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, December 31, 2013

The New Year 2014

The new year 2014 is almost here. All kinds of predictions have already been made. But who can guarantee anything?

1. The negatives: No one predicted an ice-storm that has affected many businesses and homes in Canada at Christmas and beyond.  Yet I chose not to write about it because we always have hope in a better day. I found out how little is my care about others when I am in a difficult situation. We scrambled to get out of the house when electricity was no longer available and digital communication was cut-off as a result. In spite of the blessings we have and the relatively more comfortable lives we lead, my own survival here matters more to me than anything else. Of course I thought of the millions stranded in tents under snow in Syria and Lebanon because of the wars and conflicts. Of course, I remembered the thousands massacred in many parts of the Middle East and elsewhere and can write pages about solidarity with suffering victims but does anyone here care? On the contrary, most likely the ones suffering will greatly want to escape their suffering. And recently there were more explosions in Russia following those in Lebanon, and more gun fire in Syria and Egypt. At our every-day level, I know people who had tragedies of separation, harsh sickness or death in the family this past year in a number of countries. Healing needs more than a strong will because we have memories. Who is able to end suffering or enmity? Funny how we exchange greetings of good wishes at Christmas and the New Year, yet we are hardly able to take the place of the ones who need them most. I deeply feel that I do not deserve to be called Christian or to be a follower of Christ because in spite of my knowledge about him and the miracles I receive every day from him, I hardly know him or acknowledge his continuing love. Having read a few chapters written by the great 13th century mystic St. Gertrude, I wrote to Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J. that in my weakness I understand why atheism is so attractive.

2. The Positives: I received consolation when I watched a recent lively homily by Fr. Henri Boulad on Holy Family Sunday December 29, 2013. It is on YouTube in French here. Fr. Boulad shows real examples "At the end of the scholar year, young students looked for their parents to pick them up...Samir finds his mother among hundreds of mothers and his smile suddenly is large! His mom finds him and for her there is only one Samir in the world - 'He is my son'. Only one mother matters to Samir. Parents and children matter to each other. Everyone in the family is unique. Everyone has a role for the others." In a study in the U.S., babies were put in beds and nursed by professional nurses, yet in 6 months half of them had died, said Fr. Boulad. "The problem was that none of these babies felt the unique love of the parent. This is how God treats us...He calls each of us by his name. In Holy Communion, you receive God as a unique child of God. In the Melkite Church, the priest says your name when he gives you the blessed sacrament. God is not only there. He is present like your mom is present. God too is a family of Father, Son and Holy Spirit eternally in love. This is the origin of the family. When God created man and woman he gave each a role for the cultivation of the family and the continuation of humanity. Woman is the heart of the family and man is its head. Man and woman are equal in dignity but have different roles in the family based on love and respect. Before you love each other, respect each other. Respect the space of each other.  It is not easy to have a family because a family must be patiently constructed. If you want to destroy a nation, destroy the family. This is the Devilish plan of certain ideologies in the West. The family that reflects the Trinity is the fundamental structure in the universe because God too is a family."
Based on readings from the revelations of Christ to St. Gertrude, it became clear that I need humility, patience, and much prayer. We all need, to attain a fraction of her inner peace and holy life, to dedicate time for deeper contemplation in the Christian mysteries and messages found in Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church.
I found much solace in a spiritual lecture given by the late Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Shenouda III on the spiritual exercises in 1991. Pronounced in Arabic with subtitles in English, it can be found on YouTube here. I had written two blogspots on the contribution of this charismatic patriarch when he passed away here and here.
Last night, I had a correspondence with Most Reverend Archbishop J. Jules Zerey in Jerusalem on the NeoCatechumenal Way, which numbers some 1 million lay members and families all dedicated to evangelization of Christians in services to parishes but they are also sent to Africa and Asia for founding missions.
Today, Jesus the King Council of the Knights of Columbus published our 2013 Christmas and New Year Bulletin. You will find many charitable activities mentioned including the Jerusalem Students initiative providing sponsor assistance to Students at the Patriarchal College near Jerusalem, which earned the International Youth Award in August 2013, the Food for Syria initiative which sponsors food, medicine and shelter for needy people in Syria due to the sectarian war, "Biblia Competition for Teenagers" a bi-weekly Jeopardy-like game which allows teens to participate in parish-based Biblical Q&A with prizes for winners, and a supplement about Pope Francis. 

3. Research: For friends interested in scientific and Biblical research, see The Quantum Synthesis, The Development of the Idea of God in the Bible, Game Theory, and the following selected TED Talks: Mat Ridley: When ideas have sex, Robert Wright: Progress is not a zero-sum game According to Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J. these two talks contain much of the ideas developed by Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
Other online resources that I researched recently:
Pontifical Academy of Science; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America;  Uncommon Knowledge (Hoover Institute, Stanford University); Coursera; AAAS

The new year 2014 is almost here. We hope it will be a year of peace for everyone.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Coming of Christ

I have been terrified recently by the massacres of innocent people in the raging sectarian war in Syria as I received videos of these violent events by human beings against human beings who share with them the same land. Many other terrible things took place in the Philippines, Mali, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. And I add Canada too in the scandals of the blame game between the Mayor of Toronto and his Council members.  My reaction was to turn to the good news of those few men who, having won the lottery in Canada, decided to share the gains with many persons in need. Although they did not wish to steal the camera light on TV, their good news were given top coverage. They include Tom Crist who donated the $40 million he won in Lotto 649.  In the news too, there was a good story of a woman saved from the attack of a bear in Western Canada by a neighbour. She was rushed to hospital and had an emergency surgery, Erin Greene survived. See the story here:

The only way to keep your sanity is to receive, adopt, and communicate good news. We must stop the blame game which Adam pronounced against God "The woman whom you put here with me--she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it." (Genesis 3: 12).

However, I wish to relate the above to the good news of Christ.

