APOLOGIA (20) – Is the Christian God the only God?

Anastasios

 

Objection 1: Different religions call God with different names but they are talking about the same God, the God we believe.

Objection 2: If God is the Father of all, so everyone is son and daughter of God, regardless of the name they want to call Him.

On the contrary, in Deuteronomy 10:14-17 it is said: “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. … For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

I reply that we need to be very careful in the way we pose the question. The answer to the initial question would be: yes, the God that is worshiped in the Catholic Church is the only God. In the passage we saw before, He is called “God of gods,” meaning that He is the supreme Being and the others are our idols, gods made by human hands and imagination but not real gods. So, despite the fact that there may be also good things in pagan religions, we have never to forget that they worship idols, not the real God.

BITE-SIZE PHILOSOPHY (67) – How are motives and circumstances related to holiness?

Graham-H at Pixabay

Rev José Mario O Mandía

jmom.honlam.org

The object of the act (finis operis), the intention (or motive or finis operantis) and the circumstances: these are the three elements of an act that we need to examine in order to judge whether the act is good or not. This fact has some implications in our spiritual life. Quite often, the three elements are used to analyze the seriousness of bad deeds, but we often fail to use them to assess good deeds.

From the point of view of faith, we are all called not only to avoid evil, or to try be “decent” or “nice” persons: we Christians are called to holiness of life. Many people take this to mean that the acts we do must be really “great,” “outstanding,” or “extraordinary” so that we can qualify for the race to heaven. When we talk of the saints, we often take notice only of their spectacular feats, forgetting that their daily lives were mostly as uneventful as ours. The best example of this is the life of Mary and Joseph. We have no record of any miracles they did while in Nazareth.

A PILGRIM’S NOTES – HIV-AIDS (1)

Fausto Gomez OP

In two pieces, I wish to share with my readers some basic points regarding HIV-AIDS: its nature and causes, ways to control the HIV virus and to prevent its spread, and on our attitude as human beings and as Christians regarding the persons who have contracted HIV/AIDS. In this first piece or article, let us reflect briefly on the nature of HIV/AIDS, its causes, and the need to control it and prevent it.

CATHEDRAL RAIL RETURNING TO USE – Church goers find it enhances reverence in communion  

Fr Leonard E Dollentas

Recently, the communion rail at Macau Cathedral was refurbished and its use was restored during weekday Masses. Communicants may now receive the Eucharist kneeling using the rail.  As expected, the practice gathered diverse reactions from the faithful.

Curious to gather some reliable feedbacks from the faithful, I asked one of the older students in my Adult Theology 101 class about this. She confirmed that indeed the rail has been a hot issue and subject of the whispers among the church goers lately, and that there had been two opposing reactions: those who are against the practice say that, if it is for reverence during communion, it isn’t necessary to go to the rail and get down on our knees to show reverence (and they, nevertheless, received communion by kneeling more devoutly on the rail during the Mass) ; those who welcomed it affirmed that kneeling is an act of worship and greatest respect one can give to God. On her part she said: “I was pleasantly surprised it was revived at the cathedral. At communion, I followed the people lining up in front of me. It was an old tradition restored, but a very humbling experience: reverently kneeling, waiting, and in humility extending my tongue to receive Jesus. Why couldn’t I receive communion like that every time?”

Fresh strength for the journey

Two students of CDSJ 5, Gabriel (Form 3) and Rui Joseph (Form 1) were among those who received confirmation at Pentecost. Here are their thoughts on this milestone in their journey of faith.

 

GABRIEL. During my confirmation class, I had fun learning more about God, how to love more, how to be a good person, and how to go to heaven. The confirmation teachers made it an enjoyable experience. My confirmation classmates and I learned many things, such as mortal sins and venial sins, the Holy Trinity and more about Holy Mass, the 10 commandments, the Sacraments, the differences between science and religion, the Church and many other things. We were also given an attendance record for Holy Mass. My piece was full of signatures and I think I did great on that one. I didn’t go to some feast day Masses on weekdays because I didn’t have time.

We also had some class activities outside the school, and it was great fun and I learnt many other things outside class. Soon we were finishing the classes. Before confirmation, we had to give our baptismal documents. I was missing some things and submitted them rather late. I thought I wasn’t going to be confirmed so I felt a bit anxious about it. During the last few classes, things were sorted out and I was going to be confirmed.

TALKS – PRAYERS FOR HEALING – ALL-NIGHT EUCHARISTIC ADORATION & SOLEMN PROCESSION – Corpus Christi irradiates blessings

Miguel Augusto

The bishop of Macau Most Reverend Stephen Lee, last year brought the Corpus Christi procession back to Macau, which had not been realized for many years and sadly almost “forgotten”. Our bishop has been extolling the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the involvement and union of the faithful with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This year, the liturgical calendar of Corpus Christi in Macau was invigorated with various activities, such as: lectures for consecrated and lay people, prayers of healing, talk for families and all community, 24-hour Perpetual Eucharistic adoration and culminating with the solemn procession of Corpus Christi, on Sunday, 3rd of June.

