Today's Wisdom

When we meet a person truly in need, do we see the face of God?
Pope Francis

Handel's Messiah by Halleluja Chorus


An Elegant Hymn

Written by the Late Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III (in English My Throbbing Heart; in Arabic قلبي الخفاق )

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Today's Temptations

First, I wish to thank God for today is the Solemnity or feast of Christ the King in the Roman Catholic Church which is also the name of our parish of Jesus the King in Toronto. It is also an opportunity to congratulate Fr.Ibrahim El-Haddad and his Assistant Pastors for the spiritual care they provide to parishioners. I include here a commentary by Fr. George Farah on Jesus the King in 2008.

Second: ​I thank God for the life he has given me and the hope that many have in the Church in spite of the terrible temptations that accompany us today as Satan did with Christ our Lord. ​
The terrorism events that took place over Sinai in Egypt,Lebanon, in Paris and more recently in Mali have left an indelible mark on ordinary people ​and governments that they have entered a decisive moment of fight against global terrorism linked to the tragic massacres of innocents by Radical Islam whether in the Middle East or outside its geographic boundaries. 
I had to revise an article I was encouraged by the Jesuit scholar Fr. Henri Boulad to write in October last year as it can help other/new readers to be aware of the same truth...

This is only the beginning of calamities if people of good will do not recognize the signs of times and act decisively to turn things around.
If you look at our world today this is what you will see:
1. A global economic recession, never seen in its scope before. Millions have lost their jobs or are going to lose them - This is particularly critical for young adults who have just graduated from university or college but cannot find a permanent job in their careers AND requires Churches/Christian organizations to help ours where possible.
2. Israel and radical Muslims are making every effort to benefit from the situation in the Middle East in talking about  and planning a violent war - The Israeli government continues to impose harsh measures and barriers that restrict movement by Arabs in and out of the occupied West Bank which contribute to high unemployment among them  and could cause more revolts. The Arab Spring (over 4 years now) supported by the Obama government has failed to improve the lives of people it promised and was hijacked by Muslim extremists which in turn started wars of divisions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Syria and Iraq, killed many innocent Muslims and minority Christians (the scapegoat in Girardian language) and have created now an Islamic Caliphate in territories robbed by the largely-organized Islamic extremists - The IS imposes taxes on Muslim residents that it protects and benefits from oil resources it acquired in its expansion from Iraq to Syria while applying a strict version of Sharia;
3. A global political crisis, where countries of the European Union, particularly  Merkel's Germany, are accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria without screening for terrorists while Russia has ventured to save Syria by increasingly bombing Syrian territories taken by Sunni Islamists that are supported by America, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile Iran is attempting its surge into a regional power especially that America's Obama's government has eased its sanctions in the recent agreement with the blessings of Khamini;
4. A global food crisis continues to rage in Africa, South America and the underdeveloped countries caused in part by insufficient resources that are already controlled by local dictators and an increasing imbalance between the wealth of the North and that of the South caused in part by an imperialistic American free-market monopoly;
5. The most influential moral voice in the world, Pope Francis, has warned of a World War III in progress in a phone interview last Saturday.

Can we read the beginning of the end in today's events? We know that, according to modern Biblical scholarship, the book of Revelation was written in the late 90s, as Apocalyptic literature to warn Christians and give them hope in the persecutions of the 1st century. Having said that, let's look afresh at Revelation and see whether there can be any interpretation for our world today as well. Sometimes the same text can reflect a myth and a literal event too. Can this be the case here? The New American Bible Revised Edition (approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) in the introduction to the Book of Revelation says "The Book of Revelation had its origin in a time of crisis, but it remains valid and meaningful for Christians of all time. In the face of apparently insuperable evil, either from within or from without, all Christians are called to trust in Jesus' promise, 'Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Matthew 28:20)"

Revelation is a complex book, so I intend only to show similarities from the Book to what we are seeing today. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there are 5 important symbolic figures: The Lamb, the woman, and her seed; and opposed to them, the dragon, the beast from the sea, and the beast from the land.

