The man who blessed his killers

19 07 2013

A Man blesses those about to shoot him

In 1927, the Mexican government’s persecution of Christians took a cruel turn. They arrested a priest called Miguel Pro for preaching and ministering to the poor inspite of government ban on religion.

“What do you plan to do with this priest?” a junior minister asked in confidence.

“We will put him before a firing squad, watch him deny his faith in an attempt to save his life, then capture his cowardice on film and thereby disgrace Christians throughout the world,” replied President Elias Calles with a smirk while signing the order for Pro’s execution.

The president then invited government officials, members of the press and photographers to be present for the execution to witness and to capture on film the spectacle of disgrace that he was certain was about to occur.

On the morning of execution, a guard appeared at the cell door and called for Pro. Uncertain of what was awaiting him, Pro got up from the game that he was enjoying with the other inmates, squeezed his brother Roberto’s hand, and then turning to the other prisoners exclaimed, “Good-bye, brothers, till we meet in Heaven!”
The policeman who escorted him out was filled with remorse over the whole affair, and asked Pro to forgive him for his part in this injustice. Pro, by now easily guessing his fate, threw his arms around the officer and said, “Not only do I pardon you, but I am grateful to you, and I shall pray for you.”

The thirty-six-year-old Pro was led onto the firing range. He was still squinting, having come from a dark cell into the morning sunlight. But he could see from the outlines before him where he was. The major asked him, in a matter-of-fact way, whether he wished to express any last will. Pro answered firmly, “Permit me to pray.” Pro then knelt down, totally oblivious to the fact that he was on film and was having his picture snapped repeatedly. He very slowly blessed himself for the last time, kissed the crucifix that he held tightly in his right hand and crossed his arms over his chest. While in this posture he moved his lips in inaudible prayer.

Refusing a blindfold, the prisoner stood erect, and said calmly, “Lord, you know that I am innocent.” He raised his hand, blessed the spectators. Then, addressing himself to those who were about to kill him, he said, “May God have mercy on you. May God bless you?”

He walked briskly to the wall, faced the rifles, held out his arms so as to perfectly resemble the Crucified, and exclaimed, “With all my heart I forgive my enemies!” Then just before the order to fire rang out, he quietly, though not provokingly, spoke the immortal ejaculation of the Mexican martyrs, Viva Cristo Rey! The guns sounded, and he fell dead, riddled with bullets. To make sure he was dead, the soldier fired a shot at close range into his head just to make sure.
Ana Maria, Pro’s sister was the only one of her family present at the execution. When she heard the shots, all she could do was stand beyond the fence and weep.
Then something strange began to happen, something the Mexican government had not anticipated. Hundreds of spectators knelt down in the road Pro’s remains passed by in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. When the bodies were laid out for view Ana Maria was the first to venerate them. Crowds of mourners immediately gathered outside the hospital.

On the following day, thirty thousand people swelled the funeral procession. As they silently drove along, flowers were strewn before the martyrs’ path and dropped down from hundreds of balconies. Then the chanting started. Before long, thousands of people chanting in unison a thundering roar that shook the capital city, “Viva Cristo Rey!Long Live Christ The King!”Long live the martyrs! If you want martyrs, here is our blood!” This was the beginning of the end of the Calles’ government.

