“A prayer to God in the time of Coronavirus and Distress”

“A prayer to God in the time of Coronavirus and Distress”

Oh God, our Healer and Comforter:

We pray that you’ll give immeasurable strength and wisdom and abundant protection to medical staff working tirelessly in nursing homes, hospitals, and other medical and mental facilities to alleviate our pain and suffering, and cure our diseases.

Would you please be mindful about the healing and longevity of the sick and those who are socially incarcerated in a hospital room and away from the physical touch and proximity and from the presence of their family and loved ones. Heal their diseases; touch and stabilize their wounded scars; restore their broken spirit; and comfort their troubled soul.

Oh Maker of the cosmos and people:

We pray for truck drivers, migrant and undocumented workers, farmers, factory workers, grocery managers and staff, and all others who make nutrition and other basic necessities possible and available for a nation in crisis and fear. We beseech you, oh gracious Lord of the universe, to give them physical strength, psychological stability, and mental rest so they can be successful in what they do. Keep them and their family from being contaminated or infected, as you would do the same for our medical professionals and staff.

Oh Lord of the cities:

Governors, state representatives, local authorities and officials are confused and lacked of human power and resources to accommodate the great needs of their people, their cities, their states, and the urgent needs of the coronavirus pandemic. Give them sufficient grace and wisdom to act in wisdom, to comfort those who are hurting and dying, and to contribute to just and equitable communities and cities. Help them not to use their strength and influence to maximize suffering and prolong the effects of the virus. Direct their thoughts; calm their spirit; and may their actions will bring healing and human flourishing in their cities. Grant them the attitude to behave and act like true public servants and community-caregivers.

Oh God of the Poor and the Oppressed:

The poor and the marginalized in our communities and citirs place their hope and future in you. Remember the poor in the developing and developed nations! You will not disappoint them in this time of despair nor will you turn your face away from their existential needs and urgent care in this period of anxiety. The poor are hungry for food, thirst for water, and long to receive and be satisfied with the basic things of life. They are the most vulnerable group to sickness, abuse, exploitation, even their rights to live and exist. Give them justice, security, and protection. Do not forget them when you visit other people; do not look upon them with disfavor, but with compassion, tenderness, and empathy; and do not remove your presence from their dwelling. You are the God who claims to be in solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, and the economically-disadvantaged individuals and populations. Make your face shine upon them and rescue them in this time of excruciating pain and depression!

Remember Oh Lord, some people will become poor and homeless in these dangerous and dark times. Make provision for them. Sustain them and their family. Shine upon them with grace and favor. Restore their lost employment and wages. Be their Hope, Shelter, and Comfort!

Oh God who gives us children and families:

We thank you for the gift of life and grace to have children and families. We also thank you for the gift not to have children but to care for other individuals’ children and families. We thank you for the gift of singleness; oh Lord you don’t look down upon those who belong to this category. Bless those who are singles and those who are waiting upon you to start a family.

In the time of coronavirus, we parents have become everyday teachers of our children-students and we just assumed the role of professional teachers and educators. (We were not ready for that.) Lord, you know our inadequacy in various fields of learning. Give us wisdom and the willingness to accommodate and adjust in this moment of teaching, learning, observing, and role modelling. Help us to seek assistance from those who are stronger and more equipped than us.

Grant us patience to teach our kids at home in this short period of school recess. Help us to manage our time, stress, anxiety, and worries. We parents need urgent divine wisdom, assistance, and presence, and help us to get along with other parents. Foster in us a spirit of teamwork and collaboration.

Oh Sovereign God and Ruler of the nations:

The leaders and the people of nations, both rich and poor, developed and developing countries, long for deliverance and healing from the coronavirus and its aftermath potential effects.We pray for national and global peace, and more humane and compassionate foreign relations and policies throughout this transitional crisis that is affecting all peoples and nations–especially the poor and darker nations of the world.