When I was 14, our teacher of Arabic talked proudly about a certain Arab who went to study in Paris a century ago. According to the teacher's story this Arab man explained to his European counter colleagues in a restaurant how to eat. "Rather than using spoons and forks, my spoon is my own hand and my fork is my fingers..." after which, according to this Arabic teacher, coming from a primitive society,  his European colleagues dropped their spoons and forks and used their hands instead. This could have been a little joke had not the teacher meant it with utter seriousness in the time of the Pan-Arab leader Gamal Abdel-Nasser. 

But Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, gives a much different view in his best-selling book "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined." His book was published in 2012. I bought it and was reading it then when my eyes pointed one of his findings. Professor Pinker gives a reason why the knives we use at table are not sharp-edged but rounded. He says that centuries ago the European societies adopted such edge-rounded knives. The reason is simply to reduce violence that often erupted at restaurants when hot-blooded men got into a match of fight at petty things and ended up using their knives against each other which harmed the other person and caused more violence because of the death in such incidents. 

Professor Pinker claims in his book that all the 20th century conflicts put together (including two World Wars) caused less  damage than any previous century. He backs his claims with formidable data collected from historical sources.

Why I believe in collaboration with people of good-will is grounded in such historical development. It does not matter whether they believe in Christ or otherwise are Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Skeptics, or declared Atheists. If Christians truly live up to the calling of Christ, there will be many less anti-Christian attitudes by moderate people.  In a debate with George Cardinal Pell of Sydney in 2012, Richard Dawkins, Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford, well-known evolutionary biologist and an avowed New Atheist, admitted he does not support the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest. For Dawkins, human moral values are more valuable for the advance of global society than blindly endorsing survival of the fittest. The entire debate is on YouTube and can be viewed here:

America, Canada and the European Union have entered into talks of Free-Trade agreements that may see the light in one-two years.  It is not because Americans like Europeans but because economists and governments in both continents see the usefulness of better trades that should bring a more collaborative  exchange of better ideas and their implementation for their people. Likewise Canada is on a trade deal with China. The rest of the world must join collaborative efforts to better human lives with justice where possible. 

Slowly but surely, humanity should be advancing in the development that the Jesuit priest and scientist Teilhard de Chardin predicted in the 1940s and 1950s.  In spite of our own failures, the advent of Christ in the so-called Omega Point is slowly taking place. Let us contribute to the development of the civilization of love and life from here into eternity. The joy of Christmas is more than bells ringing in churches or gifts wrapped under a tree in our homes. The Church is alive in all continents but needs all Christians and people of good will to advance her mission by the grace of God. God works in those who following the dictates of their conscience and the teachings of the Gospel, transform their world.    

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's a Game!

When I was young, I used to play soccer with my brothers and friends. Every time we won a game I felt victorious! But games are not only in sports. You will find a game in every action a human can take. A man who dates a woman is taking a risk and so is she. Both ask the question: Is the other person fit for me?  The same kind of probabilities is encountered by a student when he participates in exams to graduate. In spite of all the advances made by medical sciences, we do not guarantee our lives to last in this world. Can you?

Most of us spend their lives in playing a game or more. However, since we, like animals, are aggressive, we will not let go...I want this money and you too want it. Let's play!
The ancients figured out the destruction that results from excessive gaming, when the selfish gets out of control, and developed laws to protect their societies.

Game Theory is a title of many studies undertaken by strategists in economics, business, military and space agencies whose objective is to find the optimum action for the party of interest. These complex plans are mathematically-based, but since they involve decisions by minds against opponents or at least to survive an adverse condition, they are probabilistic in their nature and outcome and involve a degree of risk.

A typical game is the so-called "Prisoner's Dilemma". The story is told in "Schelling's Game Theory - How to Make Decisions" by Robert Dodge published by Oxford University Press in 2012.

"Two men are arrested and put in prison because the police are sure they have committed a crime together, which they have, in fact, done. The two are placed in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with each other. The police are aware they do not have enough evidence to convict the two of the crime for which they were arrested. They can, however, successfully prosecute both on some lesser charge, such as illegal possession of firearms, which carries a one year sentence. The only way to convict them of the more serious crime is for the men to testify against each other, so each prisoner is individually offered a deal: If he cooperates with the police and his partner fails to cooperate (defects), he will go free and his partner will get three years in prison. Each is told that the same deal is being offered to both, and if they both testify against each other, they both will be sentenced to two-year terms. Each prisoner is concerned only with his own welfare, which is minimizing his time in jail." 
But if each prisoner acts only out of self-interest, he risks vengeance by the other prisoner in the longer-term.

A simplified explanation of Game Theory can be found here and a more in-depth study can be viewed in lectures by Professor Ben Polak at Yale University here.

The psychology of Game Theory is evident in the decision made by Nelson Mandela. During his imprisonment over 27 years, Mandela faced the reality of human misery. The more pressure exercised from international political forces against apartheid, the more it was likely against all odds that he will be granted his freedom. But freedom for him meant more than only his own freedom.  He thought of his options if released. One option was to call on Black South Africans to retaliate against White minority with boycotting of their institutions and violence against them and their properties. His other option, the hard one, was to forgive those who imprisoned him and call on his Black people to collaborate with him and the government for a peaceful transition to a state that recognizes the equal status of all races. He could no longer think of Black Africans alone. Nelson Mandela became free when he chose to forgive all who persecuted him and his collaborators. Mandela chose to take the risk of collaboration with his enemies because he knew that a better independent South Africa depended on a collective conscience that allows for both Black people and White people to live and grow old together in the same land and that also, out of self-interest, the long-term prospects for South Africans lie in their cooperation with all. His love of his people, practiced in the worst nights in prison - probably similar to the dark night of the soul as expressed by St. John of the Cross in the struggle of the soul that seeks union with God - opened the road to take the risk of love towards others. It is in this darkness that God was sought. Nothing was/is certain. Only hope endures...Or let's look at the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15, 11-32). The younger son knows that he is hungry and has very little chance to survive. Yet out of his self-interest or his love of himself he decides to take the route back to his father's house. He is not certain but he takes a calculated risk as he intends to work as a servant in his father's house in return for getting food and shelter. The good surprise in the Parable - probably uncommon - is that his father not only accepts him but celebrates his return.  An important aspect of the psychology of Game Theory is to put yourself in other people's shoes. Only when you are in other people's shoes will you appreciate their dilemma and collaborate to solve them.

