Let me tell you a story. It’s a long story, though. It’s going to be told in more than one part because you probably won’t be able to hear all of it today. It’s a beautiful story, but it’s also a sad story. The good thing, though, is that the story is not actually over, and a happy ending is very possible. Actually, the happy ending is preferred, and you will find out that you have a say in how it ends.
The following is an excerpt from Yann Martel’s, Life of Pi, when the protagonist has finished telling his extraordinary tale of survival:
“If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for? Isn’t love hard to believe?”
“Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”
“We’re just being reasonable.”
“So am I! I applied my reason at every moment. Reason is excellent for getting food, clothing and shelter. Reason is the very best tool kit. Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.”
I have hesitated at doing what I want to do in this “story” that I’m going to tell. I wanted to bring some of the Theology of books like “On the Incarnation”, while retelling the stories and traditions that we have received from the Holy Bible. In doing this there was a great fear that using the word ‘story’ might reduce the Truths that these stories hold to being mere tale-telling, fiction. That somehow the “story” would become less believable because it’s a ‘story’.
Yet, to borrow again a concept from Yann Martel, it’s like what I am trying to say is, “let me tell you a story that even though it is not true, it is true”. What I mean here, is that while I might give characters life or create a dialogue between them, give them new names or new looks, the story underneath it is a true story. Stories are valuable for us to understand truths. This has been the tradition of humanity since we were capable of communication.
The mere recounting of an experience is the telling of a story, and consequently, we ought not to look at story-telling with contempt. Story-telling does not make belief laughable, as story-telling is what all humans are doing all over the world, all the time. That does not make their stories false.
I want this story to be simple, because our story is simple. Our God issimple. The Covenant is simple. I want anyone of any age to understand the foundations and promises of Love.
I will begin with some foundational blocks before going into recounting the stories of humanities encounters with our God. Feel free to send feedback, or to request elaborations on concepts.
Pray for me.
Kareem Elgawly: February 1, 1992 – September 5, 2014
Do you really think for yourself?
Take a read through these random comments and responses, and please think about what they mean. Please think about what the questions that I am asking on each one for a few moments before going from one to another.
Continue reading Think for yourself.
Today is the eve of the feast of one of the most inspiring Saints of the Church universal. He belongs to the whole church, irrespective of nationality, denomination, or biases. What makes so many people fall in love with him, I think, is the relatable nature of this man. St. Moses was real. Most people are familiar with his story, so I am going to go through just a few aspects of his with which I feel like I personally can connect.
+Christ is risen and ascended!
This post may seem cliché, but it’s true in this present moment. My family welcomes to the world Gabriel Macarius. He comes just two years after the loss of his older brother, Anthony Paul. To express in words the happiness and joy at Gabriel’s arrival would trivialise the real meaningfulness within us.
It’s a story that we have heard so many times, but it’s one that never gets old: the Prodigal Son. It’s the story of a dad’s love. A dad who worked hard, like we all do today, to provide food, sustenance, security and love to his family.
Continue reading Family, Fast food and the Prodigal Son
Please close your eyes for a moment and use that innate tool called the imagination. Take away your current surroundings, and follow me to North America, 300 years ago.
Continue reading Simple thanks: then and now.
Haters vs other Haters, Atheists vs. Christians, Evolution vs Creation, Science vs. Religion…why the drama? This posting is based on a dialogue with someone sceptical of aspects of Christianity who watched a video of Christians making fools of atheists for their ignorance of science…This post discusses issues of: science vs religion, ridiculing one another, the place of the Bible in all of this, and whether or not pointing out how stupid everyone is, is actually helpful.
Q: I’m struggling to understand more practically what exactly is God’s grace and how I interact with it. I mean, I heard that grace is supposed to be free, but then there are people who say that I have to earn it by my works. What’s going on here?