Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Christianity Catholic-Sikh Dialogue: What Unites Us

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Archived_member15, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642
    My dear Sikhi brothers and sisters mundahug

    I have created this thread to discuss the relationship between the Catholic tradition and the Sikh tradition: What we have in common and the areas where the two faiths seem to diverge from each other.

    Since, through my study of Sikhi, I have come to realise that we have so very much in common, I thought it would be a nice idea to discuss these similarities further by quoting from Catholic Sacred Tradition and the Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    I am very impressed by the Interfaith forum here on SPN and its sheer breadth. It is a real credit to this online community since it is so comprehensive of all faiths and shows a real commitment to dialogue!

    I will be providing links to a variety of websites of actual Sikh-Catholic dialogue retreats and centres run by the Church and Sikh community themselves.

    I would like to first of all link to this article: http://www.colsdioc.org/Offices/TheCatholicTimes/sikhs/tabid/1475/Default.aspx

    Its about an interfaith dialogue by Sikhs and Catholics run by the Roman catholic Diocese of Columbus, here are some excerpts from their conclusion:


    "...Sikhs and Catholics who have been taking part in an ongoing dialogue for the past three years say it has shown them that the two religious traditions have many things in common and has led to a deepening appreciation of each other’s perspective.


    “We have formed bonds of friendship and of respect for each other and for the words and traditions that have great meaning to both of our faiths, and this is at the beating heart of this dialogue,” said Dr. Tarunjit Butalia, a Columbus resident who helped organize the dialogue’s third session. The event took place Friday through Sunday, May 29 through 31, at the Shrine Center for Renewal in Columbus.


    Throughout the weekend, representatives of both faiths made presentations and conducted discussions on how the two religions view the nature of God. They presented summaries of their activities at a dinner on May 30 attended by members of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio representing the Catholic, Sikh, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu and Baha’i faiths. Out of respect for the Jewish Sabbath, Jewish members of the association were not asked to participate.


    Speaking at the dinner on behalf of the Catholic representatives was Father Francis Tiso, associate director of the ecumenical and interreligious affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He and Butalia, a research scientist at The Ohio State University, are among those who decided to start a formal dialogue in 2006. This came about as a result of informal conversations following a meeting in New York of an interfaith group known as Religions for Peace – USA.


    The first Sikh-Catholic National Retreat took place in 2006 in Huntington, N.Y., with a theme of “Divinity, Humanity and Creation.” It was followed the next year by a gathering in Washington highlighting the subject of holiness.


    “This year’s meeting built on those two and went into greater depth than the others,” because its subject was the nature of God, Father Tiso said.


    We found that both of our faith traditions have a similar sort of caution talking about God – the idea that words can’t fully express his nature, that ‘God is greater than … .’ This is one thing the discussion brought out in a number of insightful moments.


    We are both monotheistic religions, sharing that in common with the Muslim and Jewish traditions, Sikhs and Catholics both believe in the transcendence and the eternal nature of God.


    “We differ on the concept of the Trinity. On the question of ‘Can God be a human being?’ Sikhs seem to deny this, but not totally. In some cases, they say ‘Since God is unlimited and able to do whatever he wants, it is possible he could take human form,’ so there’s an openness there.


    “As we have the Old and New Testaments, Sikhs have volumes of sacred Scripture (two books known as the Guru Granth Sahib and the Dasam Granth) which guide them in spiritual matters. They do not have the kind of hierarchical structure Catholics do, but appear to have some overseers.”

    Kuldeep Singh, a Toledo resident who is president of the national Sikh Youth Federation, also said the doctrine of the Trinity appears to be the major area of difference in the two faiths’ perception of God.


    Sikhs believe that God cannot be divided into more than one,” he said. “But as Catholics do, we too believe he is everywhere, in everything, without beginning or end, is merciful and forgiving, so we have all this in common.”




    USCCB youth representative Neil Sloan said at the end of Saturday’s dinner that the weekend was a significant event for both faiths and would lay the groundwork for more dialogue. “It was a beautiful experience of God enriching both our faiths,” he said..."


    And also these articles:

    http://sikhswim.com/2007/10/09/world-sikh-council-participates-in-catholic-sikh-dialogue/

    http://www.southasianobserver.com/southasiandiaspora_news.php?mid=31&cid=27


    "...A three-day Sikh-Catholic bilateral national interreligious retreat concluded on the note that it has shown them that the two religious traditions have many things in common and has led to a deepening appreciation of each other’s perspective..."


    I too have come to this conclusion, some key similarities I have noted:


    Some Similarities between Catholicism and Sikhism:


    * Catholicism and Sikhism both teach that God is One

    * Catholicism and Sikhism teach that God is inexpressible and beyond understanding

    * Catholicism and Sikhism both teach that God is everywhere and in everything, that creation is filled with his Presence and that "God is All" (Book of Sirach).

