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Thursday, October 15, 2020

God of Faith and God of Science

(Image courtesy: Jean Marc Arkelian)
Discoveries and inventions are very little in front of the immensity of knowing God

What Christian Scriptures want to say to us is that God is present everywhere and powerfully present in the working of this immense universe. I suppose we are conditioned by God's omnipresence and omnipotence in the affairs of this world. When this Corona is threatening us at our door steps, we are made aware that all our learnings and scientific discoveries in the medical field are so small, so little and so tiny. It's like a drop in the ocean. That means in order to draw strength, we should begin to think about the immensity and knowledge that is in God and kneel down and just begin to contemplate this unutterable mystery that we call God. All our discoveries and inventions have no effect or meaning at all at the face of our littleness and shallowness. The more we know our fragility, smallness, emptiness, vagueness, in fact about our life itself, we see the immensity, greatness and vastness of God. In other words, we are putting constraints around ourselves in knowing our God.

II

Too many questions go unanswered

Probably, many of the theists (who believe in God) must have asked where is our God during this unexpected pandemic times. If God is good and powerful, then He should save us. He must save us from this vulnerability of getting infected to the Corona virus. There are already enough and more illnesses and diseases around the world. Why is this another pandemic? Probably we will have to ask ourselves why our scientists are slow in getting vaccine for Covid-19? Is our knowledge bank is so small and susceptible? Why are we so small in front of this global menace? With our latest technology and state of the art laboratories and so called progress and civilization no agency in the world including United Nations Health Agency is able to say how this Covid 19 spreads or how it originated? The sheer magnitude of this illness of Covid makes me ask a further question, will the virologists of this world really be able to find a vaccine at all? I have serious doubts because if you are not able to say the exact nature of symptoms of the Corona virus and its spread how will you be able to fix it? How will you give a solution if you don’t know the problem? Let me leave this task to scientists who are spending days and nights in their laboratories and other places to find a right solutions and suitable medicine for us. May they succeed early. 

III

Creator is greater than what we think of

One thing is becoming very clear to us that the one who is behind our creation and existence in this world is mightier than we can think of. Our reality of nakedness of being little exposes enormous spectrum of questions. Most probably, in the olden days when pandemics hit the universe they knew better than us how best to contain them without much governments interventions and asking people what to do with them. Every person must have learnt to deal with it with the memory of the past experiences. Today with all our communication infrastructures we have not been able to advice people well in advance about the risks involved if we don't take care of ourselves from this infectious disease. That is the tragedy of today! Either we have become uneducated or arrogance has taken primacy in our dealings. And we are all OK with it. This puts me to imagine and enter deeper into the mystery of God Himself. Who that God is then? How that God moves this entire universe in such a perfect balance? 

IV

God knows to deal with its creatures

I believe that to understand better the implications of the question that this Covid pandemic opens before us we have to freshly look into the force behind this universe, source behind our existence, strength behind the resilience people have in spite of such odd difficulties. Moreover, people continue to go on living a life without being very pessimistic of the future. With this Covid pandemic we have become more vulnerable to susceptibility than ever before. We are not sure when will be our end. Earlier we could predict that it would happen in sometime of our life and now no more such predictability is possible. 

However, the Word of God from our Bible should suffice us to keep us fresh and optimistic before God our Lord.  The very first Psalm in the Bible deals exclusively on the happiness of people in God: 

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked... 
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,  
and on his law they meditate day and night (1-2). 

The Psalmist continues to encourage every human person in his or her pursuit of happiness on this earth: 

They [happy] are like trees planted by streams of water, 
which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. 
In all that they do, they prosper... 
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous (3, 6). 

In fact, Psalm 8 encourages us to think positively about ourselves in spite of our littleness and fragility because we see only the mighty works of God in this creation. Psalmist says, "Yet, you have made them [men and women] a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have put all things under their feet" (5-6). Can we recognize the vibrancy in our lives having formed almost to the divine nature of our God? 

However, to maintain our position as creatures close to God, Psalmist invites us to follow something very important. 

