Happy Easter

After witnessing the passion and death of Jesus Christ, the Apostles were hopeless and dejected. One upon whom they banged their hopes was no more; he had just suffered the most humiliating death within the Roman empire, one ‘fit’ for a thief, not a king. All they had labored for three years while with their master seemed to have crumbled.
The resurrection brings renewed hope to the disciples. All they had seen and heard Jesus do and teach now became more meaningful than before. The resurrection brought a better understanding of the mission they were to accomplish.
As a Christian too, let the resurrection bring forth renewed hope in your life. Just like the Apostles, we are faced with hopelessness in our lives; unemployment, struggling businesses, strained family relations, ailments, depression, rejection, addictions… amidst all these, we ask ourselves, ‘Why all these suffering if God ever is?’ We tend to not only loose hope but faith too, and this, of course, has never been and will never be a solution.
God created each one of us for a mission which we have to accomplish. No one is God’s specimen for which he intends to use and dispose of. The Apostles realized that their own life is meaningless, so should we also realize that all that we do is meaningless without allowing Christ’s resurrection in all our endeavors. Without Christ, all our efforts in studies, marriage, employment, business…are futile.
Jesus said ‘…you can do nothing without me…’ John 15:5.
Happy Easter

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Whence Cometh Evil?

War, hunger, diseases, drought, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, accidents, just to mention but a few, have been and are still afflicting humanity. Such human afflictions have occupied and affected humanity and its activities for generations. But where does such evil come from? The endeavour to answer or solve this puzzle has led humanity to discovery and innovation especially in technology in order to adapt and survive in the face of affliction. Today, human life is more enhanced and more dignified due to technological advancement which was born in time of crisis, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. We have footwear today because someone’s foot somewhere was pierced by a sharp object. Some have found recourse in religion for those who found out that empirical and/or rational explanations were inadequate to address the mystery of human suffering. It is therefore undoubtedly right to assert that such afflictions have shaped human history. It is also important to consider the frame of reference in some cases of human suffering. For instance, for the case of Budalangi floods in Western Kenya, the people at Cherenganyi-source of river Nzoia-consider the rain a blessing for their maize, while the same water is a curse for the people in Budalangi where river Nzoia breaks banks. At the same time it’s an awesome time for fishing. Secondly, a pupil considers caning evil yet for the teacher it is beating the hell out of the pupil to shape her future. Should we consider the rain and the caning evil since it is coupled with human affliction? Two boys find ripe fruits on a mango tree. One hits his fruit with a stone and it drops down thanks to gravity. The other boy climbs but just before reaching his fruit he drops and breaks his arm, thanks to gravity! Is gravity good or evil? To some people, human suffering is their foundation for the refutation of the existence of God. That if there is a powerful, all knowing and loving Deity, why do humans suffer? Why doesn’t he use his omniscience and omnipotence to free humans-whom he loves- from suffering? Is God the cause of evil? Is evil a being? Absolutely not. Evil is a privation, the absence of goodness. God created being, not nonbeing. In fact creating a privation is self-defeating. He is therefore not responsible for evil. In Genesis 1:3 God created light and said it was good; he did not say that darkness was good, because it is a privation. In the same way sickness is a privation of health. Then we call God a healer; how could the limited human mind understand him as a healer is we don’t fall sick for him to heal us. How could we know Christ as a redeemer if we weren’t captives for him to free us? How could we grasp divine providence if we weren’t in need? Since God does not create privations, he only allows it, which then becomes instrumental in knowing him more. In fact when Jesus Christ is asked about the blind man he healed in John 9:1-17; that if the man had been blind since birth, who had sinned between him and his parents; Jesus responds that he had been born that way so that the glory of God may be manifested. Jesus’ response was not anticipated by his audience who expected him to say that the blindness was a punishment for some wrong done. This is not meant to imply negation of the fact that a number of human suffering is as a result of irresponsible human activities. God created us with the free will; that for whatever we do we must be accountable. For instance, whom should we blame for the climatic change when we are well aware that were have such a vehement appetite for forests and that we are generous when it comes to feeding the atmosphere with carbon emissions? And should we keep on lamenting about drought and new lifestyle diseases when we know that we can do something to avert the situation? Should a cancer patient complain as s/he continues to savour sugar and starch food when s/he is aware that cancer cells thrive on sugar and they starve in the absence of sugar? It does not that those who suffer are sinners as some people tend to think. Jesus himself denied this, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means!…Of those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!’(Luke 13:1-5). Take every tough situation as a stepping stone to a better goal. Was is not evil for Joseph to be sold to Egypt out of jealousy? But he later becomes the saviour of not only his family but the whole region. If gold that is perishable has to be purified in a furnace, what of the human soul that is imperishable? If death is that evil then how else could we have the hope of going to our heavenly home?