    * And yet for Sikhs and Catholics, whilst creation is permeated with the presence and reality of God, he is in all things without being contained by them or limited to them, indeed he both indwells all created things and at the same time transcends them as their ultimate origin and Creator

    * Because of this both religions teach that creation is good, the world is good, reality is good and that every place is a meeting point with God and provides us with an opportunity to be in his Presence.

    * Catholicism and Sikhism both believe in the brotherhood of all human beings ie that all humanity is one

    * Catholicism and Sikhism both believe in the equality of all human beings

    * Catholicism and Sikhism both place great emphasis upon the Will of God. This emphasis on following the "Will of God", in Catholicism, as known to one through the dictates of conscience and one's faith to attain to a state of union with God (salvation) rather than "faith alone" as in Islam and Protestantism (where one must generally be a member of these respective religions to attain to "salvation", or go to paradise in Islam) is an important similarity

    * Heaven and Hell are defined in both traditions as not being literal "places" but rather spiritual states that can be experuenced in the here and now. Pope Benedict XVI explained that "Heaven is not a place, it is wherever God's Will is done". In Catholicism heaven is within us, a state of mind and being that extends into eternity. Heaven and Hell are subjective human experiences of the Same Divine Reality - God.

    * Catholicism and Sikhism both teach that all human beings have their origin in God and that he is our ultimate end. We will all return to Him. In Catholic tradition we all experience the Presence of God after death. As the Catholic declaration Nostra Aetate explains: "All men and women form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth (cf. Acts 17:26), and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all".

    * The Ultimate state in both traditions is complete Union with and absorption into God. The Catholic mystics describe this, in the words of Saint Bernard as follows, "...There is a point of rapture where the human spirit forgets itself . . . and passes wholly into God. Such a process is to lose yourself, as it were, like one who has no existence, and to have no self-consciousness whatever, and to be emptied of yourself and almost annihilated. As a little drop of water, blended with a large quantity of wine, seems utterly to pass away from itself and assumes the flavour and colour of wine, and as iron when glowing with fire loses its original or proper form and becomes just like the fire; and as the air, drenched in the light of the sun, is so changed into the same shining brightness that it seems to be not so much the recipient of the brightness as the actual brightness itself: so all human sensibility in the saints must then, in some ineffable manner, melt and pass out of itself, and be lent into the Will of God...To experience this state is to be deified..."

    * Both traditions have strong moral teachings against abortion and euthanasia, since both uphold the sanctity of life.

    * Both believe that salvation or union with GOD is "open to all" and not just Catholics/Sikhs. God enlightens all people.

    * Both traditions believe that there is inspired truth, goodness and grace to be found in all world religions

    * Both traditions believe in the underlying unity of all religions

    * Sikhism believes that there is no separation between daily life and holiness. There is no division between the profane and sacred. The Adi Granth tells us that, "Spiritual liberation is attained in the midst of laughing, playing, dressing up and eating..." - Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, p 522. Catholicism teaches the same. There is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it. Our ordinary everyday life can be a path to holiness...It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind...We cannot live a kind of double life: on the one hand, an interior life, a life of union with God; and on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life. There is just one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is this life which has to become, in both soul and body, holy and filled with God. Side by side with our colleagues, friends and relatives and sharing their interests, we can help them come closer [to God],” said St. Josemaría Escriva, founder of Opus Dei. Catholics believe that we sanctify God through our work and through the everyday of activities of life and NOT outside of this.


    There are many other similarities but that will do for the moment.


    Now onto some key differences:


    Differences between Sikhism and Catholicism

    * Catholic doctrine of Incarnation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ

    * Catholic doctrine of the Trinity - One God in Three Persons. No division in the Godhead, not three "parts" but each Person Wholly God and united by one, single, common, shared, Unkowable Essence.

    In this dialogue it is important to remember that we should expect to find God both in each other and in our respective religious traditions, as the Catholic Bishops Conference of England Wales explain:


    "...We must certainly enter dialogue prepared to be surprised and to change our minds, because in dialogue with people of other religions we must not be surprised, but actually expect to find God already there. It is in dialogue that we meet and are moved to collaborate with the same Holy Spirit we have received ourselves..."

    http://www.cbcew.org.uk/page.aspx?pid=458

    (Interesingly enough their website has as its main image the photograph of the Pope facing a Sikh)

    And it is my hope that through dialogue we can discover what Blessed Pope John Paul II described:


    "...You speak of many religions. Instead I will attempt to show the common fundamental element and the common root of these religions...From the beginning, Christian Revelation has viewed the spiritual history of man as including, in some way, all religions, thereby demonstrating the unity of humankind with regard to the eternal and ultimate destiny of man. The Church sees the promotion of this unity as one of its duties..."