On learning of Fr Augustine’s passage through Hong Kong, our bishop invited Fr Augustine to give some talks during the Corpus Christi Celebrations in Macau. The lectures took place on June 1 and 2 in the Sé Cathedral and St Lawrence church. These meetings were always made with the presence of the Eucharistic Jesus. Fr Augustine has often emphasized the importance of our relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and our living and communion with him. Sister Margaret Wong, from the Eucharistic Oblate for the Vulnerable who invited Fr Augustine to come to Hong Kong since 2005, and accompanied him to Macau and providing simultaneous translation told O Clarim: “We have invited Father Augustine to come for Corpus Christi every year. He is a man of God, whose teachings are all based on the Bible and focus on Eucharistic adoration.”

A READER WRITES – A spiritually enhanced day

Simon Lei

Angela Chong

I find the Feast of Corpus Christi of special importance this year. In fact, it was a spiritually enriched day for me. I attended two consecutive Masses in the morning and joined the Eucharistic Procession in the evening.

Fr Chan, who celebrated the first Mass, advised us to reflect on the meaning of the Blessed Sacrament, of Holy Communion, treasuring the chance of welcoming Jesus Christ to live in us and asking Him to help us seek spiritual enhancement and pursue sanctification in our lives.

In the second Mass, Bishop Stephen Lee explained to us the importance of the Feast of Corpus Christi in association with the Covenant which God had established with us. Through receiving Holy Communion, he said, we can be enlightened and strengthened to combat violence and frustration, which seem to be growing in intensity in our own selves, in society and even in the world.

Star Wars, the New Age roots of Jedi philosophy

Roberto Marchesini

Star Wars, including the last chapter, is an epic saga like few others. Its most philosophical dialogues are however imbued with a clearly visible New Age culture. George Lucas, the creator of the saga, was inspired by Joseph Campbell (1904-1987), historian of religions, near to the Gnostic exoterism of Jung.

I finally managed to see the last (but not the last) film of the Star Wars saga, entitled The Last Jedi. And, as usual, I gave a reading inconsistent with the reviews I read.

Yes, it’s true, it’s an epic film; Disney, but still epic. Is it unusual for an adventurous saga? It is also true that there are swords (lasers), which we like very much; and an ancient chivalric order. Great. There is also the theme of the father: hand on the heart and standing at attention. But there is also something else, much more than that.

I am not referring to Chewbacca who becomes vegan; or to that kind of penguins who smelled a lot of marketing. I refer to an absolutely enlightening dialogue, which confirms what I had long thought about the Lucas saga. We are on the island where the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker, took refuge; and where he reached an aspiring knight, Rey. Luke agrees to train (in three lessons) Rey: brings her on a rock overhanging the sea and asks her to close her eyes.

POPE ON CORPUS CHRISTI – Only the Eucharist satisfies hearts

Associated Press

Hannah Brockhaus

(CNA/EWTN News) – Only the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the food of life, can satisfy the hunger of hearts for love, a universal experience, Pope Francis said during Mass Sunday for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

“In life, we constantly need to be fed: nourished not only with food, but also with plans and affection, hopes and desires. We hunger to be loved. But the most pleasing compliments, the finest gifts and the most advanced technologies are not enough; they never completely satisfy us,” the Pope said June 3.

“The Eucharist is simple food, like bread, yet it is the only food that satisfies, for there is no greater love,” he added. “There we encounter Jesus really; we share his life and we feel his love.”

“Let us choose this food of life! Let us make Mass our priority! Let us rediscover Eucharistic adoration in our communities! Let us implore the grace to hunger for God, with an insatiable desire to receive what he has prepared for us,” the pope said.

HOLY MASS – The Perpetuation of the Pascal Mysteries

The Mass of St Gregory: Jesus appears to Pope St Gregory I (c. 540 – 604) as the Man of Sorrows at consecration so as to confirm His presence in the Sacrament of the Altar.

Professor Roberto Ceolin

As Easter Season approaches its end, it is good to keep in mind that Easter still goes on every time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered upon a consecrated altar by a validly ordained priest.

Around Christmas time, when the world is overtaken by a sudden wave of instantaneous goodwill we are constantly bombarded with emotional outbursts such as ‘Christmas should be everyday’ and the like, usually by pop singers and celebrities, always on the lookout for a bit of free publicity. But behind this plastic-made and wrapped in golden ribbons love-all-the-world sentiment is a hidden attempt to water down the significance of Christmas as the commemoration of Christ’s Birth. In some places, such as the USA, Christmas has been under such attack that the greeting Merry Christmas! is now thought of as politically incorrect because it is divisive; instead what we want is the inclusive and cosy greeting Happy Holidays! so as to accommodate also the Jews who celebrate their Hanukkah festival in December. Well, what can one say except that this is only slightly different in form from what was going on not that long ago in the Soviet Union and other so-called progressive, even if starving, countries!

Back to the topic in hand, no such strident outbursts exist for Easter yet, and thank God for that!, as the meaning of Easter is much too deep to be vulgarized so easily. Even though no-one has yet come up with the brilliant slogan ‘Easter Sunday should be everyday’, Easter does happen every day and not in a metaphorical manner. Let us see exactly how.