In a talk last Friday with Dr. Brian Baker, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, he indicated the recent findings in neuroscience that point to the importance of collaboration. We are related even if we are not consciously aware of this. See also Quantum Synthesis.

The solution to many problems is a matter of relating to others, collaborating with them where possible, forgiving the past and building lives together. But the greatest solution is the hardest since it has to do with experience of solidarity in both suffering and joy. In love, I always start with myself and move out to the other(s) i.e. to God implicitly if I am not a believer and explicitly if I am a believer. This is the beautiful insight of St. Bernard of Clairvaux on the Four Loves (Read it here).

If our lives here are full of calculated risks and games and if we suffer greatly without justice, what is it that we need to be assured of joy? Probably the answer is not in a game of risk but in trust that Christ in his eternal love generously outpoured and continues to outpour on every one if we can only see! This God is able because his life is love. It is his birth which Christians now await!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beautiful Minds

Recently I learned that Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J. has just celebrated 50 years of priesthood. What a magnificent contribution has he made in communicating and writing in quite a number of fields of knowledge and, above all, in reaching out in his missionary work to those strangers to faith, to us of little faith, and to the little ones and forgotten. His powerful sermons and retreats remind us of such passionate preachers as St. John Chrysostom and Jean-Baptiste Lacordaire.

The giants in thought and deed have been with us since time immemorial. A rough sketch of some great contributors to the development of knowledge would definitely include Confucius, Gautama Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, Solomon the author of Biblical "Wisdom", St. Paul, Origen, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Athanasius, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Maximus Confessor, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Gertrude, St. Albert the Great, Pascal, Descartes, Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, John Henri Newman, Charles Darwin, Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, Pope John Paul II, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrodinger, Werner Heisenberg, Edward Witten, Peter Higgs, Manfred Eigen, Stephen Hawking, Carl Jung, Jean Piaget, Antonio Damasio, Steven Pinker, Jaroslav Pelikan, Mircea Eliade, René Girard, Andrew McAfee, Samuel Huntington and many more.

However the rough list could not be complete without mentioning the "Angelic Doctor" Saint Thomas Aquinas. First, the volumes of thought he wrote and taught in Europe's 13th century universities are such an immense undertaking that squarely places him as an encyclopedia over his learned contemporaries. Second, Thomas was responsible for inaugurating the scientific exploration of nature based on his synthesis of Aristotle's thought with Christian thought. In his eloquent book "The Passion  of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View" Richard Tarnas recalls St. Thomas significant contribution to the development of civilizations. Third, among the great thinkers, St. Thomas is a formidable mystic too. Shortly before his death, he was praying after Mass and dared to enter his head into the tabernacle out of such abiding love for Jesus. There Thomas had a sudden vision and said afterwards that all what he wrote was a "straw" compared to what was revealed to him in the tabernacle. He stopped dictating any more work and died a humble holy person on his way to the Council of Lyons.

Beautiful minds are not only those of great philosophers or scientists, but also those imaginative minds of inspired artists, writers and musicians because they communicate the beauty of the work of God to fellow creatures. But above all, beautiful minds are those of ordinary people that in their everyday struggles they never lose hope of love...Beautiful are those that care about their families, friends, colleagues, citizens and enemies too as did Nelson Mandela in South Africa in imitation of Christ.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Love Your Neighbour

In the cosmic evolution, the incarnation of Christ marks a turning point as God, in his only Son, fully enters human history. The entire cosmos is sanctified by Christ. Not only is Christ sent to the Jews, but to those considered strangers and Gentile nations. Christ reached out to the Samaritans considered enemies of the Jews and the Canaanite woman who worshiped Baal and whose child he cured (Cf. John 4; Matt. 15). The message is further manifested in Cornelius, a devout Gentile, to whom Peter announces the risen Christ (Acts 10). The power of Christianity is not in its rapid expansion but in its message of love that extends to the enemies. Christ loved his enemies to the end in spite of their evil actions in which they mocked him, spat on him, put a crown of thorns on his head, and crucified him with criminals to death (Cf. Matt 27; Luke 23; John 19). Yet, on the cross he forgave them and asked his Father to forgive them (Luke 23: 34). Today, on the path to follow Christ, Pope Francis continues his striking care for the needy, the marginalized and the poor. In his Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" Francis not only calls on the rich to share their resources with the poor but urges a structural reform of dominant free-market economies. Challenging the free-market ideology, he further writes "Today everything comes under the laws of competition and survival for the fittest" and finds the reason for the current global financial crisis in "the denial of the primacy of the human person." Humans are relational. They always live together. In the early Church "There was not a needy person among [Christians], for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need." (Acts 4). For the above reasons, we are called to love in action i.e. share of what we have and invest in the poor and persecuted. Let's focus on at least one horrible place today: Syria. It was on the road to Damascus that Saul, a Jew who persecuted the disciples of Christ, received Christ in a vision where Christ's light blinded him. He regained his sight through Ananias. All of Paul's initial preaching after his conversion - the man who will convert nations - takes place in Syria where today Christians are threatened by yet another violent war. Only think of the millions in Syria who had to escape for their lives to neighbouring countries with nothing of their belongings, or of the hundred thousand victims who fell in the war. Facing a program of islamization in the Middle East, that is supported by global powers and extremist rich Islamists, poor Christians in Syria and other countries need everything we can give. It is with this in  mind that Jesus the King Council of the Knights of Columbus has just launched a project "Food for Syria" at where all can help real people in need. The Office of Refugees in the Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) has also started sponsoring  refugees from Syria where more Christians can help. If we are not able by ourselves to reverse a global economic crisis, at least we can collaborate to reduce the suffering of many Christians and non-Christians.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pope Francis: Another Alter Christus?

