Monday, April 30, 2018

Injustice and Spiritual Wisdom

Injustice and Spiritual Wisdom

We are living in a world in which injustice and vengeance are rampant. Many of us are in the midst of this storm of unfairness that causes unhappiness.

A Case in Point

In 1984, Archbishop Valerian Trifa was deported from the United States after being accused a Nazi supporter, who not only had incited attacks on Jews, but also was responsible for executing many Jews in World War II.

After World War II, the Nazi supporter came to the United States as a refugee immigrant. He assumed the name of Valerian Trifa, and was ordained as a priest of the Rumanian church soon after his arrival in the United States. He rose quickly to the rank of bishop and archbishop, and lived in comfort in a 25-room farmhouse on a 200-acre estate maintained by his church.

Later on, a dentist, who was a Nazi survivor, recognized the Archbishop as the Nazi supporter. The case against him was then pursued for more than a decade by survivors of the Nazi years, Jewish organizations, journalists, and the Justice Department of the United States. Their efforts helped focus public attention on Nazi war criminals who were living in the United States.

At first, the Archbishop vehemently denied his former identity, despite some handwriting experts confirming that his handwriting was identical with that in some of the execution orders he had carried out while he was a Nazi supporter. As luck would have it, with the advancement of forensic science, some experts could incredibly still retrieve some DNA from those execution orders. That was his undoing, and his final judgment.

The Archbishop was ultimately ordered to leave the United States in 1982, but spent two years trying to find a country that would give him refuge. Portugal admitted him in 1984, and he finally settled in Estoril, where he died at the age of 72 of a heart attack.

Spiritual Wisdom

Do not avenge yourself; instead, leave it to the wrath of God, which is a repayment to man for something man has done wrong. Do not carry with you anger, bitterness, resentment, and revenge—they only make you unhappy.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
 and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
(Psalm 37: 1-4)

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Accept and Embrace Adversity and Pain

Accept and Embrace Adversity and Pain

“Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death itself, and awakens us to a courage and faith unrealized before.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer



Unfortunately, in life, we all have to confront our own adversity and pain that may come in many different forms.

Adversity is like rites of passage, which come in three stages: the separation stage in which you feel separated from your comfort zone; the confusion stage in which you find yourself in no-man’s-land, at a loss of not knowing what to do next; and the transformation stage, in which you may initiate the life changes to cope with the adversity.

Adversity is part and parcel of life. Adversity comes in different phases of life; it only becomes more intense and challenging as aging continues, causing more unhappiness. Aifferent forms. Whether we like it or not, we need to accept and embrace our adversity and pain, and learn valuable lessons from them; paradoxically, they may tell us a meaning.

Look at the following story:

Magda Newman was in labor for 17 hours before giving birth to her first child. Magda and her husband Russel Newman were both shocked and devastated when they found that their son had the rare craniofacial disorder, known as Treacher Collins: he had no cheekbones, no upper and lower eyelids—he was completely disfigured, looking like a monster, instead of a beautiful baby.  Treacher Collins is an extremely rare congenital craniofacial disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 50,000 people in the United States

Most parents have abandoned their newborns afflicted with Treacher Collins. When the Newmans heard the song “Beautiful” sung by Christina Aguilera, the lyrics in the song became a beacon of hope and inspiration for Magda and Russel, and they immediately decided to keep and raise their disfigured son, whom they named “Nathaniel.” His mother said: “We decided he’s going to be beautiful not because of his appearance, but because of his personality. He’s going to be a beautiful person.”

Nathaniel Newman had to undergo many surgeries, not to fix his already disfigured face, but to make him a normal and healthy being; by the time he was 11 years old, Nathaniel had been through 54 surgeries.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau