Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Paul (Saul of Tarsus)

             Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt

Paul was a pharisee who was at times a chief scribe for Annus and perhaps Caiphus. He persecuted the people of the New Jewish /Christian movement violently. He was strictly trained in the law and Jewish traditions, and he was a Roman citizen.

He reportedly had a miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus, where he saw and spoke to Jesus. After this he began to preach the gospel throughout Greece, Turkey and much of the Roman Empire.

Paul suffered a great deal for his faith. His conversion to Christianity was life changing; causing him to give up everything.

Paul, a learned man in theology, was instrumental in founding many churches across the Roman Empire. His letters to the churches are still held up as masterpieces of theology, teaching, encouragement and sometimes chastisement.

His journeys, sufferings, words and works are described in the Acts of the Apostles and in letters which he wrote to the churches at Rome, Corinth, and other places.

Paul proclaimed Jesus as the Christ. The book of Acts recounts his work on three extended missionary journeys through Asia Minor and Greece. On these journeys Paul helped establish Christian congregations in many cities around the eastern and northern Mediterranean.

He was eventually arrested in Jerusalem and was imprisoned in Caesarea for two years. After he appealed his case to the emperor, he was sent to Rome. During the voyage he was shipwrecked but found refuge on Malta. In Rome he was placed under house arrest for two years. His death is not recorded in the Bible although later traditions say that he was martyred.

Acts 9:1-19 - Conversion
Acts 21:27-36 - Arrest
Acts 28:11-31 - Rome

Read more:

St Paul Quote:

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

"Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes in all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."

1 Paul on salvation

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
Ephesians 2:82

2 Christian being the Temple of God

Surely you know that you are God's temple, where the Spirit of God dwells. Anyone who destroys God's temple will himself be destroyed by God, because the temple of God is holy; and you are that temple.

I Corinthians 12:4-11

3 Paul on the greatness of love

In a word,
Never let go on these three things:
Faith, hope and love.
And know that the greatest of these
Will always be love.
1 Corinthians 13:131

4 Paul and His Personal Eulogy

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 
2 Timothy 4:6-81

5 Paul on freedom

It is for freedom that Jesus let us free.
Galatians 5:11

6 Paul on liberty in Christ and the law of the O.T.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

7 Paul on spiritual possessions

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, 
or things to come; all are yours;
And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
I Corinthians 1:18-29,3:18

8 Paul on the way a Christian is to live.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith. 
Romans 1:170

As a Roman citizen, Paul was entitled to a quick, less painful death by beheading

At his writing desk by Rembrandt

St Paul at his Desk, Rembrandt

His missionary journeys
Map of St Paul's journeys


Fourteen epistles in the New Testament are attributed to Paul. Seven of these -- Romans1st Corinthians2nd Corinthians,GalatiansPhillipians1st Thessalonians and Philemon -- are almost universally accepted as being actually written by Paul. Scholars generally agree that four others were not written by Paul, those being 1st Timothy2nd TimothyTitus, andHebrews. As to the remaining three -- EphesiansColossians and 2nd Thessalonians -- scholars are almost evenly divided.
Paul's letters are largely written to churches which he had visited; he was a great traveler, visiting CyprusAsia Minor (modern Turkey), mainland Greece,Crete, and Rome. His letters are full of expositions of what Christians should believe and how they should live.

The view that Paul's Christ is very different from the historical Jesus has been expounded by Adolf Harnack among many others. 

Nevertheless, he provides the first written account of what it is to be a Christian and thus of Christian spirituality.

Elaine Pagels, professor of religion at Princeton University and an authority onGnosticism, argues that Paul was a Gnostic and that the anti-Gnostic Pastoral Epistles were "pseudo-Pauline" forgeries written to rebut this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Find your Own Walden


- The search for ultimate begins with simplification and the dispelling of the superfluities of life, and with the desire for clarity of vision and spiritual alertness.

- There exists within each human being a moral sense and an intuitive capacity for the apprehension of spiritual turths.

- Trancendental spiritual truths are revealed through nature.

- The divine source of all things exists in nature, yet divine reality is not exhausted by nature.

- Reformation, even the reformation of society, begins with the reforming of the individual.

- Action from principle brings about change in institutions and governments.

Be Here Now


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver, born in 1935, American poet