A place for Catholics who don't find their Catholic identity in the standard definitions. "He drew a circle that shut me out. Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in." Edwin Markham
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
A textbook definition of intention characterizes it as ‘a purposeful plan to perform an action, which will lead to a desired outcome’, unlike a desire, which means simply focusing on an outcome, without a purposeful plan of how to achieve it. Intention implies purposefulness — the projection of awareness, with purpose and efficacy, toward some object or outcome. (http://www.theintentionworkshops.com/?p=25)
One of the best works on intention is Wayne Dyers book "The Power of Intention". I strongly recommend getting a copy of it and literally consumming what is written in it. It WILL change your life.
The power of intention in effective prayer cannot be overemphasized. Most people believe incorrectly that faith is the key to effective prayer. Faith is certainly important, however, faith determines the effectiveness of prayer. Intention determines how the answer will manifest.
The challenge is in identifying the “real” intention. It is not unusual to hear participants early in a class espousing “My Intention is … (la la la la la)”. My response is “I’m not interested in what you say now. In 3 weeks I can look at your life and tell you exactly what your intention is.” That usually gets the "I just stepped in something wet and sticky" look.
The challenging part of setting intention is to know what the real intention is, because it is the unconscious intention that creates the manifestation. The conscious intention will manifest only as much as it is in harmony with the unconscious intention.
THE MOST COMMON REASON PRAYER APPEARS TO BE UNANSWERED
IS THAT THERE IS A BELIEF OR AN INTENTION THAT IS NOT IN
ALIGNMENT WITH THE PRAYER
A person who attempts to set an intention to manifest prosperity for example, will frequently manifest everything but prosperity initially. This is because there is a contradictory unconscious intention that is something like “ … don’t deserve it” or “ it will never happen for you because ... ” or some other form of negative self talk or hidden fear that is really running the show.
Many get discouraged at this point and give up. However, this is actually a good thing, this is the breakthrough point. Once the real underlying intention is revealed and identified, then and only then can the work of transformation really begin.
(to be continued)
Jesus made us a promise:
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything they ask it will be done for them
by my Father in Heaven (Matt 18:19 RSV)
The assignment at the end of this segment is each day for a week, to spend time in prayer and meditation and to claim this promise for yourself with the following prayer:
Thank you God for gently revealing to me those things that prevent me from praying effectively and from receiving the blessings I deserve as a child of God.
Keep a journal of whatever comes up.
Monday, September 29, 2008
EVERY PRAYER IS ANSWERED “YES”
Yes, that is correct, EVERY prayer is answered YES.
Now, before the obvious knee jerk explosion erupts, stop for a moment and set aside everything you think you know about prayer.
Ask yourself: “What if this is correct, what if every prayer really is answered yes”. “What would that mean?”
If you google “prayer” today, you will get over 8,000,000 hits. If you go to Amazon.com and search for books on “prayer” you will get over 350,000 hits. The volume of literary works devoted to prayer is staggering. Yet, with all of this, the most common question I hear as a minister is still “why wasn’t my prayer answered?”
I chose this topic today because we have reached a point where we are on the threshold of major expansion of our spiritual awareness. We have reached a point where a significant number of us are poised to move deeper into our mystic path. Others are or soon will be stepping forward on their own paths. The experience for each of us will be different, but the basis of it will be the same: a deeper, richer, more intimate awareness of our true unity, our true oneness with God.
It is essential as we make that transition, that we develop the ability to connect directly with our creator in a powerful, meaningful way. There is no one right way. The path for each of us will in some ways be similar and in some ways different. There will be one common factor however, some form of effective prayer will be an essential part of the process.
How do we start?
All of us know how to pray already. The church has taught us multitudes of prayers, all of them can be effective. Other spiritual beliefs have provided us with techiques such as meditation and chanting. These can also be effective. All of us have created our own formats and even though we don’t realize it, they are effective as well.
The truth is that all of us pray regularly, and all of us pray effectively, we just don’t realize it. Every time we say “I’m afraid …”, we have made a prayer. Every time we say “I cant because …” we have made a prayer. Every time we say “It makes me sick thinking about ….” Every time we say "I could never ...", we have made a prayer. If there was emotion in the statement, and if there was belief in what was stated, the prayer was effective and was answered.