Scholars dig deep into the Old Testament: The main idea is taken from Genesis 3:15. "I will put enmities between you (the serpent) and the woman, and your seed and her seed". The woman is arrayed in heavenly splendour; a crown of twelve stars on her head and the sun and the moon under her feet (cf. Genesis 37:9-10). She is in travail. Her first-born is destined to rule all the nation (Psalms 2:8, 9). She herself, and her other seed, are persecuted for three and a half years by the great dragon who tries to kill them. The great dragon is Satan (Genesis 3:1). He is cast out of heaven. With his tail he drags after him one-third of the stars. Taken from Daniel 8:10. The fallen stars are the fallen angels. The beast from the sea is in great part taken from Daniel's description of the four beasts (Daniel 7). It arises from the sea; has seven heads marked all over with blasphemies (probably a reference to Rome - City of the Seven Hills, called also Babylon or the Harlot in the New Testament since at the time it was the center of evil and idolatry for Christians). It had also ten horns, like the fourth beast of Daniel; it resembled a leopard, the third beast of Daniel, it had feet like a bear, the second beast of Daniel; and teeth like a lion, the first beast of Daniel. The great dragon gives full power to the beast, where all the world will worship it. The followers of the beast have its mark on their head and hand. The beast from the land has two horns like a ram. Its power lies in its art of deceiving by means of tokens and miracles. Throughout the remainder of the book it is called the false prophet. Its office is to assist the beast from the sea, and to induce people to adore its image.

The first act of the drama concludes with a promise of victory over the beast by the Lamb of God. We can safely see in the woman Mary immaculate whose seed is Jesus the Lamb of God. Other interpretations think of it as a symbol of the Church in her suffering and ultimate glory. The drama completes when the "New Jerusalem" is founded. She will need no light because the Father and the Lamb will be her light - the light of the Holy Spirit. A great number of people; thousands over thousands will be in the triumphant city. Meanwhile let's attempt to follow the visionary.

We can see in the Dragon the Devil. But who are the Beast and the False Prophet? The New Jerome Biblical Commentary in 1990 gives a contemporary interpretation pointing out that the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth have both mythic and historical references. Sea in the Old Testament is an opponent of God (Cf. Ps. 74:13). In Revelation, the beast from the sea is a mythical symbol of chaos and rebellion. The beast from the earth (13:11-18) is also a counter image to the Lamb. The beast from the earth is described as a false prophet, probably an agent of the Roman empire who promoted the cult of the emperor and the goddess Roma.

The following is my own interpretation based on my readings, but mostly based on what we are seeing today. I think, and I stand to be corrected, that the False Prophet is Radical Islam and the Beast is the materialist postmodern world of the West. We can consult the "Clash of Civilizations" that Samuel Huntington wrote in the 1990s, although this is not necessary.

The False Prophet: From a historic perspective, I do note that the human race was warned in 1917 by Our Lady at Fatima and that the "Third Secret of Fatima" was officially interpreted as the assassination attempt on the life of Saint Pope John Paul the Great. But may be that attempt was only the first of calamities that humanity will have to suffer as the sons and daughters of Abraham, Jews and Muslims, fight to death. Recall also that for 60 years now, Israel is back as one Jewish nation, and since 1967 it has reoccupied Jerusalem thus fulfilling the prophecy of the end of time attributed to Christ "and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Luke 21: 24). Furthermore, we can go back to the early 1930s and find the established "Muslim Brotherhood" which claims support from Muslims worldwide. But two centuries earlier Mohammed Ibn Abdel-Wahhab had preached a puritan form of Islam that forbids devotional customs such as shrines for saints and visitation of tombs. He and his followers made a pact with Mohammed bin Saud whose successors prevailed in Arabia and were given the land by the British after World War I.  Today Saudi Arabia, a rich Arab Sunni Muslim country, exports the Wahabbi/Salafist thought (with oil from its oil reserves) to other countries in the world and has its own agenda as a regional power. In addition since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been tirelessly exporting its strict Shiite doctrine to the entire Islamic world. In 1972, President Sadat released Muslim extremists from jail and was subsequently assassinated by one of their groups in 1981. By 1982, the motto "Islam is the Solution" had appeared in Egypt. It is no accident that the revival of fundamentalist Islam has spread in all the Arab world and the Muslim nations in spite of persecution by governments loyal to the West. From Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia,  Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India there is a huge following of fundamentalist Muslims. There have been incidents of fundamentalist rebellion in the Philippines (Abu Sayyaf). China too is in a defensive war against radical Islamists in the Western and Northern regions.

