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What A Rabbi Learns From Studying The Koran

Image by Alisdare Hickson via Flickr

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

The Koran is the only book of revelation that includes within itself a theory of prophethood which includes the prophets of other religions. There have always been (since the days of Adam) people inspired by Allah who urged their society to avoid destruction by turning away from its corrupt and unjust ways and  turning to the One God who created all humans.

The Koran mentions 25 prophets by name (most of them known to non-Muslims too) and Muslims believe there were one hundred twenty four thousand others, whose names are now unknown.

Of the 25 mentioned by name in the Koran only five revealed books of sacred scripture, and only Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad revealed books of sacred scripture that are the bases for the three monotheistic religions that still flourish today.

According to the Koran, every nation in the world receives at least one prophet who speaks to them in their own language. However, one nation, the Children of Israel, has received a great many prophets.

The Koran doesn’t explicitly tell us why so many prophets arose within the Children of Israel, but a careful reading of the Koran reveals the answer. This was what I learned from a profound and enlightening essay by Irfan Ahmad Kahn in a book entitled Jewish-Muslim Encounters edited by Charles Selengut (Paragon House 2001).

Almost all prophets, according to Kahn, are like Hud who was sent to Ad or Salih who was sent to Thamud; to warn them of their impending destruction due to their corrupt and immoral ways and to call them to repentance. However, the prophets of the Children of Israel are different..

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat ...

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat Mordechai synagogue wall in Jerusalem. Top row, right to left: Reuben, Judah, Dan, Asher Middle: Simeon, Issachar, Naphtali, Joseph Bottom: Levi, Zebulun, Gad, Benjamin (Photo: Wikipedia)

First , Abraham is the only prophet we know of whose two sons, Isma’il and Ishaq, are also prophets. Indeed, Abraham’s grandson Ya’qub and great grandson Yusuf are also prophets. Thus starting with Abraham Allah established a family dynasty of prophets. With Joseph and his brothers (the tribes) the extended family became the 12 tribes of Israel or as they are usually called the Children of Israel/Ya’qub.

The Children of Israel were blessed with many prophets inviting them to stay firm in their faith to God; this is expressed in various places in the Qur’an “When death approached Ya’qub, he said to his sons, ‘Who will (you) worship after I am gone?’ They answered, ‘We will worship your God, the God of our forefathers, Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, the One God. Unto Him we will surrender ourselves.’” (2:132)

Second, when Moses/Musa is sent by Allah he comes not primarily to warn or rebuke the Children of Israel (his own people) but he is sent “to Pharaoh” ( 20:24, 51:38, 73:15 and 79:17), “to Pharaoh and his chiefs” (al-mala) (7:103, 10:75, 11:97, 23:46, and 43:46) “to Pharaoh and his people” (27:12).

Musa is sent to Pharaoh to warn him of the destruction that will fall on Egypt if he doesn’t stop setting himself up as a God; and doesn’t let the Children of Israel go free. Musa comes to rebuke Pharaoh and to rescue the Children of Israel.

Only when the nation is free from Egyptian bondage do they receive the Torah from God, by the hand of Moses without any mediation of an angel. This very enlightening essay by Irfan Ahmad Kahn stimulated me as a Reform Rabbi to realize that the evidence from the Qur’an shows that Islam praises the unique place of the Children of Israel among other nations; as opposed to the accusations of some who blame the Qur’an as being antagonistic toward Jews.

From Abraham’s descendants comes a religious community based not just on belief but also on family and tribal ties. Converts to Judaism, who usually marry into the Jewish community, are like adopted children. This is why Judaism, although it welcomes converts from any people, has never engaged in a determined large scale missionary enterprise.

English: 11th Century North African Qur’an in ...

11th Century North African Qur’an in the British Museum (Photo: Wikipedia)

The principle that God makes a covenant with a whole people and not just with the faithful believers helps me understand a powerful verse in the Koran. At Sinai, when Allah gives the Jewish People the Torah, He makes a covenant with all the Children of Israel. Allah raises the mountain above the whole people saying, “Hold firmly to what We have given you (the Torah) and remember what is in it.” (2:63)

The whole nation’s fate stands under the shadow of mount Sinai, and this explains the miracle of all Israel agreeing to the covenant. This may be the reason why Musa is the only prophet whose book comes not from an angel but directly from Allah.