Happy All Souls Day! 

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Tell Atheists Kenya is Godly

As a country, we are proud of the heroes who gave up all they had including even giving up their own lives to liberate our country from colonial government and preserve our culture as Africans. This was patriotism at its best, wasn’t it? Patriotism that we all still yearn for in an era where the learned fellows we expect to follow this course have turned out to be traitors of the African culture. Here, we have for instance the atheists driving the scraping of the name of God from the national anthem. Is there any African community that did not profess the existence of God even in its primitive stages? In the first place they refer to themselves as non-believers; do they even believe in the petition they have just drafted? Is life possible without faith? Even getting into a public service vehicle one has to have faith that the driver is qualified since I have never seen any passenger requesting for the drivers licence before getting into the vehicle. Neither have I seen a customer in any eatery carrying out a test on food whether it is safe for consumption or not before gobbling it. Faith is not only important but necessary. Life without faith is utter pessimism. The atheists are basing their argument on article 8 of the constitution, that there is no state religion. It is unfortunate that such a simple article has proved hard for some to understand. In a nutshell, the article states that Kenya is a religious state with a diversity of religions which are equally respected without giving preference to one over another by making it a state religion for instance. Did the draft include among its reasons of doing away with the name God from the national anthem for cultural significance? What is culture in the first place? Among the seven main elements of culture, we have religion. Without religion then we have no culture. The draft mentions shared ideals and values. Where can ideals and values be cultivated if not in a culture? In fact the term culture simply means cultivate (cultura in Greek). We should also be reminded that it’s in religion within a culture that we have a code of morals to guide a community. Is it not religion that forms the conscience of the people? And as non-believers, do they believe in the ideals and values and which ones are these? Let’s not forget that we are Africans. Which African culture cultivated atheism? Mbiti affirms categorically that Africans are notoriously religious. We should be cautious, maybe our culture has been put on auction by those who have already sold their souls to the devil. It may be awaiting the highest bidder especially in an era of widespread cases of Free Masonry, Illuminati and devil worship and negative secularism. It is a time that we should not not consider the possibility of having in our midst brokers of these sects. Today in our country we have the Inter-Religious Council which is tirelessly working towards unifying all Kenyans despite religious, tribal or social differences. These religions should not be viewed as foreign and should therefore be practised in the African context to be more meaningful and effective. Let us guard our culture and religion jealously just like the heroes we are celebrating guarded all that is African in our motherland. Tell atheists, Kenya is Godly.​

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Blessed Feast of the Assumption-15th August

To my dedicated readers, this is not my first article on this great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a result I will not go into much ado of explaining its meaning; this can be found in earlier articles. This article focuses on scriptural pointers to this dogma.
The feast of the Assumption can be understood best in relation to the Immaculate Conception. First, there is a difference between the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Virginal Conception. Immaculate Conception denotes that Mary was conceived in the normal way but without original sin, that is, without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace. Mary’s existence was in the state of sanctifying grace and was therefore free from the corrupt nature brought about by original sin. The angel Gabriel proclaims Mary to be full of grace. ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you’ (Lk 1:28). St. Augustine makes it even clear, that humanity seeks the ‘good’ through grace.
One of the consequences of sin is bodily corruption which Mary was not subjected to. Other humans have to wait for the resurrection of the body at the second coming of Christ. The question that emerges is why she had to die yet she had sanctifying grace? Mary died as a way of sharing in the lot of the passion of her son who too did not have original sin yet he died too (Rom. 8:17).
Secondly, Mary is the Ark of the Covenant of the New Testament. The Ark of the Covenant stays at the house of Obed Edom for three months (2 Samuel 6:11); in Luke 1:56, Mary stays at Elizabeth’s house for three months. King David rejoices before the Ark (2 Samuel 6:14); in Luke 1:41, John leaps with joy in his mother’s womb. While the Ark carried the ten words (Decalogue-Exodus 25:22), Mary carried the Word (Logos-John 1:1) in her womb. The Ark of the Covenant disappeared despite archaeological efforts to relocate it. It’s last mentioned in 2 Kings 23:21-23 and therefore not known whether it was destroyed during the Jerusalem siege or not. In Rev. 11:19, the Ark of the Covenant is seen in heaven. Mary’s bodily relics happens not to have been sort by anybody.
In Revelation we are presented with a lady in heaven who gives birth to a child destined to rule with God (Rev. 12). Who else could this lady be if not the Blessed Virgin Mary?
St Francis De Sales said that Jesus was the first to obey the fourth commandment; what son if he could, would not bring his mother back to life, and take her after death to paradise? So too Christians should love and care for their parents; not as is the care where some people lead flashy lives while their parents languish in poverty.
Blessed Assumption

