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Harvard University Professor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

At Harvard University, the title of University Professor is an honor bestowed upon a very small number of its tenured faculty members whose scholarship and other professional work have attained particular distinction and influence.[1] The University Professorship is Harvard's most distinguished professorial post.[2]

This honor was created in 1935 by Harvard's President and Fellows for "individuals of distinction ... working on the frontiers of knowledge, and in such a way as to cross the conventional boundaries of the specialties."[1] The number of University Professors has increased with new endowed gifts to the university. In 2006, there were 21 University Professors at Harvard.[3] As of 2017, there are 26 Harvard University Professors.[4]

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Transcription

April 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand Hi it's of course it's great still to be here again to be here and as the Deacon said I will today I will give my witness testimony and as time allows perhaps talk a little bit more about the relationship of Judaism to the Catholic Church or maybe why boy okay I wasn't planning to start with preaching but there's only one disadvantage that a cradle Catholic can conceivably have over a non Catholic which is the danger of being cradle Catholic is not being aware of what you have that no one else has and the advantage of occasional II of being a convert is we as converts who come into the church from outside it can be easier to see the infinite gift. Well it's easy even for a Catholic to see the infinite gift of the church but what's harder to see is how everybody else is dying of thirst in the desert essentially except a Catholic who understands the truths of the faith and who lets hope is at least occasionally in a state of grace so I will give my witness testimony but maybe I'll talk more about that but but the point of my witness testimony is of course having is talking about that transition a little bit anyway as I mentioned yesterday I was born and raised quite Jewish my parents were both German Jewish Holocaust refugees they had both fled Hitler's Germany and growing up I grew up in the 50s so it was pretty shortly after the war Jews and Gentiles at least in the United States I grew up outside of New York City that's why I'm speaking too fast I'll slow down but there was less mingling between Jews and Gentiles and Jews and Christians and growing up all my all my friends were Jewish all my parents friends were Jewish there wasn't really much interaction with with Christians I went to secular school but from the beginning of school into University also went to Jewish religious education after school and so my entire identity was Jewish growing up and the only way I could even conceive of God and religion was through Judaism I in my late high school years I became even more fanatically Jewish one might say I became a follower of a Hasidic rabbi you know the passage with the long black coats and the ear curls and I kind of fell under the spell of a very charismatic Hasidic rabbi and followed in his train and went to Israel the summer between high school and college if you know following him around and and you know being at his prayer meetings every night and so forth and I even thought of not coming back to the United States to begin University that fall but just staying in Israel and entering the closest thing Judaism has to religious life which is a life of study and prayer in yeshiva in this case in in Jerusalem it's a fairly monastic form of life it's not exactly the same but I didn't I went back to the United States and I started University which is MIT which is a very technical scientific you know secular spear at University and it's also very prestigious University so of course you know everyone there thinks that they're the smartest people in the world and know more than anyone else and it was under that spell of that environment I essentially lost my Jewish faith the view of the world there was that religion is just some kind of you know medieval superstition that man came up with to explain things before they were science to you know really give the true explanation and I fell under the sway of that pseudo scientific worldview that science has all the answers and and religion is just myth it's actually a pseudo scientific worldview it's the opposite of scientific worldview because the essence of science is you start with the data you start with the evidence you develop a theory that can laying the evidence if it successfully explains the evidence you can hold on to that theory and if it can't explain the evidence you have to throw it away and come up with another theory the truth is that all of the evidence points the truths of the Catholic faith you have tons and tons of materialistic scientifically establish Abul evidence that supports Catholicism and that actually contradicts materialism for instance you have the Shroud of Turin I think all of you know about the Shroud of Turin Jesus's burial cloth and even today you know in in 2015 with all of our technology all of the engineers and scientists in the world could not counterfeit the Shroud of Turin you know much less 800 years ago whenever it first came to the surface you have the tilma of Guadalupe similarly it's it's on this cactus fiber