Miguek pro 3

pro funeral 1The crowd in Pro’s Funeral





How I stopped a Cop Killer by Charlton Heston

3 07 2013

How I stopped a Cop Killer by Charlton Heston

A few years back I heard about a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a CD called “Cop Killer” celebrating ambushing and murdering police officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the biggest entertainment conglomerate in the world.
Police across the country were outraged. Rightfully so — at least one had been murdered. But Time/Warner was stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow for them, and the media were tiptoeing around it because the rapper was black. I heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills. I owned some shares at the time, so I decided to attend.
What I did there was against the advice of my family and colleagues. I asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of “Cop Killer”- every vicious, vulgar, instructional word.
“I GOT MY 12 GAUGE SAWED OFF I GOT MY HEADLIGHTS TURNED OFF I’M ABOUT TO BUST SOME SHOTS OFF I’M ABOUT TO DUST SOME COPS OFF…”
It got worse, a lot worse. I won’t read the rest of it to you. But trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. The Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes. They hated me for that.
Then I delivered another volley of sick lyric brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing two 12-year old nieces of Al and Tipper Gore.
“SHE PUSHED HER BUTT AGAINST MY ….”
Well, I won’t do to you here what I did to them. Let’s just say I left the room in echoing silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting press corps, one of them said “We can’t print that.” “I know,” I replied, “but Time/Warner’s selling it.”
Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T’s contract. I’ll never be offered another film by Warners, or get a good review from Time magazine. But disobedience means you must be willing to act, not just talk.
When a mugger sues his elderly victim for defending herself … jam the switchboard of the district attorney’s office.
When your university is pressured to lower standards until 80% of the students graduate with honors … choke the halls of the board of regents.
When an 8-year-old boy pecks a girl’s cheek on the playground and gets hauled into court for sexual harassment … march on that school and block its doorways.
When someone you elected is seduced by political power and betrays you…petition them, oust them, banish them.
When Time magazine’s cover portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy Christians holding a cross as it did last month … boycott their magazine and the products it advertises.
So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God’s grace, built this country.
If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.
Thank you.
Charlton Heston
“Winning the Cultural War”
Speech to the Harvard Law School Forum
February 16, 1999

 





I Had Rathar Die Than Offend God: Story of St. Agnes

1 07 2013
St. Agnes

One day, a little girl whose name was Agnes was coming home from school and a boy met her and asked her for sex. He promised, if she consented, to give her valuable jewels. But Agnes at once rejected the temptation, and told him to go away, for she would never consent to offend her God for anything that the world could give her.

The young man was angry. He later discovered that Agnes was a Christian.This was the year 200 when Christians were considered Criminals in Rome. The young man was determined to make Agnes yield to his wishes, or to accuse her to the pagan judge as belonging to that faith, and so she would be put to death.

When he told her what he intended to do, Agnes boldly answered, ” Never will I consent to offend my God by sin, and joyfully will I suffer the loss of all things rather than lose my soul.”

The young man accused her to the judge, and very soon Agnes was summoned before him. He tried first by kind words, and then by threats, to make her yield to him and renounce her faith, but to no effect. The firmness of the child filled him not only with wonder, but also with great wrath, and he handed her over to be executed.

Then Agnes prayed to God, that now since she had confessed His holy Name, and had kept her soul pure in the midst of evil, and since He had shown forth His great power in her, He would be pleased to take her to Himself in Heaven.

When she had finished her prayer the executioner prepared to pierce her neck with a sword, but the man was so overcome with emotion at the sight of one so beautiful and so young, that at first he could not do this ; but receiving a stern command from his superior, he gave her the fatal blow, and her happy soul went at once to her God in Heaven, whom she had so tenderly loved.

Our soul is that pearl which is beyond all price. Like Agnes we should be willing to suffer all rather than stain it by sin, and the only thought of our lives should be to preserve undefiled that priceless treasure. It is sin alone that can kill the soul.





Is God Your Toilet Bowl because you say so?

29 06 2013

Is God Your Toilet Bowl because you say so?

Is your toilet bowl your God because you say so?

Few philosophers in history have been so unreadable and dry as Immanuel Kant. Yet few have had a more devastating impact on human thought.

Kant’s devoted servant, Lampe, is said to have faithfully read each thing his master published, but when Kant published his most important work, “The Critique of Pure Reason,” Lampe began but did not finish it because, he said, if he were to finish it, it would have to be in a mental hospital. Many students since then have echoed his sentiments.

Yet this abstract professor, writing in abstract style about abstract questions, is, I believe, the primary source of the idea that today imperils faith (and thus souls) more than any other; the idea that truth is subjective.

The simple citizens of his native Konigsberg, Germany, where he lived and wrote in the latter half of the 18th century, understood this better than professional scholars, for they nicknamed Kant “The Destroyer” and named their dogs after him.

He was a good-tempered, sweet and pious man, so punctual that his neighbors set their clocks by his daily walk. The basic intention of his philosophy was noble: to restore human dignity amidst a skeptical world worshiping science.