(take some time to think about this)
One of the central components of effective prayer is faith.
Another component of effective prayer is intention.
There is a very simple formula for answered prayer:
INTENTION + FAITH (belief) = ANSWERED PRAYER
Whenever we prepare for prayer, the questions to ask ourselves are: “what is our true intention?” and "what is the underlying belief behind our prayer?”
(to be continued)
The Legend Behind the Praying Hands
The most often reproduced and widely known of Albrecht Durer's works is the gray and white brush drawing on blue-grounded paper of the Hands of the Apostle, known generally as 'The Praying Hands' by those who do not even know the German artist's name.
Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.
Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.
After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.
They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.
When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to honor his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you."
All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no ...no ...no."
Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."
More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.
One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."
The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one--no one--ever makes it alone!
Quoted from: "A Better Way To Live" by Og Mand
Sunday, September 28, 2008
One of the most magnificent engineering accomplishments of our time is the Large Hadron Collider. The figures on this structure are staggering. A tube 4+ meters in diameter (in some places as tall as a 6 story building) 27 km long, constructed 50-175 meters below the surface. The other equally amazing stats can be found at:
The magnitude of this structure is amazing. The complexity is way beyond my comprehension. Even more amazing is that it worked when they started it. Yeah, I know, it blew a gasket shortly afterwards, but still ...
In the shadow of this magnificent accomplishment, we are facing some of the biggest challenges we have ever faced individually and as a race. Challenges that have the potential to destroy us. Why is it that we can create a marvel like the LHC, a marvel that took 20 years to build, yet fail so miserably at engineering a lasting peace?
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”. (Jn 14:27 RSV) We repeat this verse in some form each time we celebrate Holy Communion. It is a central part of Catholicism, a central part of the gifts we receive in the eucharist.
In Jesus’ words, peace is not something we have to struggle for; it is God’s gift to us. If we already have it within us, why then is peace so elusive?
As Christians, we believe that through the Holy Spirit, there is within all of us the ability to center our thoughts and feelings in peace so powerfully that we are not moved by conflict. This is the gift that Jesus has given us. It is the same gift that was given to Daniel as he faced the trials of his captivity.
Yet, as a whole, we do not use the gift. As a whole, we do not have peace in our families. We do not have peace in our communities. We do not have peace in our congregations. Why?
Jesus was very specific in John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do.
Jesus was a peacemaker. We are commanded to do the works he did, and even greater works.
I offer this post today as an opportunity for all who read it to take some time to reflect. Why is peace such an elusive quality? What can we do today so that peace truly begins with us? What can we do today so that we fulfill John 14:12?
What can we do today that will make a difference.
It only takes one voice to change the world.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Gas shortages: get ready for more
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- While Congress and Bush administration officials have been working to complete a bailout plan and stem the financial contagion on Wall Street, a different kind of economic crisis emerged across the South this week: A severe, hurricane-related gasoline shortage has curtailed trucking from Atlanta to Asheville, N.C., and created a wave of panic buying among motorists.
The return of gas lines has largely flown under the radar of politicians who are usually keenly attuned, because their constituents are, to what's going on at the pump. But more of the Capitol gang should be paying attention to this. (Now isnt that a novel concept, Congress is not paying attention to the reality their constituents have to deal with on a day to day basis. I wonder what they ARE paying attention to? Or perhaps the question should be: who is paying them how much for their attention?)
That's because nationwide our gasoline inventory is shockingly low. Liquidity must be restored soon to this market, or we could be facing a crippling run on the gasoline bank. And if you think Americans are outraged about Wall Street, wait until their Main Street grocery store doesn't get the bread and milk delivery for a week or two. (This sounds a lot like the fear mongering sermon one would expect to hear at a fundamentalist revival, different issue, but the same style of rhetoric. " Accept Jesus as your savior before it is too late")
In Georgia, Gov. Sonny Perdue got a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily allow stations to sell high-sulfur gasoline. … In Alabama, Gov. Bob Riley ordered a state of emergency to prevent price gouging by station owners that do have gas. (One can always count on a crisis to bring out the best, and the worst of human nature. Why is it that the worst always gets the press coverage?)
But while the current shortages can be traced directly to the two hurricanes, the severity of the problem points out a bigger issue: The U.S. has been operating for a while with razor-thin spare gasoline capacity.