We call upon your name to give global leaders and authorities a heart for their people, to focus on the well-being of their nations, and to prioritize people’s lives and health above the material, physical, and economic advantages they could benefit from this predicament. Help them to look for the best interest of their allies, even the welfare of the nations they see as their enemies–in this time of coronavirus. Remove the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of love; transform the dependent attitude to mutual actions that are interrelational and global-focused; and dispel ideas of hate, revenge, and war and substitute them with a passion for peace, interexchange, teamwork, and global unity.

Oh the Lord of the Church:

Do not abandon your church, your people, and those you have redeemed with your mighty hand when they come to you for aid in this time of distress; when they seek your face in this time of mourning; and when they cry out loud for your providence and intervention in this moment of crisis! You will not inflict pain upon them nor would you stay angry at your people forever. You will never abandon your church and your people. Forgive them of their sins as you would wash away the sins of anyone who call upon you for forgiveness and repentance. You will never reject or say no to such individuals. You are love and act toward all of us in lovingkindness.

Oh Father of Light, we call upon you that you will arm your people with transforming power from above to comfort the brokenhearted, to dispell fear and anxiety among your people and others, and to bring peace in places of division and disharmony. Father, conscientize your people to be in solidarity with the weak, the marginalized, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, and the needy. You will also bestow upon the church a spirit of hospitality and humility, an attitude of gratitude toward you, and a passion to bring your healing power and salvation to those who are hurting and living without the hope and light of Christ, the Savior of the world.

Give them grace so the followers of Christ could model a genuine and sustaining life of faith in this time of crisis and terror.

Give them godliness so the disciples of Christ could love like you, lead and shine like you, and serve sacrificially those in need and moments of distress.

Grant them a piety that is Christ-centered and a God-focused lifestyle that is full of compassion, kindness, charity, patience, and zeal to contribute to the common good and human flourishing–for the sake of your name and renown among the nations and peoples of the world.

In Christ’s name, our Lord and Redeemer, we pray and ask!

Amen

“Yon ti koze avèk Pastè ak Kretyen Asyisyen yo sou kriz Kowonavirus la ak rasanbleman relijye yo”

“Yon ti koze avèk Pastè ak Kretyen Asyisyen yo sou kriz Kowonavirus la ak rasanbleman relijye yo”

***Malgre video pa fini. Dènye pawòl m te vle di an rezime: pran prekosyon, pa rasanble an foul, pwoteje tèt ou, fanmiy ou, ak vwazen ou yo, fème legliz yo, suiv lòd otorite leta e medikal yo, e itilize sosyo medya yo pou n fè sèvis relijye yo.

A Review of My Book: Race, Religion, & the Haitian Revolution: Essays on Faith, Freedom, and DecolonizationRace, Religion, & the Ha

A good review of my old book. I published the book in 2012.

Newsletter CLT 5 (April 2013), pp. 14-15.

Celucien L. Joseph. Race, Religion, & the Haitian Revolution: Essays on Faith, Freedom, and Decolonization. 2012. Reviewed by Joe Drexler-Dreis

Click to access newsletter-clt-5.pdf

***This is the first time I read this review. Wow! It has already been eight years since I published this book.

“Love and Life in the Time of Coronavirus:Cultivating an Ethic of Care Toward the Aged and the Elderly (Part 1)”

“Love and Life in the Time of Coronavirus:
Cultivating an Ethic of Care Toward the Aged and the Elderly (Part 1)”

If there is one word that describes the current national attitude toward the coronavirus is fear. Fear has become the collective sentiment toward a peculiar pandemic that comes to humiliate the nations and the peoples of the world—even the most powerful ones, the richest ones, the strongest ones, the most resourceful ones, etc. Correspondingly, this pandemic paralyzes, overwhelms, and undermines our dignity and humanity; it comes to rob us of our joy, entertainment, and life.

