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Visions of angels and protection during WW1

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Principled, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    I agree that religion is often the excuse for war rather than the reason. But saying, "if either side had actually any idea of what true religion is ..." Is simply joining in with that attitude of " I know and you don't. "
    To dismiss war as "tribal" is to ignore all the politics and history of not only the region where the killing takes place but also of the world.
    From Pope Urban to ISIS reasons for "religious" war goes far deeper than who believes what. It's equally possible to dismiss (although I wouldn't) WW1 as a "family spat".
     
  2. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Hi Crowan,

    Glad you're still reading this - I wouldn't have thought it was your cup of tea at all! ;)

    The reason I said that if either side had an idea of what true religion is, is that love is at the centre of all true religion. (note that I said TRUE religion, because obviously many fall short.)

    What do we get when we break the word "religion" into its Latin roots?

    • The Latin "re," when used as a prefix, means "again" or "to go back."

    • "Lig" means to "tie," "connect," or "bind."

    • And the suffix "ion" means "the act of," "state of," or "result of the act of."

    Put these together and the word "religion" in its purest, most idealized form, means to be in a state of "connecting again" - the act of or state of "Reconnection."

    So really, the word "religion" means our connection to all that IS. We are all one and I pray that one day our global consciousness will rise enough to understand this and that love will be the motivation in everything we do and then harmony will reign. Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  3. Nah¬meed

    Nah¬meed New Member

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    Hi Judy.
    Thanks for your reply.
    I always find rememberance day emotional i have my own memories. What makes it happier is that i go to the church service with the scouts i am a cub scout leader so it wouldn,t be nice for them to see ( Baloo) my pack name to be upset. I don,t know if you know that some packs name there leaders after Junglebook characters.
    When they play last post it is always moving. The service is always happier than some denominations.The minister knows about my Buddhist beliefs.
    I agree about the killing machines every time there,s a conflict the ways the human race seem to find to murder each other is disturbing.
    I had a thought about the angel sighting.Remember i said about the days of getting shelled in there trenches was normaly a pre-cursor to a attack by the foot soldiers.
    This would normaly happen at first light.Both sides would send up flares to find out what was happening.These flares as they still are were made of White Phosporous when they hit the ground in that light could appear to be something which they are not to soldiers under that amount of stress.
    I think whatever your beliefs if some soldiers regardless of colour creed or nationality gained any amount of comfort from the Angel of Mons sightings then it can be only a good thing.
    Take care.
    Martin.
     
  4. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Hello Baloo! ;)

    Yes indeed, it was a good thing! The visions of the Angels of Mons stopped the German army from sweeping through Belgium and France and taking probably the whole of Europe over. It gave the Allies time to retreat and dig trenches (this was the first battle of WW1)

    There have been many attempts by the authorities to discredit what the men said, but hundreds of them (on both sides) reported (not to their officers, but to nurses in the hospitals and later to their families) seeing these sights. I don't think (I may be wrong) that there were any trenches to attack during the early days of that battle.

    Also, it doesn't explain how those who saw the visions not only gathered new courage and also inspired their comrades to face fearlessly the issues of the hour and to escape what seemed deadly peril; neither does it explain how many of the men were conscious of a moral transformation beginning at that very hour they saw the visions.

    On the first page of this thread I put a video which included a woman talking about her father's memory and these too:

    Even the Western Front Association admit on their website:
    http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-on-land/general-interest/71-angel-mons.html (they go on to explain that it was probably mass hysteria)

    Historians have been arguing about this for 100 years so we're not going to sort it out! :p

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  5. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Hi again Scomm,

    I've resurrected this story for a reason. Do you remember I did a bit of digging and came up with this:

    On doing more research, through Ancestry, first of all, I couldn't find a Colonel Whittlesey in either the British or US armies during WW1. I then discovered that the Rawson mentioned above had originally been a student of Christian Science (so much for wanting testimonies from other denominations or religions!)

    Anyway, the reason I'm writing now (from the CS Reading Room where I work) is because it was quiet due to the rain and I picked up a book all about the relief work instigated by our Mother Church in Boston, USA, during WW1. I came across this account and wonder whether it might have been the source of the probably more exaggerated ones that we both found. It concerned a Christian Science Chaplain, Arthur C. Whitney (did his name eventually become Whittlesey through illegible handwriting?)