This is only a general picture. Now, I would like to give some details: Although many people are driven to think that this is a Western propaganda and political conflict, I believe that the Vatican would not have protested repeatedly in recent years against persecution and killing of Christians in Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, India, Algeria, and Egypt unless there was ground for such violation of human freedom and dignity. Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J. who lives in Egypt explained in 2002 that Christians there were being forced to convert to Islam and up to 20,000 conversions have been taking place according to the late Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Fundamentalist Islam today, spreading in Europe at a huge rate of 230%, is one of the major forces that Western powers had to deal with since 9/11 and is still unable to contain. The late Libyan leader Qaddafi was quoted to have said in 2007 that by 2050 Europe will be completely Muslim. Huge money is spent on building mosques and Islamic schools and supporting Muslim organizations in the entire world. Financing is coming from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Libya. In Ontario, Canada, the Muslim community attempted, in 2007, to have its own Sharia legalized for Muslims living in Ontario, but their attempt was declined. Add to this the violent character of such organizations as Hamas, governing Gaza in Palestine and until now refusing to recognize the right of Israel to exist, and Hizbullah which has a majority support in Lebanon since its victory over Israel in 2006. Iran, another regional power hopeful and opposed to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, is attempting to build its nuclear power and its leaders have vowed to extinguish Israel. Is this enough for describing a false prophet?

The Beast: This is the great desolation of Western civilization. If I have to explain it in detail it will take me a full week. Just briefly: It started with the Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Luther thought that every individual Christian is free to interpret Scriptures according to what he feels the Holy Spirit is telling him. This idea created "individualism." Individualism is rampant today, thanks to other modern philosophers such as the existentialist Sartre. Only me counts. "The other is my hell." It is interesting to note how this has been applied successfully in contemporary thought and technology too. Nothing is done in a vacuum. One thing you must understand is that we are all related in this cosmos. Following Luther in interpreting St.Paul, Calvin thought that God predestined people as he willed to heaven or hell so if they were destined to heaven they will also be blessed here on earth. John Courtney Murray, S.J. who was the main contributor to Vatican II's "Declaration on Freedom of Religion" wrote how Calvinism re-emerged in North-America. Calvinism was brought by the early Europeans to America.  Soon enough the idea of individualism combined with the idea of blessedness on earth and produced the idea of Capitalism long before Adam Smith thought of it in economic terms. In simple terms, if I am blessed here as a Christian, I would rather use all the resources available to me to realize this blessing on earth as much and as wide as possible. This is greed in the form of Capitalism. Sure I will help the needy but I will also help myself much more from what they have. The earth is mine and I will explore its richness to the end! Today, Capitalism rules the earth. Free market enslaves people. Recall the political and economic pressure by the IMF on the underdeveloped countries to free their economy in the 1980s and 1990s. What is the global crisis but the result of that greed globally? Why is the globe in economic recession today but because of the powerful wanting more power and meanwhile robbing the nations of Africa and Asia from their resources? It is part of the nationalist movements' claims in the underdeveloped world. The entire U.N. charter is only ink on paper...Along with Capitalism a twin ideology was born: materialism.