Individuals who hear a prophet may choose to believe or disbelieve, but when God Himself makes ‘an offer that you can’t refuse’, everyone is in for all generations to come, and then has to struggle with living up to the deal.

The many prophets that address the Children of Israel are teachers and guides more than rebukers because the covenant between God and the Umma of B’nai Israel is for all generations. Thus the covenant is not just for the community of the faithful but for the whole community of Israel, which includes some whose hearts are like rocks that spring forth streams, while others only yield water when split, and others sink for fear of Allah.(2:74)

It is this last segment of the Children of Israel, and this segment only, that Prophet Muhammad refers to when he rebukes the Children of Israel. The Koran correctly understood doesn’t attack all of Israel. Every community, including the Muslim Ummah contains groups of faithful believers, as well as a party who disbelieve.

I have learned many additional insights about Islam and Judaism that can be found in my new book ‘Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms’ (a collection of articles by a Reform Rabbi previously published by Islamic web sites ISBN # 978-3-639-79499-1) which was published a few weeks ago and is now on Amazon ($15).

Rabbi Maller’s web site is: www.rabbimaller.com

 In Mississippi, a Muslim community fears its end (thegazette.com)

 What Muslim women want in the bedroom – and why a halal sex manual is a good thing (telegraph.co.uk)

 Israel banned Muslim men under the age of 50 from a Jerusalem holy site (businessinsider.com)

 Sir Tim Rice criticises teachers for changing ‘Israel’ lyrics in Joseph musical (telegraph.co.uk)

 Israeli embassy guard shoots two Jordanians, provoking diplomatic impasse (nationalpost.com)

 Shawaal Fasting: Grab a whole year reward (vanguardngr.com)

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Spiritual Growth: a Paradigm of Modern Times

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Kaz Domagalski

We are all spirits inside a body. To enable us to realize this great truth is to believe in the opposite that has been taught for years, specifically that we are bodies with a soul. Explained in a different way, we are all souls, being of spirit that have utilized bodies so that we may grow.  To grow spiritually is to recognize these interconnections. The difficult part is to understand that to grow spiritually in a world enveloped by power, money, and influence is a mammoth task. Modern amenities such as electronic apparatus, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment media through television, magazines, and the web have cultivated us all to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and desires. As a result, our perception of self-worth and self-meaning are at best confused. How can we even begin to strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually we need to look within ourselves.

Soul-searching goes beyond recalling the events that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to review intimately and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the choices you made, the relationships you encourage, and the events you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good habits you sustain and the bad habits you need to abandon. Furthermore, it gives you suggestions on how you should act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any given situation. Like any skill, self-examination can be learned. It does take a degree of courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within. Strive to be objective, forgiving of yourself, and focus on  areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to evolve.

Our understanding of spirituality change as we come to see others as potential teachers. Religion and science have conflicting views on matters of the human spirit. Religion regards people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the inner self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The requirements of the body are recognized but positioned under the needs of the spirit. Values, morality, rules, beliefs, experiences, and good works provide the master plan to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. When you have fulfilled the basic physical and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs emerge next. Achieving each need leads to the complete development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is in the meaning of self-development. Christianity and Islam believe that self-development is a means toward serving God, while the psychologists view is that self-development is an end by itself.

To grow spiritually is to search for interpretation.

Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam presume that the purpose of human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several  psychological theories submit that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life\’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to recognize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth, but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our relationships with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we find ourselves in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and some we affirm.  Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual capabilities into use. It sustains us during trying times giving us something to look forward to, perhaps a goal to achieve or a destination to reach. A person without purpose or substance is like a rudderless ship drifting out at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize relevance.

