Monday, March 1, 2010

Desire to Know the Future not Helpful

With more clients than usual, Korean fortune tellers at this time of the New Year have a brisk business. People want to know what the future is going to be. Using the four pillars is probably the most popular. You give your year, month, day and hour of birth, and from those numbers you will be told what to expect.

Saju, or four pillars, studies a person's life and predicts fortunes based on the four pillars. Energies of earth, sun, moon and stars at the time of birth are thought to affect the person. These energies are translated into something one can read. The book consulted by many fortune tellers is called "Tojeong bigyeol", the secrets of Tojeong.

There are institutional religions, but also many beliefs accepted by Koreans holding on to their institutional religion. One of the more popular "folk religions" would be fortune telling, and all that goes along with that world. It is the world of 'karma' finding out what your destiny will be. Even those who go to the fortune tellers out of curiosity or as a fun thing find it can be upsetting.

The person may be told it will be a great year but be careful of cars. During the year a person has a small accident with no one hurt, and the first thought that comes to mind is what the fortune teller said. Doing something out of curiosity and for a laugh believing it will not affect one is difficult.

Those who go to the fortune tellers are not only the simple folks, but those who are well educated and even some of the devout Catholics. Technological advances allows one to go to the Internet for ways to read the future--no one has to know, doesn't take much time and is cheap.

Past president Noh Mu Hyun left us a suicide note that expressed his feeling about life.
"Don't be sad. Isn't life and death just a part of nature. No reason to be sorry. Do not blame anyone. It is fate." Noh Mu Hyun was baptized but never became a practicing Catholic.

Fate for a Christian is something we determine with God's help. We have the image of a loving God, respecting our freedom, who by grace is calling us to himself. Life is a gift of God; we are not moved by the whims of fate but what we have made of our lives with the graces accepted. St. Augustine says (City of God): "If anyone calls the influence or power of God by the name of Fate, let him keep his opinion, but mend his speech." " The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man's life is the vision of God: if God's revelation through creation has already obtained life for all the beings that dwell on earth, how much more will the Word's manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God." "(St. Irenaeus )

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