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

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Joy of Being

Following the discussions on "The Moderate Mind" we should ask the question: How the mind can elevate itself to the world beyond physics (metaphysics) ?
As I read "Being and Nothingness" by the existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre,  I am confronted by an assumption that consciousness is constitutive of the being of its object which, according to him, destroys itself (Page Ix). This is a description of the lonely person who hates the other because he failed to discover him. And he ends up by destroying himself!

But life is abundantly good because every creature was created by the loving God. Everything that survives, needs cooperation and a measure of reasonable trust.  The joy of being can be illustrated in my experience yesterday...

Yesterday Sunday November 27, 2016, was remarkably a joyful day for the coming together of the Greek Melkite Catholics and their friends in Toronto to participate in the first Divine Liturgy or Mass at the huge Slovak Cathedral of "The Transfiguration" (The Transfiguration by Georges Farah here: By only looking at its 63-meter high gold onion dome, it reflects the Byzantine architecture no less than that of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople or with the high organ in it that accompanies the hymns sung by great singers in Europe, especially Renaissance Europe. It is no coincidence that Thomas Aquinas lived during the early Renaissance. His influence on philosophy has been lasting for the Christian civilization in "baptizing" the good thought he found in the Greek philosopher Aristotle. According to Professor John Haldane, St. Thomas' humanist  approach contributed to the rediscovery of nature as the good creation of God rather than the dualistic philosophy of Plato (that had emphasized the idea of a corrupt nature) bringing thereby a revolution in thinking within Christian philosophy (see BBC Radio on Thomas Aquinas here:

In his homily, Fr. Ibrahim El-Haddad thanked God that made it easier for the Melkite Catholics in Toronto to celebrate their Masses at the Byzantine Cathedral and inspired Helen Roman the owner of the Church and vast land to support the little sheep with much enthusiasm (since she was approached a few years ago by Fr. Georges Farah and Fr. Georges Balliki and finally with the direct involvement by Most Reverend Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim and Fr. Ibrahim El-Haddad with his assistant pastors). Fr. Ibrahim also thanked God that he spared everyone in the destruction of Jesus the King church and thanked individuals who are contributing to the assessment of insurance and the building of a new Byzantine church for Toronto's Melkite Catholics. The choir performed some of the most enjoyable hymns in Byzantine hymnology (Joseph Homsy, Costandi Khouri, P. Couturier).

In my view, all of the above is great, but it is the joy of seeing many friends from here and there in one place worshiping together, that made my day. My wife and I met literally hundreds of friends after the Mass ended. Advances in sociology shows that humans are relational (see Brené Brown here: If this is of any value, it is above all love that gets deeper and does not vanish - the eternal joy that is God; for he is a communion of three hypostasis (Aqnum in Syriac) and lives in the relationship. Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) called it "absolute "relatedness", or relatio subsistens.
If the eternal God is a communion, then it makes sense what Peter said too upon seeing the Transfiguration of Christ "Lord, it is good to be here" (Matthew 17:4).

"Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem" said the Lord to the Samaritan (John 4: 21).

Thank God for the great joy of being...

Today's Quote

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


See Links to Websites Below