24 August 2016

Do Not Give A Child the HPV Gardasil Vaccine

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I am a vigorous opponent of the HPV Gardasil Vaccine.  The numbers of girls and boys harmed by this vaccine should cause a vigorous outcry throughout the nations to have Gardasil banned.




Does your church or denomination have a stated position on dangerous vaccines and drugs?  Does you church organisation have a mechanism for the church to pass national resolutions against dangerous and deadly vaccines and drugs?  If so, step up and do the work so your religious community is on record against the HPV Gardasil Vaccine.

God will hold the churches and individual Christians accountable if they do not speak out against drugs and vaccines that kill, maim, and paralyse the innocent.

Earthquake: From the Monks of Norcia

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To send a donation, dear Reader, you may click on the following link:
https://en.nursia.org/donations/
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23 August 2016

Mary, Queen

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Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us.


O God, who made the Mother of your Son
to be our Mother and our Queen,
graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession,
we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom
the glory promised to your children.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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21 August 2016

What have you read lately ...

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A friend has got me very interested again in the very earliest era in Zoroastrianism.  I have been reading again in M.L. West's The Hymns of Zoroaster which I find to be the most satisfying treatment of the Old Avestan text in translation.  

When one has a good grasp of that early era of Zoroaster's proclamation and prophecy, one unveils unexpected windows into the pre-Mosaic, pre-Deuteronomist Hebrew religion, into the faith as ritually observed in Solomon's Temple, as well as into the Hebrew faith tradition that found its way into Christianity but not into the rabbinical reformulation that became Judaism after the Council of Javna (Jamnia).


In musing upon these things I recall that with the Persian invasion that destroyed so many Christian churches and holy places in the Holy Land, the Persians did not destroy the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem because at that time there was a great exterior image that portrayed the Wise Men in the garb of Persian Zoroastrians or Magians.  


It is a fascinating footnote in history, but it tells us that very early in Christianity the Wise Men who came with sacred gifts for the Infant God-man Jesus were associated with one or more of the following three things: the Persians themselves, the Zoroastrians, or the community of Magi in Babylon whose roots could have been two-fold going back to Zoroaster on the one hand and going back to the Biblical prophet Daniel (Saint Daniel the Prophet if you see things as the Orthodox Christians do) on the other hand.


Apart from my readings in the astounding revelation given to Zoroaster, I have also been reading again the writings of Dr. Margaret Barker and the Rev. Dr. Laurence Hemming.  Both of these voices in the area of Temple Theology are touching upon the most essential and important questions regarding the identity of the first Christians, the faith Jesus lived and taught, and the ways in which the various divided Churches have unconsciously kept alive elements of the original faith.  


Both Barker and Hemming have done great good in their fearless approach to academic dialogue with Mormon academics on questions regarding the Temple of Solomon and Christian origins.  (In my youth there was almost no academic interaction between Mormon academics and the scholars of the various Christian Churches and Communions.) 


I have also gone back to read Dr. Barker's Isaiah essay in the Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible.  How I wish I had had that information when studying Isaiah, Enoch, and intertestamental literature years ago!  


God grant both Barker and Hemming long lives filled with good health so they can continue to uncover what I think is the most important area of Christian inter-disciplinary and inter-communal study -- Temple Theology.



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I have also begun to read the new book by Immaculée Ilibagiza entitled "The Boy who met JESUS and A MESSAGE FOR HUMANITY".  This is a new volume not to be confused with her earlier book on Segatashya emmanuel of Kibeho.  If you purchase the book from Amazon, you will likely get the first book and not this new edition.  It is safer to buy the new book from Immaculée's website: click here.  

The first book was Immaculée's telling of the conversion, ministry, and martyrdom of Segatashya Emmanuel.  This new book is Segatashya in his own words and relating the words spoken to him by the Lord Jesus Christ.  I heartily recommend both books.