None of this surprises industry watchers such as Matt Simmons, the chairman of Houston energy industry investment bank Simmons & Co. and chief spokesman for the Peak Oil movement. I recently wrote a profile of Simmons for Fortune and I can report that he has been warning about the potential of gasoline shortages in the U.S. for months. (No doubt he has, but why haven’t we heard about it? Why weren’t our elected officials at all levels anticipating the problem and taking steps to minimize the impact? Anyone having flashbacks to New Orleans?)
"Our system is so fragile," he told me recently. "All you need is a tiny change to go from 'Oh, we're in fine shape' to an unmitigated disaster." (That is one of the dangers of the “just in time inventory” philosophy that businesses have been operating under for several decades. “Just in time” is basically order the raw materials so that they go directly off the delivery truck into the finished product. Among the benefits, it saves money on warehousing, lowers taxes on inventory, and reduces labor costs. Congress encouraged “Just in Time” by changing the tax laws to penalize companies for keeping inventory warehoused after the end of the fiscal year. Once again, our elected officials created the foundation for this disaster.)
Simmons points out that the gasoline weekly stock reports have been trending sharply downward since last winter (with a brief upturn in the spring), and that even before Gustav and Ike we were in "just in time" supply mode. (Inventories are down, company profits and bonuses paid to top executives are skyrocketing … do you suppose there is a connection? Possibly the creation an artificial shortage to keep the prices high, and to keep profits and bonuses high?)
Getting back to a safer level of extra capacity isn't simple, either. Once the refineries get back up and running, they'll drain the already low crude oil inventories. Unless gasoline demand stays low, Simmons believes, we'll have a hard time clawing back to stability. (Translated to English, the oil companies are not going to cut into their profits or their bonuses just so that the working people who pay for those bonuses can be spared a bit of suffering.)
That's why he worries about a top-up catastrophe that could cripple the trucking industry and disrupt food deliveries. ( More fear tactics, everyone is going to go hungry unless we do something – [what congress and the president want] – and do it fast!)
As he told me the other day: "If we end up having gasoline shortages, the odds are about 90% that Americans will do what we always do: We'll top up our tanks. And in topping up our tanks, within three or four days we'll drain the pool dry and then within seven days we'll run out of food." (More fear)
That sounds awfully dire. (Dire!!! To me, the possibility of an economic collapse, being stranded somewhere with no food, facing the possibility of mass starvation and the chaos that would ensue, that sounds absolutely terrifying!) And it probably won't happen. (Then what was the point of bringing it up the way you did?) But, then again, a couple of months ago hardly anybody would have predicted that AIG would collapse, Congress would be mulling a Wall Street bailout, and '70s-era gas lines would be back. (Oh, so you could bring it up again and have one more chance to scare the hell out of us.)
This was not the article I had originally planned to post today, but when I read it this morning, it so clearly illustrates the core issues that we are facing, both in the church and in our society. We have one group that is creating problems, a group trying to keep us from knowing that there is a problem, a group exploiting the fear factor for personal gain, a group who are terrified victims, ... one could say it is simply more business as usual in our country, just a different scenario now.
What is present is fear. Lots of it. What is conspicuously absent, at least in the article, is love.
Anyone seen my rubber duckie?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Rubber duckies to the rescue
Most of us remember this famous song:
Rubber Duckie you’re the one,
You make bathtime lots of fun,
Rubber Duckie I’m awfully fond of you
Rubber Duckie, joy of joys,
When I squeeze you, you make noise,
Rubber Duckie you’re my very best friend it’s true
Oh, every day when I, make my way to the tubby
I find a little fellow who’s cute and yellow and chubby!
Rubber Duckie you’re so fine,
And I’m lucky that you’re mine.
Rubber Duckie, I’d love a whole pond of,
Rubber Duckie, I’m awfully fond of you!
Oh, every day when I, make my way to the tubby
I find a little fellow who’s cute and yellow and chubby!
Rubber Duckie you’re so fine,
And I’m lucky that you’re mine,
Rubber Duckie I’m awfully fond of you!