The coronavirus knows no boundary, culture, class, race, gender, and sexuality. It is a big event that makes us small and powerless. It is like a thief that knocks on our door unexpectedly to steal, destroy, and even kill. The fear of the coronavirus is the fear of existence. It is also the fear of being exposed and contaminated; fear of getting sick; fear of large gathering and crowd; fear of the middle age group, and those over the age of 50 or more; fear of the elderly; and it is the fear of death itself. In a nutshell, the coronavirus is the greatest violator of the human right to existence and life, and the supreme destroyer of local and global peace.

On one hand, not only this pandemic has forced us to create social distancing from our family, siblings, friends, loved ones, etc. On the other hand, this all-encompassing virus is also fostering progressively a new national psychology, one that could be rightly called “psychological restraint.” The latter is strengthening this peculiar characteristic (and personal behavior) of the American and Western societies, one that we even consider as our most prized virtue: Western individualism—the focus on the self by neglecting the need and value of the community and the welfare of others. In the time of the coronavirus, we are also solidifying our belief and ideology—both on the personal and group level—in the survival of the fittest: the strongest one will survive; the strongest one will make the cut; and the strongest one will live. (this is a false belief and an unscientific way of thinking). The strongest one is somewhat defined as those who are physically suitable and healthy, especially those under the age of 50.

In particular, our collective impulse toward the aged and the elderly in society has become cold, and unfortunately, some of us have become deliberately disinterested in the preservation of their life and well-being in society. Some of us regard our own aged parents, uncles, aunties, and friends as a menace to our life and human flourishing in society. We even see our aged siblings as a threat to our own survival and enjoyment of life. Some of us dare to believe that if this group of individuals (the “old folks” as some have called them) could just die, we will be at peace with this pandemic. Some even say that all will go well in society, and that love and life in the time of coronavirus will be strengthened and constructive toward the common good—if this speck of life could just vanish from us.

Further, please allow me to share some basic ideas that could assist us in cultivating an attitude of care and compassion toward the aged and the elderly in the time of coronavirus.

  1. The continued existence of the aged and the elderly in our society is not an infringement upon our personal and collective rights to democracy, happiness, life, and existence.
  2. We need to celebrate the life of those who dare to live above the age of forty in this life of uncertainty and in these dangerous times. Their existence is a gift to society, and their physical presence among us makes us stronger and more fulfilling as a nation and people.
  3. We should honor our aged parents and friends; this attitude is pleasing to God our Maker and it is also associated with divine blessing and favor.
  4. To die at a good old age is honorable and connected with the persistent gift of life; yet we should not rush death upon the aged and the elderly.
  5. By creating better healthcare infrastructures and medical systems in this nation, we shall strive together to give strength to the medically weary and to increase the power of the physically weak.
  6. In the time of coronavirus, we must not forsake the aged and abandon the physically weak among us.
  7. In the time of coronavirus, individuals in their middle and old age can still contribute to the common good and human flourishing.
  8. Life in the time of coronavirus is not promised to any of us; we should see it as a gift.
  9. Living a life full of physical stamina and aesthetic beauty is not a mark of the good and honorable life.
  10. We celebrate life when we honor the weak and the marginalized in society; we humanize the aged and the elderly when we validate their contributions to human flourishing and correspondingly when we recognize their life as ours is of value, dignity, merit, and honor. That is the individual and collective attitude we should cultivate in the time of coronavirus: our national wound and the global plague.

*** In closing, I would like to direct your attention to a few passages from the Hebrew Bible whose goal is to change our attitude toward the aged and the elderly in society. I would like to suggest fourteen key verses from Scripture.

“Life in the Time of Coronavirus:
What the Bible Teaches about Wisdom, Dignity, Care, and the Life of the Aged and the Elderly (Part 2)”

  1. Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
  2. Genesis 25:8, “Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.”
  3. Leviticus 19:32, “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.”
  4. Proverbs 17:6, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”
  5. Deuteronomy 32:7, “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.”
  6. Deuteronomy 34:7, “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.”
  7. Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
  8. Proverbs 23:22, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
  9. Isaiah 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
  10. Psalm 71:9, “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.”
  11. Psalm 71:18, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.”
  12. Isaiah 46:4, “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
  13. Job 12:12, “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”
  14. Psalm 92:12-15, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
    They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

There is a big difference between sensationalism and truth, reality and fiction, death and life, the living and the dead. Let us be passionate about truth, zealous about reality, and concerned about human lives. Let us be a people who can discern the signs of the times.

