Monday, 27 February 2017

"Love one another as I have loved you" - Impossible


When Christ hung dying on the Cross, despite His earlier betrayal, arrest, humiliation, beatings and torture; despite suffering the most painful of death and being taunted and tormented by His enemies, He still had love in His heart and asked for forgiveness on behalf of these people.

We are asked to do the same. We are asked to forgive others just as He forgave us. When we recite the Prayer He taught us we seek His forgiveness and promise to forgive others.

He also taught us to "Love one another as I have loved you". A Commandment no less.

Yet, when we consider both of these teachings from our Lord, to love one another and to forgive whatever hurt is done to us, we cannot help but wander whether it is at all possible.

When Christ forgave on the Cross and loved as He has loved it; was a Divine God who forgave and loved. Not a mere human like us. Can we, humans, possibly love and forgive as He?

Christ knows full well that what He asks us is impossible for us to achieve. Yet He asks all the same.

Being human we are subject to all human failings. When we are hurt we often feel resentment, ill-will and perhaps vengeance; and forgiveness might be very difficult an emotion for us when the pain is still fresh and raw. And in time, as the memories of the hurt and pains come back we may still find it hard to forgive. Or, if we find it in our hearts to forgive, as many indeed do, the memories bring back that pain once again and, at the very least, we feel hard done by.

To forgive totally, as Christ did, is not within our grasp because we are not as Divine as He.

And to love unequivocally, all those within our circle of acquaintance, never mind our enemies, and to turn the other cheek is certainly not within our powers. No matter how much we try, there will always be one person whom we do not like, who rubs us the wrong way, whom we'd rather avoid. Yet we're asked to love one another as He has loved us.

Impossible.

So ... what are we to do? Are we doomed to failure? Unable to forgive totally and to love without reservation?

Our response to Christ's Commandment is to try as best as we can to obey it. Through gritted teeth perhaps, we should try again and again to forgive and to love. The memories of the hurts done to us will return, but these should not stop us from forgiving again and again.

We will probably fail ... often. But this should not stop us from trying. We will never achieve the same level of forgiveness and love as Christ, but His example should urge us on to try harder.

Saints did not become Saints because they were necessarily good at all times. They were often sinners who kept on trying.

God knows our human nature. He knows our failings and weaknesses. He knows we cannot achieve the impossible.

But in His Divine love and mercy He will welcome us with open arms for eternity with Him ... just because we kept trying and never gave up.

Friday, 24 February 2017

The Cauldron of Hatred

Looking from the sidelines, it seems to me that there is a big Cauldron of Hatred out there in the world filled with anxiety, bitterness, anger and even hatred amongst its other ingredients of evil.

It seems that in whatever walk of life, be it religion, politics, science or the arts, even dare I say, in one's personal life, there are unhappy people who resent their current situation, regardless of how rich or poor they are, regardless of how healthy or not, and regardless of anything else that can be used as a yardstick to measure their anxiety and angst.

People are generally unhappy and they are dumping their anger and frustrations in this huge Cauldron of Hatred which exists somewhere or other on this earth. It could be in the newspapers, on television and radio, on social media on the Internet, or indeed in their personal lives at work, at play, or even at home when they argue and vent with their spouse, children, neighbours or even the poor cat who gets kicked for no apparent reason.

Have you not noticed the negative tone of some of the stories in your newspaper? Or on TV programs, whether it is the News or even soap programs perpetrating sadness and bitterness as if art imitates real life and or vice versa? Have you not noticed the many postings on social media where individuals pour out their anger and malcontent for all to see and share? And in personal life too; can you not remember the last time the cat has had to hide in a panic to safeguard what is left of his nine lives?

Why all this negativeness? I hear you ask.

I am waiting ... are you asking as I'm expecting?

Why all this vile forever filling the Cauldron of Hatred?

Has it to do with the diets we are all eating? A shortage of good old fashioned roughage such as bran, for instance? Or a good spoonful of cod liver oil before going to bed?