As I have written before, although the Church has rendered no judgement regarding Segatashya of Kibeho and his visions and encounters with Jesus, I hold absolute personal conviction as to the veracity of his witness which was confirmed by his holy martyrdom in the satanic Rwandan Genocide.  The new book by Immaculée is slender and is meant for reading and then meditation and prayer.  It is the sort of book I would encourage giving as a gift particularly at Christmas or Epiphany.



15 August 2016

St Maximilian Kolbe Quotation

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Dr Margaret Barker: The Temple and the First Christians

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Dr. Margaret Barker discusses the early Christians and the Temple.

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11 August 2016

A Coptic Orthodox Prayer of Thanksgiving

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The prayers of the Coptic Orthodox Church are many and beautiful. The Breviary of the Coptic Christians is called The Agpeya coming from ti agp meaning 'the hour.' 

The following comes from the online edition of The Agpeya:

THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life.

O Master, Lord, God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we thank You for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition, for You have covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto You, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour.

Therefore, we ask and entreat Your goodness, O Lover of mankind, to grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life, in all peace with Your fear. All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men, and the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest, take them away from us, and from all Your people, and from this holy place that is Yours.

But those things which are good and profitable do provide for us; for it is You Who have given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, through Whom the glory, the honour, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto You, with Him, and the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is of one essence with You, now and at all times, and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.
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Dorothy Kerin, Anglican stigmatist



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A prayer by the sainted Dorothy Kerin from her own notebook:

By the bruising of my whole life,
strengthen me with sympathy
for every wounded soul,
 
and let my prayers be as balm 
for the wounds of thy children, 
that they may be healed.



And here is another blessing for you, dear reader, from Dorothy Kerin's vision of the Garden and of the weeds concerning which she writes:

"After some years, I was unhappy in my heart, that I had done so badly, with difficulties and how badly I had used the grace given me.


Dorothy Kerin
Anglican, healing ministry
"I was in prayer, when I found myself in the Garden. I had not been there for some time and there was a difference. It was full of flowers, and the scent more exquisite. Our Lady was there. 

She took my hand for she knew how bewildered I was about things. She led me to different plants. Her tears were still wet on them. 


Then I was alone. 


I saw a heap of weeds Our Lady must have pulled up. Then the Holy Spirit showed me everything I had done to produce these weeds, since the King made the garden. 


The stem of the Hope plant has a tendril clutching it, the weed was fear, the Charity weed was judging, the Faith plant was despair. 


Then I knelt down on the grass and confessed my faults to the King of the Garden. It is impossible to tell you the joy that forgiveness brought me."



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Immigrant Crisis: What to do with the Tsunami of Immigrants



There is no government in Europe, North America, or Australia that has a proper grasp of what to do with the huge number of people who have left their nations seeking admission to other nations.

https://fee.org/articles/can-a-hong-kong-for-refugees-solve-the-crisis/

The link above is to an article that appears to be the first serious attempt to address the reality of the current situation.  

Muslim immigrants do not belong in Western nations because they refuse to assimilate, they demand the institutionalisation of Sharia law, and they intend to be part of Islam's conquest of the non-Islamic nation where they are living.    

I disagree with the author in his seemingly positive evaluation of Australian detention centres which may best be called prisons outside any rule of law.  Those Australian centres are in fact the opposite of what needs to take place as I see it, because Muslim immigrants need a solution within already existent Muslim nations.  They do not have any intention to become anything other than what they are, and many of them dream of being part of Islam's conquest of a rich, non-Muslim nation.  

If cities of haven are to be built for these refugees and immigrants, then there need to be particular cities built for the Muslims, and in another location at a great distance should cities of haven be built for other refugees.  Certainly, the largely Christian West should be willing to embrace the Christian refugees and work toward solutions for them... but nothing is that easy when refugees and immigrants can be a convenient political football.

The article linked above is a must read because the answer he is proposing is consistent with the compassionate nature of Western culture which has arisen from its Christian roots.  I would definitely have said some things differently had I written the article, but I am convinced that he has identified exactly the sort of approach that is needed.