Since the Enlightenment in the 19th century West, philosophers and scientists have been asking whether there is indeed any reality beyond matter. Some great materialist/atheist philosophers include Hume, Voltaire, Marx, Carnap, Wittgenstein, Derrida, Michel Foucault and many others. The "New Atheists" of today such as Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss are scientists who devote much time attacking religion because they constrain their research to what is observable in the cosmos. In schools today, our children learn mostly what constitutes physics but very little, if any, about metaphysics (i.e. beyond physics).

Today we see how our consumerist society has invested in this ideology. Businesses flourish based on selling products to consumers. The more we consume the more business flourishes. This is the child of materialism married to capitalism. With globalization in the 1980s-1990s and beyond, large businesses and huge investors were able to reach the entire globe. Europe and the Far East imitated America and did the same. Who paid the price? Small business, and ordinary people like you and me. Materialism also bore the ideology of Communism which was carried out in Russia and persecuted religion from 1917 to 1989 in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Today Communism still lives in political pockets in Europe and is widely known under a more moderate name as socialism. Communism robbed people of their rights to private property. People became enslaved to the government of their land. It engulfed a whole generation of thinkers, even within the Church particularly in Latin America where people remain quite poor. Capitalist America supported dictatorial regimes in Latin America in order to suppress these movements.

Another twist of the moral order took place in the two World Wars. Because many men were sent to the battlefield women were forced to work in order to support their families. The radical feminist ideology was born  in the early 1920s and grew quickly in the 1940s and 1950s. Women started building their own career like men. Equality with men, not in dignity as known in traditional Christianity, but in all aspects of roles in business as well as at home was furiously demanded. This started the collapse of the family as we know it. Today we know many men and women who are, contrary to the moral Law, legally divorced. The feminist movement also produced legalization of abortion as the right of woman according to the land's law has a priority over the existence of the fetus in her womb. The Western civilization lost millions of unborn babies in this genocide. By the 1960s the sexual revolution was in the making, this time freeing people from the sex complex as defined by Freud. Soon afterwards, it became common that young people practice their intimate sexual "love" in the public with no shame. Today we know of couples who live together a life of sexual promiscuity and adultery without marriage or within marriage by prior agreement.

The last evil came under the influence of the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (died 1900). The ideology is known as Moral Relativism: Nietzsche sees the slave-morality as a social illness that has overtaken Europe — a derivative and resentful value which can only work by condemning others as evil. In Nietzsche's eyes, Christianity exists in a hypocritical state wherein people preach love and kindness but find their joy in condemning and punishing others for pursuing those ends which the slave-morality does not allow them to act upon publicly. Nietzsche calls for the strong in the world to break their self-imposed chains and assert their own power, health, and vitality upon the world. In Relativism (called also Postmodernism), everyone is right. There is no absolute right and absolute wrong. This helps political correctness in the pluralistic world of today.

In my humble opinion, we need to pay attention to the present, learn lessons from the past, and pray for the future. We seem to have lost our way between the False Prophet (Radical Islam) and the Beast (Western Civilization).

There is a tremendous thirst in the young generations for spiritual nourishment that gives meaning to their lives. Let us focus on those ones for their deprivation of spiritual nourishment leads them to emptiness and depression which in turn cause suicide or worse they could join the extremist Jihadists (as we already see in Europe and North America) and we end up having a crazy army of terrorists killing themselves and us in the name of God as prophesied "children will rise against parents and have them put to death"(Matthew 10:21). Churches are "not museums" according to Saint Pope John XXIII. They must be the light for nourishment of Christians, notably the young and (almost) lost generations, in everything that they need to learn to live spiritually and survive materially i.e. to develop in their knowledge and love of God and of others.Virtual websites for Church activities and online social networking need to be developed for those who are far.