Why are so many of us so upset about this and that and the other thing? Especially the other thing. You know what they say. If it is not this it is always the mother (in-law)!

Is it because we have become greedy and we all want what the other person has and more besides?

Where is the peace we are supposed to have towards each other? Loving one's neighbours and turning the other cheek? (By the way, I mean facial cheek, not your backside!).

Where is the forgiveness time and again and not just seven times seventy?

That's why we are behaving in the despicable way that we do. It has nothing to do with a lack of broccoli or other vile vegetables in our meals.

It is because we have forgotten to "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:35.

Meanwhile, the Cauldron of Hatred keeps filling to overspilling.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I am superior to you.

It's amazing how many Christians I know who look down on you, (me), with an air of superiority and go through life as if they have a permanent bad smell under their nose. Perhaps they should eat less beans!

Here's what happened many years ago. The priest encouraged and pestered me to join the Church Parish Council. Eventually, I agreed and attended my first meeting one evening.

There were about sixty people sitting in cinema style and at the top table sat the priest and four other people.

After half-an-hour, as one of the ladies at the top table was standing and speaking, I remembered that I had to pick up someone at the railway station. I slid out of my seat silently and made my way towards the exit. Whereupon, the lady at the top table said loudly: "I see that Mr Moubarak is leaving in a huff. Perhaps he does not agree with what we propose!"

Everyone turned round and looked at me. I wanted to stop and explain; but my appointment at the railway station was more important. So I got out without saying a word.

About an hour later I returned to the church. The meeting was over and they were all mingling with teas, coffees and biscuits.

I saw the woman in question with a group of people. I had seen her in church many times but did not know who she was. I approached her. She saw me and left the group and came towards me.

"You have me at a disadvantage," I said, "you know who I am. Would you do me the courtesy of letting me know who you are?"

"Don't you know who I am?" she replied, looking down at me, "I am the Chair Person of the Parish Council Social Committee!"

"I see," I mumbled, "I did not know that the Parish Council had a Social Committee. And I still don't know who you are!"

She sighed in exasperation and hissed, "I am Miss Stephany Hormsley!"

At that point the devil got the better of me and I said something which I deeply regretted. I replied, "Is this by choice, or have you frightened all potential husbands away?"

She did not reply. I saw her lower lip quiver once or twice.

To retrieve the situation I said, making matters worse, "I'm sorry Miss Hormsley. The name means nothing to me and I still don't know who you are!"

She said nothing again, and turned round and left me.

Later I checked with some people and it turned out that she was the Head Teacher at one of our schools as well as being on several Church and Educational Committees.

I suppose that gave her the right to look down on me and embarrass me when I left the meeting as inconspicuously as possible.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Vic on the Radio

Many years ago, further back than I care to remember, I used to present a Sunday Program on the Radio entitled "Time for Reflections".

Here's a short recording from that show.


Saturday, 18 February 2017

Be of Good Cheer


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Terrible News of Gloom and Doom

Let's get straight to the point, un-pallatable as it may be, the world is heading for the Apocalypse. And this is how it happens, according to latest, and very accurate, research by various scientists.

The sun, the source of all energy to this planet, will run out of fuel in approximately a billion years time. As it runs out of the very essence that makes it burn so brightly, the sun itself will implode on itself very much like a shrinking balloon or ball and enter a self-created black hole sucking in the whole universe, including the earth, within it.

Coinciding with such an event, and perhaps related to it, a whole galaxy of stars will be drawn towards the earth and crash it with such force resulting in extreme thunder and lightning and fires consuming the planet and all upon and within it.

However, horrible as this scenario may be, yet another un-related event, is likely to happen many centuries earlier which will result in the extinction of the human race.

This is due to the fact of an inherent faulty Y chromosome in men. Since it is the male chromosome which determines the sex of a baby being born, this faulty Y chromosome will drastically reduce the number of males being born to humankind to the point where eventually only females will be produced. As the number of men is reduced to zero the whole reproduction system will be in jeopardy and humanity will cease to exist; unless science can find a solution before then. Which seems highly unlikely.