    - Blessed Pope John Paul II
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #1 Archived_member15, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    DEVELOPMENT OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE BY GURU NANAK Interfaith Dialogues Wednesday at 8:13 PM
    Dialogue Across the Dinner Table Fosters Understanding of the Sikh Faith Interfaith Dialogues Feb 8, 2013
    Importance of Interfaith Dialogue Interfaith Dialogues Jun 16, 2011
    Why Interfaith Dialogue Doesn't Work - What We Can Do About It Interfaith Dialogues May 30, 2011
    Thoughts on Interfaith Dialogues and Alliances? Interfaith Dialogues Feb 25, 2011

  3. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Vouthon ji thanks for starting this thread. An exact same thought occurred to me where I was going to extract from your good post and summarize.

    Well, it is much appreciated and better for you to get it going versus me.

    I certainly have learned a lot already versus the boob tube version of Christianity.

    Regards.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642

    :mundabhangra: Great minds think alike! cheerleader

    I also have learned much about Sikhism, its distinction as an independent world religion, its sublime teachings on creation, daily life, the immanence of God, Hukam, truthful living etc.

    I will be busy over the course of this week but I'm also going to be dipping in and out of this thread. I also have a very bad internet connection at the moment!

    I think I might want to start with a topic we haven't really addressed yet in both religions but I have above - Daily Life as the Path to Holiness and Union with God.

    I see many similarities between:


    "...Spiritual liberation is attained in the midst of laughing, playing, dressing up and eating..."


    - Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, p 522



    And:


    "...There is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it. Our ordinary everyday life can be a path to holiness...It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind...We cannot live a kind of double life: on the one hand, an interior life, a life of union with God; and on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life. There is just one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is this life which has to become, in both soul and body, holy and filled with God. Side by side with our colleagues, friends and relatives and sharing their interests, we can help them come closer [to God]..."


    - Saint Josemaría Escriva, founder of Opus Dei


    Your thoughts? gingerteakaur
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #3 Archived_member15, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  5. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Vouthon ji the thought running central in Sikhism regarding your post above is to be,

    Regards. cheerleader
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642

    peacesign

    "...All of creation, even the most material situation, is a meeting place with God, and leads to union with Him...All the ways of the earth can be an opportunity to meet God...He waits for us everyday, in the laboratory, in the operating theatre, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work...Your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are. There you have your daily encounter with God...The fruit of our prayer today should be the conviction that our journey on earth, at all times and whatever the circumstances, is for God; that it is a treasure of glory, something marvellous, which has been entrusted to us to administer, with a sense of responsibility. But it is not necessary for us to change our situation in life. Right in the middle of the world we can sanctify our profession or job, our home life, and social relations...I dream — and the dream has come true — of multitudes of God's children, sanctifying themselves as ordinary citizens, sharing the ambitions and endeavors of their colleagues and friends...Human life ‑ your life ‑ and its humdrum, ordinary business, have a meaning which is divine, which belongs to eternity..."


    - Saint Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei


    I particularly love Saint Francis' Canticle of the Creatures Prayer, and think ot fits in perfectly with the Sikh teaching of being aware of Creator in all creation, creatures, in every circumstance etc - THIS IS BEAUTIFUL AND ITS THE FULL POEM I THINK:

    CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES - YouTube#!


    Saint Francis wrote this in 1225 AD

    Here is an especially beautiful musical version of the Canticle of the Creatures/Sun (Although its without a voice-over/speech like the above, its not being read out, merely music, images and words) PLEASE WATCH THIS ONE UNTIL THE END - its A STUNNING ENDING:

    1225 AD - Canticle of the Sun - Praise of the Creatures - YouTube
     
    #5 Archived_member15, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  7. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642

    "...In a vision I beheld the fullness of God in which I beheld and comprehended the whole creation, that is, what is on this side and what is beyond the sea, the abyss, the sea itself, and everything else. And in everything that I saw, I could perceive nothing except the presence of the power of God, and in a manner totally indescribable. And my soul in an excess of wonder cried out: "This world is pregnant with God!" Wherefore I understood how small is the whole of creation -- that is, what is on this side and what is beyond the sea, the abyss, the sea itself, and everything else -- but the power of God fills it all to overflowing..."

    - Blessed Angela of Foligno (c. 1248 – 1309), Catholic mystic
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Vouthon ji do you believe Sikhism started in Italy :interestedmunda:?
    There is uncanny consistency (almost verbatim at times) between Sikh and Catholic holy/mystic people pre-dating Sikhism peacesignin many messages like the one above.

    Regards. mundahug
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642

    My dear brother Ambarsaria :interestedkudi: kaurhug

    I believe that there was a spiritual renaissance and awakening between the years 1000-1700 in both East and West. In this mighty age of humanity, not only did we have the very beginnings in Italy of what would go on to become the Renaissance and birth of modern Western civilisation, but we had a flourishing of God-intoxicated mystics of both East and West, particularly I think in India, Persia and in Europe amongst the Hindu, Sufi and Catholic populations. Many Bhagats such as Namdev (c.1270 - 1350) who are practically contemporary with many of the 2nd Millenium Catholic mystics, are evidence of how the Holy Spirit at this time was quickening and enlivening the hearts of his children with great wisdom and insight. Such Bhagats as Namdev and a few centuries later Kabir, came to have their writings incorporated into the Granth. I am sure that if Nanak had been born in Europe, then the Gurus would have incorporated the writings of the Catholic mystics into the Granth, just as they did in India with the Hindu and Sufi mystics such as Namdev, Kabir and Dhanna etc.

