Saturday, June 21, 2008
Who is God? That was a question that Robert Wright asked Professor Fr. Lorenzo Albacete in an interview a couple of years ago. And the great theologian’s answer was simple: God is The Mystery! This is how St. Paul refers to God in the New Testament. The Mystery is not a riddle we try to solve. It is not a problem we have to find a solution to. The Mystery is like an ocean we move into – the more we get into the ocean the more the horizon gets further. We cannot comprehend God. We can experience God but we cannot fully put him in our little minds. And when Wright pressed him about it, there was a more surprising asnswer: Wright: Yes and I mean I gather one of the things you're up to is trying to talk about God in ways that make sense in a modern, intellectual... I mean, if you look at the Bible, there are some very anthropomorphic descriptions of God. There are descriptions of God sitting in a throne...Lorenzo Albacete: Yes.Wright: ...now, that's probably not the way you conceive of God...Lorenzo Albacete: No - no. Wright: ...but I guess one question I have is: how much can you modernize your description of God before it starts sounding too vague to have great emotional impact on people. I mean ... terms like "the transcendent" and "the infinite," they can mean a lot of things to a lot of people and I assume that you yourself as a believer have a somewhat more specific conception of God. Well, what is your... in other words you have a conception of God that is consistent with those terms, those are attributes of the God you think of but you think of something more when you think about God...Lorenzo Albacete: Yes. I think of a concrete human face...Wright: You do?Lorenzo Albacete: Jesus Christ. Lorenzo Albacete was a physicist specializing in cosmology before he became a priest. If you wish to see the full interview it is here: http://meaningoflife.tv/video.php?speaker=albacete&topic=complete
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
While I was attempting to add a video to the blog, I came across the videos by Dr. William Lane Craig where he talks about the Big Bang, and the fine-tuning of the universe according to the Anthropic Principle (on www.leestrobel.com). And I uploaded to Google the 6-min. video "Why God Exists?" But when I wanted to add it to my Video Collection on the blog, another video by yet another celebrated Professor, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, popped up too. So I chose it. It is in fact part of the DVD "Has Science Discovered God?" produced by the Institute for Metascientific Research in 2004 which we showed in the Church in May. Dr. Schroeder, as you know, is a physicist from MIT. And in his video, he speaks a bit about Quantum physics which is still not well understood until now by many great minds. In fact this year, Canadian scientists are participating in a multi-billion project which will be run by the Large Hadron Collider in the European particle-physics laboratory (CERN) at Geneva. The project's purpose is to find the Higgs boson, dubbed the "God Particle." by the media. The M-string theory by Edward Witten stipulates 11 dimensions in existence, 4 of them are observable by humans, and Dr. Hugh Ross thinks that God uses the 11th dimension. The "New Physics," coined by Prof. Paul Davies to refer to quantum physics, is marching on to find God. Will scientists find God? Let us just quote the pro-atheist The Economist concluding its article on the current high interest by scientific research in religion and God (March 19, 2008 issue) "Maybe, therefore, it is God who will have the last laugh after all—whether He actually exists or not."
Sunday, June 15, 2008
In the past two weeks we watched the 25th anniversary movie of the Soufanieh movement. Myrna Al-Akhras Nazzour, a Melkite Catholic in Syria got married to an Orthodox Christian in 1982. In the same year her life changed. Oil poured from her hands and body and she claims to have seen the Blessed Virgin Mary, and our Lord at different times, and claims too to have had the stigmata, the wounds of which were watched by many people, especially in the Holy Week when both Catholics and Orthodox celebrate Easter together. Myrna visited our parish in Toronto in 2002 to a throng of believers. After a short prayer the oil poured from her hand and she blessed the attendees with it on their foreheads. She has now followers in the Middle East, France, Canada, Australia, and many other countries. Many sick people were healed through her ministry. Myrna’s mission, through letters, she says, are dictated to her by Christ and his mother, appears to be the unity of Christians through repentance. When we are celebrating Father's Day today it is fitting to remember Myrna’s message. If fathers are considered heads of their families, then the feast is the Family's Day. This is exactly what Myrna is about regardless of any supernatural phenomenon. She invites the family to be one, and when the family is one united, then it is a domestic church. It becomes a cell of the Church. How we can tell whether this is theologically sound, we will have to wait until Rome speaks. But a little guide may be helpful. Yes, it is helpful to note Myrna's true humility and humble yet beautiful thought. She is supported by many bishops including the former Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, who saw her unexplained phenomenon. Her call for unity is coming at a time when the Church has been seeking for decades, since Vatican II, to open up to the Christian "separated brethren", to cooperation with other religions and even to atheists who have the good will. It is also helpful to note that the movie features sincere people such as the late Fr. Maalouli and Fr. Zahlawi, together with Fr. Adel Theodore Khoury, the great Melkite theologian whose writings were quoted by the Pope in Regensburg two years ago. And this squarely puts the whole story in a Melkite perspective. The Melkite Catholic Church is the Church that is called here to be the bridge for Christian unity, particularly with the Orthodox Churches...Indeed for the unity of all humans. References: www.soufanieh.com