This intent becomes clear through a single anecdote. Kant was attending a lecture by a materialistic astronomer on the topic of man’s place in the universe. The astronomer concluded his lecture with: “So you see that astronomically speaking, man is utterly insignificant.” Kant replied: “Professor, you forgot the most important thing, man is the astronomer.”

Kant, more than any other thinker, gave impetus to the typically modern turn from the objective to the subjective. This may sound fine until we realize that it meant for him the redefinition of truth itself as subjective. And the consequences of this idea have been catastrophic.

If we ever engage in conversation about our faith with unbelievers, we know from experience that the most common obstacle to faith today is not any honest intellectual difficulty, like the problem of evil or the dogma of the trinity, but the assumption that religion cannot possibly concern facts and objective truth at all; that any attempt to convince another person that your faith is true—objectively true, true for everyone—is unthinkable arrogance.

The business of religion, according to this mindset, is practice and not theory; values, not facts; something subjective and private, not objective and public. Dogma is an “extra,” and a bad extra at that, for dogma fosters dogmatism. Religion, in short, equals ethics. And since Christian ethics is very similar to the ethics of most other major religions, it doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian or not; all that matters is whether you are a “good person.” (The people who believe this also usually believe that just about everyone except Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson is a “good person.”)

Kant is largely responsible for this way of thinking. He helped bury the medieval synthesis of faith and reason. He described his philosophy as “clearing away the pretensions of reason to make room for faith”—as if faith and reason were enemies and not allies. In Kant, Luther’s divorce between faith and reason becomes finalized.

Kant thought religion could never be a matter of reason, evidence or argument, or even a matter of knowledge, but a matter of feeling, motive and attitude. This assumption has deeply influenced the minds of most religious educators (e.g., catechism writers and theology departments) today, who have turned their attention away from the plain “bare bones” of faith, the objective facts narrated in Scripture and summarized in the Apostles’ creed. They have divorced the faith from reason and married it to pop psychology, because they have bought into Kant’s philosophy.

“Two things fill me with wonder,” Kant confessed: “the starry sky above and the moral law within.” What a man wonders about fills his heart and directs his thought. Note that Kant wonders about only two things: not God, not Christ, not Creation, Incarnation, Resurrection and Judgment, but “the starry sky above and the moral law within.” “The starry sky above” is the physical universe as known by modern science. Kant relegates everything else to subjectivity. The moral law is not “without” but “within,” not objective but subjective, not a Natural Law of objective rights and wrongs that comes from God but a man-made law by which we decide to bind ourselves. (But if we bind ourselves, are we really bound?) Morality is a matter of subjective intention only. It has no content except the Golden Rule (Kant’s “categorical imperative”).

If the moral law came from God rather than from man, Kant argues, then man would not be free in the sense of being autonomous. This is true, Kant then proceeds to argue that man must be autonomous, therefore the moral law does not come from God but from man. The Church argues from the same premise that the moral law does in fact come from God, therefore man is not autonomous. He is free to choose to obey or disobey the moral law, but he is not free to create the law itself.

Though Kant thought of himself as a Christian, he explicitly denied that we could know that there really exists (1) God, (2) free will, and (3) immorality. He said we must live as if these three ideas were true because if we believe them we will take morality seriously, and if we don’t we will not. It is this justification of belief by purely practical reasons that is a terrible mistake. Kant believes in God not because it is true but because it is helpful. Why not believe in Santa Claus then? If I were God, I would favor an honest atheist over a dishonest theist, and Kant is to my mind a dishonest theist, because there is only one honest reason for believing anything: because it is true.

Those who try to sell the Christian faith in the Kantian sense, as a “value system” rather than as the truth, have been failing for generations. With so many competing “value systems” on the market, why should anyone prefer the Christian variation to simpler ones with less theological baggage, and easier ones with less inconvenient moral demands?

Kant gave up the battle, in effect, by retreating from the battlefield of fact. He believed the great myth of the 18th-century “Enlightenment” (ironic name!): that Newtonian science was here to stay and that Christianity, to survive, had to find a new place in the new mental landscape sketched by the new science. The only place left was subjectivity.