Words and music by Jeff Moss
First broadcast 2/25/70
The cute little critters that we all know and love made headlines today. Already famous to multiple generations for bathtub fun, duckie now stands on the threshold of new fame, accomplishing something that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sophisticated electronic equipment failed to do ….. track where the runoff from glacial ice melt ends up. The full story is at the following link:
I’m using this as my first posting today because
1) duckies are just plain fun, and we all need to laugh
2) it illustrates how sometimes we unnecessarily complicate life, when the simple things, the simple solutions prove to be the best. In this case, scientists created a variety of complicated and expensive instruments to track the water flow from the glacial melt. All of them disappeared without providing any reliable information.
Who would have thought, that our dear rubber duckie would be the tool scientists used to unlock the secrets of the glacier ice melt.
Where Have The Catholic Healers Gone
From my perspective the Church has done everything it can to prevent it's gifted from doing as Jesuse did, to stamp them out, to assign them as products of Satan. Medjugorge is just another example in a long line of examples. There is something out of the ordinary going on at Medjugorge and the visionaries are gifted. Discernment is not limited to whether or not they report Mary to be spouting the correct Catholic dogma. While the Church dithers over these issues of doctrine and dogma, ordinary people are experiencing deep conversions. That too should be part of the discernment process.
Of the group of us from Helena going to New Mexico, too many are ex Catholics, and only one has Native blood. It's frustrating for me to know that our talent is recognized by Native American practitioners, but would be held at arms length at best, by the clerical representatives of our birth Church.
That's the way it is folks, but as more and more scientific verification comes forward concerning human capabilities and the nature of the cosmos, maybe this is a place where reason needs to guide faith and we will have finally come full circle. We'll be right back to seriously looking at what Jesus said we could do and be, and it will only have taken us two millennia to refind our Catholic healers.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The Art Of Healing
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Opus Dei Bio Medical Science To Compete With Lay Version
Set in 30 hectares, the Biomedical University campus comprises a teaching hospital and university. It has 28 laboratories - a number set to increase - 18 operating theatres, a heliport and 400 beds. It will eventually employ up to 300 researchers and there is fierce competition over its degree courses. Last year, more than 1,200 people applied for 80 places to study medicine.
Clergy and lay people accuse the group of being secretive, controlling, misogynist and ultra-conservative in its theology. It also had ties with authoritarian regimes, with some members attaining seniority in Franco's government. (Maybe all of these aren't accusations, but truth.)
It shot to prominence in 2003 with the publication of The Da Vinci Code. Two characters were Opus Dei members, and both were sinister and devious, with one practising self-mortification, fuelling the idea that it was an extremist movement.
Given the group's perceived reputation, campus staff play down affiliations with the movement, insisting there is no obligation to be members of Opus Dei or even Catholic, although the staff are expected to adopt and respect its values. (Since secrecy is one of those values, I imagine this facility will be the epitome of academic freedom---NOT)
Paolo Maria Rossini, director for scientific activity, is not a member, although the president of the board and a former papal spokesman, Joaquin Navarro Valls, is.
Rossini said: "We don't hide ourselves under the thumb. We are Catholic by declaration. Stem cell research will never be done here. But nobody is going to check how many hours you spend in church." (I'm more concerned about the validity of the research, not how many hours researchers spend in church.)
Rossini's objective is to develop the research facility's capacity to rival secular scientific institutions, devoting enviable resources to neuroscience and oncology.
"When science is going very close to life and death we need good research to be able to compete with lay research," Rossini said. "The impact of science and medicine is a multi-faceted challenge and one of many frontiers the church has to face." (Science is value neutral. It's about repetitive scientific truth. It is not about competition between competing philosophies of truth. Good research is good research, period.)
His mission bears a Vatican blessing. Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, secretary of state and the second most senior official in the Roman curia, inaugurated the campus this year.
He reminded assembled dignitaries of a key papal belief - that medical science must respect life - and told them: "Here you must transmit the gospel through your professional work, aided by modern technology.
"You have to make your voices heard in the world of science without renouncing the non-negotiable values of the human patrimony." (It sounds like Cardinal Bertone is confusing science with Vatican definitions of secularism.)
But Opus sceptics noted that Pope Benedict XVI did not attend the campus inauguration and interpreted his absence as a snub. There was also thinly disguised glee when the Vatican replaced Navarro Valls with a Jesuit priest as papal spokesman.
