‘God’ Category Archives


POPE FRANCIS AND CARDINAL SARAH: a question of orientation.

by Arnold Jago in God, Modern Church, Recent Developments, Sacraments

Cardinal Robert Sarah is head of the Vatican department responsible for how liturgies are celebrated (the Congregation for Divine Worship).
Cardinal Sarah and Pope Francis disagree on certain important matters — including which way the priest should face during Mass.
On 5 July 2016, Cardinal Sarah announced that from the first Sunday in Advent (27 November) priests should face away from the congregation.
This change had been favoured by the previous Pope (Benedict XVI) who argued that the priest “is also another Christian like all the others and is turning with them towards God”.
If you’re a Catholic and believe that God is really present in the consecrated bread and wine that is important.
Anyway, Pope Francis announced on July 9 that no such change will happen.
Then, on 28 October, he made 19 changes to the membership of Cardinal Sarah’s department — such that Cardinal Sarah’s influence will be curbed.

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TREES, PAGES, IDEAS AND LIFE: how to know things (anything)

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, God, Truth

When you look at a tree you know definitely that in your mind (which you think lives inside your head) there is the idea of a tree.
But do you know definitely that the tree really exists out there, outside your head?
Come to think of it, do you know that your head exists?
Or is your head something that only exists in your head?
Are these silly questions?
Not really.
You feel as though you’re reading this page, but can you know absolutely that there is a page?
Something or somebody definitely existing (not a tree or a page) put the idea in your head.
It must have been God.
He must have done so for a reason.
He wants you to enjoy the ideas that he gives you and to relate to them in the way he wants.
How to find out what he wants?
Ask him.
He is willing to reveal himself. In fact, out of his love, he has done so and is doing so.
It’s called religion.
But it must be true religion, not a hateful one.
The above thoughts are interesting to think about.
And essential to base our lives on.


CHINA AND AUSTRALIA’S CASINO INDUSTRY: not a good bun-fight to get involved in

by Arnold Jago in Abortion, Australia, crime, God, Money, Politics

Three Australian employees of Crown Resorts are in prison in China.
The Chinese government is currently cracking down on corruption.
President Xi Jinping is sick of foreign companies like Crown who provide a service assisting wealthy Chinese money-laundering crooks to thumb their noses at Chinese law.
It’s commonly conceded that “casinos breed crime” — perhaps equally true to say that casinos are crime.
Isn’t gambling intrinsically evil — fostering greed, envy, theft, parasitism and idolatry?
Idolatry being the worst — thumbing one’s nose at God.
As the Bible says, you cannot serve (idolise) both God and money. (Matthew’s gospel, chapter 6)
Small time gambling like a “flutter” on the Melbourne Cup or at the Bingo is generally considered fairly harmless.
But it isn’t.


DRUGS, EDUCATION AND HARM-MINIMISATION: are we altogether on the wrong track?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Education, God, Happiness, Lifestyle

The Australian Government’s Principles for School Drug Education still state that the overall goal must be harm minimisation.
The rationale seems to be:
(1) most people use drugs only occasionally and for a short part of their lives.
(2) it’s impossible to eliminate drugs from society anyway.
(3) therefore, “harm-minimisation” is good enough.
They assume that the main problem with badly-behaved people is their being ignorant – so that education is the answer.
Plato taught that 2400 years ago. He was wrong. But we still believe it. We like the idea. It dominates how our taxes get spent.
It’s wrong because it’s deterministic — telling wrong-doing persons that, deep down, they can’t really change.
Jesus Christ, however, taught that happiness comes with purity.
Blessed are the pure in heart,” he said, “for they shall see God.” (Matthew’s gospel, chapter 5)
Is purity something realistic to aim at?
If we discipline ourselves to even make a start in behaving better, do we really begin, by God’s grace, to re-constitute ourselves?
Should we be teaching our young people that?


MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA: now a saint of the church

by Arnold Jago in Celebrities, Faith, God, History, Modern Church, Saints

More Australians than usual attended church last Sunday.
Many celebrated the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – now officially known as “Saint Teresa”.
Mother Teresa is respected by Catholics and non-Catholics for her love of the “poorest of the poor”.
There are knockers of course.
Atheist writer, Christopher Hitchens, called her a “thieving, fanatical Albanian dwarf” – mainly because she opposed abortion.
I liked the comment of a fellow-writer comparing Hitchens with Mother Teresa: “If you were sitting in the gutter in rags in Calcutta, which would be the more likely to give you a bowl of soup?”
Yes, we need more Mother Teresa’s in this world.


“ALLAHU AKBAR” OR “OUR FATHER”? how then should we relate to God?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, God, Prayer

Some Muslims commit atrocities while crying out “Allahu Akbar”.
It apparently means “Allah is greatest”.
Greatest? That can’t be right.
Muslims passionately profess to believe in only one god.
If so, wouldn’t he be better described as — not “greatest” — but the “only” god.
Jesus Christ taught believers to address God as “Our Father”.
He combined the creator’s uniqueness with a personal and intimate relationship that Islam doesn’t teach.
The lovingness of a Christian’s relationship with his/her God seems unique to Christianity.
It’s a wonderful thought. Surely it’s something every person is looking for, if only they knew it.
Why don’t they know it?
If only Christians’ lives more convincingly bore witness to their sharing in God’s fatherly love….
Today might be a good day for us to start trying a bit harder.