cloth that has a lifetime of 20 or 30 years and it is completely you know undamaged and unworn after almost 500 years and so forth you have the miracles of Fatima right the Sun spinning in the sky and crashing to earth which was seen by you know 80 thousand or a hundred thousand people including skeptics including communists including atheists who had only gone there to laugh at these superstitious peasants who thought there'd be a miracle you have the medical miracles at Lourdes and so forth and so on right you're all aware of that but these are in if one truly had a scientific worldview one would have to say the theory of materialism fails because there's evidence to contradict it does this make sense so anyway but of course I didn't know this then but it's a little bit of a digression but you know we live in this very scientifically oriented age I think that God gave us these physical miracles especially today like the Shroud of Turin and so forth in part as a means of evangelization so it's pretty I think it's an effective means of evangelization in other words if somebody wants to be totally materialistic and claim that they're you know that the faith is all nonsense they should be challenged okay how do you explain this how do you explain and actually all they can do is throw away the evidence basically and emile zola who was a very big french writer at the turn of the 20th century an atheist he went to Lourdes to write a book debunking Lourdes showing how it was all just you know imaginary he went there he saw tremendous physical miracles there was a woman in the railway carriage going down with him whose face was eaten away by a cancer and he saw her after she was healed and she had a healthy face well you know what his response was was to pension her off I think was in Belgium for the rest of her life so that so that nobody could see her he wrote I don't care how many miracles I see I refuse to believe them so anyway that's the position that a does that's the scientific position that's not very scientific but anyway I lost my faith at MIT I went on to Harvard Business School I did well enough at Harvard Business School to be invited to join the faculty I joined the faculty and at the ripe old age of 29 I was a professor of marketing at Harvard Business School which was pretty heady stuff but what had but that's when the bottom fell out of my world because what had been going on all my life since I was a small child was I felt in my heart there has to be a real meaning and purpose to life and someday when I'm older I'll come to know the real meaning and purpose of life which I thought would come from entering into a personal relationship with God which I honestly thought would happen at my bar mitzvah the Bar Mitzvahs like the Jewish version of confirmation when the child is about 13 he goes through the ceremony in the synagogue and Andrews religious adulthood and I honestly thought that at my bar mitzvah the veil would drop and I would come into a personal relationship with God and when that didn't happen it was actually one of the saddest days of my childhood but then pretty soon I decided the real meaning and purpose of life would come when I got a driver's license or when I left home or when I started University or if I got into Harvard Business School and so forth so I had for about 10 or 15 years these external objects that I thought would give my life real meaning but here at the point I'm describing when I was 29 I was already far more successful in a worldly sense and I ever expected to be being a professor at Harvard Business School but life still had no meaning or purpose you know we were just a chemical accident some lightning hit some mud filled with amino acids you know five billion years ago and here we are there's no meaning or purpose to life we live for seven year or 90 years and died and that's it there's no pattern to things that happen and so forth so there was no point to anything despite the worldly success and but the difference being at this point there was nothing more I could look forward to that I could imagine would be a life meaning because you know there was no brass ring out there to still reach for so I fell into the deepest despair of my life at that point a kind of existential despair and it was in that that I was walking in nature early one morning just lost in my thoughts that's the only solace I found would be to go to some beautiful place you know in the middle of nature so I was just walking along and I had long since I mean I was essentially an atheist at that point I had long since given up on any idea of God or religion and I received the most spectacular grace in my life as I was walking along from one moment to the next the curtain between earth and heaven disappeared and I found myself in the presence of God very knowingly in the presence of God in a very intimate conversation with God so to speak seeing my life and experiencing my life as I would see it after I died and looked back over it in the presence of God and I saw instantaneously I saw how I would feel about everything after I died I saw that my two greatest regrets when I died would be number one all of the time and energy I had wasted worrying about not being loved when every moment of my existence I was held in an ocean of love greater than I ever imagined could exist coming from this all-knowing all-loving God and the other regret would be every hour I had wasted doing nothing of value