” The fire of God, the life of the Blessed Trinity, dwells in the heart of all being of every person, of you and me. It is the source of the inframutability of energy,matter, Spirit, the convergence of all the goodness of the universe in one eternal moment. It burns away the veil between life and death and enables us to share God’s own life with one another and with those who have gone before.
Often our lives seem disconnected fragments. It is this loving fire that fuses the pattern, that is our constancy; it is the love that undergirds. If only we will, we can watch, like a child with a kaleidoscope, transfixed by chips of glowing color falling into new geometries.”
Maggie Ross, The Fire of Your Life
John Barton of Oxford University wrote in the preface of his book: “Some people love the Bible and some hate it; but few read it.” The latter is the case because the Bible usually presents as an intimidating “library of works” to read, and much more, to understand. Many people do not know where to begin “understanding” the Bible beyond the Sunday sermons of their pastors or priests. People are hungry for a simple but not over-simplified introduction to the basics of the book. Professor Barton had this need in mind in writing this book. This book needs to be in every library because of its accessibility to the reader and lucidity.
What if solitude and prayer is the very fiery furnace that can purify you? What if in solitude and prayer, you have no other choice but to face your own demons that dehumanize you – craving for pleasure, power, popularity, wealth? What if in solitude and prayer, you realize you are not beholden to any system, party or group and that you do not exist merely to be a pleaser? What if solitude and prayer can simplify your life, makes you realize that you don’t actually need much power, wealth, success, popularity to be human? What if in solitude and prayer, you grow more other-centered because you keep on encountering beyond religious techniques the One who is infinitely self-giving rather than self-indulgent? What if solitude and prayer is the necessary breath the world needs? What if your simple life of solitude and prayer is your only contribution for social change? What if?
“The Christian faith enables us to see the world in a manner that transcends the empirical. It offers us theoretical spectacles which allow us to behold things in such a way that we are able to rise above the limits of the observable, and move into the richer realm of discerned meaning and value. The natural world thus becomes seen and interpreted as God’s creation, bearing the subtle imprint of its maker. We see not only the empirical reality of the world, but its deeper value and true significance. Neither value nor significance, it must be emphasized, are empirical notions – things that we can see around us. They must be discerned, and then superimposed upon an empirical reading of the world.
We are called to exercise an evangelical discipleship of the mind in every area of life. Whether we are called to serve God in the arts or in music, in health work or in international development, in the academy or in politics, we must work out what it means to be a Christian in these contexts. Sometimes this will mean manifesting and embodying the love, compassion and care that is so central a feature of the life of faith. Sometimes it will involve challenging ideologies that have become deeply embedded in the academy, culture or society. There is no area of life in which we are excused by God of the need to work out our discipleship. We are called to be witnesses, to allow our light to be seen; to be salt to the world around us. And we can only do that through presence – through inhabiting situations to which we feel called.”
Alister McGrath: “The Lord is my light: on the discipleship of the mind” EQ 83.2 (2011), 133–145
The 2010 Laing Lecture, delivered at the London School of Theology on 23 February 2010. The author is Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture at King’s College, University of London.
“What if beginning–this beginning, any beginning, The Beginning–does not lie
back, like an origin, but rather opens out? “To begin” derives from the old Teutonic
be-ginnan, “to cut open, to open up,” cognate with the Old English ginan, meaning
“to gape, to yawn,” as a mouth or an abyss (OED).
We gape back. We make brilliant machines for gaping. They inscribe a universe
that appears to open endlessly. Indeed, its speed of expansion now seems, stunningly,
to be accelerating–as though replaying the initial surge into materialization called the
Big Bang. Or more suitably: the Big Birth. A strange “dark energy” pushes the
universe infinitely out. In a centrifugal expansion that is paradoxically without
center, glamorous conflagrations of star death glide along on the same momentum
with nurseries of nebulae incubating fetal stars. The galaxies interlace like a
circulatory system: the nonlinear geometry of chaos is figured everywhere.
Astronomers, who had once focussed upon “jewel-like lights that moved in eternally
recurring patterns,” must confront the possibility that the starry galaxies and their
creatures are “barely more than flecks of froth on a stormy sea of dark matter.”
Darkness upon the deep.”
Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming
From where i am, creation unfolds minute by minute, millisecond by millisecond, because Someone beholds you and me by infinite self-giving, by “opening out,” radically available yet free as a wind. I am enclosed in this “yawn,” sustained by this “gaping”. S/he beholds that i may be born beautifully (freedom from anxieties and fear of death) every millisecond. I can only give birth in return by beholding this generous gape that passes from constellations to the human cells. Immeasurable silent, big, dark, luminous, fiery, beholding yawn!
Everyone who has access to the internet knew the violence that happened in Boston. It’s sickening. But here’s a more sickening story. With suicide rate rising, soon “talks” about mental illness will become a national necessity in this country. Let’s hope the next “logical” thing will not follow: the “drugging” of growing economies, the madness marketing and the prescription of psychotropic drugs that will be imported as death machines.
Making A Killing:
THE UNTOLD STORY OF PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGGING
“Psychotropic drugs. It’s the story of big money—drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure. The cost in human terms is even greater—these drugs now kill an estimated 42,000 people every year. And the death count keeps rising. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of victims and the survivors themselves, this riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine.”
Source: Citizens Commission on Human Rights: Watchdog Investigating & Exposing Psychiatric Human Rights Violations
“Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.”
This was music of celebration and the elder son was initially curious as if music was something rather strange and exotic for his ears. His curiosity may give readers the impression that celebratory music has never graced his life. It is likely so when he complained: “yet, you never given me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.” The elder son’s life was a life of obedience to the strictures of the house rules. Or so he thought. Scholars are fond of placing symbolic equivalence between the image of the elder son and the law-abiding Pharisees: both of them are characters of rigid boundaries with a high tendency to exclude anyone who falls out of those boundaries. During Jesus’ time, and in the Mediterranean culture, mealtime was more than the act of consuming. It was always charged with the symbolic sense of belongingness and of common minds based on established boundaries. One does not deserve to be on the table if one falls out from the boundaries which makes one consequently impure. The younger son was a fallout from the grid of righteousness of the elder son.
And so music became anathema to the elder son. Instead of allowing music to let him dance spontaneously and break boundaries and customs, he recoiled to self-consciousness with dismay and anger. He couldn’t dance. He couldn’t chant the psalmodies of praise. He couldn’t play the way Mozart did on his deathbed when he joined in singing his own unfinished Requiem, blowing out his cheeks for his trumpets, as if welcoming and beholding his own musical resurrection. In the elder son, there was more self-constriction than self-expansion that music and dance are capable of catapulting participants into. This is what linear (music has a spiral movement to make people dance), rigid adherence to dogmas and boundaries can do to its guardians and adherents – it makes people sterile people superficially react through noisy music and entertainment to such religious rigidity. Or leave their religious yards with a distasteful sense of dissonance.