Einstein Says, St. Paul Says

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I have been caught up with stuffs like physics and history lately. I was reading events which took place as far back as Cleopatra’s time, to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D., and up through the burning of the White House in 1814. I got so fascinated by stories which happened long ago and felt like they only happened a few days ago. I devoured more of the internet and started watching videos on youtube. Then I saw videos featuring the special and general relativity of Einstein, his E=mc2 equation, the quantum mechanics theory, and other new theories like the string theory, the black matter, and black energy. While I could not follow the mathematical side of it, I was just so thrilled to the bones how the scientists decode and unravel the laws of the universe and thought what a great Mathematician God must be! As I was clicking and watching more videos, I saw at the same time videos of these scientists saying there is no God, Jesus Christ was not real, and other similar topics. I watched them to hear what they had to say. And they made real good presentations ranging back from the Egyptian story of Horus, the Greek’s Mithra, and a long list of gods in different cultures and religions, claiming that all of them were born on December 25, born of a virgin, died, and resurrected on the third day. The narrator finally linked all these to Jesus and said he was not real. He said these persons were all mythical gods made up by superstitious men who misinterpreted the constellation of the stars and their movements around the period December 22 to 24 until the 25th. Einstein was featured saying he does not believe in a personal God. Other scientists were quoted saying there is no God. The comments and replies on the videos were those of indignant Christians and incensed self-professed scientists, full of foul language and obscenities. While these so-called scientists explained in details the mathematical equations for their physics theories, their videos claiming there is no God and Jesus Christ was not real did not present a single equation for such claim. They also failed to give the reference materials for their videos so much so that some practitioners of the religions whose gods they featured made comments as to the falsity of their statements in the videos.

I was disturbed by Einstein’s statement that he does not believe in a personal God. Rather, he believed in a created universe and a God who created it, but not a personal God. I had to resolve this question before I could sleep. I could not leave it hanging. Einstein as a great physicist unraveled some of the mysteries of the universe with his discoveries, backed with mathematical equations. It’s like every physical thing in the universe is a mathematical equation waiting for these physicists to unlock. The human body, modern technology, and the planets and the solar system and other universes consist of mathematical equations and there is no sense of mystery for these scientists. It’s all a matter of an equation that needs unlocking. Then they conclude, voila, there is no God, or God is an impersonal God and he does not take care of the universe he created, much less the human beings. I thought, something sounds wrong in their conclusion, “There is no God” or “God is not a personal God.” These physicists study matter, energy, heat, light, radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, atoms, etc., and they are now teaching us there is no God. It’s like a mechanical engineer just examined a breast cancer patient and said he had to perform a mastectomy. Physics deals with matter and now it is invading that field which is not matter. God is not matter and therefore He is beyond mere physics and He cannot be measured or analyzed with mathematical equations that deal only with matter.

Is there a personal God? To answer my question, I have to refer to the authorities about God and the documents that recorded events in history. After Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension, and the birth of the early Christian community in Jerusalem, Saul of Tarsus, as archenemy of Jesus Christ, vowed to destroy Christianity. He asked letters from the high priest in Jerusalem to arrest every follower of Christ bound from Damascus. Saul meant nothing but violence and death for the followers of Christ, when he met Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:1-6 gives us an account of his personal encounter with Jesus Christ: “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’” Saul was blinded for a while and afterwards, went on preaching that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah, the Son of God. From an archenemy to an arch-champion of Christ, he wrote around thirteen letters in all preaching Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes through him. He suffered persecutions and finally death. As a personal witness, Saul gave his testimony of this personal experience. This testimony was recorded and documented in history. What was Saul’s, or Paul’s motivation for all these? He said, in 1 Corinthians 9:16-18: “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.” Preaching Jesus Christ was a duty entrusted to him by God who personally appeared to him on his way to Damascus. How more personal can God get than that?

Whence Comes Knowledge?