in the eyes of heaven I saw my life as the you know all my life I had been greedily accumulating piles of monopoly money you know that brightly paper a brightly colored paper money from the game of Monopoly when right next to it there was a stack of gold coins that I had been ignoring which would be of course merited in heaven I saw how foolish it was to be greedy for things that wouldn't be doing me any good at all even a hundred years hence you know when I'm dead whereas I could have been greedy so to speak to accumulate treasure in heaven from which I would very literally be benefiting a hundred million years from now now I know this isn't the healthiest attitude in the world but I was a Harvard Business School marketing professor so I haven't excused you know everything was net present value everything was maximizing returns and I was still seeing this a little bit in that way so I didn't see the error in being greedy I just saw how stupidly greedy I had been and if I want to be smart and greedy the only thing that made sense would be to try to be as great a saint as possible essentially another thing that I saw in this experience was how foolish I had been I has basically spent my life sort of looking in the rearview mirror saying to myself if only that hadn't happened to me then I would be happy today or if only that hadn't happened to me then I would be happy today and nothing could be further from the truth because everything that had ever happened to me had been the most perfectly designed thing that could come to meet me coming from the hands of this all-knowing all-loving God not only including those things that had caused the most suffering at the time but especially those things that had caused the most suffering at the time and of course I saw that the meaning and purpose of my life was to worship and serve my Lord and God and master who was revealing himself to me now I will say one other thing probably the biggest single transformative aspect of this experience was just coming into the incredibly intimate knowledge that God not only knew me personally not only knew my name but had been watching over me and caring about every moment of my existence from my conception as though I were the only person had ever created or ever would create he not only knew and controlled everything that ever happened to me but he knew how I felt at every moment of my life and cared about how I felt at every moment of my life and you know in a fairly real way was made be happy by everything that made me happy and was saddened with me by everything I made me sad and it was coming into this understanding of how intimately God knew me and how intimately he loved me and cared about me every moment that was by far the biggest transformative aspect of this now I one might ask didn't you know that as a Jew now in all honesty if you read the Old Testament that is not the picture of God you get you get a little of it in the prophets but you don't get any of it in the Torah and the first five books of the Old Testament the picture you get of God is that like the picture you see in Exodus when God calls Moses up to the top of Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments he tells him build a fence around the base of the mountain before you come up because if anyone should even touch the base of the mountain while I am on top they will have to be instantly killed because of the sacrilege so that's kind of the picture I had of God so it obviously this was not fitting in with that picture so I prayed I could not think of this God as the god of Judaism as the God of the Old Testament so as I was having this experience I was actually still walking it's a very curious needless to say state that I was in because I still saw the physical world around me know the trees and the bushes and the insects but I saw through it into the spiritual world and the spiritual world was so much realer and so much more immediate and so much more concrete and substantial than the physical world that I wasn't surprised during this experience that I was seeing the spiritual world the only thing I couldn't understand is how I could have ever not seen it because it is so much more real than the physical world which is like you know painted veil a kind of gossamer veil that was simply shielding one's vision from the real world I don't know if you've ever had this experience but sometimes when you go to the theater or go to the ballet you'll be in the audience and you'll be looking at the stage and there'll be a curtain on the stage and the lights will be on and you'll just see the front of the curtain and then they will turn off the house lights and there'll be light shining on the front of the curtain and you'll still just see the curtain but then they will dim those lights and turn on the stage lights and all of a sudden you see through the curtain to the actors on the stage or the dancers on the stage and you barely see the curtain anymore and it was like that it was like like the physical world just became that you know very thin veil behind which I saw the spiritual world so I was walking along still and I prayed to this God who was so incredibly present let me know your name so I know what religion to follow to worship and serve you properly I don't mind if your Buddha and I have to become a Buddhist I don't mind if you're Krishna and I have to become Hindu I don't mind if your Apollo and I have to become a Roman pagan as long as