08 August 2016

St. Augustine's Prayer Book: HEART OF JESUS

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HEART OF JESUS, think of me.

Eyes of Jesus, look on me.

Face of Jesus, comfort me.

Hands of Jesus, bless me.

Feet of Jesus, guide me.

Arms of Jesus, hold me.

Body of Jesus, feed me.

Blood of Jesus, wash me.

Jesus, make me thus thine own

Here and in the world to come. Amen.


Saint Augustine's Prayer Book
Order of the Holy Cross
The Episcopal Church
USA

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07 August 2016

Ikon of the Transfiguration

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During this octave of the Feast of the Transfiguration, I thought it would be salutary to prayerfully contemplate the following early 15th century ikon attributed to Theophanes the Greek (called ‘Feofan’ in Russian), the teacher of the famous iconographer Andrei Rubliev which was originally painted for the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Pereslavl but is now in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow:




Liturgical Life and Liturgical Beauty

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From a DVD by the Canons Regular of the Mother of God:


https://youtu.be/PR2y8S7gPsE


Please also see this excellent paper on The New Liturgical Movement blog:
http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2016/07/the-sung-liturgy-in-formation-of-human.html


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30 July 2016

The Rosy Sequence: Anglican Patrimony

Sarum Gradual, 1527
Cento from Dulcis Iesu Memoria
Translated by J.M. Neale


JESU! the very thought is sweet !
In that dear name all heart-joys meet ;
But sweeter than the honey far
The glimpses of his presence are.

No word is sung more sweet than this :
No name is heard more full of bliss ;
No thought brings sweeter comfort nigh,
Than JESUS, Son of God most high.

JESUS, the hope of souls forlorn,
How good to them for sin that mourn ;
To them that seek thee, O How kind ;
But what art thou to them that find ?

JESUS, thou sweetness, pure and blest,
Truth's fountain, light of souls distrest,
Surpassing all that heart requires,
Exceeding all that soul desires !

No tongue of mortal can express,
No letters write its blessedness :
Alone who hath thee in his heart
Knows, love of JESUS, what thou art.

I seek for JESUS in repose,
Where round my heart the shadows close;
Abroad, and when I shut the door,
I long for JESUS evermore.

As Mary in the morning gloom
Sought out her Master at the tomb,
So now, with love's most earnest cry,
I seek with heart and not with eye.

JESUS, to God the Father gone,
Is seated on the heavenly throne;
My heart hath also passed from me,
That where he is there it may be.

We follow JESUS now, and raise
The voice of prayer, the hymn of praise,
That he at last may make us meet
With him to gain the heavenly seat.


+Iesu dulcis memoria

29 July 2016

Bach: Harpsichord Concerto





J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concerto in d minor
BWV 1052  
Pierre Hantaï 
Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall


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An U.S. American Lutheran confession of sins

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The following is from a Lutheran liturgical order for both a service of Divine Worship as well as for the celebration of the Holy Communion published in Chicago in the USA.  In this confession of sins there is a statement that "we are by nature sinful and unclean" which is certainly not a statement many Christian bodies would accept or declare, but it is a common feature of Lutheran writings in English in North America.

I refrain from saying this is no longer used because usually there is someone somewhere who recognises a treasure when he sees it and makes use of it.

This rite for the congregational confession of sins is found in the Wartburg Hymnal which had a profound influence upon US Episcopalian prayer manuals and hymnals most especially The Hymnal 1940.

The Confession of Sins

Beloved in the Lord! Let us draw near with a true heart, and confess our sins unto God our Father, beseeching Him, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to grant us forgiveness.

Minister.  Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
Congregation.  Who made heaven and earth.
Minister.  I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord.
Congregation.  And Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.

Then shall the Minister say:

Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto Thee, that we are by nature sinful and unclean, and that we have sinned against Thee, by thought, word, and deed.  Wherefore we flee for refuge to Thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Thy grace, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Congregation shall say with the Minister:

O most merciful God, who hast given Thine Only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins: and by Thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of Thee, and of Thy will, and true obedience to Thy Word, to the end that by Thy grace we may come to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Minister say:

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us, and hath given His Only Son to die for us, and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins.  To them that believe on His Name,  He giveth power to become the sons of God, and bestoweth upon them His Holy Spirit.  He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved.  Grant this, O Lord, unto us all.
Amen.