It was seen as a blow to the privileged status enjoyed by the group under the papacy of John Paul II, who was so captivated by Opus Dei's aims of sanctifying secular activities that he called them a "great ideal" and canonised the founder, Saint Josemaria Escriva, in a manner deemed unusually rapid by Vatican standards. (Some of us think JPII was enamored by something else entirely concerning Opus Dei--like their fascist and authoritarian theology and structure.)
The late pontiff's enthusiasm was a root cause for resentment and suspicion. Under Joseph Ratzinger this emotional connection has cooled. (This is one of the biggest reasons I'm developing a fondness for Benedict. He doesn't seemed to be all that thrilled with theocratic fascist organizations.)
The campus will help to fulfil Opus Dei's vision of creating a white-collar Catholic elite. Typically, members are intense, intelligent and highly motivated, said John Allen, from the National Catholic Reporter and author of a book on the movement. (I thought I just wrote something about caste systems. Maybe I'll have to write more.)
"There is an ethos of excellence that is part of the culture. If you buy into the philosophy that your everyday work is a service to God then you will do that work really well."
The group's ability to mould articulate, intelligent, successful individuals accounts for its profile and influence, which is disproportionate to its numbers yet allows it to punch above its weight.
Allen says the campus is also a way to inject a note of calm over Opus Dei by providing opportunities for positive encounters with members. "It has carved out a niche that appeals to people who want to live a serious religious life and have the same level of commitment as a priest or a nun. (I wonder if it's all that Opus Dei molding that precludes these people from becoming a priest or nun, and that allows them to subordinate their godly work to Opus Dei leadership.)
"It is about evangelising the profession, bringing a spiritual depth to work. They are interested in bringing a Christian approach to law, politics, architecture, so it's no surprise they're doing it with this campus." (It isn't about Christian, it's about Opus Dei theology and philosophy, so it is no surprise they are doing it with an Opus Dei bio medical research facility.)
But one former member, Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, believes that Opus Dei has a covert agenda to its activities. He was a member for 22 years, joining in 1969, and was one of those closest to its founder. The group's overall aim is to recruit, he said. (Recruit for what and for whom. Can't be Jesus. He wasn't into forming an 'elite' group of white collar intelligentsia.)
"Covertly it's to have something to which you attract leading scientists and persuade them to join. But it's hard to know who belongs and who doesn't because they're encouraged not to tell you. You don't know what they're up to." (Guess what Father, you're not supposed to.)
Former members seek out Felzmann, a priest in the London diocese of Westminster, for pastoral care. He concedes that Opus Dei contributes positively in the fields of education and healthcare, yet remains concerned by its impact on individuals who break away.
"When you meet people who, as a result of Opus Dei, give up religion and don't want funeral prayers to be said, then that matters." (Not to Opus Dei. These apostate people are no longer 'elite'. They are self made failures.)
He said he was saddened, rather than bitter, about the group. "When Christianity and fascism embrace you get Opus Dei. It was born in a time of fascism. They don't teach respect and love for others." (BINGO.)
But Opus Dei continues to grow. Success in Spain, Italy and Latin America has emboldened it to embrace Russia, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Vietnam.
Such ambition is not cheap - the campus cost around €30m (£23.5m) - and Opus Dei receives funding from the European Union and the Italian state for some initiatives. It also has benefactors, sometimes non-members, who finance activities. One Jesuit priest argues the group is "putting its money where its mouth is" by wanting to excel in morally acceptable areas.
Father John Paris, Walsh Professor of Bioethics at Boston College, said: "They want to be leaders. They would love to win the Nobel prize. If you're working in cancer research and can choose where to go, you'll go to the best.
"Opus Dei is committed to having an impact on those they think will be influential and successful. Why do people go to Yale or Harvard? Build a bigger mousetrap and better people will come. They want to play with the big boys." (I wonder if this was intentional on Father Paris's part, or just a Freudian slip. Mouse trap indeed.)
Monday, September 22, 2008
Caste Systems And Christian Persecutions
"The father of the nation brought freedom to India, freedom from British rule. Sadly, however, Mahatma’s struggle for liberation in India is not complete".
"Gandhi always preached equality", he recalls, "he never tired of saying, 'We are all children of God', and those blinded – who were unable to understand him - killed him".
