RELIGION, Uncategorized

HOLY WEEK MEDITATION.

Going through some anguish many years ago I went on a private retreat at a convent in the tiny town of Dardanup W.A.

In the chapel was a painting of Mary, the mother of Jesus, looking through a window at the vacant crosses on Golgotha upon one of which her son had been crucified.

My meditation thus was on the three who had stood forlornly watching their beloved suffer until he expired: His Mother, John the beloved disciple and Mary probably of Magdela. The rest of His band of Apostles had not attended – deserted by His closest friends. I knew the feeling.

But my feelings were as nothing compared to those three nor to the desolation that Jesus must have felt. Amid His suffering, the Messianic Lamb could find the strength to counsel the thief on a nearby crucifix, to forgive those who were doing this to Him and finally, to anoint His mother as the Mother of His Flock in the person of John: “Mother, behold your son”.

The singular person with the dual Natures – Divine and human, became our Savior. Yet, my focus was the thoughts and emotions of the desolate threesome whom He loved so much and they in return.

I sketched a facsimile of that picture and penned these words applicable to each of them:

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[From the Anthology: Verse and Worse. Pubished & printed by Emily Zimerle, 2013]

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ESSAYS, ISLAM, RELIGION

TRINITY. [guest post: D. Marwick]

The First Cause is a Trinity: no more, no less.

Most of us have been exposed to an image of “God” as a stern old man with flowing white hair and beard, sitting in a flash chair in the clouds, presumably tone deaf because of all the naked babies blaring trumpets all around.

How terribly difficult it is to create a visual image to represent an incomprehensible “Isness”. Who can draw a picture of I AM WHO AM? Sure, there are pictures representing God the creator, God the Redeemer, God the Judge…. and all that, still incomprehensible to the worldly-wise who assume that “God” is ‘becoming’ according to their fancies.

I start from pure logic: “A thing that does not exist cannot cause itself to exist”: and its corollary “an effect cannot be greater than its cause(s)”. Things (like you and I) obviously exist and we cannot cause ourselves. The Sun and all the stars do not cause themselves; indeed, they would not be stars if they weren’t dissipating themselves by pumping prodigious amounts of matter and energy into cold Space.

Everything that is changing or is changeable that exists must have an anterior cause that is greater than itself……… except the Uncaused First Cause. Anything else is logically absurd and scientifically impossible according to all the relevant Laws of Nature.

As we well know from bitter experience in the cruel physical world entropy runs the show. Every physical ‘happening’ dissipates energy and order.

For example:
The best (most succinct and precise) definition (description) of entropy is as it occurs in the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”; “All ordered systems, left to themselves, tend toward maximum randomness and lowest energy (potential or differential)”. That means that order naturally tends to degenerate into randomness (disorder) and energy potential tends to dissipate into a uniformity without potential because there’s nowhere of lower potential left to go to…

Because energy must be dissipated in the establishment and maintenance, or sustaining, of an orderly system some con men with an ideology to sell will try to pretend that the energy consumed in the process creates the order. A sly mental trick.

Let’s propose some practical examples to illustrate the process.

Most mothers like to have an orderly home. Order in her home requires:
1. An intellect to conceive the order.
2. The will to want the order.
3. The capacity, or power, to implement or bring about the order.

Now, that poor Mum who has been toiling away for years to install and maintain the order suddenly finds herself confronted by a clever-dick progeny who’s been to school and learned that energy spontaneously creates order. Smarty tries to convince Mum that letting off a bomb (great release of energy) in the middle of her expertly managed domain, will spontaneously create order and she’ll never have to tidy up again. Good luck with that one Smarty.

Or let’s lift great weights to great heights. An intellect comes up with an idea of a crane to do the job. Skilled minds and hands divert energy and materials to make the machine using entropy in every step of the process. Smarty, with the benefit of his recently acquired great insights, comes along and proclaims that –  because the energy to build and operate the crane comes, ultimately, from the Sun then –  the Sun built the crane. Now, I just happen to know for sure that Central Australia gets lots and lots of solar energy but not one giant crane has ever spontaneously appeared in the desert.