That meant ignoring or interpreting as myth the supernatural and miraculous claims of traditional Christianity. Kant’s strategy was essentially the same as that of Rudolf Bultmann, the father of “demythologizing” and the man who may be responsible for more Catholic college students losing their faith than anyone else. Many theology professors follow his theories of criticism which reduce biblical claims of eyewitness description of miracles to mere myth, “values” and “pious interpretations.”

Bultmann said this about the supposed conflict between faith and science: “The scientific world picture is here to stay and will assert its right against any theology, however imposing, that conflicts with it.” Ironically, that very “scientific world picture” of Newtonian physics Kant and Bultmann accepted as absolute and unchangeable has today been almost universally rejected by scientists themselves!

Kant’s basic question was: How can we know truth? Early in his life he accepted the answer of Rationalism, that we know truth by the intellect, not the senses, and that the intellect possesses its own “innate ideas.” Then he read the Empiricist David Hume, who, Kant said, “woke me from my dogmatic slumber.” Like other Empiricists, Hume believed that we could know truth only through the senses and that we had no “innate ideas.” But Hume’s premises led him to the conclusion of Skepticism, the denial that we can ever know the truth at all with any certainty. Kant saw both the “dogmatism” of Rationalism and the skepticism of Empiricism as unacceptable, and sought a third way.

There was such a third theory available, ever since Aristotle. It was the common sense philosophy of Realism. According to Realism, we can know truth through both the intellect and the senses if only they worked properly and in tandem, like two blades of a scissors. Instead of returning to traditional Realism, Kant invented a wholly new theory of knowledge, usually called Idealism. He called it his “Copernican revolution in philosophy.” The simplest term for it is Subjectivism. It amounts to redefining truth itself as subjective, not objective.

All previous philosophers had assumed that truth was objective. That’s simply what we common-sensically mean by “truth”: knowing what really is, conforming the mind to objective reality. Some philosophers (the Rationalists) thought we could attain this goal through reason alone. The early Empiricists (like Locke) thought we could attain it through sensation. The later skeptical Empiricist Hume thought we could not attain it at all with any certainty. Kant denied the assumption common to all three competing philosophies, namely that we should attain it, that truth means conformity to objective reality. Kant’s “Copernican revolution” redefines truth itself as reality conforming to ideas. “Hitherto it has been assumed that all our knowledge must conform to objects…more progress may be made if we assume the contrary hypothesis that the objects of thought must conform to our knowledge.”

Kant claimed that all our knowledge is subjective. Well, is that knowledge subjective? If it is, then the knowledge of that fact is also subjective, et cetera, and we are reduced to an infinite hall of mirrors. Kant’s philosophy is a perfect philosophy for hell. Perhaps the damned collectively believe they aren’t really in hell, it’s all just in their mind. And perhaps it is; perhaps that’s what hell is.

Peter Kreeft





The Weeping Emperor

27 06 2013

The Weeping Emperor

Otto the Great, Emperor of Germany visited Rome. On his way home, he passed through the land of Albania where people said a hermit, whose name was Nile, who was renowned throughout the whole country for his holy life, lived. So Otto went to the place where the hermit dwelt.

When he had spoken to Nile for some time, the Emperor rose up to go ; but before leaving he said to him, ” Nile, ask of me whatever you like, just as if you were my own son, and I will give it to you with the greatest joy.”

Nile put his hand on the Emperor s breast, and said, in a solemn voice, ” I ask of you, O Emperor, only one thing, and that is, that you will take care of your soul. Oh yes, I ask you, in the Name of God, to take care of your soul ; for, although you are an Emperor, you must one day die like other men, and will have to give an account to God of everything you have done ; and what will it avail you then if you have lost your soul ?”

When the Emperor heard these words he began to weep, arid, kneeling down at the Nile’s feet, he took the royal crown off his head and answered, ”  I will do what you ask me ; but pray you to God for me, and give me now your blessing.”

When he received the blessing of the Saint he rose up, and, still weeping and sobbing, went away along with those who had accompanied him.