you're not Christ and I have to become Christian and I very literally prayed that and God respected that pray or Christ respected that prayer and he didn't tell me who he was and I wasn't ready to hear it obviously but I went back home let me make a little bit of a digression that's a little bit related to the speakers yesterday morning which is the picture that I have of the state the Jews are in with their resistance to Christ and their resistance to Christianity is sort of like the following you know parable or metaphor or something he imagined a little boy with a with a pet dog and that dog just loves his little boy the little boy is you know the the moon and the stars and the sun to this dog you know the dog just like curls up under his chair all day waiting for him you know to come to the table or whatever and the dog lives for this little boy and then the little boy goes off to school and the dog is you know incredibly mournful inconsolable and the little boy grows up and he becomes like a teenager and he comes back home and he knocks on the door to come into the house and a little dog is going nuts you know barking at him and wants to tear him to pieces because he thinks that little boy that now that young man is invading and taking the place of the little boy who he wants to stay loyal to does that make sense and that's kind of the state that I feel like I was in as a Jew because in a way the state the Jews are in is they're trying to stay loyal to to Christ actually to Christ as he revealed himself in the Old Testament and in the days of you know before he incarnated and out of their loyalty to Christ they're refusing to accept Christ. Make sense right? but anyway that was all a digression back to the beach so I came out of this experience slowly over a period of hours a little bit I mean in another sense over a period of days I went back home to Cambridge Massachusetts where I was living at the time you know as a Harvard professor I couldn't care at all about teaching Harvard MBAs how to make a little more money anymore all I wanted to do was pursue this experience and and know learn who this God was and how to worship and serve him properly so I did some stupid things during that year because this has been a mystical experience and and so I looked into some various forms of mysticism which were a very bad idea but I didn't one smart thing which is every night before going to sleep I would say a short prayer that I had made up to learn the name of my Lord and Master and God who had revealed himself to me well you know I'd say this prayer just before going to sleep and a year to the day after that initial experience and I know it was a year to the day because I prayed and Thanksgiving that day before going to sleep a year to the day after that first experience I went to sleep and I thought I was awoken by a hand gently on my shoulder and led to a room and left alone with the most beautiful young woman I could ever imagine and I knew without being told that it was the Blessed Virgin Mary when I found myself in her presence all I wanted to do was throw myself on my knees and somehow honor her appropriately in fact the first thought that crossed my mind was oh my gosh I wish I at least knew the Hail Mary but I didn't now I'll tell a couple of things about that initial part of that experience first of all I now understand my body was asleep in bed I thought I was awake at the time my memory represents it as though I were awake but I understand that if there had been a camera in the room it would have shown me asleep in bed but anyway when I found myself in her presence I was just overwhelmed overwhelmed and actually lifted into a state of ecstasy simply by the love that flowed from her and as beautiful as she was to look at even more powerfully affecting was the sound of her voice when she spoke her voice was like what makes music music. it was like the essence of music and it carried with it a love that just flowed through all of my fibers and lifted me up into a state of ecstasy and the first thing she said to me was she offered to answer any questions I might have for her as I mentioned of my first thought when I was in her presence was I wish I at least knew the Hail Mary so I could honor her appropriately so when she offered to answer any questions I might have for her I kind of wanted to ask her to teach me the Hail Mary but I was too proud to admit that I didn't know it so as a kind of indirect way I I said "what's your favorite prayer to you?" figuring she teach me the Hail Mary right her first response was a little bit coy. it was, "I love all prayers to me." But I was a little bit pushy maybe that's because I'm in New York Jew and maybe not but I said but you must love some prayers to you more than others and she relented and she recited a prayer but it was in Portuguese and I didn't know any Portuguese so all I could do was make the effort to remember the first few syllables fanatically in the next morning when I woke up I wrote them down fanatically and then later when I met a Portuguese Catholic woman I asked her to recite all of the Marian prayers in Portuguese so I could try to identify it and to the best of my ability I identified it as "O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee!" I'll mention maybe three or four of the other questions and answers most of the questions were simply expressions of - I don't know how to put it, but of my response to her presence which