Don’t be afraid, I will always be with you, comfort you, and carry you through dark and dangerous times! There is nothing greater than your God, the Sovereign Lord and King of the universe.

10 Simple Truths about Human Nature

10 Simple Truths about Human Nature

  1. Vulnerability is not weakness, and weakness is not another word for cowardness.
  2. Courage is not commitment, but commitment may lead to a courageous life.
  3. Desire is not a substitution for love, but desire is the starting point for love.
  4. Mastership does not mean wisdom because wisdom is a life journey and a process of becoming.
  5. Craftiness is a wrong equation for reason.
  6. Lust may lead to motivation, but not to purity.
  7. Piety is not a safe haven for salvation and spiritual sovereignty.
  8. Boldness does not mean sacrifice, and sovereignty is a false pretense for freedom.
  9. (The) Human nature is an evolving mechanism that is subject to mutation and revolution.
  10. Revolutionary thinking is not always liberative, but radical love is always revolutionary and emancipative.

Ten Things you can still do while socially distancing

Ten Things you can still do while socially distancing:

  1. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your family
  2. Play with your spouse and children
  3. Call your parents, especially your mother
  4. Call your siblings; do not text them
  5. Call your friends; do not text them
  6. Read the books that have been sitting on your shelf for the past five years.
  7. Go for a walk in your neighborhood or community park
  8. Spend more time in prayer
  9. Spend more time reading your Bible
  10. Care for the poor and show hospitality to the coronavirus victims and the stranger among you.

“Becoming a Community of Care and Empathy in the Age of Coronavirus”

“Becoming a Community of Care and Empathy in the Age of Coronavirus”

If there’s one lesson we can learn about the coronavirus moment is the possibility to become a people of compassion and a community that embodies vulnerability and weakness, and intentional empathy and care toward the weak, the poor, the needy, and the marginalized.

The most daring expression of the human will is not action or participation, but the inaction and silence of the will. This is an act of human resistance, subjectivity, and optimism, too.

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reveals the fragility of human existence and our collective striving to stay healthy and away from physical pain; yet the virus also exposes a dangerous truth about human nature and capitalism: the anxiety of the rich and big corporations to preserve wealth than sustaining life.

A second lesson we can learn from this medical crisis is the opportunity it affords to all of us to alter our attitude toward war victims, refugee and undocumented communities and to ask them how can I serve you today? Do you have any unmet need at the moment?

The coronavirus disease grants us the opportunity to live in community and proximity with each other, and to solidify our interdependence, interrelationality, and common humanity. We are becoming a new people because of this dangerous threat that menaces our common existence and our common future.

In the midst of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), let us turn our face toward God for mercy and grace and pray in this manner:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan… Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.”

–Psalm. 90:9, 10, 12

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Women Who Changed the World

Celebrating Women’s History Month:

In honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to highlight the enormous contributions of the following Ten Women Scientists and Thinkers who won the Nobel Prize:

  1. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018: Donna Strickland

“for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”
“for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”

  1. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018: Frances H. Arnold

“for the directed evolution of enzymes”

  1. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015: Tu Youyou

“for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria”

  1. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1993: Toni Morrison

“who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”

  1. The Nobel Peace Prize 2004: Wangari Muta Maathai

“for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”

  1. The Nobel Peace Prize 2014: Malala Yousafzai

“for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”

  1. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008: Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

“for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus”

  1. The Nobel Peace Prize 1992: Rigoberta Menchú Tum

“in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples”

  1. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945: Gabriela Mistral

“for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world”

  1. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009: Ada E. Yonath

“for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”

Source: ” Nobel Prize awarded women and Women Who Changed the World,” https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/lists/nobel-prize-awarded-women