The world needs a lot of prayer and intelligent collaboration in good faith to avoid a clash of civilizations and a third World War, something that Pope Francis warned about. Christians need to respect and love their fellow Muslims who worship the same God - The crimes of extremists cannot be counted against the vast majority of Muslims. We hope that the warnings of Fatima will be avoided. Mary is the mother of both Christians and Muslims, and as Bishop Fulton sheen said, Mary will bring them all to her Son.

But more prayers are needed to save the civilization of the West from destroying itself internally. This is the harder one.​ In that regard prayers are needed for Christian unity between the West and the East.​ We believe in what the Saviour said 'Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Matthew 28:20).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Hope of Humanity

For years, I have been receiving prayers every month from my friend the Franciscan priest Fr. Pio Farah. I hope it is not too late to reinvigorate the power of prayer as a most effective communication mean to heal us and our world through Divine love. All saints prayed and their prayers proved to be healing to those who needed them. A most recent healing has been attributed to Pope Francis (see In the Gospel, Jesus Christ, who is God from God, prayed to his Father for the unity of the Apostles (John 17) and in other times in thanksgiving to his Father (for example only see Matt. 11, 25; Matt. 15, 36; Luke 22, 17-20).
In view of the alarming rate of violence and suffering in the world, I have asked the pastors at Jesus the King Church in Toronto to consider having a prayer evening for unity of the human family and particularly for a concrete form of unity of the Christian family of Churches. Today I attended a beautiful Byzantine "Divine Liturgy" or Mass at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Alphonsus. Since 2005, Fr. James Reposkey, C.P.P.S. has inspired the concelebration of a Byzantine Mass once a year at the Church of which he is pastor. This is a movement in the direction of attaining full unity of Christians which has become a duty for all Churches to share in. The entire Mass was sung in English by the attendees under the leadership of Ukrainian Catholic nuns. I hope Arab Christians in Toronto understand why it is paramount that Masses and church activities become fully available in the language of the land. The youth and younger generations need to understand before they can participate.

Why is the above prayer important? Because of many threats that no political leader can face. The world is polarized. Only destructive weapons are being sold in excess which in turn can be funneled to terrorists.  The recent killings of many individuals over Sinai in Egypt, in Beirut, and in Paris have been claimed by the "Islamic State" (ISIS) or its terrorist collaborators. The above is in addition to daily killings of ordinary people in Syria and Iraq only because they happen to be identified by the extremist "ulama" as "infidels".

It was a great scene today as Notre Dame de Paris was full of faithful attending Mass in remembrance of the victims of Friday night (see: Lest anyone thinks that fear drives us to worship God, let us show that the universal Church is able to gather all her faithful from the for corners of the earth through Jesus Christ.

As Monseigneur J. Jules Zerey, the Archbishop of Jerusalem, said to us in September: Raise your eyes to God; for heaven is listening - Raise your hearts to him who made you participants in the Divine glory. Read his words in the Bible as taught by the Church - Meditate on his suffering, death and resurrection and always hope in him.

One last thing I ask, today and everyday kiss your family; If you are married kiss your spouse; kiss your children. If not, at least think of God's gifts; for life itself is God's gift to us. He shall endure for ever...And if faithful, we too shall endure with him.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Human Family's Gifts to the Baby of Bethlehem