Otto was then only about twenty years old. He had come to that time of life which is full of the greatest dangers. But he always kept in mind the solemn words to Nile, and as soon as any temptation came to trouble him, he remembered his promise, that he would all his lifetime take most care of his soul.

So he led a life of great piety. His prayers were long and fervent, and he gave great alms to the poor. People used to say he was more like an angel in Heaven than a man upon earth. Thus he passed his life, and when the end came he died the death of the Saints, and he is now in Heaven, happy with God, because he followed the advice of  Nile, and took most care of his soul.

 





The Trouble Tree

26 06 2013

Please, kindly leave your trouble on the Trouble tree outside.

A woman hired a carpenter to help her restore an old farmhouse, and he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit, and his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While she drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited her in to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles, and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward, he walked back to the car. They passed the tree, and her curiosity got the better of her. She asked him about what she had seen him do earlier. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure; those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So, I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning, I pick them up again. Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”





Jimmy Carter calls for women Priests in the Catholic Church

25 06 2013

Jimmy cater

President Carter seems very concerned about the Catholic doctrine of the male priesthood. Speaking at the Carter Center‘s “Mobilizing Faith for Women” the former President answered some questions about women and religion. Let’s look at his words against the Catholic Church and then I’ll provide three systematic responses:
“And I think the great religions have set the example for that, by ordaining, in effect, that women are not equal to men in the eyes of God. This has been done and still is done by the Catholic Church ever since the third century, when the Catholic Church ordained that a woman cannot be a priest for instance but a man can. A woman can be a nurse or a teacher but she can’t be a priest. This is wrong, I think.
And again, President Carter says: “And then after about the third century when men took over control of the Catholic Church, then they began to ordain that women had to play an inferior position, not be a priest.”
Now I can understand where President Carter is coming from. First, he and his wife are Baptists. As Baptists they do not believe in a sacerdotal doctrine of the priesthood. Unlike the Baptists, the Catholic Church believes that the priesthood is not merely a ministerial function or office. Rather, when a man is ordained a priest, he is configured to Christ in a special way. His soul changes. We call this the indelible seal or character of Holy Orders. This is why there have never been women priests in the Catholic Church – not in the third, second, or first century. Never.

1. Jimmy Carter, Let’s Take a Look at the Mystery of the Transubstantiation

Not only does the priest’s soul undergo a metaphysical change, but the priest loans his own body and voice to Christ when he recites in the Holy Mass “This is my body.” This act transubstantiates bread into the true Body of Christ.

Let’s pause here. This is my body. Human bodies come in two versions: male and female. God designed it this way. Both sexes image God because, as the Church teaches, both sexes are ensouled and rational. See Genesis for details.

However, when the priest says, “This is my body,” he is acting in persona Christi (in the person of Christ). Now then Christ is male. He was circumcised. The body that He offered on the cross was male. For this reason, only men can be priests because the Catholic Church mystically identifies the male Body of Christ with each and every male priest. The sacramental signification requires a man to stand in for the God-Man Jesus Christ at the altar.

2. Jimmy Carter and Clericalism

Secondly, President Carter unknowingly slips into clericalism. Clericalism is the insidious belief that clergy are de facto holier and more important than everyone else. As a Baptist, he likely sees his pastor as a CEO and/or a gifted public speaker. These functions parallel those of secular companies. Hence, to exclude women is, in his mind, sexist.

But the Catholic Church does not see priests as CEOs or primarily as preachers/teachers. Rather, priests are chiefly “fathers.” Their relationship to other people is not transactional, it’s paternal. Only a dad can be a dad. Again, it’s a male thing. The Aramaic word for “father” is Abba meaning “giver of love.”

3. Jimmy Carter, please meet the Blessed Virgin Mary

Here’s the third and final thought:

I’d like to point out that the Catholic Church explicitly teaches that the greatest human person ever created is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

May is not only a woman, she is the Woman. The Catholic Church also teaches that she is higher than all Catholic priests, even higher than the twelve apostles. In fact, she is higher than every single angel.

