Saturday, 28 March 2009

Thank you

Almighty Answers would like to thank all those who have contributed thoughts and comments in the past week, set aside to consider the big questions of life.  If you are still waiting for a response or have more questions and ideas, please continue to use the site.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting some of the most interesting questions allowing you to comment further and build a picture of the issues.

It used to be that everyone thought these questions were important, but today the most fundamental inquiries into human existence and meaning are avoided.  What is essential is to get us talking about them again.

Almighty Answers will be promoting another 'Corner a Cleric' week soon, with daily posts to start you thinking and opportunities to bring those thoughts to light.  Please use the links on this page too for more information.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

But deliver us from evil

Evil and good are not equal and opposing forces, whatever Star Wars might tell us.  Neither is evil a primitive idea or a label just for use by the tabloids: it is our real need of liberation by God’s love from all that wounds us.

What is the evil we need to be delivered from?  In some ways it is the reality of human suffering, the reality of death and sickness.  It is also the moral evil of human beings, set against one another.  There is an evil however which lurks in our hearts, from whence this springs, the deep seated resistance to God’s love.  There is also the evil one, Satan, who is not another god, but part of fallen creation.

Over all these things God has triumphed in Jesus Christ, and we have become conquerors through the grace of him who loved us.  Christian faith is the trust in this liberation God works for us, and the sharing in the power over evil given in the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Lead us not into temptation

It is clear that the world is not free from fear, oppression and evil simply because of religion.  Belief in God does not make people perfect.  At least, not in a simplistic way.  But faith is the beginning part of the gift of God’s love, the Holy Spirit, who can bring us to always choose good over evil.

He nourishes and sustains us, as we grow in the new life of learning to do good.  As we become ever more ourselves we more naturally do the good.  Just as it seems always easier to do the wrong thing, than the right, so under the work of the Holy Spirit we are led to respond to the world with his love and mercy.

God’s daily sustenance of the world is a bringing to perfection the lives of humanity within our freedom and will.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us

These words are the hardest in the Our Father to live out.  Our worship and love of God, if it does not involve forgiveness, comes to nothing. Forgiveness is the very thing Jesus does for us on the cross, and he hands this gift on to us in the work of the Holy Spirit he has given to his Church.

Forgiveness involves a readiness not to live in the past, but to be open to the future.  This means trusting that we can have a future, even when hatred, violence and evil have destroyed human relationships with each other and their relationship with God.

Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God, the urgent call to have a new heart, and to start again.  He calls us to set our hearts not on what we have been, but to what we can become through his grace.

Forgiveness is a costly gift.  Jesus gives us his very life on the cross to restore us to God’s friendship and to heal the wounds our sins have left upon our hearts.  Forgiveness is never easy.  We have to learn slowly to receive this gift, to be repentant sinners, so that we can be a source of forgiveness in our world. 

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Give us this day our daily bread

Throughout the historical path of humanity, God has revealed himself ever more clearly and insistently by his actions in history.  The most definitive and complete revelation of who he his and so, who we are, is in his Son, Jesus Christ, through whom everything was made.

So God is not simply an observer of history, watching what happens among the people he has made.  As the source of all things he continues to be its source, day by day and hour by hour sustaining, creating, loving the universe.

The mystery of God’s creative love shines forth in the sacraments of the church, rituals given by God using created things to make present the realities of God’s saving love in our daily lives.  In them, the Church sees the working of the Holy Spirit to bring all people into the saving love of the divine life.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

“Imagine there’s no heaven” John Lennon sang in 1971.  Heaven and Hell, his song argues, keep us from dealing with the here and now, from living together in peace and harmony.   Not that atheist systems have a great track record for making the world a better place!

Heaven for Christians is first and foremost something that has taken place in history.  Jesus on the cross entered into the mystery of human death, only to conquer.  In rising from the dead he ushers in a new age of human life, living in a transformed way before the Father. 

For Christians, this life with Jesus is something that affects us here and now, that makes us value and love the world around us in a completely new way.  

The road to eternal life is through loving here and now, even to the point of dying on the cross.  Jesus did this, and invites us to take up our crosses, and to follow his path of generous love. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Hallowed be thy name

God always takes the initiative in our relationship with him: love of him is a gift.  So this love, which is the Holy Spirit, is not a hope but a truth.  Prayer and worship does nothing for God.  It is in part our acknowledgment of who he is and who we are – the one who loves and we who are loved. 

Thus, all religious practice is for our benefit, a divine gift to bring us closer to the source of all life and goodness, to nourish the gift of a relationship with God.

Prayer is a growing in love with the one who first loved us.  And because this first love is creative, our growth in the relationship helps us become more truly ourselves, more truly who we are.

The gift of the Mass is the source and summit of our Christian lives.  In such worship the redemption of the world through Jesus’s Death and Resurrection is made present to us and we are nourished in our journey towards God.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Our Father who art in heaven

One of the things that makes Christians stand out is that we don't just talk about God or ask questions about whether he exists or not; we also talk to God.  God is not another object out there in the Universe for us to discover, and then move on to greater things.

God’s existence isn’t like the existence of aliens, maybe out there but so far away it’s not worth worrying about.  Coming into contact with God is all about discovering the relationship at the centre of everything: the relationship that makes me who I am.

Christians believe that the relationship at the centre of everything is that of a child to its Father.  This relationship is at the very centre of God’s life: God is the love of the Father for the Son, and the Son for the Father, and this love between them is the life of the Holy Spirit.
So the God we find ourselves in relationship with through Jesus is not a lonely old man, or an absentee landlord: he is the eternal undying love of the Trinity. He is the Father of Jesus, and through Jesus the Son, in the Holy Spirit, is Father to us who in baptism become his children.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Another mind to answer your questions

We at Almighty Answers are happy to announce that another voice joins the team to be able to tackle all your thoughts and comments during 'corner a cleric' week.

The Dominican friars at George Square are part of a world-wide Order committed to study and asking after the truth.  As well as Edinburgh's Catholic Chaplains Fr Tim OP and Fr Bruno OP and student members of the CSU, Fr Euan Marley OP part of our religious community in Leicester will apply himself to your questions.

This is your chance to consider the ultimate questions of human existence and meaning with the people whose lives are dedicated to asking them.

You can find out more about the Dominican Order in England and Scotland here.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Christianity made simple?

From Monday 16th March we open the floor to your questions and comments.  To aid you in thinking about these things, each day of this week a post will present the basics of the Christian faith, through the prayer all Christians say.

Fr Tim and Fr Bruno are the Catholic Chaplains to the University and live in a religious community that above all seeks to asks questions about God that lead to a deeper knowledge and understanding of him.  When not answering your questions, the friars are usually found at the Catholic Chaplaincy at George Square.

All true answers lead us to the one truth but we have to use our God-given minds to get there.  Together with members of the Catholic Students' Union they will be applying themselves to any questions that you send in.

Whether you are a person of faith or of doubt, or unbelief these questions remain important and we should ask them.  This week is a chance for those questions.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


The Catholic Students' Union invites students of the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art to send in questions about God - the meaning of life? Do I matter? What happens when we die? Email so that your questions can be answered by our experts.