"The work of Gandhiji is not complete. Today, our beloved motherland India is in a certain sense in a worse situation than in the days under the British regime. India has to be liberated from these forces - the forces of darkness which are burning Christians, raping nuns, killing innocent Christians, destroying and desecrating churches - India has to be liberated from them. These forces instigate others to choose to live their lives in the way of darkness and their deeds are death, division and destruction".
"The central government is taking certain steps in the right direction, and invoked article 355 of the constitution. The opposition to this article 355 is also politically motivated. God writes straight even on crooked lines, and something good will come out of this, truth shall prevail".
"In the words of our Mahatma: 'They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me - then they will have my dead body, not my obedience'. And in Orissa, our priests, religious and lay people have endured this, and they are witnesses of the light of Christ". (Invoking article 355 essentially threatens the state of Orissa with Federal control of the state.)
"We are only instrument of the Risen Lord, we must look at Jesus on the Cross, forgive our enemies, and we shall see that these enemies will be defeated, overcome. The Cross is our strength, we are elected to be witnesses of the Resurrected Christ, and this has a very strong link to our symbol of freedom 'Satya Meva Jayate', meaning 'Truth Alone Triumphs', which is written below our national emblem - one of the national symbols of our freedom".
"No one lives in a vacuum, we are proud Indians. Gandhi lived the Gospel values, he conquered the British empire, so our ancestors immortalised for all eternity on the national symbol of our freedom the line 'Satya Meva Jayate'. Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi fought against the power of force. In Orissa and the other states ravaged by certain extremists forces, forceful powers were unleashed on the innocent Chrsitians, causing death and destruction for the minority Christian community".
"Gandhiji’s work his work is yet to be completed. His struggle was for liberty for India and it will be this strength of courage in self-sacrifice and forgiveness that will be for the benefit of all. This is the beginning of something new, for India, for the Church and for the world. Violence, terrorism and hate will be overcome: Truth Will Prevail - Satya Meva Jayate".
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Greed, The Gift That Keeps On Taking
In my view, we need to go forward in addressing this financial crisis by insisting on four basic principles:
a) Impose a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue;
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Jumbled Thoughts About Politics and Hunting and The Seamless Garment of Life
If they win, we're looking for another country to move to. Its barely liveable in the US now. Can you imagine what the Palin/McCain administration will do for the United States??????????
Angels, Angels Everywhere
Guardian Angels Are Here, Say Most Americans
By David Van Biema Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008
Dominic DiSaia / Getty
More than half of all Americans believe they have been helped by a guardian angel in the course of their lives, according to a new poll by the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion. In a poll of 1700 respondents, 55% answered affirmatively to the statement, "I was protected from harm by a guardian angel." The responses defied standard class and denominational assumptions about religious belief; the majority held up regardless of denomination, region or education — though the figure was a little lower (37%) among respondents earning more than $150,000 a year. (These are amazing statistics. You don't very often find a phenomenon that crosses all the usual boundaries.)
The guardian angel encounter figures were "the big shocker" in the report, says Christopher Bader, director of the Baylor survey that covered a range of religious issues, parts of which are being released Thursday in a book titled What Americans Really Believe. (Amazing how those angelic types are the shocking common denominator.)
Sociologists may need further research to determine how broadly the data should be interpreted. The Baylor study tested other statements that might indicate a similar belief in the supernatural intruding into everyday personal experience — "I heard the voice of God speaking to me"; and "I received a miraculous physical healing." But far fewer people claimed to have had those experiences. This raises the possibility that guardian angels, which famously support an industry of sentimental accessories, are just so darned attractive that they exist in a charmed belief niche of their own. (Of course, there is another possibility, and that is that they actually exist.)
What's interesting about the Baylor findings on guardian angel experiences is that they cross all boundaries. They have scriptural writ (in Psalm 91 and elsewhere). They are clearly experiential. And guardian angels are a prominent part of Catholic belief that happens to float freely outside of a sacrament. The cross-spectrum legitimacy of the notion of angelic interventions may free Americans to engage in the kind of folk faith that is part of almost any religious system but is not always officially acknowledged. (It may also free Americans to admit angels exist and they are not denominationaly challenged. And more than that, they work with DEMOCRATS as well as republicans.)