    Sikhism, that is the Gurus and preceding Bhagats, was the outcome of one such outpouring of this spiritual renaissance, the Catholic mystics are the Western counterpart.

    Other such spiritual renaissances happened in the past ie between the years 600 BC to 100 AD when such luminaries as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Buddha, the Hindu sages of the Upanishads and the Lord Jesus graced this earth of ours.

    Obviously the Sikh Gurus never met or knew anything about the Catholic mystics; and the Catholic mystics never knew anything about the Hindu Bhagats or Sikh Gurus. And so we must asttribute this to the breathings of the Holy Spirit and the working of God, as Pope John Paul II explained once:


    "...It is the Spirit who is the source of the drive to press on, not only geographically but also beyond the frontiers of race and religion, for a truly universal mission...The Spirit's presence and activity affect not only the individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions. Indeed, the Spirit is at the origin of the noble ideals and undertakings which benefit humanity on its journey through history: "The Spirit of God with marvelous foresight directs the course of the ages and renews the face of the earth"...

    I have repeatedly called this fact to mind, and it has guided me in my meetings with a wide variety of peoples. The Church's relationship with other religions is dictated by a twofold respect: "Respect for man in his quest for answers to the deepest questions of his life, and respect for the action of the Spirit in man." The interreligious meeting held in Assisi was meant to confirm my conviction that "every authentic prayer is prompted by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in every human heart."...Every form of the Spirit's presence is to be welcomed with respect and gratitude..."

    - Blessed Pope John Paul II (Redemptoris Missio)


    So I see it in terms of an outpouring of the one Holy Spirit at work in both East and West as part of what was a worldwide Renaissance and Springtime of the Human Spirit :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #8 Archived_member15, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  10. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    We can always find similarity in the messages of different faiths which are basically related to THE ARt of Living aspect of any individual.
    But the messages realted to real sprituality which results in union with the CREATOR
    are of utmost significance.We can find a definite difference in this domain of messages from different faith.
    In the respect the message of GuRu Nank thru Gurbanee is quite UNIQUE which even Sikhs have yet to realise and comprehend.These are my personal views only.

    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
  11. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Vouthon ji thanks for the post.

    Much wisdom and great observations. You really cannot be 19 year old lol. Too young to know all this and articulate as you do! If you are, WOW!

    Regards.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642
    My dear brother Prakash ji :singhsippingcoffee:
    Interesting that you mention Union with God. That is one of the areas of commonality that I actually mentioned in my first post, where I think that Sikhism and the Catholic mystics are particularly close.

    Compare, for example:

    "The true ones are absorbed into the True Lord." - Sri Guru Granth Sahib.


    And the spiritual experience of oneness with God that Saint Bernard had:


    "...There is a point of rapture where the human spirit forgets itself . . . and passes wholly into God. Such a process is to lose yourself, as it were, like one who has no existence, and to have no self-consciousness whatever, and to be emptied of yourself and almost annihilated. As a little drop of water, blended with a large quantity of wine, seems utterly to pass away from itself and assumes the flavour and colour of wine, and as iron when glowing with fire loses its original or proper form and becomes just like the fire; and as the air, drenched in the light of the sun, is so changed into the same shining brightness that it seems to be not so much the recipient of the brightness as the actual brightness itself: so all human sensibility in the saints must then, in some ineffable manner, melt and pass out of itself, and be lent into the Will of God...To experience this state is to be deified..."

    - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153), Catholic mystic


    Did Saint Bernard not experience the "absorption into the Lord" spoken of by the Holy Granth?
     
    #11 Archived_member15, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  13. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642

    My dear brother Ambarsaria ji lol

    I asure you that I am 19 - although I will be turning 20 in June :sippingcoffeemunda:

    Thank you very much for your kind words. I am humbled!
     
  14. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    1,112

    While I fully appreciate your views I personally feel that there is no reference of any entity as GOD in Gurbanee.Yu have yourself made a reference of the entity as TRUE LORD in reference of quote related to GuRu teachings.
    What is the true form of True Lord and what is the most simple defined mechanism of making union with True Lord is a matter of difference between GuRu teachings and others.

    If you say that the experience of "The absorption into the Lord" I would certainly accept that .Therefore it would be interesting for you if you can
    understand the mechanism of union with LORD as per Gurbanee.
    I do agree there can be different ways of Union with the LORD but the mechanism of GuRu in Gurbanne is quite UNIQUE from all others I emphasised that point.

    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642
    Thank you for your reply brother Prakash kaurhug

    Can you explain to me further about this uniqueness of mechanism? winkingmunda
     
  16. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    VOUTHON Ji,
    Thanks for your positive note,
    My understanding is that the very Unique mechanisim in Sikh philosophy of Union with the Lord is thru Naamu(Raam Naamu/Hari Naamu) of the LORD.
    I am not sure whether any such concept is there in chritianity. If any so it would be my pleasure to know this from your good self.

