The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

29. X. 2006 - 30 Sunday in ordinary time

The question which arises from the lecture of today?s Gospel is quite simple.

Is my blindness curable?
?Jesus, son of David, have pity on me, let me see, because I am blind?

I ask you for the miracle because:

- I am blind to the beauty of the world - created by you,
- I am blind to the needs of my neighbors - living near to me,
- I am blind to my own faults, sins and weaknesses,
- I am blind to the deep sickness of my soul,
- and I am blind above all to the infinite Lord?s Love for me,

?Jesus, son of David, have pity on me, let me see, because I am blind?,

I ask you for the miracle:

? because only you can heal me,
? because only you can help me to see what is the most important in my life,
? because only you can help me to see all these wonderful things to which I am still blind.
? because miserable people are not those who are blind but rather those who refuse to see.

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Go; your faith has made you well." ? 30 Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Bartimaeus, the blind man was healed and regained his sight in a miraculous way. It is something that is not happening every day. However, the Gospel?s message can be read in ?at least- two ways. One is direct; the physically blind man was cured from his disease and regained physical sight. Beautiful and great, if only our medical services could work this way ? we would be happy and delighted.

But the other possibility of reading and understanding this passage from the Gospel is spiritual, personal, and internal. You can be healed from your internal blindness, but two things are requested. The first one is the most difficult - you have to recognize that you are blind, and the second one - you heave to express that you need to be cured: ?Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, let me see?.

These two attitudes ?however- presuppose the deepest and the most fundamental one. In order to be cured from any kind of disease you have to believe it is possible! This is the basic and most fundamental attitude without which, nothing will happen. Maybe it is for this reason that we experience the miracles so seldom nowadays?

The coming week is recalling for us one thing more, eternal life. All Saints and All Souls Days are not the days of death and fatality, but the days of those who are already living the reality of Eternal Life. Don?t forget that you are also invited to share this reality, and only one thing is requested, that you believe it is possible.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Your god, what did he thought you?

One day, Mother Teresa took in a woman off the streets of Calcutta. Her body was a mess of open sores infested with bugs. Mother Teresa patiently bathed her, cleaning and dressing her wounds. The woman never stopped shrieking insults and threats at her. Mother Teresa only smiled.

Finally, the woman snarled, ?Sister, why are you doing this? Not everyone behaves like you. Who taught you??
She replied simply, ?My God taught me.? When the woman asked who this god was, Mother Teresa kissed her on the forehead and said: ?You know, my God is called love. He taught me this.?

And who is your God ? money, success, wealth or prosperity?
And what did he thought you, your God?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.
God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.

God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your Mom and Dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.

Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in town. At least there aren't any who come to our church.

Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.

His dad, God, appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.

You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong and besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.

But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And that's why I believe in God.
Father Edward Oakes on the Importance of Definitions

Evolution in the Eyes of the Church (Part 1)

MUNDELEIN, Illinois, JULY 27, 2005 ( It isn't often that cardinals from another continent get space in the op-ed pages of the New York Times.

Such was the case on July 7 when Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna and principal editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, tried on the opinion page of the Times to clarify the Church's teachings in regard to the theories of Charles Darwin. His statements ignited a firestorm of commentary.

To get insight into the issue, ZENIT turned to Jesuit Father Edward Oakes, a theology professor at the University of St. Mary of the Lake.

Part 2 of this interview will appear Thursday.

Q: Cardinal Schönborn recently wrote an opinion-page article in the New York Times on evolution. What was the real point he made in that piece? Was it just a new chapter in the evolution-vs.-creationism debate?

Father Oakes: First of all, let me clear up a problem of interpretation regarding Cardinal Schönborn's essay, due no doubt to the editors of the Times.

Two days after his op-ed piece appeared, the Times ran a front-page story on the controversy whose headline read: "Leading Cardinal Redefines Church's View on Evolution." This so-called redefinition is something the cardinal most decidedly did not do.

For one thing, the Church has no "doctrine" on evolution, any more than it has a doctrine on tectonic plates or a magisterial teaching on how human consciousness arises from the electrical firings inside the neurology of the brain. These matters are both beyond the competence of the magisterium and are irrelevant to salvation, anyway.

