(Introduction by Thay)
Today I would like to introduce to you one more monk and one more nun. First of all, I want to introduce you the Venerable Brother Phap De which means "young brother", although he is not very young. He has many elder brothers in the dharma that are much younger than himself. And he is very happy to receive that dharma name so that he can practice better the practice of humility. Before he became a monk, he had been a successful business man. He had also been a Catholic priest. He still loves Jesus Christ a lot and Christianity a lot. But if he becomes a Buddhist monk, because he sees that in Buddhism there are so many concrete practices that can help him transform. He has been practicing very well as a Buddhist monk and he is a very happy monk. And I hope that during this retreat you have a chance to talk to him about Christianity, Buddhism and the practice.
In Europe and in America now, there are so many people who embrace at the same time Buddhism and Christianity. They do not feel any conflict, having two kinds of roots. And the number of people who practice the Buddhism and Christianity together is increasing very quickly in Europe and America. And those people belong to a kind of trend or movement called the double belonging. There is a theologian teaching Christianity in America. He just wrote a book. The title of the book is "Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian". If the Buddhism and Christianity practice together, sharing together, there will be more peace in the world. Young brother, can you say something to the audience?
(A message from Brother Phap De)
Dear Thay, brothers and sisters,
When you look at me, you see my mother. She is smiling. When she was eighteen, my mother was told that she was not well enough to become a nun in a Catholic convent. So, she married my dad. She had a big family of which I was one of it. But the important thing to know is that my mom finally got into the monastery. She is celebrating her life in the monastery with Thay and all the brothers and sisters. She is very happy. In the old days, we Catholics sent our deceased priests to heaven and kind of forgot about them. Now with the teaching of Buddhism, I come to understand and experience that my father and my mother continue in me. And my dad is very happy. He is learning to let go. Thank you. And I am available to visit at later times.
Brother Phap De