Category Archives: God

Word Salad

I could make this poetic and interesting.But I don’t want to.As rambling and uncoordinated as it is, it will sure give you a picture of the mind that is not at peace.

Do I need to do bad to achieve good?

Do I need to create darkness to make light?

If I believe in God and his awesome power, am I convinced that He cannot do Good all by himself? So much so that He needs to do good thru the avenue of evil.

If I believe in God’s time being the best, does it make sense that I would seek to run faster than him? That I would follow short cuts to a place that he may or may not have said I will eventually get to?

If I believe His plans for me are better than any I can ever have for myself, then why am I planning to take a path other than his?

It is all rambling and mumbling. But at the end of the road we need to know what is morality? What is principle? What does it mean to take a stand? 

I am convinced that to stand with God is not to guarantee success and victory in the battles of this world. That is why Job will say “though he slay me yet will I trust him” or the three Jews thrown in  to the burning furnace will say “Our God will save us, but even if He does not, we will not worship your image”.

I might be too strict with myself, but I know for a fact that God doesn’t need to create bad before he can create good. He can do good all by himself.

So this is where I make my stand today; ” even if I don’t get that good I yearn for, I will not do wrong or take a short cut to get it”.

Crazy….?  God help me.

©Fr.

Nature as God

A sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

William Wordsworth

I am always astounded, amazed and left breathless when I reflect on nature. Nature creates nurtures and sustains all of us. It continuously gives of itself and requests nothing in return. Nature was here before us and will be after we have left the scene.

My amazement for nature soared to a new height today when I came across certain plants that have characters that are beyond belief. From the tree that blooms once every hundred years to another that can store up to 100,000 liters of water in its trunk. These plants show up a side of nature little considered. And that is its ability to endure.

The baobab : There are 9 known species, of these 6 are native to Madagascar, 2 are native to mainland Africa and the Arabian peninsula and 1 is native to Australia. Now comes the fun part. They are known to grow as high as 30 meters and have trunk diameters as much as 11 meters.  The largest known baobab tree today has a circumference of 34m at chest level. They store water in their trunk and because of drought conditions can store as much as 100,000L (26000 US gallons) of water. That is slightly above the volume of water in a standard 20ft by 30ft by 5ft swimming pool. As of 2010 the potential international market for consumer products made from seeds or dried fruit powder from this tree was put at 1billion dollars per year.

The Madagascar Palm: Surprisingly only discovered in 2008. It is known to die after fruiting. What is even more amazing is the fact that it flowers only once every 100 years. Interestingly there are fewer than 100 Madagascar palms in existence today.

The Night Blooming Cereus: It is known to flower after a year’s growth, but to catch a glimpse of its flower has always been tricky. This is because it only blooms at night.

There are so many other interesting plants that nature has sustained and nurtured over the millennia. From the Venus fly trap to the Sheep-eating plant, from the Chinese bamboo( which takes 5 years to germinate and when it does it grows up to 90m in 5 months) to the kurinji plant that blooms once every 12 years. The list is endless.

All of them evidence of nature’s ability to spawn rare beauties that we may never fully comprehend. Why then is it so difficult to relate with nature in a mutually beneficial way, when all it does is give without counting the cost.

The Marriage I know

Man as a social animal has grown in leaps and bounds over the last century and millenium. He has learnt civility and society, he has learnt morality and interdependence among so many other things that make him stand out. He stands out now as an intelligent being, not just as a social being. In the course of his growth and development he has been influenced by a lot of factors. Factors that has played both a positive and a negative role in getting him to become who he is today. Chief among these factors is religion. From traditionalism to  Christianity, from Buddhism to  Hinduism, from  Islam to the Nordic religions. All have had considerable influence in shaping humanity and his society.

In prehistoric times or precivilisation, marriage was as foreign to man as walking on four legs is to a  kangaroo. Men and women came together due to various reasons principal among which is the need to procreate, to keep the next generation going. Other reasons included cementing alliances and expanding family territories. It was not a choice the individual made rather it was made for him/her by either family needs, kindred proclivities or some other circumstances beyond his/her control. It was a contract, a covenant, an agreement, a union, a payment and so many other things but it was not marriage.

Now came religion, which defined and institutionalised marriage. Elevating what was in existence before then into a more worthy and acceptable way of life with regards to religious beliefs. Religion gave rules and created norms for what a union should be like before it is termed marriage. It gave expectations on what the roles of the individuals are and what they are not and made marriage a symbol of Gods relationship with human beings. Religion gave marriage its responsibilities which includes but is not limited to raising children in line with the moral code so that when they become adults they will raise their children the same way. All this was geared towards having a self sustaining society in terms of its morals and responsibilities. So from a duly constituted marriage under any religion issues forth a family which is a microcosm of the soceity. No wonder the Catholic church teaches its faithful that the home is the domestic church.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States in attempting to settle the lingering question of the right of gays to marry ruled that its their legal right to do so if they desire. While I am convinced that this ruling has no bearing to the institution of marriage I wish to state that the Supreme Court as an agent of State cannot define a religious institution.