Secondly, even if the magisterium did have an official teaching on evolution, it does not officially revise its "views" on matters of science by having a cardinal, however "leading," writing an article "in propria persona" -- on his own behalf -- and using an op-ed piece in a secular newspaper to boot.

That said, I believe that Cardinal Schönborn's essay "Finding Design in Nature" in the July 7 issue of the Times makes a valid point, roughly the reverse side of the coin of what Pope John Paul II said in his now-famous letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in October of 1996.

John Paul said at the time that "evolution" -- which, as Cardinal Schönborn rightly notes, the Holy Father left undefined -- can no longer be considered merely a "hypothesis" because so much data have now come in to confirm the theory.

The problem is that this very short letter brought some misinterpretations of its own in its wake -- because of the obnoxious way some Darwinians like to hijack the word "evolution" for their own atheistic purposes -- and it is those false conclusions, as I see it, that the cardinal was trying to warn against.

But, no, I do not see the cardinal's quite legitimate warning as a "new chapter in the evolution-vs.-creationism debate."

First of all, if "creationism" means six-day creation as a few Christian fundamentalists still hold, then there is no chance in the world that the Catholic Church will join that cause. But "creationism" can also refer to the total ontological dependence of the universe on God's creative act of will, and nothing in the theory of evolution can threaten that essential doctrine of the Catholic faith.

Remember that, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, even if the world happens to be temporally eternal, such an eternity of time would not undermine the created contingency of the world, utterly dependent on God's free decision to create it.

Q: Non-scientists often think Darwin's theory of evolution is accepted as scientific fact. Is that the case? If not, what is the best science saying right now?

Father Oakes: As Cardinal Schönborn rightly pointed out, the key is how one defines evolution.

If evolution simply means "descent with modification," then I would agree that evolution must be regarded as confirmed by scientific "fact" -- meaning by that tendentious word a reality that no one can afford to deny, except at the price of obscurantism.

Defined in that way, the theory of evolution claims that all life began about 3.5 billion years ago as a single-celled, self-replicating organism from which we are all descended. Since everyone now reading this sentence once began his or her existence as a single-celled organism, I hardly see how such a theory can be regarded as inherently implausible. Plus, let's not forget that the biological basis of the Church's opposition to abortion is based on the single-celled origin of human life.

And once one traces the transmission of life all the way back, using the science of genetics as one's marker, and once one follows the paths of life back to life's remotest beginnings, one sees how the various life-forms are interrelated. Moreover, using genetics, one can roughly spot when each branch of life broke off from its parent-branches.

The problem comes from the conflation of Darwinism with evolution strictly defined. Now Darwinism asserts not just the fact of "descent with modification"; it also claims to know the "how" of evolution: Evolution occurred, it claims, by means of something it calls "natural selection."

Again, if that term is strictly defined, it simply means that only those organisms that reach reproductive age get to transmit their genes; and if those genes were somehow "responsible" for helping that organism reach reproductive age, then that "helpfulness" will likely contribute to later success as well.

As with the doctrine that all life began as a single-celled organism, I hardly see how such an obvious insight can be regarded as controversial. But then again, we have to ask: How much does the concept of natural selection actually explain the "how" of evolution? Certainly, this question is a very controversial point among philosophers of biology.

But leaving aside whether natural selection actually does any explanatory work, the importation of that concept into human relations has been nothing but an unmitigated disaster for the 20th century: Karl Marx, John D. Rockefeller and Adolf Hitler were all enthusiastic Darwinians.

For that reason, I would say that any application of Darwinian principles outside the restricted sphere of organic evolution is not only not "accepted as scientific fact" but that it has also been massively disconfirmed by history.

Q: Many Catholic scientists -- including Kenneth Miller, biology professor at Brown University and author of "Finding Darwin's God" -- have requested a clarification from the Holy See on this issue, claiming that from a strictly scientific standpoint, Darwin's description of biological origins is not incompatible with Catholic teaching. Do these scientists have a legitimate point?