“Oh well”, counters Smarty, “that only applies to non-biological systems. Energy applied to biological systems creates an increase in order and complexity opposed to entropy”. Smarty has never heard of the “Law of Morphology” (which is really only entropy applied to biological systems) which says, simply, that “the more complex an organism and the more often it is reproduced, the more likely it is that something will go wrong in the process”.

So, the thousands of generations of drosophila (fruit flies) that have been subjected to every imaginable radiation ‘stimulus’ to produce ‘sped up’ ‘evolution’ have only ever produced some wreckage of their DNA or genome… not one super-human spaceman.

Ultimately, untold thousands of generations of diligent and wise housekeeping Mums are in tune with reality… the Smarties are not.

Order is a product of Intellect, Will, and Life.

So whence come this Life, Intellect and Will? We all know from simple observation that all these metaphysical ‘things’ or ‘stuff’ exist because we all have them and they order dumb physics and chemistry into live bodies, magnificent corals and cathedrals… none of which can create itself out of nothing.

Enter the Uncaused First Cause… that is, the ultimate cause of everything but Himself. He must be eternal because (by definition) He has no cause. He must be unchangeable because there’s nothing “big” enough to cause a change. He must be infinite because, outside, or beyond Him and His Work there is no more of anything.

This great Power (Life) must also be the great Intellect because “things” are carefully crafted to “work” as they do, and He must be the great Will because without the “I want it” there is no action, or result.

Most of us have some “idea” of who and what we are and, for most of us (diabolical narcissists excepted), our “idea” of ourselves bears some resemblance to the “fact” of self.

The infinite Being with the infinite Intellect, however, has an “idea” of Himself that is precisely what He is… no glitch or error. Everything the same. The Second Person; distinct but inseparably integral.
The First Person knows exactly Who He is and that knowledge is the Second Person, or “the Word” as sometimes called in Scripture.

So God “knows” the absolute perfection of everything which is Himself… and He loves that perfection that is the very definition of “goodness”. The greatest act of love is the gift of self. We see it in very muted form here on Earth with the gift of self in spouses and parents, and patriots. A gift must have a receiver of the gift and the receiver must be able to accept the gift. The First Person gifts Himself as does the Second Person and that gift of self to each other with no reservations or glitches or blips is precisely God in every sense. The Third Person.

There can be no more and there can be no less.

Any “God” that is not a Trinity, that is, the “God” of Jews and Muslims is a Satan pretending to be God. There is no possibility that a Supreme Being could not know and love goodness.

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RELIGION

SUNDAY REFLECTION on HALLOWEEN.

I’ve done some farm work over the years but helping out on my friend David’s farm was a religious lesson. David was one of those rarities who saw all activities as spiritual – sometimes annoyingly so, sometimes amusingly.

Having got his mob into a pen, he would announce: “Now my girls, it’s time to enter through the narrow gate,” making one of his oft quoted biblical references. Should one of the ewes breach his flimsy fencing, he warned: “And if any of you jump out I’ll be sending Angel [the Kelpie] after you.” He saw the fences as the ‘Law of the Lord,’ and should any be tempted by the thought of freedom – a false notion – he would send ‘Angel’ to round them up.

Crotching was the worst; both for me and for the lambs. Lifting sheep onto the machine was back-breaking and the blood and pained bleating was unpleasant. David as always was philosophical and explained the obvious: that pain is necessary to save them from the agonizing death that comes with being fly-blown, “Just as the Good Lord allows us all to experience pain, that we may become purified and stronger.” For me, pain was something I could happily go without.

But, what does this have to do with Halloween….. the ‘Holy Eve’, the celebration of the holy ones who have passed on and reside in the Presence of their Father, after whom we often say: “Hallowed be Thy Name”?

