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I am an old man!... I'm given to meditation and prayer. I would enjoy sitting in a rocker, swallowing prescriptions, listening to soft music, and contemplating the things of the universe. But such activity offers no challenge and makes no contribution. I wish to be up and doing. I wish to face each day with resolution and purpose. I wish to use every waking hour to give encouragement, to bless those whose burdens are heavy, to build faith and strength of testimony.
Being an atheist must be like living in a closed cell with no windows. I'd hate to live like that, wouldn't you? We see them, mind you, on television today, many brilliant people who are professional atheists who say they know for a fact that it's insanity to have a God or to believe in religion. Well, OK, God bless them for feeling that way and I hope they're happy. But I couldn't live with that certainty, and I wonder about some of them: why are they protesting so much? How are they so sure of what is out there? And who am I to refute the beliefs of so many great philosophers and martyrs all the way down the years?
The good psychic would pick up the phone before it rang. Of course it is possible there was noone on the other line. Once she said "God Bless you" I said, "I didn't sneeze" She looked deep into my eyes and said, "You will, eventually." And damn it if she wasn't right. Two days later I sneezed.
Do we vividly feel that He is near us as our everlasting Friend, to guide, cheer, and bless our aspirations and our efforts? And in this confidence do we watch, pray, strive, press forward, and seek resolutely for ourselves and fellow-beings the highest end of existence, even the perfection of our immortal souls?
And on this terrible day of mourning, it's hard to imagine that a time will come when life at Virginia Tech will return to normal. But such a day will come. And when it does, you will always remember the friends and teachers who were lost yesterday, and the time you shared with them, and the lives they hoped to lead. May God bless you. May God bless and keep the souls of the lost. And may His love touch all those who suffer and grieve.
We know that these challenges can be overcome because history moves in the direction of justice. The evils of slavery were accepted and unchanged for centuries, yet eventually the human heart would not abide them. There is a voice of conscience and hope in every man and woman that will not be silenced, what Martin Luther King called a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. That flame could not be extinguished at the Birmingham jail. It could not be stamped out at Robben Island prison. It was seen in the darkness here at Goree Island, where no chain could bind the soul. This untamed fire of justice continues to burn in the affairs of man, and it lights the way before us. May God bless you all.
During the election, Prime Minister Harper ended some of his speeches with the words God bless Canada. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah says that God blesses you when you share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house (Isaiah 58.7). We urge the Prime Minister to spend tax dollars now in a way that will bring the homeless poor into their own house, and allow them the dignity of sharing their bread with others.
Ere thou sleepest, gently lay Every troubled thought away; Put off worry and distress As thou puttest off thy dress; Drop thy burden and thy care In the quiet arms of prayer. Lord thou knowest how I live, All I'VE DONE AMISS FORGIVE; ALL OF GOOD I'VE TRIED TO DO STRENGTHEN, bless and carry through; All I love in safety keep While in Thee I fall asleep.