Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Asian astrologers predict stormy Year of the Sssssssnake
The Year of the Snake, which starts on February 10th, will feature financial woes and a Japan-China flashpoint according to the soothsayers.
- February 8, 2013
A stock market slide, escalated conflict between Japan and China and more Gangnam-styled success for South Korean singer Psy will shape the incoming Year of the Snake, say Asian soothsayers.
Those who make predictions according to the study of feng shui — or literally “wind-water” — are influential in many parts of Asia where people adjust their lives or renovate houses and offices based on the advice.
As they bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon, the fortune tellers warn that the “black water snake” that emerges to replace it on February 10 — the first day of the Lunar New Year — could be a venomous one that brings disaster.
Previous Snake years have been marked by the September 11, 2001 terror strikes that killed nearly 3,000 people, the crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy protests and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
The 1929 stock market plunge that heralded the Great Depression also occurred in a snake year.
Hong Kong’s celebrity feng shui master Mak Ling-ling predicts the stock markets will enjoy a smooth first-half before becoming turbulent in the second half of the year, which she links to the characteristics of the reptile.
“It’s just like the movement of snakes — fast, aggressive and sharp, but cunning and tricky at the same time,” she tells AFP.
Mak warned that despite early market optimism there would be no full recovery in the crisis-hit eurozone, while the economy of the United States would not gather a strong pace until 2014.
She added that President Barack Obama needed to “be less conservative” in his attempts to revive the economy.
Astrologers say this year’s snake is identified with the element of water — symbolizing fear — that sits on top of the fire element, representing joy and optimism. They say conflict between the two will bring turbulence in May.
“This is a disaster year… a lot of things will not go smoothly,” said Singapore’s “Grand Master” Tan Khoon Yong of geomancy consultancy Way OnNet Group.
“The European Union may split, the euro may be in trouble,” the 59-year-old said, adding that the bloc would be threatened by division in May.
Hong Kong astrologer Chow Hon-ming said a disharmonious May would see an ongoing dispute between Japan and China possibly escalate into a “brief” war, as two “snakes” are going to clash according to his reading of the Chinese almanac.
“May is known as the ‘snake month’ and it’s the Year of the Snake so between May 5 and June 6, these two snakes will meet.
“This is why things will be very intense between Japan and China. Tensions will rise to a peak and they will possibly go to war.”