Father Oakes: A statement from the Vatican could be beneficial, but I also see no problem with everyone just taking a deep breath and cooling off for a while.

My worry about any more statements from the Church on evolution is the way the world of journalism will inevitably distort the import of both the Church's teaching and the debate such a statement will surely provoke among theologians, believing biologists and kibitzing atheists.

But the infernal noise of journalistic debate is a feature of our times anyway, so perhaps a serene and untroubled statement by the Vatican on this topic would be timely.

Q: What would you like to see the statement say?

Father Oakes: Well, it's a bit above my pay-scale to be giving Pope Benedict and the cardinals in Rome instructions on how they can best do their jobs, but here's how I approach this issue in my own writings.

Take the law of gravity. Fortunately the Catholic Church made no official pronouncement on Isaac Newton's "Principia Mathematica," not only because such a pronouncement would have been beyond the competence of the magisterium, but also because Newton's law had to be revised when Albert Einstein was forced to redefine gravity as the warping of space-time by material bodies, and not as some mysterious attractive force inherent in matter, as Newton held.

But when Newton published his "Principia" -- which completely bowled over the educated public -- many philosophers hijacked Newton's law for their own anti-theological purposes. They declared that Newton's law meant that God was this law's "legislator."

Fair enough, it would seem, but then came the next step. Because gravity works on its own, this meant, according to some philosophers, that after God's "enactment" of this law, he could just retire and let the universe run on its own.

Unfortunately for these self-styled "Enlightened" -- but in fact benighted -- thinkers, there is absolutely nothing in the law of gravity that would justify such a philosophical move; Newton certainly resisted it. And quantum mechanics has in any event completely exploded that old-style determinism.

Similarly, what if a geologist were to claim that God either doesn't exist or is unfeeling, with no regard for the sufferings of the human race, simply because tectonic plates cause earthquakes? That, too, would be a philosophical importation introduced adventitiously into the assured deliverances of geology.

And if a neurologist were to say that, because consciousness depends on brain activity, there is therefore no such thing as a soul -- that too would be an invalid conclusion.

In other words, just because evolution is true, that doesn't mean that any of the conclusions that so many boring positivists draw from evolution is true.

Q: So it's just a matter, then, of pointing out the philosophical errors in the conclusions of some Darwinians?

Father Oakes: St. Thomas Aquinas, I believe, has given theologians the best way to deal with these illegitimate moves. When he began to meet the challenge of Aristotle's philosophy, he immediately recognized much wisdom and truth in this natural-born Greek genius, but he also knew, as a Christian, that Aristotle had to be wrong in at last some of his conclusions.

But Thomas didn't just content himself with recognizing the falseness of the conclusions. He also realized that if Aristotle were to be proved wrong, he had to be proved wrong philosophically.

Think of someone who tries to teach himself algebra without a tutor, by using one of those textbooks with the right answers in the back. He tries out a problem on his own, and then he looks up the right answer in the back. And if he sees he got the answer wrong, he needs to go back and find out where the error was made according to the standard rules of mathematics.

Otherwise he's not really teaching himself algebra, just memorizing answers that, for all he knows, could be quite arbitrary.

Now a Church statement on evolution -- especially of the kind that Professor Miller seems to be seeking -- can either content itself with pointing out certain erroneous conclusions from Darwinian theory, or it can also show how and where the false logic operates that brings some benighted Darwinians to their dreary conclusions.

It is my view that the Church's magisterial office would work best if it confined itself to the first task, and left it to philosophers and theologians to thrash out the second challenge.

[Thursday: Reconciling Science and Faith]

Sunday, October 15, 2006


A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

As his car passed, no children appeared.

Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door!

He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting,

"What was that all about and who are you?

Just what the heck are you doing?

That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic.

"Please, mister...please,

I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,"

He pleaded.

"I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.

"It's my brother," he said. He's in a wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive,

"Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat.

He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts.

A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar.

The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message

"Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don?t have time to listen,

He has to throw a brick at us.

It's our choice to listen or not.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

prayer ...

"It's Your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face, O Lord".