From St. Augustine's concept of time, space and matter, is there knowledge at all apart from them, save from the knowledge of God which  is beyond the realm of humans? From the concepts of time, space and matter comes knowledge. Thus, to be human means technically to know, that is, to gain knowledge. With the acquisition of knowledge comes the wisdom between good and evil, right and wrong. And with said wisdom comes the freedom to choose. Life itself is a precious gift from God that brings with it the experience of time, space and matter.  With the experience of life come knowledge and wisdom between good and evil, right and wrong by which we exercise freewill. Life and freewill are God's gifts that go hand in hand.

From St. Augustine’s concept of time, space and matter, is there knowledge at all apart from them, save from the knowledge of God which is beyond the realm of humans? From the concepts of time, space and matter comes knowledge. Thus, to be human means technically to know, that is, to gain knowledge. With the acquisition of knowledge comes the wisdom between good and evil, right and wrong. And with said wisdom comes the freedom to choose. Life itself is a precious gift from God that brings with it the experience of time, space and matter. With the experience of life come knowledge and wisdom between good and evil, right and wrong by which we exercise freewill. Life and freewill are God’s gifts that go hand in hand.

“Behold, I Make All Things New”

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April 28, 2013

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Reading 1
ACTS 14:21-27

After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news
to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the kingdom of God.”
They appointed elders for them in each church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.

R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.

R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Let them make known your might to the children of Adam,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2
REV 21:1-5A

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”

The One who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

Gospel
JN 13:31-33A, 34-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”

Christian Charity and My Funny Foibles

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Memories of my college days keep rushing back. My friends back then would always wonder at a very peculiar trait of mine. I could go to any place without money. It was not intentional, though. I would always forget my purse back in the dormitory and I would always travel around the campus penniless. Maybe, at a subconscious level, I was enjoying the charity of people who were very kind to help a poor, penniless girl. I could eat at a fast food place on a mere promise that I would later pay. It was not even a promissory “note.” It was on a mere verbal commitment to pay later. People were so trusting and I was enjoying every experience of people’s generosity.

One time, I made sure that I had my purse with me. There was a vendor on the streets selling native delicacies such as rice cakes which we call “puto” and “bibingka” in the vernacular. Then I took a jeepney which was plying round and round the campus. When I opened my purse, all I had left was a P500.00 bill. I had no small change. The driver asked me for a smaller amount. I told him I just spent the last small change I had on food. The driver quipped back that it was still early he had no change for a big bill. Having been used to generous and kind people with whom I dealt all the time, I offered as fare the rice delicacies which I just bought. The driver laughed at me like I was telling him a big joke. I was thinking of what to offer him next as a bargain. Then the guy seated next to me, himself a student, interrupted and said, “I’ll pay for her fare.” And he gave the coins to the driver. I was very grateful for the unexpected help coming from a student like myself. I was so touched I offered him likewise my rice delicacies, which he declined.

Even when I graduated already from college, started to work and got married, I have not shunned that eccentricity of leaving my purse at home and traveling penniless. Call it strange, but I had that funny feeling that when I needed money, I would always come across a generous soul. I on my part have imbibed that generosity shown to me by strangers that I in turn could spend my last centavo on my friends.

The Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10) Knowing that God is the Owner of the Universe and that He would always provide for my needs, I never worried that He would not supply what I need when I need it. 

Money is no matter to God. When He needed it, He nonchalantly ordered Peter to catch the first fish and he would find the money to pay for His tax and for Peter’s as well. (Cf. Mt. 17:27) Never allow money to stop our charity. 

“Obsessed with Dragon City”

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I was never fond of games on Facebook. I never enjoyed playing them and saw them as a waste of time. But for one reason or another, I got very interested in playing Dragon City. I’m a heavy sleeper and I sleep long hours. That’s how I renew my mental and bodily energy after a long day’s work. But since I played Dragon City, I have been waking up at 5 a.m. to feed my dragons, to plant food, to collect revenues from the habitats, and to engage in combat. And I love seeing my recent activity posted on my timeline. It gives me a different kind of joy. The same goes before I sleep. I used to sleep at 8 in the evening. But since I played Dragon City, I have been sleeping at 12 midnight or even a little past that. Around four months of that routine and I developed dark circles around my very tired looking eyes. I felt sleepy during the day at work. I kept telling myself, “I have to stop this insanity.” But I never stopped. I was very happy with my Dragon City, eye bags and all. I got so attached with that game, I could not give it up. I even had guilt issues with God concerning this game. I was like a pampered child testing the extent of God’s patience with my stubbornness.