The word "Alter Christus" in Latin means "Another Christ." Although all priests can each claim that he is an "Alter Christus" by virtue of his service in the Eucharistic celebration in Mass, only one person in Church history was given the title "Alter Christus." This was Francis of Assisi, the 13th century Italian holy man who in spite of his wealth rejected the glory of the world, begged and traveled to non-Christian nations in order to preach Christ, wrote poems of his love of God and all humans and showed in them respect of natural beings, was the first who carried in his body the wounds of the Crucified One (called stigmata) and, by the grace of God, founded one of the most vibrant, largest and enduring orders known as the Franciscan Friars. Francis of Assisi was inspired by the Crucified at San Damiano Church to rebuild his Church. Although Francis took it first literally and rebuilt the little church with wood, he shortly understood that Christ's call was for Francis to rebuild the ailing entire Church of God - something that Pope Innocent III understood in a vision when Francis requested approval for his Franciscan Order.

In March 2013, the first Pope to carry the name Francis was elected to succeed Benedict XVI as Roman Pontiff. On the night of his election on March 13, 2013 Pope Francis showed an extraordinary opening to people and crowds when from the balcony of St. Peter's Square he asked them to pray for him and bless him. A Jesuit theologian, Pope Francis reminds us of Jesuit theologians who have contributed significantly to the contemporary development of Biblical, theological and scientific studies in the Catholic Church: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in research of a universe deeply connected with Christian faith and salvation in Christ; Henri de Lubac in "Ressourcemment" of the Fathers of the Church and the recognition of God's active Spirit in all humans; Karl Rahner in Transcendental Thomism and his "Anonymous Christian" proposal; Hans Urs von Balthasar in his visionary work on salvation of non-Christians; Jacques Dupuis in his work on the Church and pluralism; Avery Dulles in models of the Church; Carlo Maria Martini and Gerald O'Collins in Biblical scholarship; and George Coyne in astronomy. But how were those Jesuits to influence the thought of the younger Jesuit who became Pope Francis at the age of 76? Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Flores, Buenos Aires the son of an Italian family that had immigrated to Argentina, he studied then worked as a chemical technician before following his vocation to be a priest. Ordained priest in 1969, he was Argentina's Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he was appointed Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 he was made a Cardinal by John Paul II. His humility, concern for the poor and thrust for dialogue of the Church with other faiths have been demonstrated in his own down-to-earth daily life (e.g. living in a humble apartment) and in his encouraging steps to work with the marginalized and sick in the slums. While always supporting the Church in her policy on such moral issues as legalized abortion, legalized same-sex marriage, divorce and trafficking in human beings, he nevertheless felt close to persons afflicted with them. Starting his pontificate with his desire to see a poor Church for the poor and his preference for talking to and serving ordinary people whether visiting those in prison and in hospitals, praying with handicapped, or tweeting on Twitter, he immediately attracted the youth and impressed the media when he participated in the World Youth Day held July 23-28 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and had a surprise long press conference on his way back to Rome. In August he was exclusively interviewed and his interview was published by some major Jesuit publications ( His theology seems close to Karl Rahner and Henri de Lubac but he is more than a theologian; for he approaches events and people as his mission. All of this could be interpreted as sentimental wishes. The real test of this pontificate lies in a number of issues that the Pope must deal with:

1.  Internally. He was elected on the expectation that he will reign in and end the scandals that ravaged the Vatican in recent years especially the handling of the Vatican's finances, the so-called Vatileaks, and corruption in several clerical appointments in Rome and elsewhere that pointed to favoritism. Pope Francis immediately established a commission to look into the finances and other corruption cases. A few charges have been laid over misconduct. Of the most notable changes are the investigation of a Vatican Bank accountant, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, for allegedly laundering money, the financial report released by the Vatican Bank that showed efforts by the Vatican to be more financially transparent, the retirement or resignation as Secretary of State of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, blamed for many of the gaffes of the papacy of Benedict XVI as well as the suspension in October of the German bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-Van Elst of Limburg who was spending $42 million on building his own residence. The Pope seems determined to clean up the mess he inherited and reroute the Church's finances to help the churches in need.

2. Increasing violence in the world especially the threat of Islamists to end, or significantly reduce, Christian presence in the Middle East where the first Christians lived and preached and their offspring survived in spite of persecutions for nearly two millennia. In spite of an Apostolic Exhortation by Benedict XVI in 2012 calling on Muslims and Christians to respect each other's lives, militant violence continues to harm ordinary lives. The militant Muslim Brotherhood members are still contesting the legitimacy of the new government in Egypt, burning churches and smuggling weapons through the terrorist organization Hamas. A sectarian war in Syria has ravaged many cities where Christians and Muslims have lived together for many centuries. Extremist Islamic terrorism has also been manifested recently in Mali, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and the Philippines. Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco have seen despicable scenes of massacres against innocents. And Lebanon is under division since Hizbullah and other Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims continue to fight each other. Meanwhile the Prime Minister of Turkey, Erdogan, attempted to revive the Ottoman empire and imposed Islamic restrictions while at the same time betting to enter the European Union. At a grand scale, governments of the powerful military nations particularly the U.S. and its allies on the side of the Islamists against Russia and China on the other side continue to provide military support to their partners in the hope of expanding their own empires and markets regardless of losses of lives. One theory that emerged recently claims that the intent of the Western powers is to keep Islamic terrorism in the Middle East provided that Israel remains secure. But it misses the geopolitical visions of Russia and China. It seems that the U.S. is proceeding to contain the ascending economic power of China and Russia. In the absence of political conscience who cares about Christians or Muslims?