Wartburg Hymnal
For Church, School and Home, 9th ed.
Edited by O. Hardwig
Wartburg Publishing House
Chicago, 1918

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A Prayer of Jeremy Taylor

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O God, 
who hast called us to open our hand,
and thou wouldest fill it,
and we would not;
open thou not only our hand,
but our heart also;
that we may know nothing but thee,
count all things lost in comparison of thee,
and endeavour to be made like unto thee;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Jeremy Taylor
A.D. 1613-1667 

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Adoration and Intercession to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament

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O SAVIOUR of the world, Our LORD and Master JESUS CHRIST, Lover of Souls and King of Saints, we adore Thee Present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and we pray Thee to intercede for us, pleading the virtue of Thy Holy Life and Death.

   We adore Thee in the Mystery of the Incarnation, dwelling in all the splendour of the Heavenly Places, and worshipped by Saints and Angels as GOD of GOD, Light of Light, Very GOD of Very GOD, but on earth veiling Thy Glory as GOD made Man, even as in the Holy Communion Thou art hidden beneath the elements of Bread and Wine.

   We adore Thee in Thy Holy Nativity, lying as a helpless Babe upon the straw or asleep in the Virgin's arms, but ruling all things as Almighty GOD.  And as Saint Mary and Saint Joseph, the Shepherds and the Wise Men and all the Heavenly Host worshipped Thee in Thy Manger Throne as the Only Begotten of the Father, so we bend in loving adoration before Thee now, enthroned in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

   We adore Thee in Thy Holy Life: in Thy Home at Nazareth, in Thy Ministry among men, reviled and persecuted, weary, hungry and faint, often with no place in which to lay Thy Head, tempted in all points as we are and like unto us in all things, yet without sin.  And we pray Thee grant us grace to follow Thy blessed example, pleasing not ourselves, going about doing good, and bearing our Cross after Thee, Our LORD and Master, Our SAVIOUR and King, despised and rejected among men but the very Light of the world Whom we here acknowledge in the Blessed Sacrament.

   We adore Thee in Thy Death and Passion, in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy bitter trials before Annas, Caiaphas, Herod and Pilate, on the Way of Sorrows, and on the Cross at Calvary.  And we worship Thee, Our Most Holy Redeemer, covered with blood, dust and spittle, in all Thy pain and humiliation, Who didst patiently suffer all things for "us men and for our salvation," Who couldst have had legions of Angels at Thy side.  And we pray Thee, that we may be washed in Thy Precious Blood and receive to ourselves the pardon won for us, as we plead the Memorial of Thy Death and Passion in the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar and feed on Thee, the Lamb of GOD that takest away the sins of the world, as Thou givest Thy Body and Blood unto Everlasting Life.

   We adore Thee, Our Risen and Ascended LORD, Who didst conquer sin and the grave, Who didst rise again from the dead and take Thy Glorified Human Nature to the Highest place of Sovereignty and Honour at the Right Hand side of GOD. And we pray Thee that we may rise from our sins and ascend to lead a better life, seeking the things which are above and preparing for that wonderful life hereafter, when we hope to see Thee face to face, by approaching Thee here in earth in the Sacramental Feast.

O SAVIOUR of the world, may we ever adore Thee more and more, and never requite Thy love for us by coldness, carelessness or wrong-doing.  May we wholly give ourselves to Thee, Who wast all nailed to the Cross for us.  May we burn with the fire of love, the ardour of devotion, the fervour of zeal, adoring, glorifying and following Thee so that we may truly "see light in the Face of JESUS CHRIST."  As GOD may we worship Thee, as Man may we copy Thee, as Both may we be united with Thee in the Most Comfortable Sacrament of Thy Body and Blood, the very joy of existence here, the very promise of life hereafter.