    Prakash.s.Bagga
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642
    My dear brother Prakash peacesignkaur

    Thank you for your reply!


    "...The Name of God is a living ambrosia ... if one tasted it just once, one would not be able to be separated from it . . . it is for the eyes a serene light, for the ears the very sound of life..."

    - Saint Paulinus of Nola (354-431) (Carmina iv).




    "...The invocation of the Name is the possession of salvation, the receiving of kisses, the communion of the bed, the union of the Word with the soul in which every man is saved. For with such light no one can be blind, with such power no one can be weak, with such salvation none can perish..."


    - Richard of Saint Victor (died 1173), prominent Scottish Catholic mystic


    "...Believing in the Name of God, we are God's sons..."

    - Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), Catholic mystic and dominican priest


    We certainly have a concept of contemplating the Name of God to attain to unification with God. The Catholic mystics aimed to achieve a state whereby they could say,


    "...The Catholic who invokes the Divine Name will arrive at a point where he can say, 'I (ego) do not exist, only the Name exists, for He and His Name are one'..."

    - Dr Rama P. Coomaraswamy (1929 - 2006), Catholic priest


    The name of God is greatly important in Catholicism. In fact the Catechism of the Catholic Church devotes an entire section to it. We call the Name of God the "Tetragrammaton" (Divine Name) and it is the name that our Holy Prophet Moses came to understand as being God's most essential nature when he had his spiritual awakening on Mount Sinai with the Burning Bush. Moses realized that God was:

    YHWH

    YAWEH - that is, "I AM WHO AM".

    In the Old Testament the Name of God was so holy that it was not even written down when God was being referred to but was replaced with the term Adonai - "the Lord".

    Whenever you see God referred to as, "the Lord" in the Bible - it is a way of referring to YHWH without pronouncing it, out of reverence for God's Name.

    Here is the Name (Naam) of God in a Catholic Church in Austria:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/YHWH.JPG


    In Catholicism we also invoke the Name of Jesus (which means, "God Saves") this receives our particular veneration because Jesus' name in Hebrew is Y'shua (Yeshua) and it contains the Divine Name YHWH at the start and is thus a form of saying it.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:


    II. GOD REVEALS HIS NAME

    203 God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. A name expresses a person's essence and identity and the meaning of this person's life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one's name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.
    204 God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people, but the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the New Covenants was the revelation of the divine name to Moses in the theophany of the burning bush, on the threshold of the Exodus and of the covenant on Sinai.

    The living God

    205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that burns without being consumed: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."<SUP>9</SUP> God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan.

    "I Am who I Am"







    <DL><DD>Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."<SUP>10</SUP>







    </DD></DL>
    206 In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.<SUP>11</SUP>

    207 By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is from everlasting to everlasting, valid for the past ("I am the God of your father"), as for the future ("I will be with you").<SUP>12</SUP> God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.

    214 God, "HE WHO IS", revealed himself to Israel as the one "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness".<SUP>27</SUP> These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. "I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness."<SUP>28</SUP> He is the Truth, for "God is light and in him there is no darkness"; "God is love", as the apostle John teaches.<SUP>29</SUP>

    God is Truth

    215 "The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever."<SUP>30</SUP> "And now, O LORD God, you are God, and your words are true";<SUP>31</SUP> this is why God's promises always come true.<SUP>32</SUP> God is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things...216 God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world.<SUP>33</SUP> God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.<SUP>34</SUP>


    As Fr Rama explains:

    "...In the Old Testament we are told that if the Divine Name is invoked upon a country or person, it belongs henceforth to God; it becomes strictly His and enters into intimate relations with Him (Gen. xlviii, 16; Dt. xxviii, 10; Am. ix, 12). Thus it is that in the office of
    Compline we say every night "Tu autem in nobis es, Domine, et Nomen sanctum tuum invocatum est super nos ..." ("You indeed are in us O Lord, and your Holy Name is invoked over us ..."). In Genesis (iv, 26) we read: "and to Seth, in turn, a son was born and he named him Enoch. It was then that men began to invoke the Lord by Name" (Jewish Publication Soc. Trans.), "and Enoch walked with God!" "Moses and Aaron invoked the Name of the Lord" (Psalms). Aggeus the prophet spoke "in the Name of the Lord" and Job "blessed His Holy Name." Abraham "called upon the Name" as did Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Jeremias. Micheas and Zacharius "walked up and down in His Name."






