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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lazy Adam & lost Eve

Father Elias replies to a post reflecting on suicide amongst men:
I quote: “If these men could understand their own heads, these suicide rates would drop overnight!!!!!”

Well, I would say it differently. Man should understand that above his own head is something else that he will never understand fully, but he is called to be its mediator. If he seeks that mysterious reality that presides over all moving things that he likes to look at (yes, man loves to move and watch others move), his children will lift their eyes with him to heaven. He’ll be a good father when he guides all the ones he loves to search the hidden still face seeing us and loving us.

In other words, as mothers communicate life, fathers mediate for transcendence. In our society luxury is adored, mediocrity is imposed, virtual reality is cultivated and the invisible reality is ignored. The fathers’ place has been taken from them; men are no longer educated to become what they are. The lost priestly vocation of fathers is at the heart of the problem, and many of the other problems we observe are the consequence of that.

I have observed in exotic cultures as in ancient cultures (like Sparta’s) that women’s revenge on abusive and contemptuous man is not feminism, but pushing men to be more violent and self-destructive in the exercise of his social responsibilities. In a way, women understand how man has to suffer in order to dominate – and so by encouraging them to dominate, she pushes him to punish himself. Feminism did not appear where man was dominating too much, but where men had lost their place as mediator for a reality higher than their own heads…

Tattoo ideas

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Eileen shares about her new book

In the year 2000, I was a first year student in an Episcopal-Methodist Formation Program for Spiritual Directors. I knew going into the program that I would never be hanging out a shingle as a SD. I was there for the curriculum; studying the saints and ways of prayer. That is also when I began to write creative spiritual literature.

Before 9/11, I did not give too much thought for another beyond my rural community. I was apolitical, thought the world had already gone mad and there was nothing much anyone could do or say to change it. I lived a simple contended life in the rural South and have always been grateful to be an American.

But after 9/11 I got really restless and began asking a lot of politically incorrect questions. I wanted to understand why a small group of people hated Americans so much, that they would do something as evil as targeting and cold bloodedly murdering innocent people.

I have never been satisfied with easy answers and as a Christian of the Beatitudes, I understand the only way to resist evil is with good, and so I began the search to do both.

In Keep Hope Alive, I entwine the true life story of Khaled Diab, a 1948 Palestinian Muslim refugee from the Upper Galilee who realized the American dream and a career in the Defense Industry during the Cold War with Top Secret Clearance.

Keep Hope Alive begins with a group of friends around Khaled's olive wood kitchen table in Buffallo, New York the morning after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

The topics of conversation include the origins of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the treasures of the Nag Hamadi library and the stages of the soul.

Keep Hope Alive explores these topics in detail.

Khaled and his family move to Orlando and friends and loves come and go for "life happens while your are busy making other plans."-John Lennon

Keep Hope Alive is also my journey, thoughts and experiences told through the fictional characters of Riad, Jack Hunt, Dr. Jake and Terese Hunter.

These four characters also represent four ways to intuit God: mystery/mystical, the physical, through nature and through creativity.

Khaled reflects on the events of his life during plane flights and THAT DAY, we call 9/11 compels him to take a positive action.

With help from many friends he founded the non-profit, non-political Olive Trees Foundation for Peace/OTFFP in Orlando, Florida.

Keep Hope Alive documents the history of this organization of American Jews, Christians and Muslims who came together to raise awareness and funds to begin to replant the olive trees the separation wall has destroyed.

Thus far, 30,000 olive trees have been rooted at schools, churches, temples, mosques and by the neediest of land owners in Israel and Palestine.

I saw THAT DAY we call 9/11 as an opportunity for America to lead and unite the International community to fight the evil that targets and murders innocent people . The proceeds from this book is my humble attempt to reclaim the possibility of good THAT DAY presented the USA to lead the world in unity and in the spirit of sister/brotherhood..