    He was sent to the Army School near Langres, France, and then (wait for it) to the 91st Division, which saw active service in Belgium, assisting the British, French and Belgium armies, under the command of the King of Belgium. Mercifully I have discovered that I don't need to copy, word for word the account from the Captain of his regiment, about the great assistance to morale that Chaplain Whitney provided as it was reproduced in the CS periodicals, but with his name left out. You can read the letter from the commanding officer from the link below, but this was included in it and I wonder whether that could have been the source of what appears to be a rather exaggerated myth:
    Extracts from Letters" http://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/xxjhv8u892?s=t

    And here is the 91st Division's own report of the Battle of Lys-Scheldte:
    http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/190-91st-infantry-division/

    It was good to note in the book "Christian Science Wartime Activities" that Marshall Petain, Commander-in Chief of the French Armies issued the following citation:

    Chaplain Arthur C. Whitney, 346 Regiment infantry near Waereghem, Belgium, October 31st 1918, placed himself at the head of the company and marched with it to the reserved positions. By his courageous works and his coolness he aided in keeping good order among this troop"

    and "The official record of the regiment mentions the incident as 'one of the most deadly shellings which the regiment sustained'. For this service the French Government awarded Chaplain Whitney the Croix de Guerre with bronze star."

    I have further learnt that a divisional unit in the United States Army typically consists of 17,000 to 21,000 soldiers commanded by a major general and then broken down into smaller units. (The three artillery regiments of the 91st Division were the 346th, 347th and 348th)

    So hopefully I have cleared up the mysterious story about the 91st Division who all survived by praying with the 91st Psalm every day. Clearly not true, but there were elements of it in one or more battles of its 346th unit. As to whether Chaplain Whitney asked all the men to study the 91st Psalm - it doesn't say! :p

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
    #45 Principled, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2014
  6. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Just felt that I wanted to include these wonderful BBC photos of the poppies at the Tower of London. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-29935592

    I went at the beginning of the week and it is truly moving. I'm going to place the poppy I bought on the grave of my father's cousin who was wounded during the battle of the Somme in 1916 and died of his wounds 4 days later, so it made it feel especially poignant to know that one of the 888,246 poppies represented a member of my family.

    I've been watching the very moving BBC tribute at 7 pm each day, which ended tonight, called"The Passing Bells". I liked the way the writer had included the stories of both sides and it was so beautiful the way that Tommy (the British soldier) found beauty and comfort in the birds that carried on singing in all that horror, ugliness and brutality. It reminded me of this beautiful article titled
    The Lesson of the Nightingales It was written about how the birds in the woods lifted the heart of the author during the First World War. Here's an excerpt.

    When she was young, my sister knew the author of this piece and he told her that once, he and his men were surrounded and it seemed impossible to get out. He told his men he needed some quiet time and went into the woods to pray and that's when he saw the nightingales (which is probably what prompted this article) A way out became clear to him and he and his men all escaped.

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  7. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid I have some real reservations about the Tower of London poppies - surely the time has come to remember ALL the dead, not just those from the UK.
    Although, that would have taken up quite a bit of Greater London.
     
  8. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    I should have known I could count on you Crowan for a negative remark! :rolleyes:

    Crowan, it isn't just the UK dead, but all the Commonwealth [Colonial] deaths as well - from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, (which included Pakistan in those days) plus many African countries and I'm sure others I don't know about.

    I've just done an edit to add this item about the 400,000 Muslim soldiers who fought alongside British troops. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29833296

    And yes, you are right, there is no way that everyone who died in this war could possibly be commemorated by a poppy at the Tower. I posted this earlier:
    I'm sure that all other countries (those that were considered friends or foes in those days) are remembering this centenary in their own ways, after all they all have their own memorials in their own countries. There are also memorials to the horses killed. They were also heroes - albeit unwitting ones, taking the 19th C mounted war into the war machines of the 20th C to face slaughter.

    But I for one am very grateful that we are remembering and that this enormous sacrifice of each of those men (and their families) and of course, all the wounded and shell-shocked hasn't just been relegated to the forgotten past. No matter how you may think of the politics behind what happened, those men deserve our respect and gratitude.

