Prayers for Belgium

When they say that mankind shall be free at last, they mean that mankind shall commit suicide. When they talk of a paradise without right or wrong, they mean the grave. They have but two objects, to destroy first humanity and then themselves. That is why they throw bombs instead of firing pistols. The innocent rank and file are disappointed because the bomb has not killed the king; but the high-priesthood are happy because it has killed somebody.”
― G.K. Chesterton

How to defeat terrorism?
Don’t be terrorized.
Don’t let fear rule your life.
Even if you are scared.”

― Salman Rushdie

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(Catching a train from the station in Brugge, to Brussels, then to Paris / Julie Cook / 2011)

Five years ago, my aunt and I decided it would be nice to take a trip to Paris..then to sweeten the adventure we thought that starting our trip to Paris in Brugge, Belgium…would make perfect sense.
And it did.
Brugge, the Venice of of the low country, is a marvelous city that luckily went unscathed during the trench warfare of WWI and the Nazi invasion during WWII.

The main canal and artery from Brugge to the sea, which first put Brugge on the map as a major seaport during the Middle Ages, eventually silted over, trapping this medieval city in time. That is lucky for today’s travelers because Brugge’s historic medieval city center is much the way it appeared 400 years ago…

My father does not share my sense of adventure nor my love for travel.
He’s a play it safe, keep your head down, stay inside kind of fellow.
I can remember when I told him of our plans for the trip.

“No, don’t do that…you can’t go…it’s way too dangerous…”
With my response being… “Dad, it’s Belgium… nothing happens in Belgium…”

Well something has happened sadly and tragically today in Belgium.

It is with a heavy heart that we, the collective global family, now offer our prayers to the people of Belgium and to the victims of today’s terror attacks, as well as to their families…

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(One of the beautiful canals lining Brugge / Julie Cook / 2011)

O GOD, merciful and compassionate, who art ever ready to hear the prayers of those who put their trust in thee; Graciously hearken to us who call upon thee, and grant us thy help in this our need; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

O GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly, union and concord: that as there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Prayers from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

Southern Charm and hospitality draped in moss

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I don’t always have an opportunity of going on a leisure walk, yet alone in a beautiful city. I was, however, graced with such an opportunity over the long weekend. Savannah, Georgia is a lovely old town—Georgia’s oldest official city, founded in 1733. It is a city steeped in colonial history and is one of the largest seaports on the eastern seaboard.

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The city’s historic district remains just as General James Oglethorpe planned–a city consisting of multiple squares, or parks, surrounded by old picturesque stately homes which all date to colonial times–a city of a grid pattern accentuated by individual parks—all surrounded by the magnificent ancient live oaks which are draped in the ethereal spanish moss that blows ever so gently in the constant breeze–all giving way to a magical spell of history, Revolutionary war heroes, 13 colonies, pirates, ghosts, elegance, charm and peace.

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I just wanted to share a tad of this city’s allure and charm. Whetting the ol whistle—the gardens which seem to run on and on, the hustle and bustle of tourists down on the famous, or infamous, River Street, the colorful characters, the gorgeous parks, the shadows of a former era all collide in this southern coastal community—of which I am proud to say is a part of my state….such a treasure in my own backyard. And one that will play host to my son’s upcoming wedding…..but we have several more months in which to wait on that…more will most likely follow…this is just a small taste of life in the South…my glorious South.