As Christmas gets closer, our thoughts are directed to the Holy Family in Bethlehem. In the manger, humanity experiences God whose love for her brought Him from heaven. In the manger too, Mary feeds her son Jesus while Joseph watches on them to secure his little family. When King Herod looks to kill the new-born "king" Jesus, Joseph gets his family to escape to Egypt and live there until Herod is no longer a threat and the family is able to go back to the Holy Land. This is the Holy Family - Holy because they are for each other. But it is not only this family that is holy. In Christianity, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). Yes God is One according to the faith Christians received from Judaism and cherish, but how could He be love if He is alone?! From eternity God poured out Himself in love and thus begot His Son, an image of Him. God became a father when He poured out Himself and at this point He looked at his Son and experienced love. In his act of unlimited love, He emptied Himself and gave His divinity totally to His Son. The Son received His Father’s love and discovered that He has everything from His Father and He could not live without love, because life is love and nothing else but love. So the Son emptied Himself and gave all He has - all the divinity - back to the Father. Neither the Father wants the gift of divinity nor the Son wants it. Why? Because full love is giving and giving away oneself! In order to realize His fatherhood, the Father has to empty Himself - the Son after listening to the love whispering in Him, gives back His filial love to His Father. This dynamic force of love that pushes the Father to love and the Son to return His Father’s love with love is the Holy Spirit. Now, the true story is that this dynamic movement of love continues from eternity to eternity. The Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the eternal Holy Family in one God...

How far is the typical family today from the Holy Family? While the ancients regarded childlessness a curse, today abortion of unwanted children in the womb is easily obtained. While the ancients longed for progeny in order to live through them, today most women use artificial contraceptives to ensure there is no pregnancy after intercourse. Today, individualism, not individuality, stresses selfishness and facilitates divorce between married couples by enslaving men to their sexual desires of possessiveness rather than faithfulness to their spouses. Prostitution, the oldest industry in history, has become popular and attractive for the money it brings thanks to the superficial media accessible by every person including teenagers. Education of children and teenagers is no longer based on the moral requirement of virtue.  In Ontario, Canada, the Liberal Government has added this year a curriculum of sex education for teenager students that angered many faithful parents since it contains such practices as emphasizing "the importance of consent and discussions ((between students) about delaying or abstaining from any genital contact including vaginal, oral or anal intercourse." !!! 

Economically, excessive materialist consumerism has spread everywhere and, most recently, caused untold miseries to many middle-class families thus almost eclipsing society into two layers: a very small minority of very rich people and a large majority of poor people. The hardship of the family is no longer limited to raising well-educated and morally upright children, but rather the social failure of these children of finding jobs for which they studied and graduated after spending much money, often with their parents help. In such environment, Christian families need to grow, be good examples for the new generations and support each other and the world in every field because love is creative. This is the role, not of celibate bishops or priests, but of every Christian family.

In the world, the Christian family of Churches faces more persecution. In the West, materialism and atheism pervade society and challenge Christian morality. In the Near East, Islamic extremism has caused untold suffering to Christian families that the Christian family presence in the Middle East is threatened like never before. The Knights of Columbus (especially at Jesus the King Church), among others, are helping vulnerable families in Syria, Iraq, and the Holy Land through sponsoring and transferring donations from North America. In such environment, it is urgent that the Churches continue on the ecumenical path to renew Christianity in the full unity of Eastern and Western Churches.  

Today everyone must be concerned about the larger family; the human family. As the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis starts, let us think of the vulnerable, the needy, and poor and share with them generously of what we have.  Let us ask the God of love to forgive us our sins, and help every one, near and far including extremists, realize the true joy that is Christ. Christ is the light of nations and the blessing of the poor. He will enrich the hungry and bring peace to the fighting nations if we only believe and act on faith!

This Christmas, what gifts can we give to the baby of Bethlehem? In his inauguration, Saint Pope John Paul II said "Open your doors to Christ". Indeed, every person, every family, and every parish needs to open their/our doors to Him who risked to become one of us in order to save us.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hallowed be Thy Name...

Why do Canadians celebrate Halloween? "Halloween" comes from the Scottish "Hallowed Evening" i.e. The eve of celebrating saints and remembering the dead in prayers. The Lord's Prayer to the Father starts with "Our Father Who Art in heaven - Hallowed be Thy Name..." The Father is the Father of all of us who gives life to every person and loves all humans...On this day, we ask the saints to intercede for every person on earth, and ask God to forgive all, and have his abundant mercy on all the departed souls.