The priesthood, even the papacy, is not the highest “job” in the Catholic Church. In fact, the Catholic Church features many beautiful female saints in the canon of the Mass. I would even argue that the Catholic Church celebrates femininity more than any other religion and certainly more than any other Christian denomination.

At the end of the day, the Catholic Church teaches that it is holiness and intimacy with Christ that is most important, not being a priest. As a former Episcopal priest, I could go on to be a married Catholic priest. But I chose not to do so. Why? Because I realized that my personal “yes” to God is enough. Nothing more is needed of me.

I love priests. I kiss the hand of every priest I meet. I truly love priests because without them there is no Holy Eucharist and no supernatural life in the world. However, as my former spiritual director Father Ron Gillis (who died just last week) taught me, “At the front of most Catholic churches are not side altars dedicated to Peter and Paul, but to Joseph and Mary – a reminder that the priesthood supports the Church and not the other way around.”
That’s a beautiful and simple lesson for all of us.

Dr. Taylor Marshal





Why doesn’t everybody believe that there is a purpose in Life?

23 06 2013

why deosnot every one believe that life has a pBecause some people think there is no real purpose or destiny to human life! They believe that only the things we make, like cars and watches, have design and purpose in them. We know what the purposes of these objects are because we designed them. (For instance, we know that the purpose of a car is transportation, and the purpose of a watch is to tell time.) But the things in nature, like trees and stars, were not designed by any human beings, so we do not know their purposes as we know the purposes of the things we design. So some people believe that there are no real purposes in the things in nature, but only in humanly designed artificial objects.
But one of the things in nature is human beings. They are not artificial objects! They are not artifacts like cars or watches. We did not design human nature; we only carry it on, by reproduction.
So the people who deny that human life has any real purpose argue this way:
If only artifacts have purposes, while things in nature do not; And if we are things in nature rather than artifacts; Then we have no real purpose.
So the answer to the question “What is the purpose of my existence?” is that there is no real purpose; we can imagine or make up any subjective purposes we want, but there is no objectively real purpose to human life. Life is purposeless, pointless, meaningless, in vain. “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Eccl 1:2).
This is the worst philosophy in the world. For it denies us the things we need most: meaning and purpose; a reason to live, learn, grow, and endure.
Meaninglessness is unendurable. Even pain isn’t as bad as meaninglessness. We can accept pains if they are meaningful: for instance, the pains of childbirth, or the pains of sacrificing for someone you love, or even the pains of martyrdom for a good cause. But we cannot accept meaninglessness. Even pleasures are not worthwhile if they are meaningless. (That’s why a billionaire can choose to commit suicide.) And even pains are worthwhile if they are meaningful. (That’s why a woman wants to give birth to a baby.)
The idea that objective things have no purpose is really atheism. For if God is real and if He created and designed everything, then everything has a purpose.
We can see some of the purpose of the things in nature. For instance, we can see that one of the purposes of stars is to enable us to think. For (a) if we did not breathe and bring oxygen to our brains, we could not think; and (b) if there were no green plants, we could not breathe, since their photosynthesis replaces carbon dioxide with oxygen; and (c) if there were no sun, there could be no green plants, for green plants need sunlight and heat, and (d) if there were no stars, there would be no sun, for the sun is a star. Therefore, if there were no stars, we could not think.
But many of the things in nature have designs and purposes that are not clear to us. They do not seem to be useful for us. (For instance, we wonder why God made so many mosquitoes.) So it takes a little faith, a little trust, to believe that everything has a purpose and that “all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Rom, 8:28), though we do not see this. This is especially true of things that make us suffer. We do not always see how suffering has a good purpose.
But if the Creator is all-wise, all-good, and all-powerful, then the quotation above from Romans 8:28 is true. If He is all-good, He wants what is best. If He is all-powerful, He is able to bring about what is best, in the end. And if He is all-wise, He knows what is best.
And since we are not all-wise, we do not know what is best in the long run. That is why we have to trust Him with all those mosquitoes and even with much worse things, like cancers. He knows how to bring greater goods out of great evils. That is what He did two thousand years ago on the Cross of Calvary when He brought about the greatest good for us, the greatest gift we have ever been given–salvation from sin and the ability to enter Heaven–through the greatest evil that ever happened, the torture and murder of Jesus Christ, the only perfect man who ever lived, the man who was God Himself.
Christians believe this. Many people don’t. Can Christian give them any reason to believe their religion’s answer to the question “Why do I exist”?
The best reason we can give them is ourselves: our love and our joy. You can’t argue with the happiness of a saint.
The greatest love, and the greatest joy, is mutual: it comes from both loving and being loved. The next-greatest joy comes from loving, even without being loved back. Even this second-best joy of loving without being loved back is greater and deeper than the third joy, the joy of being loved without loving. That is why saints are so happy: they are never in the third level of joy but always in the second or the first. (In fact, since they know God always loves them, you could say they are always in the first.) That’s why the prayer attributed to Saint Francis says:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, may I always seek not so much to be condemned as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

