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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Henri Boulad: I am His Child - The Hope of von Balthasar

The Jesuit scholar Fr. Henri Boulad gave a homily on Jesus' Baptism and connected it to the Magi who came from the East to worship him. The homily can be found here in French. In those days, the astrologers believed in the power of stars - When they found a star leading them to the manger in Bethlehem, they followed it and worshiped the infant just born in the manger. The Baptism of Jesus' showed the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus and a voice (of the Father) from Heaven said "This is my son in whom I am pleased". "I am His child too" proclaimed Boulad; for there is nothing that can separate us from Him or rather as found in St. Paul's "Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love?" (Romans 8: 35).
It was the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus Christ that caused a revolution as Christ not only said "Love your enemies", but also went all the way to the Golgotha, and in spite of Satanic temptations, He trusted in the full love of His Father that raised Him from the dead . Christ's Resurrection is not only the hope that Christians have after they depart from this life, but the proof that He is God who ascended to heaven by His power of love.
The greatest theologian in the 20th century according to Fergus Kerr (a British highly-regarded theologian), Hans Urs von Balthasar, the man whom Fr. Boulad talked about earlier, is another priest that was made a cardinal by Saint John Paul II  but did not live to receive the "red hat." Han Urs von Balthasar wrote 15 large volumes: The Glory of the Lord (7); Theo-Drama (5); Theo-logic (3)  inspired by the mystic Adrienne von Speyer. His most eloquent work is undoubtedly "On a Friday afternoon" in which he gazes on Christ's redemption of mankind and hopes in the mercy of Him who is love eternal that He may save all creation in the Last Judgment - It is a hope, nevertheless and not Origen's theory of universalism although the great Alexandrian Origen of the 3rd century AD has been rehabilitated by yet another great Jesuit and cardinal Henri de Lubac...
Trust in God as Henri Boulad follows St. Paul in his trust in Christ - Nothing else matters!

Monday, January 8, 2018

The 2018 Positive News

In the first few days of 2018, Bill Gates, whose revolution started the Personal Computer growth at Microsoft, predicted a few positive projects that could be more effective in helping suffering people. In an interview by Time Magazine, the co-founder of the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates and later since 2009 with the Billionaire Warren Buffet and other Billionaires, co-founder of "The Giving Pledge" whereby each of them pledges to give half of his huge assets to the needy, Bill Gates proposed 6 innovations (see the interview here http://time.com/5066163/bill-gates-thinks-these-6-innovations-could-change-the-world/)
Six proposals:
1. Better Vaccine Storage: This allows vaccines to safely reach kids in the most remote places...
2. Gene Editing: Using genome editing tools sick people could well benefit by helping them...
3. Solar Fuel: At Caltech, researchers are working on using solar energy to turn the Sun's energy into fuel to be used in cars...
4. mRNA Vaccines: Most vaccines use weakened forms of a virus to help the body's immune system fight disease...Scientists are studying how to use genetic material instead which would make it less expensive to develop. Thus it could reach poor people...
5.  Improved Drug Delivery: Patients who need to take certain medication at the same time everyday can miss a pill. However, using new technology such as Intarcia could allow a patient to have a small device implanted under the skin which slowly releases medication over time.
\6. Artificial Intelligence: This technology is the surest to transform the way people live. Google already uses a form of artificial intelligence in  its search engine.

In the Gospel, Christ gave a few parables that encourage Christians to invest their assets to help others or for God. The Parable of the Talents is clear for those who invest to serve their master (Christ God) as opposed to those who do not (Matthew 25: 14-30). The Parable of the Rich and Lazarus also teaches how important it is to care about my poor neighbor (Luke 16: 19-31).

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas - When God fulfilled His Desire to be with Humanity

Christmas is the feast and memory of humanity - It is when God fulfilled His Desire to be with us. In Christmas, the feast of humanity, the God of Christians revealed the fulfillment of His Desire to be with humanity. In the cave where Jesus was born, Man in the darkness of "Plato's cave" was liberated. Or Man was restored to the life in God according to St. Athanasius of Alexandria (De incarnatione Verbi Dei).
God fulfilled His Desire  to be with humanity in the incarnation of His Word. In St. John the Apostle "Whoever is without love does not know God; for God is love" (1 John 4:8); and "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1: 1).
Seen from the universe (or multiverses), all galaxies and planets are the work of Christ as they move away from each other, but are still kept in attraction according to quantum fluctuations since the Big Bang. Electrons and subparticles show such effect when they communicate at many miles away from each other. One of the two scientific theories that attempt to unify everything is the  Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG). 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).