Consequently, the human race will be faced with yet another disaster as there will be no men to catch the spiders when they fall in the bath.

The population of spiders will increase drastically as they breed in every bath in the world and climb upon each other to escape out of the bathroom and spread throughout the world.

There will be spiders' webs everywhere getting thicker and thicker and stronger and able to trap bigger preys other than flies and insects.

Instead, the webs will be full of all kinds of animals and birds, and even humans, who happened to get caught and served as a meal to such giant spiders.

With cows being eaten to extinction there will be a world shortage of burgers which will in itself precipitate the Apocalypse.

As already scientifically proven, the cow's digestive system produces large amounts of methane gas contributing to global warming. With such a drastic reduction in the world's cows population this will greatly precipitate a new ice age - known as a Popsicle.

One glimmer of light in the horizon is that scientists and others have often wrongly predicted the end of the world.

Remember when they said the world will end in 2012?

Of course, the world did not end in 2012 because we had the London Olympics in the UK and we had spent a lot of tax payers' money preparing for it. The Government, therefore, decreed by Act of Parliament that the end of the world would be postponed until the country has had an opportunity to recoup the investment made in organising and running the Olympics Games.

Once again, Britain led the world and saved it at the same time. By its example, it seems humanity has a real chance to avoid such world-ending disasters predicted by scientific research. 

It is suggested that world Governments should hold regularly big events such as the Olympic Games, or other sporting or musical events, at yearly intervals so that people have something to look forwards to and not worry about the shortage of burgers and fries.

Additionally, it is recommended that menfolk should teach their wives and girl-friends how to catch spiders out of bath tubs.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Important Scientific Facts You Should Know

 
I was reading a science book the other day and I was fascinated by the number of facts which I did not know. In fact the more I read the more I realised how much I did not know and how ignorant I really am.

For example; did you know that the majority of men with beards (about 68%) sleep with their beards tucked under the bed covers rather than over the bed covers?

And that beards grow faster and longer than hair on men's heads?

Human ears grow bigger in proportion to the rest of our bodies as we grow older? I knew an old man once with very large ears sticking out quite a bit. He looked like a car with its doors open. When he was outdoors, at the slightest gust of wind he would pirouette round like a hotel revolving door.

Did you know that if you had a meal in a restaurant that is totally dark you would not be able to tell the difference between steak and a beefburger?

Did you also know that if you're in a vacuum and you shout loud no one would hear you? And it would make no difference whether the vacuum cleaner is switched on or off, or whether the bag is full of dirt and dust or whether it is empty?

Do you realise that if you had a small bird in a cage, and as you happen to weigh the cage, if the bird jumped up from its perch then its weight would not register on the scale? Also, if you were to weigh the cage under water the small bird would drown?

And in order to peel and cut an onion without tears you have to do it under water; that is if you can hold your breath for that long?

Did you know that Absolute Zero is the lowest possible temperature you can ever get to? You just cannot get any lower than Absolute Zero. It is in fact -273.15° on the Celsius scale and -459.67° on the Fahrenheit scale. It is over 100 kilos on the bathroom scale if you have been over-eating lately.

At Absolute Zero nothing really happens. The buses will not run so it is pointless waiting for them at the bus stop. And don’t even be tempted to lick the bus stop sign whilst you're there because there may be all sort of germs on it.

Absolute Zero is also what most men get from their wives when they've said or done something that upsets them. 

Moving up from Absolute Zero, the highest temperature that has ever been recorded is on a ladder 35 feet tall. It was when an amorous young knight in Olde England attempted to deliver a plate of spaghetti to his paramour who was trapped in a tower because the door was frozen solid and he couldn't turn the key in the lock.

Which reminds me … I once saw a ghost with an eye-patch! He said he was going through the keyhole when someone put the key in.

Here's a short video about viruses which you should watch for your own health.

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