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Spiritual Ecology

Spiritual ecology is a recent term which refers to the intersection between the religion and spirituality and the environment. It is a term which has been coiled due the demands of our time; the problem of environmental degradation. Among the many solutions which have been devised towards comparting and correcting this situation we have spiritual ecology. This is because science and technology has failed to address this problem, instead, it has aggravated the situation by its inability to deal with its products and by products. It is on this note that the Holy Father Pope Francis says that there is need for a spiritual and moral response to the environmental crisis; this brings the question of spiritual ecology to the forefront. Thus, ecological problem is a spiritual problem.
The ailments that our mother earth is suffering from are evident. Climate change coupled with adverse weather patterns, depleted forests, encroached wetlands, polluted water ways and bodies, piles of disposed filth in towns, strange diseases, lifestyle diseases, toxic air, depleted soil minerals for agriculture, soil erosion, noise from industries, automobiles, just to mention but a few. These constitute the monstrous resounding cry of our mother nature. But the question is, who suffers most when the mother is at pain apart from her own children who depend wholly upon her for all their need? And who is responsible for all this harm upon nature? Who else but humanity?
At this point it should be noted that the environmental crisis is a replica of the turmoil within us; greed, ignorance, egoism, apathy, selfishness, disorder, disconnection, secularism. These have disconnected us from ourselves, from one another, from the mother earth and above all from God the Creator, and has dumped us into a diabolic scramble for life as if we were solely responsible for our being. Our not listening to the cry of the earth is a reflection of our insensitivity to the needs of others; we are in a world where nobody shows concern for the needs of the neighbour. We are blind to the suffering, we are deaf to the cry of the poor. What shall we do to amend the situation?
We need to work towards the creation of a new world of unity and peace. This has to begin from the inner revival of humanity. In the heart of the human person has to be reconnected with the sacred in order to once again have the sense of the sacred. After reconnection with God we recognize that He is the Creator of all that is. This reminds us of the Genesis creation account; after creating God said that all creation is good (Genesis 1:31). Another point to note from Genesis is God’s command to humanity as co-workers, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all living things that move on earth.” (Genesis 1:28). This divine command should not be misinterpreted to mean that man should be domineering and plunder the resources of the earth, it calls for humanity to practice a caring stewardship. As a result, Thomas Berry, a Passionist priest asserts that humanity is not at the centre of the universe but that it is integrated into a divine whole with its own evolutionary path.
It is only after re-establishing a link with the sacred that humanity can establish the interconnectedness of all creation. Pierre Teilhard De Chardin says that this transition to the recognition of the sacred calls for a collective awareness towards a consciousness of the divinity in every particle of life, even the densest mineral. Since we have already identified the environmental crisis as a spiritual problem, ecological conversion necessarily presupposes spiritual consciousness and an attitude of responsibility, one that recognises creation as sacred and one that commands behaviours that honour that sacredness. This renewal therefore demands from humanity a genuine morality just like any form of spirituality that calls for goodness.
Pope Francis echoes the Patriarch Bartholomew who invites us “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbours on a global scale…that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of our planet.”
For Pope Francis, every creature mirrors something of God and has a message to convey to us. For instance, the operations of creation reflect order and dynamism which God is solely responsible. And by following the order that God has written in creation, the power and light of grace is reflected in our relationship with our surroundings. Then, in an integral ecology taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, reflecting on our lifestyle and our ideals, and contemplating the Creator who lives among us, whose presence is to be uncovered. Thus in every creature, states Pope Francis, can be found a mystical meaning; God can be discovered in all things. He alludes to St. Bonaventure’s teaching, ‘contemplation deepens the more we feel the working of God’s grace within our hearts, and the better we learn to encounter God in creatures outside ourselves.
Again on the interconnectedness of creation, humanity needs to re-evaluate its activities since they affect other inhabitants of earth to a great extent. Humanity must examine and reassess the underlying attitudes and beliefs about the earth and our spiritual responsibilities towards the planet. David Suzuki, an environmentalist, has this to say about our relationship with nature. That the way we see the world shapes the way we treat it, if a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological, not resources, or if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity, then we treat each other with respect. This is the challenge, to look at the world from a different perspective.
Suzuki then adds that in order for humanity to find its way back home, we need to learn to live in harmony with the earth. We need to listen to the cry of the earth, deepen our personal reflection and widen the conversation between us and our environment and with other people. That we ought to embrace earth as a sacred living being, our birth mother, the source of our nurture and a being that is beyond pricing.
In the economy of salvation, the sacramental promise of eternal life reminds us that when we receive communion we are eating bread, a fruit of the earth, and work of human hands, now most intimately bound to the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Son of God. Does this not give rise to a spiritual ecology? Is it not through the celebration of this great banquet that the whole earth shall be renewed and be brought to fulfilment? Therefore, we should repair our relationship with the earth through the celebration of the sacredness and oneness of life.
In the sacrament of the Eucharist, Francis I adds that created cosmos finds the greatest adornment. Grace is manifested tangibly by God becoming flesh and giving himself to creatures as food; through the mystery of incarnation. Through the celebration of the Eucharist, the whole cosmos is joined in giving thanks to God. Ultimately, the Eucharist joins heaven and earth. Thus, the Holy Father sums up that ‘the Eucharist is a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.
Therefore, we need to treat creation as a gift from God; one that should be cared for and not exploited, one that should be cherished and not be abused, one that should be nurtures and not plundered. And that the beauty of creation may be a reflection of the beauty in the heart of every human being.

