It is simply timely and providential that I should put to pen and paper this thought that has been brewing in my head for a long time now. These thoughts have been there before I wrote my first blog with the title "Information About Name". I said it is providential, because today, Holy Mother Church celebrates the Feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. God's providence assigns an angel to each of us at birth - our "Guardian Angel". That Angel has a name before God; invariably that angel assumes the name of the individual to whom he is assigned. As a matter of fact, my Guardian angel's name is UKACHUKWU, the name my parents were inspired to give me at birth. It was after 3 months that I was brought to the Church for Baptism and a Patron Saint's name, Sebastian, was given. What other name could have been given to my Guardian Angel? - Johnson, Smith, Paul, Vincent, Timothy, Benjamin, Jude, Sabinus, Raphael, George, Sebastian, Charles, Theodore, Augustine etc. Sure, none of the above. It could not be any of the foregoing for a typical Igbo boy born in/to an Igbo family that had desperately prayed and wished for a male child for my father: an only son with 4 female siblings. My argument is backed by saintly comments. Here is Pope St Gregory the Great on today's Feast: "Angels are known by proper names as well, to indicate their powers and their work. In that holy city where perfect knowledge is derived from the vision of Almighty God, if proper names are assigned to them, it is not that their persons could not be identified without names..." (2nd Reading for Office of Readings: Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels) My Guardian angel could not be known by another name as he was "born" the same with me. He has a responsibility before God on my account as I owe unflinching loyalty to him before God. He does only God's will, per sempre. He is God's "semper fi". I was born in time for a period in time; he was born in eternity and for all eternity in/with God. At the end of this life's journey, he will get me into the "choir of angels" to sing God's praises forever in my true home, heaven. This depends on if I persevere and imitate him in doing God's will here on earth. If unfortunately I decide to hate God, God forbid, and end up in hell, God forbid, this special angel of God remains forever in God's presence, adoring, praising and worshipping God. A.M.D.G.


Music For The Soul: Gregorian Chant, Recorded Sound: Music

Music For The Soul: Gregorian Chant, Recorded Sound: Music

It is my wish this great piece of Plain Chant comes off OK on my blog page. If it does not, please cut and paste the site on your browser.

Ukachukwu S. A. Onyeabor


Once Upon A Culture

Every individual is a product of a culture. In Anthropology, it is definitive that all cultures are equal, with no further distinction. It follows that there is no such thing as a superior culture. Culture is what makes the quidity of any people; what makes them integrally unique. Culture is what makes people who they are. A people's culture gets expressed in/and through, but not limited to their language, food/diet, dance, dressing, belief system etc. It is therefore ridiculous to hear or know of anyone think of or tell another that his/her culture is superior to the other person's. All colonial masters were very guilty and or ignorant of these basic reality in human history. It was common knowledge that all the people they met were bound to lose their own mother/native language. My people, the Igbo in West Africa were among the victims of white man's "domination" Whenever possible, and it was not argued, they forced the people to drop their language and embrace the English language, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German etc. Their pride gave itself away when this dominance began to show its ugly head; they had no apologies in dealing thus with the people. Even the missionary groups copied their civil counterparts in dealing rudely with the folks they came to "evangelise". They imported their canned and packaged food from Europe, America or Australia. For Baptism, for instance, they forced the people to take "English" names of Saints as their patron Saint. Even if the name has no substantial meaning in itself. The great Igbo names were sacrificed on the altar of "English" Saint names. Traditional Religion had no way of canonizing their own, otherwise I bet you that there were many saints among them. About food, since they import theirs from overseas and dared not try native food of the people they came to serve. They seem to have forgotten Jesus' injunction: "eat whatever is set before you." Definitely they will rationalize their actions in their assumed/presumed "superiority complex". Is it any wonder that the peoples of Africa were asked to drop their language/native tongue to learn that of the "stranger" who came to make gains/exploit their host nation/peoples.


Made In China

A day in the life of a Hospital Chaplain could be stressful as well as hilarious; it depends on how one handles the incidents that impinge on the individual. I enjoy what I do. I am a Roman Catholic Priest and Hospital Chaplain. Every day is a new day of thanks and surprises. Each day opens with entrusting everything I do to God, the Almighty, to guide and direct. This short story calls for deep thoughts as to how our psyche functions and how we are wired/influenced by external forces:- On this eventful day, I walked into the hospital room of 58 year old Mrs M.G. Just about 3 minutes into our visit she showed me the "Get-well" cards she got since admission, two days prior. "This is from my grand-son" proudly showing me a card prepared by 6 year old, Bruce. What caught my attention, which, when I remarked about it, apparently did not mean much to Mr M.G, was: "Made In China" which little Bruce nicely put below his drawing of flowers and good-wish words to grandma. My concern is, Is this young man giving us a message or what? Is he throwing a challenge as to the direction of our economy? What message is he inspired to deliver through the medium of this card? The questions could be more. Please I need your input, answers and comments. I need help to appreciate and/or understand this young man.


I dearly, deeply and truly love gay/lesbian persons

One is often fascinated at what arguments go on among people of different cultural/religious leanings concerning those who claim to be gay or lesbian. I truly love them: they deserve to be loved. In the first place, God loves them, like He loves you and me, unconditionally. Once upon a time a friend of mine told me he had lunch with a gay couple. What surprised me was hearing the story of one of these men. He told this friend that from his childhood he found he was more attracted to little male kids like himself than to girls his age. He said his parents knew this was the case with him. Oh! this young man growing up felt he was meant to be gay all his life? Wow!!! The question will be: "what did the adult parents do in the awareness of this reality? On the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time, this year, we read from Matthew's gospel account of Jesus' parable about the wheat and the cockle. (cf. Matt. 13:24-43) The operative words in this parable are: "while everybody was asleep, the enemy came and sowed the cockle" While everybody was asleep? Indeed when we are "asleep", when we are not awake to our sole responsibilities, we are overtaken by events that shame our wakeful state. In the case under perusal, I imagine the parents of this man did something, maybe they did not do enough or did not know Whom to run to. These lovely and lovable men and women, if at the early stages of growth they discover, as many of them claim, that growing up, they were more prone to and/or attracted to same sex persons, their parents should have been awake to take some steps to rectify things in their regard. Obviously it is the enemy. Call him whatever you will; whoever or whatever is responsible for this anomaly in the lives of men and women, that person or thing is not a friend, but an enemy of God and humanity. In the Holy Writ, shortly after creation, God said to man and woman: "Go, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it" God's holy will is that we populate the earth and not decrease; the plan of this "enemy of God and humanity is the direct opposite of God's injunction. The enemy puts "rationalization" into the minds of people to justify their actions, even when they go against the objective and original plan of the Creator. People would expect to hear the parents scream for help from God, the Church and a circle of good friends and neighbours. St Monica, mother of St Augustine is an example of such genuine cry for help. My Igbo people in Africa have this proverb: "ka e wepu aka enwe n'ofe, mgbe o ghobeghi aka nmadu". This literally translates to: "remove the monkey's hand from the soup before it turns to be a human hand" - a stitch in time saves nine. Not too long ago I was ministering to a Behavioural Health patient in a facility who told me similar story of being just formed that way from childhood. The bottom line is that someone/persons were asleep and the enemy sowed the bad seed that could bring mankind to extinction. Let us love the gay/lesbian persons very dearly, deeply and truly, but begin to pray seriously for the end of this misnomer. May God save His Church and children from this scourge. God help us. Amen.