3. Increasing materialism in the advanced West that is breeding consumerism, and causing social injustice due to:
a) increased material possession by rich individuals causing more poverty of the masses that need welfare and education;
b) Weakened job opportunities for new generations especially because of the replacement of human workers with computer information systems and robots in most industries;
c) the emergence of the culture of instant pleasure and selfish competition among young adults and teenagers which increased bullying in schools and caused suicide in certain desperate cases;
d) Most importantly the lack of prayer life, church activities, and vocations to the priesthood.

In brief, Pope Francis has many challenges to deal with. He has already challenged excessive capitalism in his final speech in World Youth Day and made it clear that the Catholic Church will defend its moral stance for the poor in Latin America and will protect her children from fundamentalist Pentecostalists who are attempting to lure Catholics in Latin America to their exclusivist Protestant communion on promises of abundant life here on earth and eternal happiness in the next life in superficial interpretation of the Bible. He is expected to challenge Catholic cardinals and bishops that take advantage of the wealth of their parishes to enrich their own residences. He is expected to challenge Catholic charitable organizations stemming from the United States and Canada that spend much money on big investments while most Christians in Africa suffer from hunger. Other Catholic organizations and orders are expected to be purged or reformed. Christ himself said "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Matt 10: 34). Yes, the moral fight that brings everlasting peace.

Although the papacy remains essential for safeguarding the unity of the Church, Francis calls himself simply Bishop of Rome. If it is true that the supremacy of the Pontiff of Rome is the only major obstacle to the reunion between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches  this position may lead to reunion between them.

Satan instigates us to take sides in any conflict, but there is no escape from the fact that humans are relational by nature as God is relational. It is really wonderful that God called Francis of Assisi to love through all creation and today He calls us through Pope Francis to love through all creation (See Quantum Synthesis) . The only civilization that can last is built on understanding of human needs both spiritual and physical thus risking to ultimately embrace love. "Be moderate in everything except in love" wrote St. Augustine in the 5th century AD. Today Pope Francis is calling all to follow Christ by example as He loved us (John 13, 34).

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Development of the Idea of God in the Bible

The purpose of this lecture is to inform Christians and non-Christians alike of the latest studies about God, the development of the idea of God in the Bible, and the points that we can conclude based on them. Of particular importance is bringing this knowledge to parents, educators, and pastors who in turn can help Children learn the great themes of the Bible as the Knights of Columbus started a few weeks ago a bi-weekly Bible competition among teenagers at Jesus the King parish in Toronto.

Summary for Christian parishioners
The idea of God is found in all ancient civilizations and still alive today in different forms of spirituality.

The Biblical literature reflects the development of the idea of God in the Hebrew tradition which is transformed in the New Testament by Christ and his followers to reach out to all nations since the first century AD. With Abraham a tribal local God is worshiped. Moses finds that God is in more than one territory. Hosea speaks of God in terms of love. In Jesus Christ, God becomes human so as to restore fallen humanity to his eternal love (Trinity in One God). Central to Christian thought is the idea that “God is Love” (1 John 4: 8).  

The Appearance of the Idea of God:
How has the idea of God come into human consciousness? Research in anthropology since the 19th century brought to light a number of discoveries in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Persian, Roman, Indian and Chinese cultures. Among the well known are James Fraser, Franz Boas, Mircea Eliade, and René Girard. In those authors and others we recognize the interaction and development of history, religion, psychology, and culture. Probably the most influential introduction of religion in the 21st century is Joseph Ratzinger’s “Truth and Tolerance” published in 2004. For thousands of years, in every region and country a polytheist, or pantheist plethora of gods were worshiped.  There were gods for every material or spiritual need; a god for rain to bring rain to farmers; a god for fertility to bring offspring to mothers; a goddess of love that inspired reflections and poetry, and the Sun as the source of fire and food as well as many other gods and goddesses. The need of humans for worship has never lacked.  In an interview in 2006, the Atheist biologist Richard Dawkins admitted that religion will remain an important human phenomenon.  Since in this lecture we wish to explore the development of the idea of God in the Bible, we will limit the discussion to the Biblical Revelation. The encyclopedic New Jerome Biblical Commentary edited by Raymond Brown, S.S., Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J. and Roland Murphy, O. Carm., was republished in 1990 with contributions by 74 Biblical scholars.  In an article on the “Early Church”, 3 of those scholars assert the idea that while Jesus preached his kingdom in Judea, the Apostles after his Resurrection took it to the entire known world. Their recent research shows that only after the Resurrection could the early Christians relate Jesus’ vision for the Gentiles to a structure of faithful under the leadership of the Apostles and their disciples who succeeded them as bishops and priests. Hence, guided by the Spirit, there is a gradual opening from a strictly Jewish community to an inclusive Church extending from Jerusalem to Antioch to Rome and Alexandria as well as Greece and Asia Minor in the first century AD.   

A scientist’s perspective:
In 2000, "The God Experiment - Can Science Prove the Existence of God?" authored by Russell Stannard was published. The author was a professor of high-energy nuclear physics at the Open University in London. In the book, which discusses many scientific discoveries in relation to Christianity such as evolution and quantum physics, he delves into the development of the idea of God starting with the question "What is God like?" Given the assumption that God has some kind of personal nature, an important source of information in the Judaeo/Christian tradition is the Bible. We are assuming there to be just the one God. The Bible affirms God as the creator and ruler of the whole world. But elsewhere, in the Old Testament, it refers to other gods (for example the Canaanite baals). "The God of the Israelites was jealous when his people worshiped these other gods. God is supposed to be a God of love and mercy, but there is much in the Old Testament about a God of wrath and vengeance. His anger could be so great as to bring him to the verge of destroying his people. Then again, God is supposed to be the god of all peoples - loving them equally. In that case, how are we to account for what happened to the Egyptians? We can understand God wanting the Israelites to be freed from slavery, but killing off the Egyptians' first-born children and drowning their army seems somewhat extreme." This shows, Stannard explains, why we cannot interpret the Biblical literature in a static way, or - in most cases - literally. The Bible is not a precise scientific account of natural phenomena. In order to transmit God's revelation the authors of books in the Old Testament used figurative language as a literary device in such stories as the creation story of the world and the Garden of Eden.  The use of narrative language for history in the Bible makes it possible to transmit God’s message to nomads and settlers such as the ancient Israelites.