was.. I'll go into the questions it's hard to describe but but I was absolutely overwhelmed. I knew that she was a human being a person during this experience but she was so glorious and so magnificent and so exalted that it was really hard to hold on to that thought that she was a human being and in my defense I will say that we know from I believe it's the letter of John when an angel appeared to him he threw himself on the ground and began to worship the angel until the angel said get up don't do that that's not appropriate I'm a creature like you and we know that the Blessed Virgin Mary's the Queen of Angels she's more exalted than the highest of the angels. So if that was the natural human response to an angel how much more so to the Queen of Angels? So most of my questions came out of that so one of the questions I asked her was um in this state I kind of stammered out, "How is it possible, how can it be, how is it possible that you're so magnificent, that you're so exalted, that you're so glorious how can it be?" And she just looked down on me almost pityingly and she shook her head gently and she said, "Oh no! You don't understand. You don't understand anything. I'm a creature." I'm a created thing. He's everything." And then another question I asked her again out of this desire to somehow honor her appropriately was I asked what title she liked best for herself and her response was "I am the Beloved Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Spirit." and I will say that at the time I had this dream or this experience I knew nothing about Christianity I had never opened a New Testament lest it pollute me I knew absolutely nothing about the Blessed Virgin Mary except you know from Christmas Carol, Silent Night and from seeing Christmas Crèche occasionally all of this was entirely new to me the last question and answer I think that I'll mention is by now I figured out obviously that if this is the Blessed Virgin Mary and have been Christ on the beach and it's all about Christianity and I'd better get up to speed pretty quick and all my life I had heard the expression the Holy Spirit but I didn't know what it meant so I asked her and I apologize for the way I phrased it but I didn't know any better I said, "What's this business about the Holy Spirit?" And her response was simply to look upwards with an expression melting with love and say, "He's his gaze." Many years later when I told the story to some seminarians they pointed out that Saint Thomas Aquinas had called the Holy Spirit the "look of love that passes between the Father and the Son." So I think that's probably all the questions and answers that are worth recounting I asked some stupid ones too and and then after I was finished with my question she said she had something she wanted to talk to me about tell me so she spoke for about another ten or fifteen maybe twenty minutes and then the audience is over and I went back to sleep and the next morning when I woke up I knew that it had been Christ on the beach I wanted nothing other I knew who the Blessed Virgin Mary was I knew her her role by the way as a unique channel between heaven and earth that I knew from the experience and I knew I wanted to be as fully and completely a Christian as possible I didn't know what that meant I didn't know what the difference was between a Protestant and a Catholic and so all I could really do was open a local phonebook and go to local church it was a Protestant church but I knew who the Blessed Virgin Mary was and when I got to know the pastor a little bit I kind of shyly asked what about the Blessed Virgin Mary and when he answered without the respect that I knew she deserved I knew this is no place for me. And the other thing that was happening in those days because I was spending all my free time a hanging around Marian shrines and there was a Marian shrine near my house to Our Lady of La Salette which was an apparition in the French Alps and I believe it was 1846 it's a little bit like Fatima too a couple of Shepherd children but it was a one time apparition and so there was a shrine to Our Lady of La Salette near my house and I would drive up there three or four days a week just to walk the grounds and kind of commune with Mary and of course I was a Catholic shrine and whenever I was at a Catholic shrine and there was a mass going on I was filled with this tremendous desire to receive Communion even though I didn't know what it was it was almost like a lost you know I want that I want that I want that so basically that's what led me to the Catholic Church pretty directly was knowing who the Blessed Virgin Mary is and wanting to receive Communion I will tell one story along the path I you'll see why when I tell the story so I have been hanging out at this shrine to La Salette at that winter I went skiing in the French Alps which was what I lived for actually before my conversion and at the place where I was skiing a train for a couple of days the skiing was pretty bad I looked on a map it was only it looked like it was only an hour or two from La Salette, the real La Salette in France the place where the operation occurred so I figured I'd take a day off of skiing and drive there so I did that and by the time I got there because of the mountain roads and so forth there was the end of the day it was sunset La Salette is very high in the French Alps it's miles and miles above the treeline it is incredibly beautiful it looks like Shangri-la