The ruling of the Court will have effect in deciding civil unions and partnerships not marriages. Marriage as I understand it is much more than signing the dotted lines or saying the vows or even mouthing the “I do”. It is a spiritual exercise that only religion can allow you experience in its fullness. Every religion has its own rituals with regards to marriage, the do’s and dont’s. The requirements to make a marriage valid. Civil Unions on the other hand is a State affair and they can decide how they want to handle it and how they want to define it,its their prerogative to do so.

Not too long ago the need to separate Church and State was evident to the whole world. This was because of the overbearing influence of the Church on State affairs while failing in its core responsibilities of spiritual salvation. Today I dare say the reverse is the case where the State is attempting to define religious institutions in the light of changing definitions of what is right and what is wrong.  A task it is too incompetent to undertake.

Religion still stands as the only true beacon to guide man to morality, laws and penal codes have so far failed in doing that. As the contemporary soceity continues to try to redefine religious truths to meet the dynamic needs of today’s people, the marriage I know from my Catholic Christian roots is the marriage I subscribe to and the marriage I believe in.

The God of the hummingbird

Have you ever seen a hummingbird? They come with bright plumage, long beaks with extensible tongues and wings flapping hundreds of times per minute. The wings flap so rapidly that they give off a humming sound. They can hover in midflight and can fly backwards. They are probably the smallest birds in nature but by all means they are the most acrobatic. They are indeed a wonder to behold. Resident only in the Americas there are more than 300 species of hummingbirds known.

Seeing a hummingbird in flight I wondered, “how it became so exceptional and yet so small”, most species are less than 8cm. It didn’t take me long to conclude that it was not by chance as Darwin will have me believe. The complexities of its flight process are overwhelming. By myself I concluded that this must be the best evidence of precision bioengineering I have ever seen. How can chance be this precise when man in his brilliance has not achieved such on that scale.

The saber tooth tiger or the T. Rex with all their mismatched parts may be works of chance, the crocodile or the rhinoceros may be borne out of chance but not the hummingbird. This bird is too exceptional to be the product of the trial and error of evolution or the winner takes it all of survival of the fittest. So I sort my own explanation to the nature of this wonderful bird.

In my search I came across a book said to be thousands of years old, compiled over centuries and was argued to hold the secret of life. In the book I read that all living things were created by a God. And then I thought “I could relate with this, a higher intelligence creating things”. And then the book said this God also created them male and female that is with reference to human beings. Things were getting really interesting now; it went on to say that God created the great sea monster leviathan.

In one part it said, “the foolish say there is no God” and in another part it said that “God is found in nature” it said that in a part called the psalms that “he made the heavens with the words of his mouth”. Now it was sounding like folktale but I couldn’t drop it yet.

Reflecting on what I learnt from the book, I found out it made more sense to me than chance or evolution, it seemed logical to me that something or someone who’s knowledge is infinitely more than mine is at work in the life of the hummingbird.

I made a decision there and then to learn more about the God that made the hummingbird, I concluded within me that, if he could make such miniature wonder, what could he not do. Since I found the God of the hummingbird he has not disappointed me yet. He has laid bare for me the facts of life more than science has been able to explain.

I am learning to work with his time and not mine: his existence outside of time doesn’t make it any easier for me. But I have learnt that with the God of the hummingbird only one form of time exists and that is his time.

The me prayer

Lord help me to be content with being me

Help me to walk my paths and not the paths of another

Help me stick to your plans for my life

Even when I don’t know them in detail or in full

Help me Lord to stand true and not falter

Give me grace to stand with you though I stand alone

Give me grace to keep my head

Even when others are losing theirs.

Teach me the peculiarity of me

And the work that went into my crafting.

Teach me that I am like no other

And so should not desire to be like any other.

As we walk together Lord

Teach me to desire to rise as I fall

The grace to live fully for you and for no other

And be a good compass to those who seek you.

My Lord, give me the grace to forgive easily

To not mistake forgiveness with cowardice or stupidity

Give me grace to speak when I must

And to listen when I should

Teach me Lord that wining an argument does not make me right

Neither does losing one make me wrong

Teach me to be silent in the face of insult and injury; for you did as much

Teach me that speaking to correct a wrong must be borne out of love and not anger

If my talking will cause more harm than good

Then Lord let me not speak

If my defense will prolong a fight

Then let me lose the fight.

Lord I am but a man

Striving to know what is right and do what is right

I have failed and I will fail

But I know your grace will always be sufficient for me.

Amen