GLORY, Honour, Praise and Worship be to Thee forevermore, WHO with the FATHER and the HOLY GHOST art One GOD, world without end. Amen.

Ave, Verum

HAIL, true Body, born of Mary;
Spotless Virgin's virgin birth;
Thou Who truly hangest weary
On the Cross for sons of earth;
Thou whose Sacred Side was riven,
Whence the Water flowed and Blood.
O mayst Thou, dear LORD, be given
At death's hour to be my Food.
O most Kind, O Gracious One!
O sweetest JESU, Mary's Son.


Fr. Knowles


The Practice of Religion
The Revd Archibald Campbell Knowles, DD
(of The Episcopal Church in the USA)
Morehouse-Gorham Co.
New York, New York
Fifth Printing 1954

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28 July 2016

French bishops: Day of Fasting on Friday, 29 July

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The Catholic bishops of France have called for a Day of Fasting on Friday, 29 July A.D. 2016 in response to the beheading and martyrdom of Father Jacques Hamel.

It is important to understand that Fr. Hamel died because his assailants hated the Christian faith and hated him as a priest of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  This was not simply an act of terror nor was it merely another murder.  It was the martyrdom of Fr. Hamel at the hands of those who hate the True Faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.

While other episcopal conferences have yet to call for solidarity with the faithful of France in the Day of Fasting on Friday, 29 July A.D. 2016, I suggest that in some way we share in the day of fasting.  

Perhaps a day of fasting is not possible within your responsibilities or with regard to your personal health, so please allow me to suggest a recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary or an hour with Sacred Scripture and in prayer.


Our Lady, Queen of France, pray for us.
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A Hymn of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa

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Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa of Portugal is not well known to many North American Catholics save for those of Portuguese backgrounds and others who have been touched by this holy one of God.  Her message intersects in a profound way with that of Sr. Lucia of Fátima, and faithful Catholics would do well to make her acquaintance among the holy company of the Blesseds of the Church.  The following is one of her ecstatic poems in praise of the Tabernacles of the Lord in our Catholic churches where the Lord's Eucharistic Divine Presence abides with us.


HYMN TO THE TABERNACLES

Oh my Jesus, I want each pain that I feel, each palpitation of my heart, each time I breathe, each second of the hours I pass, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles.

I want each movement of my feet, my hands, my lips, my tongue, each time that I open my eyes or close them, each tear, each smile, each joy, each sadness, each tribulation, each distraction, contrariety or trouble, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


I want each letter of the prayers I recite or hear to recite, all the words that I pronounce or hear to pronounce, that I read or hear to read, that I write or see someone writing, that I sing or hear to sing, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


I want each time I kiss your holy images or those of your and my beloved Mama, and your saints, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


Oh Jesus, I want each little drop of rain that falls from the sky to the land, all the water contained in the world, offered drop by drop, all the sands of the sea and everything the sea contains, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


Oh Jesus, I offer You the leaves of the trees, all the fruits that they mmight have, the little flowers offered petal by petal, all the little grains of seeds and cereals in the world, and everything contained in the gardens, fields and mountains, I offer everything as Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


Oh Jesus, I offer You the feathers of the small birds, their own warbling, the fur and the voices of all the animals, as Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


Oh Jesus, I offer You the day and the night, the heat and the cold, the wind, the snow, the moon, the moonlight, the sun, the sunset, the stars of the sky, my sleep, my dream, as Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


Oh Jesus, I offer You everything the world contains, all its greatness, wealth and treasures, everything which happens to myself, everything I use to offer to You, everything one can imagine, as Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


Oh Jesus, accept the sky, the land, the sea, everything, everything they contain, as if everything was mine and everything I could make use of and offer You as Acts of love for your Tabernacles.


Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, pray for us.
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27 July 2016

Pt. IV, Margaret Barker: A Walk through the Old Testament

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A Walk through the Old Testament, Part IV
with Dr. Margaret Barker

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