar.
Those interested can see these blogs
2012-Musings around Easter-Remembering St.Augustine of Hippo http://wp.me/piL5Q-oN
2012-5-Ta Pinu Monastery-Gozo http://wp.me/piL5Q-pC
2014-March-Remembering Charlie Andrews http://wp.me/piL5Q-Dx
2014-9- Intimate Links http://wp.me/piL5Q-Fk
In better times, we have visited many cemeteries across Libya.
(we also used to visit the museum-now closed and zoo –now closed and the Theaters-Temples at Sabratha-now limiting non-essential travel as much as possible)
Albert Schweitzer said- “The Tombs of young men, are messengers for peace.” I saw this inscription at the gates of the German cemetery of Tobruk (where the elected House of Representatives now sit instead of the capital Tripoli, safely away by over a thousand kilometers!).