you leave the nearest village you're winding you know the switchback road up the mountain you leave the near last village maybe about 10 kilometers behind you leave the treeline you know it's all granite cliffs and snow bowls and then when you get almost at the top of the mountain there's a little hollow with this Basilica incredibly beautiful so I get to it it's almost sundown and I go in there and I ask is it I see a sign saying reception so I go in there and I ask if it's possible to stay there and they said sure so I stay there I got stuck there for the whole ski trip because a blizzard moved in the rain that was raining at the ski area was snow there a blizzard moved in I got stuck there for about 10 days and by those 10 days the Blessed Virgin Mary was working on me essentially I mean I know that I I was sleeping most of the time I had these very beautiful delicious dreams and so forth and then and then on my way back to the United States finally the blizzard lifted just in time for me to drive off the mountain I was flying home from Geneva I'm staying at a friend's apartment in Geneva waiting for my flight the next morning and I go to sleep and just before going to sleep I say a prayer which is just complaining to God as so many of our prayers are and I say I can't believe you did this to me I go halfway around the world to go skiing and you stick me at La Salette the whole time you know and in the after that like fall asleep and I wake into a dream where I'm confronted with this very serious somber man but you could tell you know what he reminded me of is like the high school teacher who is always very serious but the kids know that he actually loves them more than all of the clappy happy teachers so this very serious but loving man just is in front of me he drills me with his eyes and he says, "You can go skiing or you can work for the Second Coming. It's your choice which do you choose?" so anyway so then I go home and when I was dying to find someone to talk to about my mystical experiences when I was at La Salette there was another pilgrim there an elderly French woman and after I got home she called me up and she said we think it would be a good idea if you check out the Carthusians and i know knew nothing about the Carthusians i don't know how many of you know about the Carthusians have any of you seen the movie "Into Great Silence?" but the Carthusians are the strictest contemplative order in the church they live in solitary confinement essentially they live in very strict silence one meal a day that's brought to them in a kind of a dumbwaiter so they don't even see the person who brings it to them they they're not allowed to talk at all they they break sleep every night they they sleep for about three hours from 9pm to midnight and then they get up to chant Matins until about 2:30 in the morning and then they get to sleep about another three hours until they get up for mass very severe silent beautiful contemplative order but I didn't know any much of this so she she gives me the phone number of a Carthusian monastery near where she lives in France and I call him up and I say can I come and visit because when I heard about the Carthusians I thought if anyone's a mystic these guys better be mystics or else they'd be going nuts with such a you know penitential life so anyway the guy who answers the phone he answered the phone it turns out because he was the prior when I I said can I come and stay for a little while he said, "No, no absolutely not!" We were strictly cloistered we don't receive any visitors but then he says, "Tell me something about yoursel." So I start telling him the story and I can hear he's beginning to waver so I say should I send you a letter and he's a good idea send me a letter so I send him a letter and he immediately writes back you're welcome anytime what I didn't know was the one exception to not receiving anybody is if it's a potential vocation.. so I'm still Jewish I'm not baptized I'm still anti-catholic but I get on a plane and fly to France and show up at this Carthusian monastery and so I'm staying there it was for about a week and I'm staying in a cell and the prior is coming once a day every day in the afternoon to ask me if I have any questions or to give me spiritual direction and every day I'm saying to myself I'm expecting him to give me a sales pitch about why I should become Catholic right so every day I'm expecting that when he shows up today I'll be the day he gives me the sales pitch but he doesn't you know and then so he goes off after we talk and I say well tomorrow he's waiting till tomorrow to give me the sales pitch but he still doesn't so finally I can't take the suspense anymore and so when he comes you know that day I kind of let him have it with both barrels and I say you know, "Aren't you going to tell me why I should become Catholic?" And he said "Oh no not at all all I ask is that you keep your eyes open and be honest with yourself about what you see." This overwhelmed me because obviously he had faith in the Holy Spirit and you know he knew it was the truth anyway this last thing I was expecting as if excuse me for saying as a pushy Jew you know so I'm telling you about three stories that happen there because that's really where most of my conversion took place was at the Carthusian monastery so that's one thing that happened and another thing that happened was I was joining the monks every night from you know midnight to 2:30 in the