Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Family - Part 1

The human family is at the centre of all cultures since the beginning of the homosapien species. This is a natural development of creation. In the animal kingdom the family starts with mating between the male and female. Humans are “developed animals” with a mind and a will. In that sense they are created in the image of God. In ancient texts, the Bible recounts the first family in Genesis with the relationship of Adam and Eve (male and female). “Adam knew Eve” (according to Genesis) did not mean that he knew her name or something about her. The language indicates experience of the other person in a deep relationship. Adam experienced Eve as no one else did emotionally, physically, spiritually and existentially. From their love relationship sprang their children. The children of humans have physical and genetic resemblance to other animals (they share 98% of the DNA with chimpanzees) but they are different in other significant ways. Babies of humans are totally dependent on their parents for survival for many years. Although the human baby comes out from his mother’s womb with a large brain, he cannot walk for at least 6 months. However while other animal babies can walk earlier and climb trees fast, only human babies learn to behave differently with time. This is the result of a different larynx that allows humans to speak and develop their language thus they communicate easier and faster. Moreover humans have the most complex brain in the universe containing 100 billion cells in each child’s brain. You can see that humans are highly complex with minds that not only can think but also can will to do things as they choose. Because humans as young as a few months old can choose, they can say yes or no to their parents. They can also choose to accept or reject to love their siblings (brothers, sisters). This is probably what Augustine called Original Sin. It is that I want myself: my growth: my life even if it is at the cost of killing others. My parents are as important to me as much as I need them. I love them because they loved me first. My siblings are only important if I can get them to do things for me. However I love them too as they resemble in traits much of what my parents had. Cultures developed around the concept of me, my family, and my tribe. The more the tribe grew together the more it became stronger. This is called collaboration. The individual belonged to the family and the family to the tribe (society) and the tribe was headed by the chief or elder of the tribe. Thus civilizations came as a development of tribal interactions, trade, and collaboration. But the fact that collaboration and organization make sense allows humans to learn together and from each other. Schools and universities are only one phenomenon of human learning. This learning starts in the family at a very young age. When children are ready to develop their writing, their parents send them to school. And schools used to be built by churches in the Western world and part of the Middle East until the contemporary secular state took over much of what the Church built. It is a fact that the Church built the first schools and the first universities in Europe and learned from other philosophies particularly Greek. Today then we need to learn from the Church. This is the foundation of the moral law that we as parents transmit to our children. Then we need to send our children to good Catholic/Christian schools where they learn more about their faith. Then we need to encourage our children to come to Church from their early young age using the reward system. This way they will grow up in Church.

A life that appears to have been a failure!

His entire life was in giving. His healings meant to cure people of afflictions. Although he was accused by teachers of the Law that he healed by the power of Satan, his healing drove out demons and brought peace to the healed ones. His teaching was summed up in loving the enemy and praying for the offenders. Yet his life ended on a cross where he died between two thieves. His own disciples left him except for his mother and a few followers. All the crowds who shouted for him as their king cursed him a few days later on the way to the cross. And despite this he forgave them all. If he did not claim to be the Son of God he probably would not have been condemned. How could he be silent when he was to witness to the truth? Suffering to death on a cross was the most horrible way to die invented by the Romans. A life that appears to have been a failure in all human measures. Nevertheless his crown was a glorious Resurrection and Ascension that over centuries brought kings and multitudes to him. Now we know that the Crucified One who failed in the eyes of Man is the One who made his coward disciples conquer the world in his name. Glory be to Jesus the King!

Today's Quote

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


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