Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Humility that Saves

Many saints (St. Therese, for example), following the theme of Our Lord Jesus Christ, have often said: Humility is Truth. Jesus has repeated several times: “The person who humbles himself shall be exalted, the person who exalts himself shall be humbled” (Mt. 12:11; Lk. 18:14). Yes, Jesus humbled himself, preferring to work His miracles without much propaganda (see Mk. 9:9, and Lk.9:21)).

We too should follow that system of doing good works for the sincere love of God and the neighbor, not for show-off and propaganda, nor for the prospect of money and power, which become temptations for corruption.. After all, this is the more successful way as God Himself has promised. “Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing; your almsgiving must be in secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you” (Mt. 6:1-4). Remember that the only true reward comes from God above. Naturally genuine humility must always be based on truth and discipline, not on false ambitions and laxity or insubordination.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Poverty Issue

It seems putting the blame on poverty for most of the nation’s woes is out of place. Why did that expression of benediction come out? “Blessed are you poor; the reign of God is yours” (Lk. 6:20).

Actually the poverty issue reverts to oneself or one’s inmost honest efforts. If only we did what we should or could do to think, to study, to do some honest service to humanity, somehow the result would be what Jesus aptly described, saying: “Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back” (Lk. 6:38). You can see and observe closely how true these words of Jesus are. Most successful businesses are those that deep in the heart tend to sincerely give good quality products and services to the customer, while those that just think of making money from the customers are usually left out or losing in the business rat race.

Jesus does not want us to worry too much about material things (read this in Mt. 6:25-34). “That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it….Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life?” Jesus says the same thing about thoughts on clothing and drinking needs. It is those who lack faith that worry too much on those things. His solution is: “Set your hearts on his kingdom first and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Mt. 6:25-34). To verify for yourself how true are the words of Jesus concerning our quest to do God’s will always and ever trust in His loving care for each of us, let us ask and observe people who sincerely believe and put to practice Jesus’ words. God can’t tell a lie nor be mistaken. And His words come to us through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Armed Conflicts

Certainly we cannot deny there are some armed conflicts in the Philippines or in the whole wide world. However, the question is: should there really be reason for such? We know at times, in isolated or extreme cases there is need or a call to arms, for the purpose of self-defense. Considering all the confusion, evacuations, chaos and suffering and loss of lives that result as side-effects of these armed conflicts, it is really much better to avoid them. Think it over: Can you pay for the value of one life? Jesus had already warned us through His instruction to Peter. “One of the followers of Jesus grasped his sword and drew it, he struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. Jesus then said, ‘Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Mt. 26:52).

It’s a fact really. Many people die, not just accidentally because of accidental misfiring but also since the proliferation and escalation of firearms is a big temptation to violence. Just think it over. Life is the first right of man. And when people make a call to armed conflict or the use of deadly firearms, there are so many more casualties that could have been avoided. May we always remember God’s infallible word that can’t be mistaken nor lie. “Never repay evil with evil but let everyone see that you are interested only in the highest ideals. Do all you can to live at peace with everyone. Do not avenge yourselves, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay’ says the Lord.” “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink….Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good” (Rom. 12:18-21). Yes indeed. Remember the lessons of past history, the irreparable loss of so many lives. No wonder Benjamin Franklin had truly said: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Let’s follow the ideal described by St. Paul: “Love is humble, love is patient, love is forgiving” (1 Cor. 13:4-13).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

RH Confusions (why?)

First of all we have to place the RH Bill in light of Church prohibitions versus contraceptives’ use and abortion. Church authority from the Lord Jesus comes from that text in Matthew’s 16-18, which we quote: “Simon, son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16:18).

The Church has guided the world towards a morality that respects the fundamental rights of man. If contraceptives were given free rein, being abortifacients, that’s tantamount to decimating the human race. Hence, there are rules governing sexual morality, since from Biblical times in the Old Testament, sexuality has links to human life, which is the first right of man. What worsens the panoramic picture or situation is that the bigger nations or even pharmaceuticals corrupt the matter with money offers that serve to dim the minds of people from right thinking.

Let’s sincerely seek for the true answer in the question at hand, knowing that, since life is but transitory, we must above all seek God’s will and glory. Otherwise we have to keep in mind what St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Hebrews: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, and again: The Lord will judge his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30-31).

The Church aspires to a society that is young, active, vigorous, serviceable, constructive, and loving.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pitfalls of the RH Bill

The discussions on the controversial Reproductive Health bill keep on hitting the headlines. What is really the issue? Well, for one the issue is population control as the Egyptians tried to control the growing population of the Hebrews and King Herod wanted to kill the baby Jesus (see Exodus chapter 1 and Matthew chapter 2). Behind that is the corruption of money and power. The Church teaches as immoral the use of the abortifacient contraceptives. It’s because she wants us to fulfill God’s designs from the very beginning: “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it” (Gen. 1:20). That’s at the very first book of the Bible, God’s infallible word. God also punished gravely sins against normal sexuality, as narrated in the Sodom and Gomorrah story (Genesis . chapters 18 and 19) and the masturbating sin of Onan (read in Genesis chapter 38).

If the Church asks for the legitimate and normal use of sexuality between man and woman, it is for the preservation of the human race. It’s just because of people being enslaved to money and pleasure that we encounter the sexual abnormalities that run counter to God’s laws and invite God’s wrath and punishment. We must remember history and think of the past happenings that came to the world because of man’s sins and impenitence. The Virgin Mary had mentioned in Fatima that many souls are condemned to hell because of sins against purity. It is true human nature is weak and modern life gives so many tempting occasions of sin, but the Lord amply provides His grace by His word, His sacraments and our own recourse to prayer. At the Mount of Olives Jesus gave the advice to His disciples” “Pray not to be put to the test” (Lk. 22:39). Ask yourself, after getting to know the contents of the RH Bill, is it really for the health of mother and child? How can it be when it is for population control and aiming at the decline of population? In line with God’ design, we desire a society that is young, vibrant and active, not an aging society that tends towards self-extinction.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Control of Population

Projects to control population many times turn out to be money-making schemes. Such for example as the birth control devices and injectibles that are being peddled for a price; so too with pornographic materials that serve to incite human sexuality, even when not called to appropriately, or outside legitimate wedlock. Here is where the divine teaching guides us that we are not to be motivated by monetary gain which will only multiply our troubles and problems. It’s an inversion of principles as if the cart were put before the horse, instead of the normal way of putting the horse before the cart. Just observe how bad the results even when applying that to your own life and relationships or even in the quest for successful business. The Bible tells us the truth.

The love of money is the root of all evils and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds” (1 Tim. 6:10).