Religions stress the concept of our significance to all creation and as a result we call other people ‘brothers and sisters’ even if there are no direct blood relations. Likewise, divinity centred religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science clarifies our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relevancy is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectivity is a characteristic of self-perfection, the highest human aspiration. Recognizing this paradigm makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. These beliefs and attitudes towards a particular dimension in your life makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, a necessary shift before you can grow spiritually and succeed at whatever you are trying to accomplish.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/meditation-articles/spiritual-growth-a-paradigm-of-modern-times-7068763.html

About the Author

Kaz Domagalski has been involved with internet business development since 1998 and resides in the UK. He is passionately aware of the need to coach and help people who are ready to discover their internet path to abundance and prosperity, helping to solve the obstacles to your success. Get more free reports at http://www.cloudnineprofits.com


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The future of religions

Photo credit: Botgirl Questi

Future of Religion from Outside by Botgirl Questi via Flickr

Author: Helena Aramendia

Humans have felt the need for religion since the earliest of times. Religions are cultural traditions related to spirituality; behind them, human organizations claim a divine origin, in order to ensure little or no challenge to the status quo from their followers. I would like to reflect here about the role that religions had played in our history. However, more importantly, the position that I can foresee for them in the not too distant future.

What are religions and why do we need them?

Since humans became a sentient species, they have felt the need to connect to their source. They have felt, even if it was only intuitively, that there was something else, beyond their physical world. Their spiritual world was personal, intimate and a direct contact to what they could perceive as a bigger reality or God, even if they channeled it through elements like rocks or the sun, as in animists religions. A feeling of vulnerability made them look to it for protection and also made them accept the authority of the ones that seemed to be more able to understand or even communicate with that elusive realm of non-physical realities. Some kind of religious leader was as common in prehistoric human groups as was a hunting leader or a war leader. However, for a leader to differentiate himself from the group, he needed to:

a) have more knowledge, more experience, more ability in his performing tasks, or

b) exert a greater control over the rest of the pack.

And so gradually, the leaders made customs, which then became habits, evolving into rituals and then finally religious laws or cults.

As societies grew more complex, so did the role of the religious leader. Over centuries, traditions accumulate, as well as rituals and rules. History passed orally from generations to generations everywhere, grew rich in details and explanations about our origins, our relationship with the Sacred and the external ways or rituals that we use in order to live and feel that relationship. Once we have: an explanation about where we came from, a specific god or gods, a set of expectations for us in respect to the deities, and specific ways of worshipping, we have a religion. The different traditions are just cultural manifestations. From animist to polytheists to monotheists, religions have evolved.

Four of the five more important religions (I mean important only attending at the number of adepts) are quite recent, relatively speaking. Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

The oldest one of those, Judaism, the first monotheist religion, is “just” 3300 years old (since Moses time). A great majority of people in the world have a single religion, because of cultural (through family or societal ties) or physical proximity to the origin of that religion. Even the relatively small amount of people that choose their beliefs once they are discerning adults, are many times influenced by their situation (for instance, marriage) or environment.

Religions are God inspired but human designed and managed organizations. They are useful for millions of people that find in them a way to God, or a way of making sense of some difficult moments in life. They are the easiest way to channel our spiritual needs, because they are like a pre-packed meal: ready to go. We simply need to follow the suggestions of our leader be it priest, rabbi, guru, lama, or medicine man, and he will guide us and take care of our souls.

As our lives have become more complicated, it is easier to delegate into their hands the responsibility for our spiritual life. It is a basic human need to reach towards our origin and is a longing of our spirit to have some kind of contact with the source. It is nourishing, soothing and a source of happiness. It gives our lives a deeper meaning. Moreover, institutionalized religion are so ingrained in society, that they can also give us a sense of approval and acceptance in society, as we comply with the expected liturgy.

Religions have negative aspects too.

Religions can also create separation and duality, by definition belonging to one group often implies not accepting the others as truthful (even if we respect them). If I am Christian I cannot be Muslim, if I am Jew I cannot be Hindu. This is duality. During many point in our history religions have been magnifying and demonizing differences and encouraging rejection of other belief systems, in order to achieve supremacy, even when that tone can’t be found in the original texts. Along history, this has reached the point where more people have died and been tortured in the name of religious considerations than for any other reason.