morning in their office in you know it's chanting the Divine Office which of course are the Psalms from the Old Testament so I'm getting up in the middle of the night and I'm in this little stall you know next to all the monks on stalls to my left and my right and they're chanting "O Jerusalem should I ever forget you let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth." You know and.. "O Zion there's no place in the world as beautiful as you." And I'm looking around at all these old monks saying to myself they're all wannabe Jews and then the third thing that happened there was I'm working my job there was to cut grass in the orchard with this old scythe. So I'm out there scything the grass one day and this elderly monk shuffles out to me because since they're never allowed to speak sometimes they'd like to take in a you know the opportunity and so he shuffles out to me and he says to me may I ask you a question and I say sure and he says, "Well if you don't mind my asking you're not Catholic, are you?" Because I saw that I wasn't receiving Communion at Mass and I said, "No that's right I'm not Catholic!" And then he says, "Well then if you don't mind my asking what are you then?" And I say very proudly, "I'm Jewish!" And he said, "Oh that's a relief! We were all afraid you were Protestant!" [Laughter LOL :) ] and so you can see then I saw the view that they had which was that that Jews are as John Paul the second st. John Paul the second said our elder brothers in the faith Protestants had the faith but rejected it but Jews were in a different category and the third thing that happened there and maybe the most important thing that happened there was I felt the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary there I would have thought as you know materialist or whatever that these monks would be very sour pusses they would be bitter they would be unhappy here they live this incredibly penitential life you know they had no pleasures right? they had no comfort they had no sleep and but instead they were they were joyful you know like kindergartners sharing a joke you know many of them look like they were you know that's kind of had a secret secret giggle going on behind their faces and I knew that what fill them with that love and what fill them with that warmth was the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary and I don't know the correct theology to describe this but when I was there I felt the way that the Blessed Virgin Mary animates the spirit of the Catholic Church it's like the Catholic Church is the external building and the Blessed Virgin Mary is the heart of it and I felt that there so by the time I left there by the time I left there I wanted to become Catholic it still took me a few years for various reasons but I took me a couple of years to be baptized the some of the places I went were a little bit confused about anyway and of course that was the biggest thing in my life and since my baptism and please don't applaud this this has nothing to do with me but since my baptism which was in 1992 so once I make it 22 years ago I honestly don't think I went more than a dozen days without receiving Communion and usually when I was traveling and the only reason is because I'm still again excuse me for saying this I'm I'm still that Harvard Business School marketing professor I'm still greedy and given what communion is and given the fact that we live for all eternity and our eternity is entirely dependent on this little period of 60 or 70 or 80 years of life on earth and I'm not sure what we receive when we receive Holy Communion but it's probably gonna matter for all eternity and it's probably going to be a plus for all eternity and that's not a good reason it's a greedy reason but it's still a reason to want to receive Communion every day and I saw in the few minutes I have left I actually don't know how many minutes the I have left let me just talk it's what I started out saying is is the only advantage of not being born Catholic is is you know if you live your life in this desert if you think the life has no meaning and so forth you I mean how can how can how can anything be more important than your eternity and we know from the Saints that it's not a matter of just getting to heaven like tomorrow when I fly home I'll get on the airplane and as long as I'm on the airplane I'll arrive in the United States the same time as everyone else it's not just getting into the airplane getting into heaven you know there's a first-class cabin and there's a business class cabin you know and there's they're sitting by the lavatory at the rear of the plane you know so you got to be on there for all eternity what matters more the the only point of life on earth is getting to heaven and getting other people to heaven everything else is is a means to an end so let me read a quote I assume I only have about three minutes left I had books out there I'm sold out thank you very much so I can't be accused of trying to peddle books but one of the books is called honey from the rock and it's a stew it's a collection of 16 Catholic Jewish witness testimonies I'm gonna read a passage from one of the other Jews who entered the Catholic Church who are in that book his name was Charlie Rich he was a Hasidic Jew right in altar Orthodox Jew who when he lost his Jewish faith tried to commit suicide because life had no meaning and he after an unsuccessful suicide attempt he walked in this 1950s as