Regardless of advances in technology, Christ is the Lord of the entire existing things!
In Christmas, the feast of humanity, the God of Christians revealed the fulfillment of His Desire to be with humanity. 
In his Epistle to the Philippians, St. Paul describes Christ "Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped, [but] rather emptied himself taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness..."(Philippians 2: 6-7). 

It is, therefore, fitting that we praise the God of Christians, Three Persons in One, as He reveals Himself throughout the ages to His creation. It was the Virgin Mary who delivered him to the world. It was St. Joseph who cared for Jesus Christ.
In this sense too, the Holy Family is celebrated in Christmas. May the Lord help his seekers find Him by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Beginning of the End ?

The richness of Man is his inner heart which may bring him to God. In Matthew 6, Jesus says: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6: 21).
In September The United States and North Korea threatened each other with annihilation when North Korea tested a range of long-range missiles that fell over Japan. The corrupt Communist regime in North Korea continues to provide weapons and technical assistance to Iran and countries in the Middle East, and Africa according to Bruce Bechtol; professor of security studies at Angelo State University while the United States air force has been carrying out joint-drills with South Korea's near North Korea according to New York Times.
In November, Catholic News Agency published a report that Fr. Thomas Weinandy, a member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission, has resigned his position as a consultant to the U.S. College of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine following the publication of a letter to Pope Francis in which he asked the Pope to correct "the chronic confusion" of his pontificate "which fosters within the faithful a growing unease..." In the letter, Fr. Weinandy complains in the letter that Pope Francis "diminished the importance of doctrine in the Church's life, appointed bishops who teach and act in harmful ways, fostered a culture of fear among bishops, The full article can be read here. This is not the first protest that the first Jesuit pope received. It is well known that traditionalists (among them the so-called Dubia) backed many faithful who had already found his authoritative exhortations to be vague...Pope Francis was particularly criticized for inviting Muslims to increase in Europe thus increasingly adding to the vulnerability of the Christian presence in Europe...The Pope does not seem to recognize the Christian role in the foundation of Europe as we know it today. Above all, says the Jesuit scholar Fr. Henri Boulad, while Muslims in Western Europe preach their religion uninterrupted, Christians seem to be marginalized by the State for the so-called Islamophobia.
Persecution of Christians continues in Islamic countries in spite of declaring war on Islamic terrorism..In Egypt, where its president al-Sisi attempts to reconcile Muslims and Christians, al-Azhar was able to prosecute anyone who questions its "dogmatic" Islamic Sharia!
But in the first few days of December 2017, the president of the United States declared that he intends to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. His show-off act has triggered condemnations from the entire Islamic world, and more-over opposition from the EU, Russia,China, and most of America's allies. Another insight is Trump's decision to allow Israel upon unifying Jerusalem under Israel's sole statehood to effectively build the Third Temple. The Second Temple was destroyed by Titus in the year 70 AD. Is it yet the beginning of the end??

Is it yet the beginning of the end:The Anti-Christ? The Divisions in the world nuclear-threats and within the Church? Or is it the Second Coming of Christ, which according to Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. the "Cosmic Christ"?

Regardless of which country threatens another, who divides, and who fights who, let Christians pray for hope and peace that come from Christ and remain with us by the power of His Spirit. In these days our hearts need the hope and peace of Christ "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."said Christ (Matthew 6: 21).

Friday, November 17, 2017

Artificial Intelligence

The advances in robotics are related to the advances in quantum computers that work fast and both are related to advances in Artificial Intelligence.
The search engine in Google uses a form of artificial intelligence that allows readers to search the Internet for any combination of words and pictures.Scientists are learning to predict psychosis years in advance. Now they want to prevent it. Read the PDF file here... Two years ago FP published an article on how advances in neural technology can help erase traumatic memory but also use the brain as a weapon (Sign up for the free website and read the article here).   On November 10, IBM announced  its first quantum process system -  its "20 qubit IBM Q Commercial Quantum Computer." Microsoft is working on its "quantum computer" to be released shortly. Artificial Intelligence is also used for marketing of Amazon.com products online...If you look for a book/item on Amazon.com, the next time you open the Amazon.com page, you will notice that it displays a set of books/items that you would be interested in buying. More info about the benefits and risks of using artificial intelligence can be found here.
Movies that show futuristic-machines usually give the impression that humanity may one day be enslaved to artificially-intelligent computers. The use of such automated systems by military forces is already found in missiles owned/used by current armies in battles. However, the human mind is still in control. International treaties are signed to protect humanity from the calamities of going to war with the threat of using advanced technology as weapons! But the question  is urgent now about humans becoming slaves to artificial intelligent machines in the near future!



Today's Quote

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







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