It has been said all stories are true and some even happened. Everything the fictional characters say is true and most everything actually happened. Keep Hope Alive is also a direct challenge to the theology of the Left Behind series and to all fundamentalists who hope for Armageddon.

This planting season which begins in November 2006, the OTFFP has united forces with the YWCA in Bethlehem and the YMCA in Jerusalem's KEEP HOPE ALIVE OLIVE TREE CAMPAIGN.

My hope is that everyone who reads Keep Hope Alive will make a donation directly to them.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Father Ted gives the Bishop a 'C'

Father Ted writes about our need to be aware of our own agenda

Elsewhere - in the War on Terror debate, I've mentioned the need to be aware of our own agenda, a point which makes web discussion useful

However, an unconscious piece of reading with lowered (or a different agenda) has amused me since it happened:

Hard at work burning the midnight oil, and several candles at the other end from the morning, I was wading through and marking post-graduate submissions. Usually I try and avoid noticing the author when doing so. I found it helped me to become less biassed by their previous work.

The final one I duly awarded a "C" mark, defined by the College Tutor's Manual as "Careful work, marked by industry and effort. Perhaps some lack of balance; equivalent to work of third class quality. Such work covers some of the important ground/issues adequately, leaving other important areas unconsidered or poorly dealt with. Presentation is satisfactory, and points made are made effectively. A student who frequently gets "C"s would not be encouraged to pursue further studies at Master's level."

I then turned to see who the student responsible was. To my surprise it was not one of my students at all. I had inadvertently, and at a late hour and in fairly reduced lighting, had marked an advance copy of a report sent to me by the suffragan bishop for information.

Alas! The authors were a committee of our Cof E bishops. I had - I suspect correctly - marked the "Manchester Report" which was to set up the system of flying bishops.

The lesson I drew from the experience was that reading it carefully and analytically for marking was quite the wrong context. However, this mind-set neatly avoided the agenda (e.g. chips on each shoulder!) I would have had reading it in its proper context (= the suffragan bishop's "I thought you'd be interested in this, Ted").

...covered some of the important ground/issues adequately, leaving other important areas unconsidered or poorly dealt with"? You bet it did!

I'm sure there's a lesson for us all. Whatever we read, we read through the lenses of our personal prejudices. The forum gives us a chance to read through other kinds of prejudice.

Stop the extramarital affair
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

To follow Christ is to Struggle and Fight.

Jeff writes on the significance of 'struggle'

I think that too many people (at least here in the USA) have decided that any kind of personal conflict, struggle, or suffering must be avoided at all costs.

This is why mediocrity has become such a problem in our schools, workplaces, and even churches. We simply have lost the fact that to follow Christ means to suffer/struggle/fight.

It seems that God's excellence is best seen in His own suffering at the cross. In other words, it was through Christ's "fight" against humanities sins that we see the full potential of God's mercy.

Likewise, we cannot reach our own potential without "fighting" against the obstacles in our paths. I'm all for using combative sports as a practical method to teach people of all ages the rewards of discipline and hard work.
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Who ordered the bombing of the UN facility?

One of our forum members comments on the 'accidental' bombing of a UN facility in Lebanon:

I must be more cynical. I do think the 'accident' could have came from low down [in both senses of the word] too - but perhaps not...

UN being 'forced' out, to a degree is right up their street, imo...and i havent seen any sign of military disciplination if it came from low down

Convenient the gloating blair/bush speech today too, after two of such 'attacks' - is the game no-one wants to play, so oh yes, we will have to - on our OWN will be the eventual cry...and in go the uk and us?

the syria/iran beat goes on from that pair too, and we are now on full news assault to get the brits and americans fear filled again that this is war on terrorism - and attacks will come etc

hezbollah, like al queda need do nothing - blair and bush make them more and more popular every day - and that is sad, and costly, but what else can be expected....

i wish theyd just address the real issues, without self motive, and peace wont come anywhere, whilst israel can do no wrong....