Due to the human nature of institutionalized religions, they have been linked to power, money or sexual deviations uncountable numbers of times during history, to the point that on many occasions the original spiritual meaning has been lost. Intolerance and longing for supremacy have put religious institutions in a position where they play more a political and social role than a spiritual one.

Nowadays, many people focus upon the external aspects of religions, its rites, forms and precepts. As a consequence, the main function of religion, ones spiritual nourishment or growth, is often unmet. In different credos there are millions of very religious people that are not necessarily spiritual people. They are like the zealots of Jesus´s times, revolving around their own little world, condemning in their minds (and their social lives) everyone that does not abide by their specific worldview or doctrines.

Are religions keeping us apart? How useful to spiritual development is it to have a belief system that claims to be the exclusive religious truth holder, the real one, the one that leads to salvation while all the other pour souls will be lost. Whilst individuation is good in order to survive when we re growing up, it is not so useful once we reach a certain point of growth. As humanity, we are growing up now, and our only chance for survival is in a mature society.

Our next evolutionary step.

As humanity, we are now in a very particular moment in our evolution. Life as we know it is no longer sustainable following our current path. Patterns that worked for us before, are not working now. We need to reconsider and review all aspects of our life, under a different light. It is not about individual survival and competition any more. It is about thriving and growing as a single whole sharing one planet, in order to not only survive, but to reach our potential. Our path forward has to be through synergy instead of competition. It’s time for us to look to our more clear and perfect model: the human body and its relationship with a single cell. If we have a tumor in any part of the body, all the body is affected, as all is a single unit. Only with a perfectly healthy body can all the cells thrive and perform at their best, and vice versa. Our governing mechanism is the spirit, we need to realize that we are all one unit, and whatever happens to one of us, affects the rest.

In spirit, we are all one. We share a divine origin, regardless of the tradition, name and form that we give to it in our conscious minds,. This is common to us all. Our spirit longs for communion with its source, and everybody, left to their own devices will seek out and find a personal path to fulfill that need for communion.

More and more people are becoming conscious of this reality. They feel less need for institutionalized religions, as they meditate more, and increase personal practices that fulfill their spiritual needs, like helping others, for example. They also realize that other religions are like other languages or other foods: something to know, to share, to respect, to learn from, but not something that should become a source of separation for us nor a method to define the value of the other person in relation to ourselves.

What then does the future hold for religions? It is clear that religions will not disappear by suppression (one only needs to consider the reemergence of religion following the fall of communism in Russia), rather they will eventually become redundant. Like the need for living in a cave, or the need to look after the fire in a group, as a species we will outgrow them, in favor of a true spiritual growth based on our further developed understanding. When we come to realize our divine origin, and we rediscover the way to connect directly with the Creator (regardless of the label), we will be able to find in that connection all that our soul longs for.

We are growing up as species, and soon we will have evolved beyond the daily routine centered upon providing for our basic needs and feeding ourselves. We will grow mature and independent, able to assume Love as our nature and source of power.

It is true that looking at our current situation, reading any newspaper, seeing how the world looks now, it does not seem to be very probable that we are nearing a break through. Never the less, we might also reflect that it is also darkest before dawn and like remodeling a house, it gets worse until it gets better. A good purge is necessary and lots of darkness will surface, before the new reality can manifest itself. In the meantime, keeping centered in our purpose and our true self and focusing upon our individual spiritual growth will help to anchor the new earth.

About the Author:

Healer, Bs, Brennan Healing practitioner, Ordained Interfaith minister, writer, passionate about spirituality, human evolution and metaphysics.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comThe future of religions


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Postmodern Theology – Who’s got the power?

Postmodern Sock Monkeys.JPG

Postmodern Sock Monkeys by deglispiriti via Flickr

When I studied Michel Foucault and postmodernism in the 1980s, many so-called intellectuals overlooked the idea of the holy, as taken on its own terms, and focused on a stripped down notion of socio-cultural power.