    As James the Apostle said, "all the prophets have spoken in the Name of the Lord" (Epis. v, 10). And is not all this most reasonable, for as David the Psalmist sings, "Bonum est celebrare Domine, et psallere Nomini tuo Altissime—for it is good to celebrate, O Lord, and to sing your Name, O most high....St. Ingatius of Antioch who succeeded St. Peter to this see went to his martyrdom invoking the Divine Name and the letters JESUS were found inscribed in letters of gold upon his heart when he died. This so impressed St. Ignatius of Loyola that he changed his name from Inigo to Ignatius (Father Laturia's Biography). Similar statements are made about St. Camillus de Lellis and the Blessed Suso. Hermes the Shepherd (circa 150 A.D.) says: "to receive the Name...is to escape death and give way to life". He goes further and says "the Name...is great and immense, and this is what supports the entire world" (Pasteur, Book III). Origen (circa 215) says "the Name of Jesus calms troubled souls...its use infuses a kind of wonderful sweetness; it assures purity of morals; it inspires kindness, generosity, mildness . . ." (Contra Celsum, Book I). Saint Ambrose (circa 370) greatly loved the Name and felt that while it was contained
    in Israel like a perfume in a closed vessel, the New Covenant was a vessel opened from which it poured forth ex abundantia superfluit quidquid efunditur—poured forth from its abundance almost like a flood (de Spiritu Sancto, I, 8). St. John Chrysostom (circa 370) instructs us to "thus abide constantly with the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the heart swallows the Lord and the Lord the heart, and the two become one."...As we come to mediaeval times, we find an even greater perfusion of devotion to the Name. Thus it was that the Name of Jesus was in the mouth of Saint Francis "like honey and the honey-comb" (Thomas of Celano, biography); and St. Francis himself wrote "no man is worthy to speak Thy Name" (praises composed when the Lord assured him of His Kingdom). Saint Bernard wrote whole sermons on the Name and said "Jesus is honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, a song of delight in the heart" (Comm., Song of Songs). Saint Bonaventure cries out "O soul, whether you write, read, teach, or do anything else, may nothing have any taste for you, may nothing please you besides the Name of Jesus (Opuscula). Richard Rolle says "O good Jesus, Thou hast bound my heart in the thought of Thy Name, and now I cannot but sing it: therefore have mercy upon me, making perfect that which Thou hast ordained" (Fire of Love). Angelus Silesius says "the sweet Name of Jesus is honey on the tongue: to the ear a nuptial chant, in the heart a leap of joy" (Wandering Pilgrim)..."
     
    #16 Archived_member15, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  18. prakash.s.bagga

    prakash.s.bagga
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    VOUTHON Ji,
    In Sikh philosophy there is a great significance of NAAMu and as I have understood the word NAAMu is not the reference for NAME as we all think.
    So far as the NAME of GOD is concerned I am not against this at all .It is very much there.But we should first understand the difference between the reference meanings of GOD and LORD then I think we can have more clear understanding about NAME and NAAMu.
    You can appreciate the fact that Gurbanee is all about NAAMu of SUPREME LORD only.
    I think in Sikh philosophy GOD and LORD are inter-related with the same common WORD
    and that common WORD is NAME as well as NAAMu.
    It should be interesting to know how GOD and LORD are inter-related with Common WORD.and what should be that common WORD?
    There is complete knowledge of this common WORD for GOD and LORD in Gurbanee.
    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    2,749
    History was made last week as a sikh leader was honoured by the catholic church in UK.


    An Historic Moment in the Life of the Catholic Church – Archbishop Longley Invests International Sikh Leader a Knight of St Gregory in St Chad’s Cathedral

    <!-- BEGIN #single-columns --><!-- BEGIN #single-column-left--><!--BEGIN .entry-meta .entry-header-->By Peter Jennings · April 23, 2012 · No comments
    Archbishop Bernard Longley, Birmingham, Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, News, The Archdiocese of Birmingham · <!--END .entry-meta entry-header -->
    <!--BEGIN .entry-content --><!-- AddThis Button Begin -->History was made in the Catholic Church during a special Mass and Investiture at Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, Birmingham, of Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia and Mr William Ozanne, as Knights of the Pontifical Order of Pope St Gregory the Great, on Sunday 22 April 2012.
    [​IMG] Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia and Mr Bill Ozanne pictured together after their Investiture as Knights of the Pontifical Order of Pope St Gregory the Great.

    The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, invested the internationally known and respected Spiritual Leader and Chairman of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, based in the Handsworth area of Birmingham, with one of the highest Papal Awards.
    The Order of St Gregory is normally bestowed on Catholics but in rare cases it is also conferred on non-Catholics in recognition of meritorious service to the Catholic Church and the exceptional example they have set in their communities and country.
    More than 120 Sikhs, from Birmingham, London, Leeds, and some who had flown from Kenya and India were present in St Chad’s Cathedral for this unique and ground-breaking event in inter-faith relations involving the Catholic Church and the Sikh faith.
    [​IMG] Some of the Sikh community who attended the Mass and the Investiture pictured outside the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, Birmingham.