before air conditioning it's New York City it's a hot summer day he walked into an empty Catholic Church just to get out of the heat he sat down under a stained-glass window of Jesus stilling the waters he said to himself, "All if only it were true." And he hears this voice saying, "It is all true!" so I so let me read and he spent the rest of his life he was in about 30 (years old) at the time that this happened and he died relatively recently a he died of 1998 at the age of 99 he spent the rest of his life as a contemplative with a Jesuit community in New York praying before the Blessed Sacrament 12 or 14 hours a day so let me just read some words of his to close and as I read these words think of it as an exhortation for you to evangelize because again nobody else has what a Catholic has nobody else has the grace as a Catholic has no one no one else you know it's it's it's we have no idea and we won't know until we die what we have that no one else has but we will be called to account for sharing it and for helping others as much as we can you know that parable in the Gospels about Lazarus and the rich man right and it's usually thought of in terms of worldly goods you know the rich man is feasting at a table with food falling on the floor and there's starving beggar outside of the door and he won't even give him a crumb well you can also see it spiritually okay and you are all the rich man feasting at the table and everyone else I mean every non-catholic is that starving beggar outside the door and we are going to be just as responsible for what we've done to share our wealth with him or her as the rich man was about not sharing his food right so anyway so let me read close with these words of Charlie Rich and then maybe another prayer for the conversion of the Jews I have since my baptism and first communion acquired a happiness which I would not exchange for anything in the world it has given me a peace of mind and a serenity of outlook which I did not think was possible on this earth it would have been in vain to have been born had God not been good enough to extend me the grace to become a member of the Mystical Body of Christ the Church Rome is without the life Christ as there is no life at all it is - it is for heaven we have been made and for no other earthly good thing it is to heaven every good and beautiful experience points and has in view I became a Catholic so that I may in that way be happy not just for a few years but forever and ever I became a Catholic that I may in that way get the grace to one day participate in the joys of the angels and saints into life to come it is to that life the grace of conversion is meant to lead it is meant to lead to a happiness we cannot now imagine or conceive one can never come to an end of enumerated the blessings conferred upon one by the grace of being a Catholic it is being a Catholic that matters and not any other thing the world has to offer however good and beautiful and may be the Church of Rome gives us God himself it does so in all his fullness a greater gift than God is a human being cannot hope to receive we receive the gift God Himself is when we receive Holy Communion it is to the church we must go to have God in the fullness he may be experienced this side of heaven to become more intimately united with God then the church enables us to be by means of the Holy Sacraments we must take leave of this life. Amen so then thank you thank you the so let me close with another prayer another totally kosher pray for the conversion of the Jews and let me just say I don't have prayer cards with s prayer on I have a website. Guess what its name is? SalvationisfromtheJews.com SalvationisfromtheJews.com ..and I have everything up on my website I actually have everything pretty except the books for free you can order the books through the website too but the I have all the odd of tons of audio and video and everything up on the website and I have these prayers up on the website too so this is a prayer for the conversion of the Jews from the Catholic breviary breviary for the week of Christian unity in January days six or seven of the day six of the week for Christian unity is dedicated a prayer for the conversion of the Jews in full disclosure this is the old form of the breviary I think they've watered down the prayer maybe I'm not gonna say why but it's nonetheless is from the Catholic gravity airy for the week of Christian unity and here's the prayer and again I invite you to pray along and and maybe to think about the prayer Oh God who manifests your mercy and compassion towards all peoples have mercy upon the Jewish race from the beginning your chosen people you selected them alone out of all the nations of the world to be the custodians of your sacred teachings from them you raised up prophets and patriarchs to announce the coming of the Redeemer you willed that your only Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior should be a Jew according to the flesh born of a Jewish maiden in the land of promise listen to the prayers we offer you today for the conversion of the Jewish people grant that they may come safely to a knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah foretold by their prophets and that they may walk with us in the way of salvation Amen Amen. and Thank you! 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Present Harvard University Professors

References

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