Is there a God, Hell, or Afterlife? What is the meaning of life? A response to Jim Paredes

 Jim Paredes wrote an article in Philippine Star: Is there a God? An afterlife? A hell? Why are we here?  From this article, we can see that Jim Paredes conception of God is an immanence, a Modernist heresy; his afterlife is Buddhist; he does not believe in Hell but in the restoration of all things as in Origen’s apocatastasis; and his meaning of life is too vague compared to the definite statements of St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Principle and Foundation of his Spiritual Exercises.

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit: Is there a God, Hell, or Afterlife? What is the meaning of life? A response to Jim Paredes

Is there an angel for good luck?

Angel of God

Angel of God

Question:  Is there an angel for good luck?

Response:

Christians don’t believe in luck as the Chinese and Hindus believe in luck. Christians believe in a God who is a loving Father who made us His adopted sons and daughters through Baptism. At the instant of our conception, God gave each one of us our own guardian angels whose primary job is to help us go to heaven. Demons are angels who disobeyed God by their own free will at the beginning of time, and because of their great intelligence which surpasses human intelligence, their choice is irrevocable–once and for all. Misery seeks company: demons wants us to disobey God, too, and suffer with them in Hell for eternity. If God would abandon us to the power of demons, they can easily make a mincemeat of us as what happened to Job: his possessions were taken away, his children were killed in a natural calamity, and even his skin became filled with sores. The demons can also control our imagination and tempt us to despair. This would be a lopsided battle. That is why God gave each one of us our own guardian angel. If we pray to him often and ask his help, he will always be ready to help us and protect us, if it is for the good of our souls. You thought you were lucky that the car missed you by an inch or you were late for the plane that crashed or you were not able to read a magazine that would lead you to sin. But this is not luck; this is the work of our guardian angels. Thus, in times of danger, such as when you cross the street or make life-changing decisions, it is always recommended to pray to our guardian angels:

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side to light, to guard to rule and guide. Amen.

Is Catholicism the true religion?

Question by Ivan Misoto submitted on 2011/11/28 at 10:09 am

You cited the verse, Mt.13:10-11. about those who were granted the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven. In the same way, we can also say that not all men are given the understanding of the one true God. But, how can we tell which is which or who is who? Who are those people that have been given that wisdom or spiritual knowledge? How can we tell who they are when each religious authority (Catholic Church, INC, Islam, Buddhism, etc.) has been defending their own beliefs?

Answer submitted on 2011/11/30 at 12:47 am | In reply to ivan misoto.

There is only one true religion. One can determine this from the wisdom of its founder and the proof of his authority through miracles. Well, Islam, INC, and Buddhism can also make such claims. So we look at the fruits of religion. We look at the men and women who lived the ideals of the religion and see if we wish to emulate them. For Catholics, the proof of the truth of the Catholic religion is in the holiness of the saints who followed the example and teachings of Christ. As Christ said:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.k 16 By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So by their fruits you will know them.” (Mt 7:15-20)

Christ said, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’(Mt 25:40) With this belief, Mother Teresa cared for the dying of India, because she saw Christ in them. This selfless caring for the dying has not been thought of in Hindu religion and will never be because Hinduism divides people into castes.

Christ said, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Mt 26:52). St. Joan of Arc liberated France from the English without taking her sword to kill, and she wept bitterly for both the French and English who died in the battlefield. In the Battle of Orleans, the French and English faced each other. Because it was Sunday, St. Joan forbade the French to attack because it is the Lord’s day; they should wait for the English to make the first move. After one hour of both sides doing nothing, the English turned their backs without a fight and lost the battle. St. Joan is unlike Muhammad who treated Jews and Christians as enemies to be killed without compassion, or taxed to death until they convert to Islam. The fruit of Muhammad is the Jihadists who kill even innocent civilians.

Christ said, ““Not all can accept [this] word,* but only those to whom that is granted.12 Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage* for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”” (Mt 19:11-12). To not marry for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is the vow of celibacy made by priests and consecrated brothers and sisters–and there are many saints who took this vow and lead holy and heroic lives, even to the point of martyrdom for the love of Christ. Did Felix Manalo of Iglesia ni Cristo not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of God? He married. If you believe Wikipedia, Manalo was excommunicated by Philippine Mission Churches of Christ and by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church because of adultery. Was there anyone in Iglesia ni Cristo took vows of celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God, following the example of Christ. None. Iglesia ni Cristo even teaches celibacy as contrary to the Bible.

