Friday, September 13, 2013

A man of sorrows

I heard one description of Jesus as a man of sorrows. Certainly He had reason to be sad for the ingratitude of men who misunderstood His message of truth and salvation. His main mission in life was precisely to bring hope and salvation to ailing humanity. But for all His goodness and His many services, they had Him crucified. Being truly divine and human in nature, He rose from the dead three days after being buried in Calvary. His Resurrection, being truly the Son of God, is the greatest event in history ever. That only proves what St Peter tells us in Acts 4:12: “Of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.” It is then of paramount importance for our conversion to be closely associated to Jesus in our lives and prayers and endeavor to follow the way He lived. Like Jesus we too have reason to be sad while we still journey on this earth which many have described as a valley of tears, which certainly is so till we reach the destiny God made us for, which is the kingdom of Heaven with all of God’s Saints and Holy Angels.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Strength from above

At times we realize how weak we are, needing strength from above. That is what grace means—an aid from the supernatural sources, that is, from God and His angels and saints, conscious as we are of the innate weakness in us poor humans. That’s the very reason we need the humility to admit our limitations. No wonder God’s holy book, the Bible, warns us against such temptations to pride. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). The humble person turns to God above and seeks supernatural help through prayer. So it has been said: Prayer will make us leave off sinning, or sinning will make us leave off prayer. Turn to God and change your sinful ways. “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk. 14:11; Lk. 18:14). Jesus often repeated this since it is really essential for success and eternal salvation, which is what matters after all is said and done.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quest for truth

everyone who seeks always finds – Mt. 7:7) Like anything precious in life, we have to search for it, as a man searching for precious pearls or stones. The same thing we have to do in respect to the truth, especially the eternal truths which are connected with our achieving our very final destination and goal in life, which is life everlasting. Jesus reminds of that when He tells us in Mt. 16:26: “What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life? (Mt. 16:26). Think it over and be sure. Be honest with yourself, it will be worth enjoying all the advantages and privileges here on earth which is but a temporary life in exchange for an eternal punishment in Hell, just because we dared to violate one important command of God which asks us in His commands to respect all the rights of God and man. And in the cited verse above from Mt. 16:26, He is referring to life eternal in heaven which is the reward of those who truly keep God’s commandments which ask us ‘to give to everyone his due, namely, to God our total allegiance above all and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (cf. Mt. 7:12; Mt. 22:34-30).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Unforgettable experiences

It’s true there are hard to forget experiences, especially concerning our loved ones already departed from this world, who cared for us since our tender years, like our father and mother, brothers and sisters or other close relations. That’s only normal, because we experienced their loving care and protection. But God wants us to rise above all those fleeting memories of the past and give Him all the glory due to Him. “Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt. 10:37-39). As we go along our earthly life there are many relationships we encounter but these only remind us we have to thank God for them since He is the source of all graces and realities. We just have to pray for them since all these good people and relationships are only a part of God’s loving care for us His humble created human beings placed in the world to perpetuate and give to God almighty all the glory that belongs to Him as the Creator of heaven and earth..

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The obedience factor

Among the three public promises (vows) in religious communities, orders or congregations, the vow of obedience seems to be the more fundamental since the two others flow from it (poverty, chastity). No wonder at one time (see Jn. 4:34) Jesus expressed it this way: “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work” (Jn. 4:34). One of the reasons Jesus emphasizes it is because disobedience has always been the source of pride and the fall of Satan and his cohorts of devils. It also is the source of pride that can erode the bright virtues of an innocent soul. Instead of being that happy humble person or servant he might turn out to be one hateful character because of a spirit of pride that corrodes his other excellent virtues. That has been the cause behind the fallen angels—Satan and his cohorts in Hell and the downfall of many a person in all history whatsoever. Satan’s banner carried the message ‘I shall not obey’, so he was cast in Hell. The same fate has been or is being repeated by all those who follow the ways of the devil, the line of disobedience. Remember history and endeavor to avoid the mistakes of history.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Renouncing self to follow Jesus

The spirit of sacrifice is behind many successes in life. We ought to learn to give up some things for the sake of gaining something of greater value, especially in the after life, after all this life is but temporary and there still is the everlasting life to seek for, which is God’s reward to us for doing His will and commandments. Jesus talks of such sacrifice when we give prime importance to His words and commands. We have to make the right choices in this life. That’s what Jesus means to tell us in Mt. 10:37-39. “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.” It’s true family acquaintances are really closest for most of us but they are not over and above our allegiance to God, after all God is the very source of our life and He is our final goal and destiny to reward us for all the good we ever did in this our passing and transitory life.

Friday, September 6, 2013

God cares!

Nada te turbe, nada te espante, todo se pasa, Dios no se muda. Quien a Dios tiene, nada le falta, Solo Dios basta (translated: Let nothing disturb you or frighten you. Everything is transitory, only God is unchanging. He who possesses God lacks nothing. God alone suffices). That poem in Spanish by St. Teresa of Avila attracted me since younger days. It’s a poem of childlike trust in God. Of course, we should not forget the advice of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Mt. 18:1-4: “At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said: ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’.” (Mt. 18:1-4). Jesus means to tell us the reality. What mainly troubles or distresses us at times comes from our own pride or lack of trust in our heavenly Father, God Almighty who is the Creator of all that exists. So reminding us of a childlike attitude towards God and all created realities is basic in a stable person in quest of the truth and the coming of God’s kingdom. Usually the worrisome and problematic people are those whose hearts have lost that simplicity of a little child which Jesus mentions in Mt. 18:1-4. Go back to such childlike trust in God and you will find your troubles becoming less and less because of your sincere belief in the providential fatherhood of God who really cares for you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Fantastic But Real World

A FANTASTIC BUT REAL WORLD As we conjecture in contemplation on the things around us, both humans and other material realities, there we see and observe a reflection of God’s eternal glory, yea with all the wonderful things of creation, both people and the realities and happenings surrounding us the world over, we realize there is an Almighty God who created all the wonders of nature around us, and who cares for us. Whatever section or part of nature you concentrate on, you begin to realize there is an imprint or shadow of divine action which we can call God’s creation and act of providence. We can only gape in awe and surprise at the fantastic wonders of God’s creation and then turn to our own humble selves, as mortal men and women awaiting the rewards of a heavenly Father after finishing the limited time given to us in this earthly existence. Do not forget the reminder from God’s word in the Holy Bible: “With sweat on your brow shall you eat your bread, until you return to the soil, as you were taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19). That is a reminder for human beings to avoid sinful pride, a source of all sin in man and angels, and to live the teaching of Jesus—“anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt. 23:11-12). The story of the pride of the fallen angels, that is, Satan and those of the angels who were cast into Hell, you can read in the book of Revelation (the last book of the Holy Bible) in chapter 12. “The devil is a murderer and the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44). This goes to show that if we are to follow Jesus we must tread the path of truth, love and humility because Satan’s path is the path of untruth (lies) and hatred (or murder), and pride. The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 10:45). The mind or banner of Satan and the fallen angels or devils carried the opposite of what Jesus was saying—“Non serviam” (which means: I shall not serve).