I should add here the question on the Biblical story of creation as some scholars think it has elements used from ancient Babylonian myths such as the myth known as Enuma Elish dated around the 7th century BC where Tiamat, a demiurge of ocean water, and Abzu, a god of fresh water, mingle together as the water on whose surface the Spirit of Yahweh hovers. Chaos too could refer to the formless state preceding the creation of the cosmos in ancient Greek mythology (See Genesis 1:1-3). However, the Biblical author inspired by God seems to have included such myths to trumpet the God of Israel over other gods. Yahweh (God) alone created the entire cosmos from nothing (ex-nihilo) and not from pre-existing matter (Cf. Terence Nichols, 2009, The Sacred Cosmos, Wipf & Stock Publishing – Reprint Edition).  The creation story illuminates us in the importance of knowledge of ancient cultures that Biblical scholars study along with the Biblical literary forms such as poetry, narrative history, wisdom literature, and figurative language as well as historical development of such cultures.

The Biblical witness can be divided into two phases:

Phase 1: From many gods to One God

By the 19th century B.C. Abram of Ur is transformed to Abraham (Giving him a new name indicated a mission). When Abraham followed God out of Ur in Chaldean territories, he was told to go and settle in the land of the Canaanites. Although TNK (pronounced Tanak short for Torah, Nebeim, Ketubim) was not written until 1000-800 B.C. it reflects earlier traditions: Yahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and Priestly.

From the many gods Abraham and his tribe follow the One God revealed to him. This is further illuminated in God's call to Moses to liberate the Israelites from the slavery of the Egyptians and their gods and to follow him in Sinai before settling in Palestine. Here God is seen not only as a tribal God limited to a certain territory but as a God who transcends many territories, defeats other deities with power.  The same is found in Elijah's call to Israelis to stop worshiping Baal who allegedly among many gods competed with God in Northern Israel. Elijah miraculously brings down rain after he had stopped it, and brings down fire when he challenges priests of Baal to a competition between his God and theirs. When the truth is revealed in the burning offering, God is again victorious. Many other events also show the unfaithfulness of the Jews to their covenant with God e.g. Solomon's decision to build altars for gods of the other nations which brings captivity to Persia and Babylonia in wars of defeat and the destruction of the Temple. This still does not exhaust God's attempts to bring back people to worship him in truth. Prophets such as Daniel and Ezekiel show that in the absence of the Temple, God can still be reached in the hearts. However the power of God as the liberator of his people from slavery to other gods gradually turns to the compassion and love of God towards Israel who in Hosea shows that He is faithful to his people even though they have been unfaithful.  

Phase 2: From One God to the Trinity in One God

According to Georges Farah “The Trinity was revealed in the Old Testament.” Based on ancient languages of the Hebrews, Elohim is a plural name of God. Mystical Jewish tradition known as Kabbalah professes the Trinity. Some other scholars refer to the Genesis account where God says “Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1: 26) which would imply the Trinity. The visit of the Lord God to Abraham as three men (Trinity?) is shown in Genesis 18. 

The Trinity is explicitly mentioned in Christ’s words to the Apostles “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28: 19), but it is also found in the Pauline Epistles mostly written in the 50s of the first century and the Johannine literature written in near the end of the first century. The early Fathers of the Church understood fire with which Christ would baptize as the Spirit of God. This is also the form in which the Spirit descended on the early disciples (tongues of fire Cf. Acts) The incarnation of the Son of God, his teachings, his outreach to the enemies of his people in Samaria and in Canaanite land, his authority with which he spoke and forgave sins, his passion, his forgiveness of those who crucified him, his acceptance of death, his death and then his Resurrection reveal the power of God's love that the apostles understood only after the Resurrection. Following the powerful descent of the Holy Spirit, the apostles and their companions preached the risen Christ and the good news first to the Jews in Jerusalem then to the rest of the cities going to Antioch, Minor Asia, Greece, Rome, and Alexandria and the rest of the world. Here we see how the God of Israel has extended his power rooted in love over the entire known world. The eternal self-giving love of God the Father to his Son is returned by the Son to his Father in the binding love of their Spirit. This eternal love is reflected in the act of creation which God continues to do every second and in the act of redemption in which God restores creation to him through his Son and his Holy Spirit (See Theosis, June 2013 by Henri Boulad, S.J. here). The Son reveals the Father, the Holy Spirit reveals the Son and this same Spirit guides the Church and works in all humans to help them come back to their Father.

Again there is a development of understanding doctrines by the Catholic Church in history as St. Paul refers to (2 Thess.  2:15 and 1 Cor 11: 12), St. Athanasius of Alexandria contributed to (See Athanasius here), Blessed John Henry Newman thought in the 19th century and the Second Vatican Council confirmed (Dei verbum, 8) (Cf. here).

Such a uniqueness of the God of Christianity has impressed and empowered many scientists and scholars over centuries. In his book, the Mystery of Being, Henri Boulad, S.J. says “God does not love us. He loves me. He loves me from conception as the only person who exists.”  Why would Augustine shout “Late have I found you O Most beautiful…”? Teresa of Avila in the 16th century, a great mystic and saint in the Church once fell off her ladder so she dared to tell God “You know why you do not have many lovers? It is because you let them suffer!” In spite of her great suffering, or probably through it, she loved God more. The mystical experience of this God is found in many religions. Rabia al-Adawiyya, a Muslim Sufi mystic in 8th century Iraq prayed “O God! If I worship You for fear of hell, burn me in hell, and if I worship You in hope of paradise, exclude me from paradise. But if I worship You for your own sake, grudge me not your everlasting beauty” (Cf. Margaret Smith, 1928, “Rabia The Mystic and Her Fellow Muslim Saints”, Cambridge Library Collection). Suffering seems to be the external condition of humans who truly love.  A man who truly loves a woman will suffer greatly and must die to himself as Christ loved and died for the Church, the bride he loves (Cf. The Epistle to Ephesians Chapter 5).