At the end of that day of crotching, friend or not, I knew David would offer some bartered-system recompense, which was a system that many in my circle used. I was expecting payment in the form of a bag of lupins or wheat for that was common, or else some feed for my own goats and chickens. That day he announced – even though it was not October 31 – that: “It’s Halloween, mate. Tomorrow I’ll be sending one of the ‘girls’ off to Sheep Heaven. Come by next Thursday and I’ll have a juicy leg and a forequarter for you.”

November is the month given over to remembering the Saints and to seeking their intercession for many of life’s circumstances. John’s Book of Revelation, for one, is replete with the Saints who, in their earthly life, obeyed the call of The Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who guided them to life eternal.

They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

Coming Home

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RELIGION

SUNDAY REFLECTION

I have been in the habit of posting a ‘Sunday Devotional’ to facebook for my friends, via ‘Fellowship of The Minds’ blog but it now comes in too late for Australian consumption. Instead, I humbly submit an excerpt from that facility from Fb known as “Here are your memories from 1 year ago”.

Following its posting I was asked: “If you believe this, why do you write hatefully about Muslims?” The answer is of course that I do not hate Muslims or any others, but I do criticize the Islamic ideology which promotes the hatred and persecution of non-muslims and demeaning of women:… the general versus the specific.

REFLECTION:

Whether we believe in a Creator or if we are atheist, there is one reality…..all of us are the same species – human – and all of us walk on the one earth, and breathe the same air. Beneath our various skin colors, our size, our gender, our looks and our beliefs we all share a heart, brain and other bits. And we all share the very same fate of death.

Life is our greatest gift whether accidental or gifted in love. Our next greatest gift is free will and the future of US is determined by how we will to live. This is why the greatest sin is to deny another’s free will….by taking their life or unjustly treating the other. The starving mother and baby in the desert of Ethiopia has little free will as all her efforts are spent on finding food and water. Thus, the greatest virtue is charity [ agape ], which is bringing ourselves and others to wholeness and goodness [holiness ], whether that be in our family, as an ascetic monk or as a politician.

When Jesus’ followers told him that his family was outside the house waiting to see him he said: “Who is my mother, who are my brothers and sisters?”

PRAYER: [Responsorial Psalm; 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time]

I will praise your name for ever, my King and my God.

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RELIGION

THE POPE & ISLAM.

FOREWORD:

A brief word to introduce this article by Pamela Geller which criticizes Francis’ apparent appeasement of Islam.

Pamela suggests that Francis has departed gravely from the attitude of Pope Benedict in Benedict’s Regensburg Address of 2006. In his address, Benedict cited faith and reason as doctrinal foundations compatible to ‘logos’ – God as the Word; the God which later named Himself “I AM”. Before later investigating how the development, even the deconstruction, of Hellenistic thought as well as Kantian philosophy supported the implications of the very nature of ‘logos’, Benedict cited the failure of Islam’s compatibility to identify truly with the God of Revelation. In essence, he claimed that conversion to faith in the monotheistic God through violence was antipathetic to ‘The Word’ which existed infinitely. [He exemplified the idea by citing a conversation between a 15th Century Byzantine Emperor and a Persian interlocutor, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

The Address can be found here, but is not vital to the crux of this issue: https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/it/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg.html

This small excerpt of Benedict’s address had dire repurcussions, followed by persecution, death, and a demand for an apology and recantation [which, unfortunately, was offered by that Pope]. Since Benedict’s abdication, the words and actions of his successor, Francis, have been overtly appeasing and, as such, troublesome to many Catholics. Do note before reading the Geller piece that the meme of “foot washing” is rather misleading since au fait Catholics understand the liturgical symbolism of this activity and would not see it as appeasement necessarily. And so……

The Vatican Submits to Islam (2006-2016)

isis pope2

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