By Peter Kreeft





Why do I exist?

22 06 2013

why do i exist2

It is not a strange question at all, but a very natural question. Everyone asks it, consciously or unconsciously, though not necessarily in those words.
It is a religious question. It is a question to which all religions claim to have an answer. It is not abstract but as concrete and particular as you are. It’s about your life. Why is my existence in question?
Because you didn’t have to exist. If one little thing had happened differently to any of your ancestors, you would not exist. For instance, if your great-grandfather hadn’t been surprised by the sound of a squirrel dropping a nut on a dry leaf in the park where he was sitting on a bench a hundred years ago, he wouldn’t have turned his head around to see what the noise was, and he wouldn’t have noticed the pretty girl on the bench over there, walked over and struck up a conversation with her, got to know her, and eventually married her–and you are part of the rest of that story.
So is it just luck that you exist? Just chance? Did you just happen, or are you designed? Are you an accident, or are you wanted? Are you just lost on a stage without any lines to speak, just making it all up as you go along, or are you part of a play, a plot, a plan, with an Author’s mind behind it?
You can’t get the answer to that question just from your feelings, because your feelings change from year to year, day to day, even minute to minute. Everyone at times feels lost and meaningless, and everyone at other times feels part of a meaningful story.
It makes all the difference in the world how you ask that question. It amounts to asking whether your life has real meaning or not.
We deeply want our lives to have a real meaning. But where does this real meaning come from? Why is there a real answer to the question “Why do I exist?”
Because God is real, that’s why. Because you were willed into existence by an all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful God. That’s why your life has meaning and purpose. How can we know the true answer to this question, the meaning of our life? What must we know, to know who we are?
The secret of your identity is in the mind of your Creator and Designer. Therefore, to find the meaning of your life, you must know God. To find out who Macbeth is, you must ask Shakespeare. To find out who Gollum is, you must ask Tolkien. To find out who you are, you must ask God.
How do we know God? Through Christ. “No one has ever seen God; the only Son . . . has made him known” (Jn 1:18).
To know yourself adequately, you must know God. And to know God adequately, you must know Christ. Therefore, to know yourself adequately, you must know Christ. Christ reveals not just who God is but also who we are.
When we ask why exist, what do we seek?
We seek our origin, our nature, and our destiny. There are actually three parts to this question: “Where did I come from?” and “What am I?” and “Where am I going?”
There are two radically different possible answers to this three-part question: the no-God answer and the God-answer. We exist either because of mere chance and accident or because of divine design; we exist either because of blind matter below us or because of conscious divine spirit above us.
The three questions (of origin, nature, and destiny) are connected. If our origin is only material, if we came only from mindless matter blindly bumping into more mindless matter and not from the Mind of God designing and creating matter, then our nature is also only matter: we are only apes with bigger brains but no souls. If our parents were big apes, we are only big apes. And then our destiny, our end, is only the destiny of all matter and animal life: death and decay. Period. End of the story. That is the logical consequence of believing that there is no God. Death wins in the end.
But if one’s origin is from above, from God–if we are designed and created by an intelligent Spirit–then our nature can be also spiritual, made in the image of the God who is spirit. God may have used evolution to make our bodies out of previously existing animal species, but souls cannot evolve. God must create each soul afresh.
If that is true–if we exist because of God, if we are real because God is real–then the practical consequences are tremendously important. For then each one of us has intrinsic dignity. That means that we are not mere objects to be used by other objects. We are God’s kids!
And then our destiny (the third connected question) is also spiritual: to live forever with God in Heaven. God is our first beginning and our last end, our ultimate origin and our ultimate destiny.