So basing from these examples, which do you think is the true religion?

Thoughts on environmentalism: Hindu “ahimsa”, Greek goddess “Gaia”, and the Good News of Christianity

I

Environmentalism at a glance appears only a movement for the care of our environment, as a care for the earth on which we live in.  There is nothing wrong with this.  But I have a feeling that the movement is slowly being steered underneath by the following principle:  plants, animals, and man have equal dignity.  This sounds like the Hindu concept of “ahimsa,” meaning to “do no harm”.  For example,

Ahimsa in Jainism emphasizes vegetarianism and bans hunting and ritual sacrifice. Jains go out of their way so as not to hurt even small insects and other minuscule animals and make considerable efforts not to injure plants in everyday life as far as possible. In accordance to this policy, eating of some foods, whose cultivation harms small insects and worms as well as agriculture itself, is to be abstained from. (Wikipedia)

This equality of all life also appears to be rooted in the Hindu concept of reincarnation: if a man can be reincarnated to an animal or to a plant or to earth, then all animate and inanimate objects have equal dignity.  If we follow this line of reasoning, it is natural to regard our very Earth as an incarnation of another spirit–caring and sustaining all life like a mother to a child.    The Greeks call her Gaia or the Great Mother Earth: mother without a husband (appealing to feminists), mother of the sea (Pontus) and sky (Uranus), and through incest became the mother of all that is (c.f. Wikipedia).

In 1979, the name Gaia was resurrected by James Lovelock in his book, “Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth“.  In this book, Lovelock proposed the Gaia hypothesis:

Living organisms and inorganic material are part of a dynamic system that shapes the Earth’s biosphere, and maintains the Earth as a fit environment for life. In some Gaia theory approaches the Earth itself is viewed as an organism with self-regulatory functions. Further books by Lovelock and others popularized the Gaia Hypothesis, which was widely embraced and passed into common usage as part of the heightened awareness of environmental concerns of the 1990s.

Thus, we now see clearly the connection of the worship of the Greek Goddess Gaia with our present marches, concerts, and parties for Mother Earth this Earth Day.

II

What should we Catholic Christians do?  Let us read the Bible and proclaim the Good News of our Catholic Faith.  In the Book of Genesis, God, not Gaia, created the world and man.  But of all His creatures, it is only man that he made in his image and likeness:

God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27)

This gives man a dignity above that of any other creature: more than the animals, more than the plants, more than our very earth—the thing that we refer to as Mother.

And God blessed man (male and female), saying to them:

Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it.  Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth…. See I give you all the seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food.  (Gen 1:28-30)

After the Great Flood, God gave a new blessing to Noah and his sons:

Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.  Be the terror and the dread of all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven, of everything that crawls on the ground all the fish of the sea; they are handed over to you.  Every living and crawling thing shall provide food for you, no less than the foliage of plants.  I give you everything, with theis exception: you must not eat flesh with life, that is to say blood, in it.  I will demand and account of your life-blood.  I will demand an account from every beast and from man.  I will demand an account of every man’s life from his fellow men.  He who sheds man’s blood, shall have his blood shed by man, for in the image of God man was made.  As for you, be fruitful, multiply, teem over the earth and be lord over it.

So why should we be afraid of human population growth?  God willed that the marriage of a man and woman would be fruitful.  Why should we use condoms, pills, and other contraceptives?  Why should we dread pregnancy and treat it like a disease?  Why abort the child in our wombs?

In the Book of Exodus, God listed the animals that are clean and unclean.  Clean animals may be eaten; unclean  animals may not be eaten (Lv 11:1-47).  But in the New Testament, God allowed all things to be eaten.  As Christ said to his disciples:

Do you not realize that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled into the latrine?  But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile.  For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy. (Mt 15:11)

And as God explained to Peter in a vision, in reference to the acceptance of the Gentiles into Christianity:

[Peter] felt hungry and was looking foward to his meal, but before it was ready he fell into a trance and saw heaven thrown open and something like a big sheet being let down to earth by its four corners; it contained every possible sort of animal and bird, walking, crawling or flying ones.  A voice then said to him, ‘Now, Peter; kill and eat!’  But Peter answered, ‘Certainly not, Lord; I have never yet eaten anything profane or unclean’–Again.  a second time, the voice spoike to him, ‘What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane. ‘  This was repeated three times, and then suddenly the container was drawn up to heaven again.

This is the Good News.  Christianity is the Good News.