Monthly Archives

September 2002

2002, Articles, Raiati

Globalization / 15.09.2002

We are looking into globalization because of the cultural and spiritual results it could have if succeeded. Globalization is coming inevitably as an activation of the new liberal economy and the global market that means exchanging goods between all countries. It is accompanied by the large spread of the English language to the extent where some think that it will dominate over the languages of other countries and make their heritage disappear. Many don’t believe that this linguistic dominance is possible because all nations are attached to their languages even if they used English in commerce.

The truly frightening thing is if the great countries dominated smaller ones economically by taking advantage of their resources without giving them much profit. The dream that growing countries had, which is fair exchange, will not be achieved. There is a plan that makes the first world, i.e. the industrial world, monopolize the main industries and high technologies. In the shadow of a renewed colonialism that is coming in new ways, great powers might treat Muslims and Arabs in a bad way, and this will harm us, the Christians of the East, in our relationships with the Muslims that still believe that the West is Christian. We want to remain witnesses for Christ in the Arabian civilization as we have always been where we gave a lot and took a lot too.

We don’t have the capability, being Arabs or Christians, to resist globalization and stop it. However, we can protect ourselves spiritually from its woes. And this could not be done except through a large spiritual renaissance that makes us live Christ in his Church by getting closer to other Christian Churches that must also taste a renaissance in them. Of course, it is not easy to live in a defeated country whose defeat appears not only through its unstable security but also through poverty. This economic regression will push us into believing in money-sharing between the faithful.

The Globalization “trend” might take us with its applications on all fields, in art and education. And it is important for Churches to create some modern media means, and some of them already started doing that.

We don’t fear any civilization development. Christians were afraid from modern science and thought that it contradicts the Scripture. Now, they reconciled with science. We are not technology’s enemies; we adopt it as long as it is ethical. However, we have our position regarding the tyranny of nations over nations and we support the weak. Could powerful countries be guided to understand that they will not have persistence if they continued dominating smaller countries? This is what we hope for.

The weak shouldn’t stay crucified and dying from hunger as he is in many countries. Millions of people don’t even have clean drinking water. And we didn’t mention yet lethal diseases found especially in growing countries. Nevertheless, confronting this is not possible except through calling up all our spiritual powers and becoming able to love the weak. This love pushes us into a cultural and political fight for the sake of the one humanity that shortens the distance between the rich and the poor, between people from different religions and different races. Jesus is the savior of man and civilization.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “العولمة” –Raiati no37- 15.09.2002

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2002, Articles, Raiati

Gluttonous / 8.9.2002

“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”. This is how Paul defines gluttonous. We overeat and drink because we’re afraid from death. And this fear is slavery.

Yes, our nature does require nutrition, but the excess in the request for pleasure is not something from the nature that we inherited from God. Gluttonous is a hunt of pain. A Christian should willingly accept pain because he accepts the cross, and after the cross resurrection comes.

There is no problem in the body; the problem is in the soul that enslaves the body for its pleasure. It distracts the body with temporary pleasure as compensation to facing problems honestly and bravely. If we don’t put God in our depths, we must have the “pleasures” of food; this pleasure that comes through quantity and quality and makes us forget the important things and change what was a mean for living into the purpose of this living. Perhaps what’s more dangerous than food is alcohol that the apostle talked about: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation”. Drinking decently is acceptable, but the divine word is clear: “Drunkards do not inherit the kingdom of God”. This is because you can’t inherit it with a lost mind.

In addition to this, scientists and experience say that drinking excessively leads to adultery. Moreover, slavery to the stomach is created; it becomes an alternative God. Sin attracts the person and makes him forget thanksgiving. How many families pray before and after eating? This is why the book says: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”. Apostle Paul said this wanting to change us from having food as a center to having God as the center. If we prayed for him before and after eating we would be presenting this food as an oblation.

This way, man does not remain nurtured only from food, but also from his Lord. This is why we have a special prayer for lunch and another one for dinner.

Do not forget that one of the temptations that the Lord had in the wilderness was food. The Lord responded to the devil saying: “Man shall not live by bread alone”. Yes, bread is essential but the more important bread is the bread of the word and the body and blood of the Lord.

Our fathers did not eat any fat and didn’t also eat a lot of kinds of food, and they noticed –as scientists did- that the size of the stomach and intestines decrease when you don’t overeat. They also discovered that fasting is a way to fight corrupt fantasies.

Gluttonous appears through meals if we had a lot them. Our fathers the saints used to welcome strangers but with simplicity and small expense. However, hospitality for us is an occasion for the love of appearance and glut. All of this showing off concerning banquets is harmful and worthless.

Our fathers also show us that if a person did not make his body used to this level, he cannot elevate and obtain virtues. First, strike Gluttonous, which is the madness of the stomach and tongue, and then remember that “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them”. If we always have in mind the idea of death we will be liberated from the slavery of the stomach that’ll be eaten from worms.

Furthermore, big banquets are occasions to escape from simplicity and our thoughts without facing our conscience. Gluttonous takes us away from the poor people that are our masters in church as St. John the Merciful said. You are invited to austerity in order to give the poor his food instead of having leftovers to throw from your luxurious banquets as if you forgot that people are hungry. The hungry need to live, and need your love.

If you controlled your food you will reach out to the hungry, and thus you will recognize that God is your and their father. This is the sacrament of sharing that Christ invited you to.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “الشراهة” – 8.9.2002

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