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
    #48 Principled, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2014
  9. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    Check your facts. The installation at the Tower has one poppy for each of the British soldiers killed. And that’s it. The Commonwealth soldiers are not included. Nurses are not included. Allies, civilians, “enemies”, the Chinese Labour Corps, are not included.
    I seem to have pushed a button here. I am simply stating my position which is that I have reservations about, and will not join in, any remembrance that is partisan. I have been practicing shamanism for nearly thirty years and all my experiences have led me to this position: There is no separation.
    I accept that your views are different. I know that Mary Baker Eddy wrote, in 1898,
    “ I will say I can see no other way of settling difficulties between individuals and nations than by means of their wholesome tribunals, equitable laws, and sound, well-kept treaties. . . . But if our nation's rights or honor were seized, every citizen would be a soldier and woman would be armed with power girt for the hour.”
     
  10. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Hi Crowan,

    Strange, the Tower website agrees with you, but I got my info from the media and from The Royal British Legion

    Where I have made a mistake was using the word "Commonwealth" There was no such thing 100 years ago. Great Britain consisted of the UK and its colonies, which was the largest empire in the world. The British Empire So when they say just "British" that term included the colonies in 1918

    Your quote was from an article Mary Baker Eddy wrote for the Boston Herald, in March, 1898. This was the beginning:
    And from another article for the Boston Globe, December, 1904
     
  11. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    I have simply stated my reasons for having reservations about the Tower of London installation. These are matters of principle for me – I would have thought, judging from previous things you have written (and from your username) that you could understand such a thing. And also understand that, when examining our principles over particular issues like this one, not everyone is going to come down in the same place.
    Yes, there seems to be a lot of confusion over the numbers. What is certain is that it does not include civilians or “enemies”. Therefore my ‘matter of principle’ stands. As far as your Mary Baker Eddy quotations are concerned, I would have thought that brought your thinking closer to mine, not further away.

    Yet I have clearly (as I said before) pushed buttons. You said:
    Could you explain to me what you think I have said that is so negative?
    You also said:
    Again, you seem to be reading into my post more than I said. What is it you think you have to persuade me of?
     
  12. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Dear Crowan, I started this as an inspirational thread, to shine a tiny bit of light and gratitude onto a terrible terrible war, filled with untold suffering. War is always evil. Sometimes it's the lesser of two evils. While standing up to the Nazis was a very clear-cut choice between good and evil, I don't think anyone (especially those poor lads who went through it) really is sure why the First World War started or what it was all about.

    While the world is remembering and recounting all the horror of that terrible war, I was so grateful to be reminded of the Angels of Mons - a phenomena that, despite all the attempts of cynical people to discredit it, has survived, with the men who saw the sights going to their graves insisting that they saw angels and that those angels saved their lives.

    I then searched the Christian Science testimonies from WW1 and was so grateful to find, that, through faith, a few men were able to come through the same terrible experiences that either killed, maimed or permanently disabled others, physically and mentally. I really had hoped to find some from other religions or philosophies, from men who were at the front (and would have been delighted to read any special experiences of nurses etc in the field hospitals - and any civilians who came through danger through prayer). The fact is, that I couldn't find any. I even wrote to a Jewish museum to ask if they had any. I can't believe there aren't others - it's probably that the CS Church has kept records (which are now searchable online) over the past 130 years.

    I don't know if you're read all the testimonies I've posted but I find it so inspiring that anyone could find freedom from fear, peace and protection right in the middle of bombardments, extreme danger and sheer terror. It's only by feeling the presence of divine Love, Spirit, that we can reach a spiritual consciousness that can be untouched by what is going on materially all around. I was inspired by the way the men (of all nationalities, including the two beautiful German testimonies I posted) had no desire to harm anyone and in many cases said how they were able to come right through the war without firing a shot or hurting anyone at all. I'm also grateful for how they included all their men in their prayers and the protection that the whole group experienced was felt and acknowledged.

    I found some of the testimonies in a book titled, "A Century of Christian Science Healing" and just before they begin the war testimonies, on p 73, they write:

    "A Christian Scientist facing a great calamity in which hundreds, thousands, or even millions of lives may be lost does not think that the saving power of divine Love is especially directed toward him. He is convinced, however, that the law of God properly understood and practiced vanquishes every evil circumstance that may present itself, and that this law must be demonstrated individually though it is available universally." (my highlights)

    The fact that these few men have demonstrated these laws proves that they are available for all, regardless of religion (or none).