Halloween is linked to a Christian tradition. In my opinion, it is good to celebrate a day of  fun with masks and take young children to go trick or treat in the neighborhood as it generates innocent joy in their hearts and ours. But to connect it to the historical meaning beyond Dracula and Halloween, click this link - It is about defending Europe against the Muslim Turks who had just invaded Constantinople in 1453 (a theme that preoccupies Christians today with radical Islam) :

However, Europe today is no longer as Christian as it was then in 1453. At least since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the idea of individualism crept into the West. The Enlightenment followed the doubts of philosophers into criticism of everything including the existence of God.  And today, in the minds of many people here God does not exist, nor does Christianity make sense...Society descended into relativism. Everyone may worship or do what he thinks. The Ministry of Education in Ontario Canada has imposed a curriculum of sexual education that challenges Christian moral tradition in all public schools. Most recently, Catholic bishops gathered in the Synod on the family in Rome failed to show a clear direction for the Church on divorced and remarried Catholics and homosexuals as conservatives and liberals slammed each others ideas. In this atmosphere, does it make sense to call God "Our Father who Art in Heaven"?

I wrote about today's two anti-Christian forces: Radical Islam, and Atheist Materialism in the post  "Who Will Triumph" here.

This alone calls for Pope Francis to seek a form of Christian unity with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Probably such a union would moderate the tensions of individualism rampant in the West and help liberate Christians in the Middle East from persecution.

"Be moderate in everything except in love" Saint Augustine!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Corruption of Man!

[And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth." And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."] (Mark 10: 17-27).
This was the Gospel reading of today's Sunday Mass...Fr. Jim Reposkey, Pastor of St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Toronto, gave a fiery homily reflecting today's corruption in the competition to accumulate money and possess more power. "We all do it" he said referring to the "Pagan society" which Thomas Cardinal Collins described a few weeks ago. Fr. Jim Reposkey continued "Then who can be saved?" Who can be saved if Man continues to uproot nature and refabricate its components to his own selfish desires? Pope Francis eloquently wrote about it in hs encyclical "Laudato Si" (here).  Who can be saved if all what I care for is me? Who can be saved if, for political gain, we support the abomination of immorality? (Henri Boulad S.J. touched on this here). Fr. Reposkey concluded "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.". Give God a chance in your life. But this is only a summary. If I only count the number of moral failures we accumulated in this society, "aliens from  Mars" will be surprised that we are still alive. Last Sunday was "pro-life" Sunday, but how many of us care about the unborn children to stop legal abortion in Canada? (here).  And we have sex-education for kids 10 years old and older by a Liberal Government in Ontario. We know how teenagers exercise peer-pressure to force virgin girls into promiscuity and how love has become synonymous for sexual pleasure. The curriculum introduces homosexual life-style as an accepted social norm and encourages kids to masturbate in their early teen years as a healthy development! And worse of all the Liberal Leader contending for Federal elections has shown himself to be not only a radical feminist, but also a dictator in his own caucus who refuses the other opinion. He became very cordial with refugees by increasing the taxpayer's load without concern for our security that terrorists could infiltrate this land and open the gates of hell they have made of the Middle East and now in Europe. In the Niqab "fatwa" advanced by the NDP leader who supports a radical Muslim woman taking oath for citizenship without showing her face and thus raises the claims of Islamists to have their own Sharia Law in Canada, only the Conservatives seem to care about Christian moral values.  In this regard, the Office of the Refugees in the Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) (under direct instructions from  Thomas Cardinal Collins) cooperates with the Federal Government of Canada to speed up the process of  accepting qualified refugees applying from outside Syria. The Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto has already informed the Roman Catholic parishes in Toronto to participate in sponsoring 100 families from war-torn Syria (Project Hope). The number for the Greater Toronto Area in the Archdiocese may well be in the thousands. The Government has pledged to accept up to 10,000 qualified refugees for assessment over the next few months. Who then cares about moral values in Canada? 

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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