Society was just the outcome of competing discourses and institutionalized practices of power. Everything else didn’t really matter. And if psychology did manage to squeak its way into an academic discussion, Freud was fair game but Jung, well, he was definitely out.

This approach seemed pretty thin and I remember talking about or, rather, trying to talk about the idea of the numinous and how it could relate to power, both psychological and social.

I’d written an essay on Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, groundbreaking back then, likening it to the numinous potential of Jungian archetypes. I only got an A- on that paper, probably because my sociology professor, although a nice guy, just couldn’t see the connection I was making between pop culture and spirituality. Ironically enough, the arguably silly distinction between pop culture and spirituality is still reinforced today by many religious people who insist on the primacy of their own rigid beliefs and agendas.

Later, in the early 1990s, I got interested in the ethical ambivalence of power. By this I mean that power isn’t always oppressive, bad or solely based on self-interest, as some professors seemed to say. In fact, power can be used for the good and, moreover, the Good can be powerful.

Fortunately, the postmodern scene has evolved since the early days. Bookworms and information seekers began to embrace figures like Jacques Derrida, who speaks to a ‘metaphysical space’ in-between linkages within endless chains of connotative signification.

Reminiscent of Sartre’s ‘gap of nothingness,’ the apparently radical postmodern agenda began to discern cracks in the interpretative process and was asking what might lay beyond them.

Spirituality perhaps?

A fairly recent trend called Postmodern Theology takes postmodernism in the opposite direction from it’s limiting beginnings. Postmodernism is apparently restoring the holy and encouraging meaningful interfaith dialogue in an age where many are turned off by religious dogmas and yet duped by the reductive claims of science. A good example of this trend can be found here: “Toward a Theological Understanding of Postmodernism.”

Contemporary postmodernism may be spiritually liberating or restrictive. On the plus side, the conceptual deconstruction of sacred texts, teachings and practices strips away bogus, culture-laden ideas about God and moral righteousness. But on the down side, some postmoderns still seem unable to consider the idea that power may be holy, that the holy is ‘good power,’ and so on.

At the other end of the spectrum there’s an equally unfortunate scenario where authoritarian personality types are consumed by a numinous power that’s less than God. These individuals haven’t developed any appreciation for postmodernism’s potential usefulness. In fact, these folks probably don’t think at all because they just know they’re right (at least, that’s what they say or imply).

One way to identify an authoritarian personality is in the inability to admit uncertainty. There’s always “no doubt” in an authoritarian’s mind. They simply must have things their way, intellectually and often practically. The last thing they’re willing to do is compromise, and this can happen in any religious, political, scientific or New Age circuit.

Perhaps the next important task for postmodernism is to strip away its elitist, specialized style and make its ideas more accessible to the general public. There’s a branch of philosophy that says if you cannot say things clearly, in a way that everyone can understand, chances are you don’t really understand it yourself.

While this approach engenders its own set of complications (e.g. how can we ‘make it clear’ if an audience always interprets what we say?)  it does seem worthy of consideration.

Copyright © Michael Clark. All rights reserved.


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Demand of public apology by Paramount and Viacom gathering storm

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Calls for public apology by Paramount Pictures and its parent Viacom on issues surrounding “The Love Guru” movie, started by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, are gathering strength.

Now Nevada Clergy Association (NCA); which is composed of Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Bahai, Native American, etc., clergy; has joined others in asking for Paramount/Viacom apology.

In a statement issued in Nevada (USA) today, Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., NCA President, said, “We urge Paramount and Viacom to issue a general public apology over this issue, which will help heal the wounds of seemingly perturbed one-billion-strong Hindu community”.

Rev. Savoy, who is himself a well-respected Head Bishop of International Community of Christ, said in this statement, “We are dismayed at Paramount Pictures, presenter of this movie, for backtracking on their promise to protesting Hindu brothers-sisters, which we consider an unethical business practice. We are also appalled at Paramount and its parent Viacom for utter disregard of the protesters and making no efforts to have an open civilized dialogue with protesters and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution, who have been stressing that this movie denigrates Hinduism and Hindu concepts.”