Those who love me,  I will deliver; 
I will protect those who know my name. 
When they call to me, I will answer them; 
I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honour them. 
With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation (Psalm 91:14-16). 

Nothing is permanent in our lives except adhering to the precepts of the Lord  and this will assure us to live in God forever. Perhaps during this Covid times certainty of our lives on this earth is greatly minimised. Only way forward for us is to have deep faith in God and in his precepts. Thus we embrace his will in our lives whole heartedly.

God alone is enough - A way to conquer ourselves

Today the Church remembers St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), a Spanish Carmelite Nun known for her work, Interior Castle, which treats her mystical experiences, contemplative prayer and the stages of spiritual growth that leads to complete union with Christ.

St. Teresa speaks to her soul so gently: 

Be joyful, my soul… 
Don’t let any earthly thing be enough to separate you from your delight, 
and rejoice in the grandeur of God; 
in how He deserves to be loved and praised; 
that He helps you to play some small role in the blessing of His name; 
and that you can truthfully say;  
My soul magnifies and praises the Lord!

It's our experience that God loves every person and even ‘all things.’   God loves everything in the Universe. God loves every star, every planet, every rock, every tree, every animal and of course, every person. God loves you and me.  We are utterly loved by God.  You are so loved that God wants to spend eternity with you . . This can seem too good to be true and therefore difficult to take in.  

Perhaps these following words of the saint of the day, St Teresa of Jesus,  fill us with confidence to obtain courage and peace of soul, that our God, in Christ Jesus, together with the Holy Spirit, is with us.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone is enough.  [From Nada te turbe in Spanish]

- Olvin Veigas, SJ

15 October 2020

Memorial of St Teresa of Avila

10 comments:

Unknown said...

Wonderful post Fr. and so apt for our times.. this pandemic has brought us closer to God.

Joilin said...

What's man without God?
Don't blame God for the sufferings, including this pandamic in this world.
"It's better to bend than to break." If we put a little more of Jesus in our lives and "Practice His Presence" how different our lives will be and how beautiful this world will be!
The Otherness of God is mind boggling. It's incomprehensible for us.
This is an exact Optimistic messages i am moved with from this article.
Inspiring and uplifting article for the people of all walks of life.
Dear Olvin,
Thanks for the great work that says, " Our life is not without trials but God gives us strength to face the challenging times. Is it not a message of absolute hope? Good! Thank you.

Smitha said...

Hello dear Olvin father, v. Good reflection, yes, so let us live according to da interest of our creator, being more compassionate & kind, giving due respect to everything in the universe, above all keeping our God so close to our hearts.🙏👌🌹

Sebi said...

An article with down to earth compassion of God for His creatures. As I reflected through this Godly message, I can't but bow my head and heart before the Omnipotent, Omnicient and Omnipresent God who lives and moves the world with perfect balance. Every word in this article is extremely powerful than any double edged sword. And it keeps vibrating in me. It's worth reading. I recommend everyone who aspire to inspire others towards God can grab this wonderful article once for all. It's my gratitude speaks. Olvin, heartfelt thanks to you.

Vincy said...

Dear Olvin,
Thank you for your commitment in bringing out such a great article to ignite the fire of God's love in the lives of many. This article is haunting me with the thoughts of Rev.Fr.Stan,"the heaven of the needy" Praying earnestly for his release and let his innocence be vindicated. The world is sustaining still because of courageous persons like him. You are indeed a visible God to me. I salute the saintly persons like you all.

lijiserin@gmail.com said...

Dear Rev.fr Olvin,
Thank you for your beautiful reflection.your way of thinking and reflecting is very unique.No one can predict what will come next. I really admire this, became a lover of your blog.continue to write and inspire us

Gili said...

Wow! What a beautiful image of hope the picture is! The picture speaks lots of wisdom of God. Great thoughts!

Unknown said...

Great enlightenment Olvin! Thanks.

Unknown said...

You have made a difference! God bless you Father.

Prema said...

Father, I'm so glad that your article is making a strong effort to initiate and execute the creative ideas.