Greetings and salutations one and all.
My interview with Tony Orlando is slated to air on The 700 Club this coming Thursday (April 10). One of his big hits: "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree."
Many of you may remember Tony and the two lovely ladies known as Dawn, who accompanied him on his national TV show of the 1970s. Actually, Tony is an old friend of my wife Nedra; and he said that he selected the two women, Joyce and Thelma, who comprised Dawn, based on Nedra. Tony said, "Everyone loved Nedra's group, The Ronettes, but I was in love with Nedra."
Yeah, Tony, but she married me!
Tony had a crash and burn period following the death of his close friend and actor Freddie Prinz of the TV show Chico and the Man. Tony's battle out of darkness into the light of a new "dawn" says it wasn't his fame or fortune that pulled him through.
The Soul of the World
Recently, a friend and companion on the journey, Keith Fournier, sent a piece to me extracted from the words of an ancient second century Christian manuscript entitled “A Letter to Diognetus”. I thought it so poignant that it was worth forwarding to you.
To quote Keith:
We are called, to become the "soul of the world." Or, to use the Biblical imagery, we are to become “leaven” and “salt”, transforming the “loaf” of the culture from within in whatever country they live in.
Examining the words of that first century writing, written to a pagan inquirer to the Christian faith, is helpful. They are as extraordinarily relevant in the first century of the Third Christian millennium as they were in the first century of the First Millennium:
“For Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in customs. For they dwell not somewhere in cities of their own, neither do they use some different language, nor practice an extraordinary kind of life. Nor again do they possess any invention discovered by any intelligence or study of ingenious men, nor are they masters of any human dogma as some are. But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the native customs in dress and food and the other arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvelous, and confessedly contradicts expectation.
They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they bear their share in all things as citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers. Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign. They marry like all other men and they beget children; but they do not cast away their offspring. They have their meals in common, but not their wives. They find themselves in the flesh, and yet they live not after the flesh. Their existence is on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws, and they surpass the laws in their own lives. They love all men, and they are persecuted by all. They are ignored, and yet they are condemned.
They are put to death, and yet they are endued with life. They are in beggary, and yet they make many rich. They are in want of all things, and yet they abound in all things. They are dishonored, and yet they are glorified in their dishonor. They are evil spoken of, and yet they are vindicated. They are reviled, and they bless; they are insulted, and they respect. Doing good they are punished as evildoers; being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby quickened by life. The Jews wage war against them as aliens, and the Greeks carry on persecution against them, and yet those that hate them cannot tell the reason of their hostility.
In a word, what the soul is in a body, the Christians are in the world...."
“Go into all the world.”
Special Commentary: How the Religious Right lost its ‘Religion’, lost its way and went wrong
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)