He congratulated Rajan Zed “for his successful campaign” against the Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” and thanked him for “effectively creating this debate and awakening the future filmmakers to be more sensitive to the feelings of devotees when dealing with faith related issues”.

Rev. Savoy further said, “We at NCA are for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith is something sacred and attempts at debasing it hurt the adherents. Hollywood should be more conscious while handling faith related subjects, as cinema is a very mighty medium and it can create stereotypes in the minds of some audiences. We are concerned that today it is Hinduism; tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to mock another denomination/religion, which can be very painful to the faithful.”

Sometime back, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu religious leaders, in a joint signed statement, described Paramount’s backtracking on their promise to protesting Hindus as “un-Christian, un-Hindu, un-Buddhist, un-Jewish, etc., besides being unethical.”

Meanwhile, various other organizations, including Universal Society of Hinduism, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Hindu Alliance of India, Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha, Sanatan Sanstha, India Heritage Panel, have also demanded public apology from Paramount and Viacom.

Rajan Zed launched the protest movement against “The Love Guru” in March, saying that it appeared to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and using Hindu terms frivolously.


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Review: Une prière puissante : la louange

Review » en français

Title: Une prière puissante : la louange
Author: Anita Maria Célestin
Publisher:
Novalis, 106 pp.
Media: Trade Paperback
Date: 2007
Rating: *****

Anita Maria Célestin’s The Power of Praise or perhaps more correctly, The Powerful Prayer of Praise is a delightful reminder of the importance of praising God at every step of our faith journey.

Célestin’s careful reading of the Old and New Testaments highlights her belief that praise is the most powerful way for Christians to maintain a loving relationship with their Creator.

Regardless of one’s views about the effectiveness of different forms of prayer, Célestin’s argument certainly is consistent. As she points out, even “the name Juda signifies PRAISE.”*

Past authors like William James have suggested that ‘good works’ distinguish Christians from non-Christians. However, this kind of antiquated thinking no longer holds up in contemporary culture. For people from all walks of life do good works. But not everyone praises God.

Along these lines, Célestin notes that Friedrich Nietzsche once declared “God is dead!” While this assertion might have made an impact on some existential and postmodern philosophers, the fact remains that literally billions of people around the world still believe in and actively worship God.

And The Power of Praise helps to explain why. Praise, Célestin suggests, is not a mere intellectual or, for that matter, emotional act. Praise is a prayer from the heart that involves the entire human being-the natural and the spiritual. This twofold nature of praise makes it especially powerful for both psychological and physical healing, an idea that has not gone unnoticed among modern scientific researchers.

The Power of Praise explains that praise lifts us above our quotidian cares by making us receptive to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This relationship between God and creation involves two elements: our choice to express gratitude and God’s great love for us. Thus by choosing to praise, we invite God into our lives.

Célestin rightly advises, however, that praise isn’t about demanding nor expecting divine favors. Mature love doesn’t express itself like that. Instead, praise is about two beings, Creator and created, freely entering into a relationship based on mutual love and respect.

A reciprocal act of love between Creator and created leaves no room for evil. In essence, praise opens the heart to God and dispels the spiritual darkness that makes us unwell. And this is why the author regards praise as the most powerful form of prayer.

Does this sound too good to be true? Can we really ‘praise the gray away’?

As a Catholic, these and other questions came to mind while reading The Power of Praise. After a considerable degree of reflection, I can say that this inspirational book has helped me to become more consciously aware of the importance of praise in my relationship with God. As we sing in the Mass:

“Praise to you Lord, King of Eternal Glory”

The Power of Praise is a beautifully written, extremely well-researched work that should strengthen believers’ faith and hopefully act as a wake-up call for those yet to discover the insurmountable joy of living a life devoted to God.

And for these reasons I give The Power of Praise 5 out of 5.

—–

*Le nom Juda signifie LOUANGE.

-Michael Clark 06.02.07

***** Exceptional
**** Very Good
*** Good
** Fair
* Recycle bin