Additional Readings:
 If God risks so much that He becomes man to restore man, then He is not a calculating vengeful God. Game Theory which economists and strategists play to achieve their goals contains the elements of risk necessary for achievement and most of the time requires cooperation of those in the game.  Vulnerability, the study of which brought Professor Brown in sociology a transformative experience  as a mother and wife, is also a theme of the vulnerable love that God initiated (See here). Being is opening oneself to the other. Relationality is at the root of everything in the cosmos (Quantum physics; See here). Civilizations could not expand without trade between nations which spells benefits if they cooperate.  Neurologists and psychologists too have come to the conclusion that the body is well off when the mind is not stressed and thus is able to reshape itself and accommodate the others (Cf. Norman Doidge, 2007, “The Brain that Changes Itself…”, Penguin Books; Redford Williams, 1998, “Anger Kills – Seventeen strategies for controlling the hostility that can harm your health, Harper.)

Let me close with my own experience of God’s love. Why I am still alive in spite of many illnesses that should have caused my death can be read here.

More online resources:
Catholic Resources by Felix Just, S.J.
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology:
R. Girard in First Things:
U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops Biblical Resources:

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Quantum Synthesis - An Introduction

In 2007, I gave a lecture on evidence in the cosmos for the God of Christians. It was precisely based on quantum physics. Nothing has changed since then other than the fact that we are now aware of many more facts in human behavior, the accelerating rate of the development and deployment of information technology, the development of life on earth for billions of years with its challenges, and more knowledge on the intricate nature of the expanding cosmos. Those who wish to remain in their simple faith and ignore scientific advances may well find themselves surrounded by questions from their friends, children or grandchildren: Why do you still believe?

In this post, I survey a number of human disciplines to show that the probabilities of quantum physics are at the core of every action in the cosmos. Cases in each discipline will be examined but due to space limitation only one publication will be referenced.

- Particle physics:
It has been proven that any two particles that were once together (say in an electron) and have been separated, will continue to instantly communicate information even when they are millions of miles away from each other. Amazingly they do that at a speed that exceeds the speed of light.
There is fundamentally an enduring relationship between particles that do not think like us. This is still a mystery for scientists.
They also exhibit a probabilistic nature due to the fact that a particle has a dual wave/matter character. This was found since the early 20th century. Much has been written on this by scientists but for space I will cite here one recent book: (Cf. Manfred Eigen, 2013, From Strange Simplicity to Complex Familiarity, Published by Oxford University Press.)

- Chaotic systems:
Chaos Theory is a field of study of dynamic systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. It has applications in meteorology, physics, engineering, and economics. The so-called butterfly effect shows how a butterfly flapping its wings in China can cause a storm in America. Although these systems are called deterministic, they nevertheless exhibit unpredictability akin to the probabilistic nature in quantum physics.

- Evolution of biological organisms:
When the Atheist biologist Richard Dawkins published his book "The Selfish Gene" in 1976, evolutionary biology had not advanced to another understanding of evolution in which genes mutate to develop more adaptive organisms to the environment and organisms collaborate in order to spread their population. Still selfishly they want to propagate their genes, they nevertheless collaborate in order to survive together an adverse condition. Many examples have been cited. Here is one: Some birds that fly in groups may be faced with a predator. Since they know of the danger, they send one of them ahead to clear their way or inform them of the predator such as an eagle. If a predator eagle is approaching, the single bird will cry at a tune that  only the others in the group will recognize as a warning even if he becomes a victim of the eagle. Attempts to discredit this phenomenon have failed. But the whole picture introduces the concept of collaboration in other living species at the cost of losing life. (Cf. Russel Stannard, 2000, "The God Experiment. Can Science Prove the Existence of God?", Published by Hidden Spring).

- Recent findings in the use of collaborative information systems:
Collaboration is now globally recognized as the optimum way for streamlining processes and the efficient delivery and deployment of solutions in businesses. I developed and implemented applications in collaborative information systems such as IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Dynamics for nearly two decades. The Internet has facilitated the emergence of a global village and the transmission of information between centers of learning, academia, businesses, and networks of ordinary persons. Quantum computers are also based on the theory of probability but processes are executed at a very high speed. Nothing is certain. Trial and error in the development of systems is a process of probability.
(For MS Dynamics see:; For IBM Lotus see:; For Quantum Computing see:

- Recent findings in sociology:
Brené Brown, Professor of sociology at the University of Texas has shown and written on vulnerability which opens the individual to love and to achieve confidence that he is loved in society. (Cf. Brené Brown, 2012, "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love and Lead", Published by Gotham). See also how Brené Brown was transformed into the loving parent through her research:

- Recent findings in neuroscience:
Dr. Andrew Newberg, neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored the popular book "Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief" based on his research in which using brain imaging techniques and devices he observed Christian nuns in deep prayer and Buddhist monks in deep meditation.  His conclusions affirm the positive effect of meditation and prayer, but more to the point how these individuals achieve a sense of union with God (Cf. An interview by Robert Wright with Dr. Andrew Newberg can be seen here: or simply read the transcript at )

Dr. Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California wrote extensively about the role of emotions in arriving at decision making. He is well known for his somatic marker hypothesis which provides a contemporary scientific validation of the linkage between feelings and the body. Although he stops at the level of consciousness from a materialist view, his 21st century research into the effect of emotions on the body and the brain is a recognition shared by other professors such as Dr. Brian Baker at the University of Toronto who see communication, stability, anger management and love as important attributes for life (Cf. Antonio Damasio, 2005, "Decartes' Error, Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain", Penguin Books)

- Game Theory:
Game theory is used by economists to attempt to predict/guess the most likely outcome of an economic activity. Military strategists use it to increase security in the likelihood of an attack by the opponent force. But it can be applied to everyone with a mind. Consider a man and a woman who are starting to date each other. Both go through the probabilistic nature of the question: Is he fit for me? Is she fit for me? It is gambling for a good future in marriage.

