Sunday, June 21, 2015

Omnipotent God

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

Some of us may not immediately understand how our Lord could be fast asleep in the middle of a very violent squall at sea. His apostles were panicking because the waves were breaking over the boat. What was the Lord Jesus doing? He was asleep through it all. Was he very tired to wake up amidst such great danger? Did he not care enough? “Lord, do you not care that we are perishing?” his disciples woke him up and so asked him.

Why were the disciples panicking? Why do we panic? Perhaps the answer would be the fact that the situation they found themselves in was very much beyond their control. Is this not the same reason why we panic? We are simply frightened by situations that are beyond our control. We always want to be on top of things. We always want to be in control. If we cannot control a certain situation, at least, we want to prepare to face it. Kaya nga we use the sciences to predict storms. We want to face it prepared. Even the big one, the earthquake that is bound to happen, we want to prepare for its eventual occurrence. We want to be prepared. We want to be in control of the situation. That is why when things get out of control, we simply panic.

And this is the reason why the Lord was asleep through all this. It was not because he was tired. Nor was it because he did not care. He was asleep because he was in control of the situation. After all, he is the Lord who spoke to Job out of the storm: “Who shut within doors the sea…when I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door and said: Thus far shall you come and no further, and here shall your proud waves be stilted.” (Sino ang humarang sa agos ng dagat, nang mula sa kalaliman ito’y sumambulat?...Ang tubig ay aking nilagyan ng hangganan, upang ito’y manatili sa likod ng mga harang. Sinabi kong sila’y hanggang doon na lang, huwag nang lalagpas ang along naglalakihan.) The Lord was in control. That was why when he awoke from his sleep, the Lord rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” and as expected the wind ceased and there was great calm. The disciples who, at that time did not yet know him, said to each other: “Who is this whom even the wind and the sea obey?” Who is he? He is the Lord who has power over all creation!

We are greatly distressed by the disturbances of the whole created world. In fact, Pope Francis himself has written an encyclical entitled “Laudato Si” wherein he spoke of the earth as groaning in travails for it has been abandoned, maltreated, burdened and laid waste by our irresponsible use of the goods which God has endowed her. (Francis, Laudato Si, 2.) And indeed, we must do our own part to help arrest this abuse of the earth which has brought about significant changes in the climate of the earth. However, while doing our part, we must not forget that the Lord is in charge and in control of all. We should not forget to call upon him as the disciples did when they woke the Lord up from his sleep. While we fortify our homes and participate in earthquake drill, we should not forget to call upon the Lord and ask him to spare us and keep us from harm. As we prepare for the monsoon rains and the floods that they will cause, let us not forget to call upon the Lord and beg him to protect us from such tragedies. For indeed, the Lord has that sovereign power over the entire created universe. There is a limit to what we can do. We can do only so far. And so after our part has been accomplished, we beg the Lord:

“God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.

“We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.

“Almighty everlasting God, spare us in our anxiety and take pity on us in our abasement, so that after the lightning in the skies and the force of the storm have calmed, even the very threat of tempest may be an occasion for us to offer you praise.

“Lord Jesus, who uttered a word of command to the raging tempest of wind and sea and there came a great calm; hear the prayers of your family, and grant that by this sign of the holy cross all ferocity of the elements may abate.

“Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.”

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

1 comment:

  1. Reasons to Believe in Jesus

    Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.

    Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

    Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

    And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

    Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

    From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

    If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

    by David Roemer