Prof. Peter Kreeft.





The Inquisitive Little Boy

19 06 2013

The Inquisitive Little Boy

During the great Exhibition in London, a gentle man went his little boy.
The child was astonished at the things he saw, and was anxious to know why they were made. His father answered him , and described the use of the various things as they passed along.

You see, my dear boy,” said the father to him, ” everything here has been made for a certain purpose. You also were made by God for a certain purpose.”

“For what purpose did God make me, Father?” the boy asked, excited.

“God made you to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this world, and be happy with Him in the next, my boy. Keep these words always in your mind,  and try every day to learn something about your Father in Heaven.”





The Poor Boy in the Snow

18 06 2013

The Poor Boy in the Snow

In Poland on a cold winter morning, three children were walking to Church.It was very cold and they were trembling because, being very poor, they were not wearing warm clothes ; moreover, their shoes were very bad and thin, and their feet were as cold as the frozen snow on which they were walking.

One of them, a little boy about seven years old, was weeping. His older sister, who was with him, knew that he wept because he was cold ; so she said kindly to him : ” Go home and mother will make you warm ; it is too cold to-day for you to come with us. God will not be angry with you for staying away from Church on such a cold day as this.”

But the child said : ” No, no ; even if I am freezing, I want to go with you to learn more about God and the way to Heaven.” And he went along with them.





A young girl who weeps for Love

17 06 2013

A young girl that weeps for Love

There was a little girl called Dominina who was often found weeping. People thought she was very unhappy because she wept so much. But she was not shedding tears of sadness but of joy. It was the thought of all the good her Father in Heaven had done for her that made her weep.

” O my God,” she often said in her prayers, “how good you are to me, to even think of me at all!” You made me when You were not obliged to make me. You love me and have given me many blessings. O my God, how good Thou hast been to me !”

One day a man came to her house and met her crying while reading a book and the tears falling from her eye upon the book made the book wet especially at those places where the holy name of God was written.

The man asked her why she wept as she read.

Domnina answered him : I can never hear His name pronounced, or read it in a book, without feeling my whole heart filled with love for Him. He made me, therefore I am His child, and I know He loves me, poor and little though I am, just because I am His child, and I try always to keep this in mind ; and I feel so happy when I think of this, that tears of joy flow from my eyes.”

You also are Gods child, for He made you. Like Donmina, you should try to keep this always before your mind, and thank Him for His goodness in making choice of you to be His own child.





We have the blood of little children on our hands

16 06 2013

forgiveness
The latest video on life by Live Action is out. Some say it is a tough watch so if you have a weak stomach don’t watch. But I like to share a lyric of a song which a woman blogger said made her stop believing in Abortion. Here it goes

Verse 1

She will never see the beauty of a sunrise
Nor pick a flower blowing in the wind
She will never climb up to sit on Daddy‘s knee
Never spend a summer day with her best friend
She will never bake cookies with Mommy
Never know what it’s like to be sixteen
Never spend her love with that special someone
Never have the family of her childhood dreams

Verse 2
He will never celebrate his first birthday
You will never hear him call your name out loud
He will never run across the grassy meadow
Nor will he be the little boy that makes you proud
He will never go fishing with Daddy
Nor have the joy of buying his first car
He will never get to father his own family
Or hear his little boy wish upon a star

Chorus
Day by day and one by one, we’re killing our future
By the thousands every day across the land
Can you tell me what has happened to America?
Is there anyone who dares to take a stand?
We have the blood of little children on our hands

Bridge
But in Heaven God is picking up the pieces
Of the countless treasures we have thrown away
While slowly He’s reshaping and re-molding
Those precious little helpless lumps of clay
So lovingly, He holds them in His hands
Only God knows, just what they could have been.

Here’s the video of the song.. it’s beautiful and the lead singer has a beautiful voice.

Thanks Temi227 for sharing.








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