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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August; also called in old books Pausatio,Nativitas (for heaven), MorsDepositioDormitio S. Mariae. It was declared a dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

This feast has a double object: the happy departure of Mary from this life; the assumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin.

To mark this great day, it’s worth quoting Adrian I, “Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself.” This feast was elevated from being just one of the Marian feasts to being part of the whole liturgical cycle because as the Mother of God , Mary was kept a virgin-incorrupt-so was she kept incorrupt even after her temporal earthly death.

The exact year that she is believed to have assumed into heave is not known but it is between three to fifteen years after the ascension of our Lord. Is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church.

Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges. “It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God.”

Though the mother of the Lord, she also underwent challenges in her life as learned from the sacred books that the Virgin Mary, throughout the course of her earthly pilgrimage, led a life troubled by cares, hardships, and sorrows, and that, moreover, what the holy old man Simeon had foretold actually came to pass, that is, that a terribly sharp sword pierced her heart as she stood under the cross of her divine Son, our Redeemer.

Just as The Virgin Mother kept her virginity so are we to keep our bodies pure since they are the temples of the Holy Spirit so that after our life here on earth we may be rewarded with incorruptible spiritual ‘bodies’. The challenges of this life should not be an excuse to doing the call that we’ve from God.

The Psalmist: “Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified”

The New Testament “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women,”

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Mary Mother of God

Mary the Mother of God. Though looked down upon by many especially non-Catholics who equate her to a mere envelope that is discarded immediately the letter that it bears is removed. This reduction of the Blessed Virgin Mary is such a great misconception that has blinded many from perceiving the uniqueness the Theotocos from any other woman.
First, as the mother of God, she is the tabernacle that bears Christ. After the annunciation she goes to a town in the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth where she stays for three mouths. This is a reflection of the 2Sam 6: 9-11; when David together with the army were taking the Box of the Covenant from Abinadab’s house to Jerusalem, it stayed at Obed Edom’s house for three months before proceeding to Jerusalem. Therefore for us to receive Christ especially during this Christmas season, we need to heed to Christ’s instructions to the Blessed Mother and to John while on the cross, John 19: 2527 -the Blessed mother is given to the beloved apostle who in this case represents the church that will not die/perish John 21: 22, hence all who belong to the family of Christ –the church- receive him through the motherhood of Mary.
Of great importance again in Marys life is the Angel’s greetings at the annunciation: “hail Mary, FULL OF GRACE…” the Blessed Virgin Mary being full of grace sets her aside from not only from other women but from all human kind. While we are all born with the original sin and therefore have a sinful nature, the Mother of God is full of grace and as a result free of the original sin. Sin is due to the loss of grace through the original sin of our first parents. St. Augustine makes the importance of grace clearer in his treatment of sin and love. St. Augustine first admits that we are all sinful due to the disobedience of our first parents, consequently we sin because on our own we have a disordered love- our sinful nature inclines us to seek mundane things. To order our love we need to do just one thing, allow the grace of God into our lives so that the grace of God can guide us to seek things of the above. Even Mary’s acceptance to be the Mother of God was not by her on power but by the grace of God.
Human kind lost the grace of God after sinning through disobedience. And as a result of the sin, death was pronounced upon humankind. With this in view, the question that crops up is that concerning the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Could Mary, who was full of grace that frees us from sin have died and buried yet death is a consequence of sin which grace does away with?
Why do we pray through the Blessed Virgin Mary? Can’t we pray directly to God? During Jesus’ first miracle- changing water into wine at the wedding at Cana- the role of the Blessed Mother as intercessor is explicit. Her request to Christ when the wine was exhausted is heeded to by the Lord, John 2: 1-12. Again after the resurrection of the Lord, Mary is seen in the company of apostles praying, Acts 1:14, she is seen praying for the coming of the Spirit which came upon her during the annunciation. This also followed Christ’s instruction to his beloved disciple to take his mother home.
Our church being Apostolic, who are we to go against what the apostles did and were instructed to do?

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