In the end, out of the above observations, I offer a little attempt at an introduction of an interdisciplinary theory that would probably contribute to the human hope for eternal life with theological and spiritual insights.

Details of the Quantum Mystery in Particle Physics:

For many years, I have studied quantum physics starting with a formal course in university before graduation in electronic engineering in 1976. Although quantum physics has been used in numerous inventions since its discovery (such as transistors in electronic devices, lasers used in CDs, quantum cryptography, quantum computers and more), no scientist claims to fully understand it nearly 90 years after the formulation of Quantum Theory. Finding the Higgs boson in the past year at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, for which Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics, has opened more questions than answers for scientists to explore. The elusive Higgs boson, dubbed the "God Particle" by Leon Lederman, reveals the quantum nature of everything from matter to antimatter and energy, calculated at almost the beginning of the Big Bang. In his 1993 book "The God Particle," Leon Lederman, who is also a Nobel Laureate, asks "If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question?" Decades earlier, two brilliant minds, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, debated the nature of matter only to disagree.

Quantum theory is a theory for subatomic particles that impact the universe since the Big Bang. An electron that is fired through an electronic gun has a dual character. It is both a particle and a wave. In his encyclopedic book titled "From Strange Simplicity to Complex Familiarity" and published in 2013 Professor Manfred Eigen, also a Nobel Laureate in chemistry, asks "How can something be spatially confined, like a particle, and at the same time non-confined like a wave? How can one explain the intrinsically probabilistic nature of all quantum processes which as such are deterministic?"  Eigen thinks "Explanation is based on experience; therefore explaining something is to a large extent a matter of getting used to it." (P. 43). According to Bohr (and his many disciples including Paul Dirac and Wolfgang Pauli and many other 20th century scientists following the Copenhagen school), only an observer mind can measure its coordinates including location, momentum and time. Since the electron can take multiple paths at the same time, it is not in one space and its path cannot be controlled, thus uncertainty arises. This uncertainly is governed by Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty. In other words, nothing exists until the observing mind determines it. The deterministic universe of Isaac Newton has lost its credibility to the open probabilistic indeterminate universe of quantum physics. Manfred Eigen brings to the reader's attention Schrodinger's Equation published in 1926 that describes in mathematical elegant form the relationship between matter and wave. But more surprises were to come. In his 1935 EPR thought experiment named after him and his colleagues Podolsky, and Rosen, Einstein wanted to challenge Bohr but found that communication between particles that were once part of a photon is instant even though they are hundreds of thousands of miles away from each other. In quantum physics, if one of the particles changes its spin, the other changes its spin immediately. Einstein remained convinced till the end of his life that there must be hidden variables that contribute to this strange phenomenon. Schrodinger wrote a letter to Einstein in which he referred to the phenomenon as quantum entanglement. He was, like Einstein, puzzled that communication of information between particles at distance seemed to exceed the speed of light because it violated the upper limit of speed of any body set by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Yet quantum entanglement was experimentally proved by Alain Aspect and his collaborators in 1982. Subsequent  experiments confirmed the validity of quantum entanglement. It is on this particular point that scientists seem to be puzzled.

Quantum Physics and Theology:
 John Polkinghorne, retired professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge University, wrote, in one of his latest books: Quantum Physics and Theology in 2008, about relationship as science is attempting to discover it at the subnuclear level: “Quantum theory brought to light a remarkable form of entanglement between subatomic particles that have once interacted with each other (the so-called EPR effect), which implies that they remain effectively a single system however far they may subsequently separate spatially- a counterintuitive togetherness-in-separation that has been abundantly confirmed experimentally as a property of nature. The physical world looks more and more like a universe that would be the fitting creation of the trinitarian God, the One whose deepest reality is relational.” (Cf. John Polkinghorne, 2008, "Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship" Published by Yale University Press). Dr. Stephen Barr has written extensively on the relationship of quantum physics and theology (See, for example, his article in First Things here).

The above findings support the 2 most important observations in quantum physics:
1. The probabilistic nature of particles which yields the Uncertainty Principle
2. The communication between particles at long distances (quantum entanglement)

From 2 above, everything must be in a relationship to live. In Christianity God is a relatedness or a relationship of selfless love. It is our belief that God the Father being Love (1 John 4: 8) abandons the fullness of divinity and gives all he has to his image the Son (John 10:30; Col 1: 15-19; Phil 2: 6-11 ) who in turn returns this  love in the Holy Spirit who is the binding love of Father and Son (John 15). The concept that God is relatedness or relational is found not only in Holy Scriptures but also in doctors of the Church including St. Thomas Aquinas and, in our days,  Joseph Ratzinger (Bishop of Rome Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI). 

If this is true, then we can say that the cosmos is signed by the stamp of the Triune God of Christians. 

From 1, we all live in a cosmos still  in development. Certainty is achieved beyond this life when we are in the togetherness of the family of the kingdom of God. Hell is reserved to those who never loved nor dared to explore the probability of opening themselves or being vulnerable to others or accepting the vulnerability of the other that in him God lives. According to St. Paul "For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face" (1 Cor. 13: 12).   

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Christ is made the sure foundation

Christ is made the sure foundation,

Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord, and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion's help for ever,
and her confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
dearly loved of God on high,
in exultant jubilation
pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
in glad hymns eternally.

To this temple, where we call thee,
come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
with thy wonted loving-kindness
hear thy servants as they pray,
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee of gain;
what they gain from thee, for ever
with the blessèd to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign.

Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run.

Guide me O thou great redeemer:

Guide me, O thou great redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer;
Be thou still my strength and shield;
Be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell's destruction
Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee;
I will ever give to thee.

Today's Quote

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


See Links to Websites Below