Yesterday, I was checking on my privacy settings on my “Recent Activity” tag. I clicked something, and my activity in Dragon City was gone. I tried to recover it but could not undo what I clicked. I panicked and wailed. My teenage daughter could not relate with my reaction. She said incredulously, “Mom, I don’t get it. Most people would hide their activity in any Facebook game. And you’re bewailing the non-appearance of your activity in Dragon City on your timeline. Aren’t you overreacting, Mom?” I was clicking here and there to recover my activity in Dragon City. Then she joked, “Mom, are you really the one writing your blog, the ‘Medicine of God?'”

Then I thought, “Why am I even writing the “Medicine of God?” It is so presumptuous on my part, when I am not a theologian, a bible scholar, a priest, a nun, a religious. I am not even a good person.” After a moment of silence, I said to my daughter, “I’m writing the ‘Medicine of God’ because God is so good to me, so good, in fact, I don’t deserve it. It’s not because I’m good, but because God is good.”

God finally spoke. He clicked something and my recent activity in Dragon City can be seen no more. He wants me to give it up and to disentangle from everything about that game– the lack of sleep and rest, the wasted hours, the lack of focus, etc.

To uproot any attachment, anything at all for that matter, which has taken root and ramified deeply into our hearts could be really painful and upsetting. But what must be done must be done. There’s no going around it. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Mt. 6:24) “Money” could be any attachments of ours.

“A Mother’s Heart”

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Two years ago, my then six-year old son was bumped by a Honda City sedan right in front of our house. His nanny was running after his ball. Then it happened so fast. The car driver brought my son to a hospital to have him examined and treated. Luckily, my son did not sustain any serious injuries. The accident happened in the morning. I was at work. Our nanny and the car driver informed my husband about the incident. My husband did not tell me about it until the results of the lab tests were out and my son was declared okay, with only a bruise on his back. I learned about it past noontime already. I was shocked. I was both angry and devastated. When I saw my son, I hugged and comforted him through sobs and tears. When we reached home, my son was his usual self, running around and playing. But I could not get over it. The whole time, I was crying. My husband and I went to hear Mass in the evening to thank God for saving our son. All throughout the Mass, my eyes were blinded with tears, like there was a puddle of tears already right where I was standing. Since then, I doubled my prayers to God to always take good care of my family.

After almost a year, I was reading a book on the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother Mary. I thought of the sorrows that she experienced as the Mother of Jesus, especially when she saw Jesus dying on the cross, and when she held the dead body of Jesus. Suddenly, I was transported to that time when my son met with that car accident. In an instant, I felt like a dagger was driven through my heart. The pain was so poignant and tangible; it felt like a real dagger stabbed my heart. My pain was renewed. But this time, I was sharing with the pain of our Blessed Mother. There was like a certain knowing and I felt how our Blessed Mother felt during the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When God gives us light, the things we know about our faith cease to be mere head knowledge or theoretical. He establishes a certainty in our soul that after that infusion of light into our soul, that certainty is held firmly as truth. The first is like a blind person being told about the texture of a flower, its scent, color, and every quality that it has. The second is like actually holding the flower, smelling it, seeing the vibrancy of its color, and experiencing every quality of that flower. I have held the sorrow of our Blessed Mother in my hand.

After that infusion of light about our Blessed Mother, I have never felt closer to her in my whole life. She is very much my Mother in every way. Jesus gave her to me as my own Mother. “Woman, here is your son. Son, here is your Mother.”  (Jn. 19:26-27)

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

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“Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.” (Diary, 301)

“My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me-clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness.” (Diary, 177)

“My love and mercy knows no bounds.” (Diary, 718)

“Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it -with peace.

Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.” (Diary, 1074)

Happy Feast Day, Jesus!