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28 November 2016: Book ‘Matter and What Matters’ by Lionel Sharman Chapt 11 – led by John

This last chapter starts by considering prayer.  If god in non-interventionist, is prayer a waste of time? We thought not – it clarifies and calms our thoughts, stimulates the brain to a higher consciousness, calms a troubled mind – via the rosary, Taize chants.  Is there some spirit in the universe which draws mystics towards a common understanding, vision – that of compassion?

The true message of Christmas? The image of a baby – humbleness, potential, helplessness.  The traditional view as god incarnate as shown through Jesus’ love of self and in his relationships with others, challenging the primacy of the Levitical laws.

The author contents that god/Jesus had to die – we could not rationalise this view.  Jesus was killed as he was a potential trouble maker for the Roman authorities; a theological argument was created later.  Religious ‘promises’ give people hope and meaning especially in times of stress /bereavement – when its appropriate to let go (of more rational views) and just hope.