    Mr Bill Ozanne, who has worked in the area of inter-religious dialogue locally, nationally and internationally for many years as a member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Committee for Other Faiths, has recently been appointed by Archbishop Longley as Chairman of the Archdiocese of Birmingham Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.
    During the Rite of Investiture, which took place immediately after the homily, Bhai Sahib Bhai, was escorted by Sewa Singh Mandla, and Mr Bill Ozanne by his two sponsors, Michael Hodgetts, KSG and Tony Flanagan KSG.
    Canon Gerry Breen, Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral, read out the two Papal Briefs of “Benedict XVI Supreme Pontiff”, given at St Peter’s in Rome, signed and sealed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone.
    Archbishop Bernard Longley invested each of the knights elect In the name of the Holy Father with the insignia of a Knight of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great, pinning the Cross to the left breast of each and presenting them with their framed Papal Brief. The Archbishop also presented Bhai Sahib-ji with the sword of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great.
    [​IMG] Archbishop Bernard Longley pictured as he pins the Cross on Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia during the Rite of Investiture.

    In his homily Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “This is a truly joyful day for it witnesses a moment of recognition and gratitude on the part of the Catholic Church for the dedication of two men of faith for whom our city of Birmingham is their home and the base for their work. This is also a unique and historical moment in the life of this Cathedral and in the experience of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and perhaps further afield.
    [​IMG] Archbishop Bernard Longley pictured during his homily at the Mass of Investiture in St Chad’s Cathedral.

    “It is very fitting that Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia and Mr Bill Ozanne are receiving Papal Knighthoods from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on the same occasion and in the same ceremony of investiture. Over a friendship of many years they have discovered not only within each other, but also within the faith traditions that they represent, an openness to dialogue and a desire to deepen understanding and co-operation for the common good.
    “They have both personally committed considerable time and energy to the goals of interfaith understanding and of common witness to shared values. But they have also encouraged and enabled the Sikh and Christian traditions to make progress along the pathway from mutual respect towards the deeper insights that friendship brings. They have prompted us to work more closely together in service of others.”
    The Archbishop continued: “I believe that it is the first time that a Papal Honour has been bestowed in this way on a spiritual leader from within the Sikh community. It represents the Holy Father’s recognition of Bhai Sahib Bhai’s deeply held desire for fruitful and lasting relations between Sikhs and Catholics and opportunities to witness together.
    “We recall Bhai Sahib Bhai’s presence in Assisi for the international meetings of faith leaders at the invitation of Blessed Pope John Paul II and of Pope Benedict – and I am sure that he will long remember being present with Mandla-ji in St Peter’s Square at the funeral of Blessed John Paul II during April 2005.”
    Archbishop Bernard Longley stressed: “Nothing could have given greater pleasure to Mr Bill Ozanne than to be receiving this Papal Knighthood alongside Bhai Sahib Bhai, for this moment becomes symbolic of Bill’s own vision for interfaith dialogue and witnesses to his long commitment to this important work of the Church.”
    He expressed his gratitude to Bill Ozanne for taking the Chair of the Archdiocese of Birmingham Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.
    He said: “Bill Ozanne has constantly emphasised the abiding significance of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council in its Declaration Nostra Aetate. The insights of this declaration are as relevant to our situation today as when they were written fifty years ago. It is the foundation for our friendship and collaboration at every level with men and women of faith. We are blessed in this city to have an active and committed Faith Leaders Group and I am grateful that so many of its members are here with us today.”
    Archbishop Bernard Longley concluded his homily: “The faith communities in this city are often among the first to recognise emerging social needs within our local communities. We want to develop effective partnerships among ourselves and with other agencies wherever appropriate to help meet these needs. May today’s celebration encourage us to continue along the pathway of this commitment not only for the good of our own faith communities but for the common good.”
    At the sign of peace Archbishop Longley warmly greeted the two new Papal Knights and members of the families, his two co-Presidents of the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group, the Right Reverend David Urquhart, Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, and Major Samuel Edgar, Divisional Commander, Salvation Army, West Midlands.
    St Chad’s Cathedral looked at its magnificent best and the Cathedral Choir, under its Director of Music, Professor David Saint, added to the splendour of an historic and memorable occasion with a wonderful rendering of the Franz Schubert Mass in G major. The great Pugin masterpiece was filled with echoes of joyful sound.
    After the final hymn, “Christ is made the sure foundation”, members of the Sikh community sang a hymn of praise accompanied by two musicians playing traditional musical instruments. It was a deeply moving experience and in complete contrast to the ritual and ceremony of the Mass and Investiture.
    [​IMG] The two Sikh musicians pictured playing their traditional musical instruments in St Chad's Cathedral.

    Mr Sewa Singh Mandla then spoke on behalf of the Sikh community. At the lectern with the lighted 2012 Pascal Candle burning brightly beside him, he concluded: “Our two faiths respect each other. We pray that the relationship between us will grow and flourish.”
    [​IMG] Mr Sewa Singh Mandla speaking on behalf of the Sikh community at the end of the Mass and the Investiture.

    [​IMG] Archbishop Bernard Longley pictured after the Investiture Mass with left to right: Mrs Margaret Ozanne, Mr Sewa Singh Mandla, Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Mr Bill Ozanne, Bishop Philip Pargeter, Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham and Canon Gerry Breen, Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral.

    [​IMG] Archbishop Bernard Longley pictured after the Investiture with Mr Sewa Singh Mandla (left) and Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia.

    [​IMG] Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia pictured with me after his Investiture as a Knight of the Pontifical Order of Pope St Gregory the Great.


    MASS AND INVESTITURE – TEXT OF HOMILY
    The Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, Birmingham,
    Sunday, 22 April 2012
    Homily given by the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham

    Have a care for justice, act with integrity…I will make them joyful in my house of prayer
    This is a truly joyful day for it witnesses a moment of recognition and gratitude on the part of the Catholic Church for the dedication of two men of faith for whom our city of Birmingham is their home and the base for their work. It is also a unique and historical moment in the life of this Cathedral and in the experience of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and perhaps further afield.
    It is very fitting that Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia and Mr Bill Ozanne have expressed themselves delighted to be receiving Papal Knighthoods from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on the same occasion and in the same ceremony of investiture.
    Over a friendship of many years they have discovered not only within each other, but also within the faith traditions that they represent, an openness to dialogue and a desire to deepen understanding and co-operation for the common good.
    They have both personally committed considerable time and energy to the goals of interfaith understanding and of common witness to shared values. But they have also encouraged and enabled the Sikh and Christian traditions to which they belong to make progress along the pathway from mutual respect towards the deeper insights that friendship brings. They have prompted us to work more closely together in service of others.
    Those words of the Prophet Isaiah which we heard in today’s first scripture reading find their echo in the beliefs that underlie the shared commitment of Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia and Mr Bill Ozarme.
    Have a care for justice, act with integrity. Justice and integrity have deep spiritual roots and they are fruits that are highly prized within both our traditions of faith. They are valued not only for the impact that they have within our faith communities or on the world around us but above all for their intrinsic good as part of the created world which we cherish and for which we give thanks in this ceremony and in the Eucharist.
    I have said that today’s celebration is unique for I believe that it is the first time that a Papal Honour has been bestowed in this way on a spiritual leader from within the Sikh community. It represents the Holy Father’s recognition of Bhai Sahib Bhai’s deeply held desire for fruitful and lasting relations between Sikhs and Catholics wherever they live and have opportunities to witness together.
    That desire has borne its own fruit especially here in Birmingham but it has been expressed on other occasions and in other places. We recall Bhai Sahib Bhai’s presence on the papal train and in Assisi for the international meetings of faith leaders at the invitation of Blessed Pope John Paul II and of Pope Benedict – and I am sure that he will long remember being present with Mandla-ji in St Peter’s Square at the funeral of Blessed John Paul II during April 2005.
    Nothing could have given greater pleasure to Mr Bill Ozanne than to be receiving this Papal Knighthood alongside Bhai Sahib Bhai, for this moment becomes symbolic of Bill’s own vision for interfaith dialogue and witnesses to his long commitment to this important work of the Church.
    I am grateful to you, Bill, for recently agreeing to become the Chairman of our diocesan Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and I am pleased that other members of the commission are also here today.
    Bill has worked in this area of dialogue for many years at national level as a member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Committee for Other Faiths. He has constantly emphasised the abiding significance of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council in its Declaration Nostra Aetate. The insights of this declaration are as relevant to our situation today as when they were written fifty years ago. Pope Paul VI then wrote:
    In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely her relationship to non-Christian religions. In her task of promoting unity and love among men, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have in common and what draws them to fellowship.
    The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14 :6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.
    The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.
    That public declaration of the Catholic Church’s commitment to interreligious dialogue is the foundation for our friendship and collaboration at every level with men and women of faith. We are blessed in this city to have an active and committed Faith Leaders Group and I am grateful that so many of its members are here with us today.
    The faith communities in this city are often among the first to recognise emerging social needs within our local communities. We want to develop effective partnerships among ourselves and with other agencies wherever appropriate to help meet these needs. May today’s celebration encourage us to continue along the pathway of this commitment not only for the good of our own faith communities but for the common good.
    May Bhai Sahib Bhai and Bill Ozamie be blessed for many years to come as they share and live out this vision to the glory of God.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. Archived_member15

    Archived_member15
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    642
    My dear brother Lucksingh ji mundahug

    Thank you so much for that news article! WOW! A SIKH RECEIVING A PAPAL KNIGHTHOOD!

    I am so happy for Bhai Sahib Bhai on receiving this distinguished knighthood from his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

    What a beautiful and historic moment in Catholic-Sikh relations.

    A website says of this knighthood:


    "...The Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great was founded in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI. It is conferred as a reward for services to the Holy See and the Church on gentlemen and ladies who “by reason of their nobility, the renown of their deeds, or the degree of their munificence are deemed worthy to be honored by a public expression of esteem on the part of the Holy See.”..."


    WOW! Only in very rare cases is it ever given to non-Catholics too! Wow!
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page