    I'm sorry you found my mentioning the poppies at the Tower somehow objectionable, but when I see any honest and heartfelt commemoration of the losses and suffering in WWI (or any other conflict), I'm just grateful that people care enough to make sure those who lost their lives in war aren't forgotten.

    I can't be getting into politics, national or gender-related and I'm not interested in arguing with you. I don't know why you insinuate that my principles are any different from Mary Baker Eddy's (or any decent person's for that matter). This really saddens me. I'm not trying to glorify war. War is disgusting. It is evil. I'm giving gratitude for experiences of protection and healing that took place right in the middle of all that horror.

    No-one is pointing a gun at your head Crowan and forcing you to come to the Christianity pages or to read what I post. A few days ago, you wrote this to someone who was challenging you on the Shamanism forums:

    A universal concept Crowan, is the Golden Rule, the Christian version being, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  13. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    Since you are determined to misunderstand - to the extent of accusing me of saying the opposite of what I did say - me, I see no point in continuing. All I have really taken from this exchange is that you cannot bear to be disagreed with. That is a shame.
     
  14. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Today we commemorate the end of the First World War. The guns finally stopped at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 and since then all who have so unselfishly served their country have been remembered.

    I felt it was fitting to give thanks today for the chaplains who served at the front. They were not fighting men and were totally unprepared for what they were to face, but they helped lift morale, silence fear and to comfort. 168 chaplains lost their lives during WW1. I have already spoken about one chaplain, Chaplain Arthur C. Whitney with the 91st Division in post 45 above, who I suspect might have been the source of the myth of the whole division coming through unscathed through praying with the 91st Psalm each day, but a friend sent me this link to a BBC article and it's really worth reading:

    WW1 chaplains It's written by BBC Health Editor Hugh Pym about his grandfather, Tom Pym

    That's the part of that terrible war that I'm sure all of us find most inhumane and unforgiveable. Those men were not cowards, they were mentally just shot to pieces. Shudder.

    When I re-read the letter about Chaplain Whitney today from his commanding officer, I was delighted to find Armistice Day mentioned, so I will re-post a bit of it:
    And a later bit:

    From the BBC article above, this seems typical of those brave men:

    And where I think the myth might have originated from:

    And then:

    Once can't even imagine the relief for everyone concerned, on both sides, at the front, at home and in the hospitals.

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
    #54 Principled, Nov 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2014
  15. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    This children's video was made for the Remembrance commemorations and was shown on remembrance Sunday at 11 am and also today, Armistice Day. It's very sensitive: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbbc/episode/b04p4zsl/poppies

    There are only 6 days left on iPlayer

    And it's also interesting to see the thought that went into its production:

     
  16. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    As it's Christmas, it seems the right time to include the "Christmas Miracle" of 100 years ago.

     
  17. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Those who have been following this may like to know:
    Christmas Truce which will be broadcast on Radio 2 on Christmas Eve 2014 at 10pm. All Is Calm - The Story of the Christmas Truce will be narrated by John Hurt

    Here are some snippets from soldier's letters:
    Here is some interesting historical information from a website that's got quite comprehensive coverage of the 1914 Christmas truce.
    And if any of you feel distinctly uncomfortable about the Sainsbury's Christmas football match ad like I do, this correspondent from Germany sums it up for me:
     
  18. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    I hope everyone here had a peaceful Christmas!

    This will be my last post on the Christmas Truce. A friend sent me this today and I thought it was so interesting that I've included it here.

    This is an amazing fact that I only learned today - the Christmas Truce has been wiped out of French history. This article I link to below is written by a Frenchman . He knew absolutely nothing about the Christmas Truce of 1914 and when he found out and started researching it, he came up against huge opposition.

    It shows me how the Angels of Mons were also written out of the history books too.
    Here are some excerpts from it:
    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  19. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    The 12th October 2015 was the centenary of Edith Cavell's execution. This brave woman reached out to unconditionally help soldiers from both sides and assisted some 200 Allied soldiers to escape from German-occupied Belgium.

    Her last words were:
    • Standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realise that patriotism is not enough.
      I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.
      Edith Louisa Cavell, October 11th 1915
    If you want to read about her life, this is one of the good sites:
    https://revdc.wordpress.com/edith-cavells-life/

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  20. Tashanie

    Tashanie Well-Known Member

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    She was an incredibly brave woman. I am glad this anniversary has been publicised so well.
     
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