Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Be on guard

JESUS constantly warned his followers to be guard, for “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves” (Mt. 10:16).  The guidance of the Holy Spirit as the main agent of evangelization assures us to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus and live a life of prayer and contemplation.  The search for truth in the apostolic journey will indeed open our hearts to recognize our sinfulness and to cooperate with the grace of conversion and rekindled evangelization.
It’s good to remember some important sayings of the saints since they could lead us back to the right track, like two Carmelite saints, for example, Sts. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) and Teresa Benedict of the Cross.  St. Teresa is quoted to have said in her writings: “Much wrongdoing would be avoided if we realized our business is to be on guard, not against men but against displeasing the Lord.”  St. Teresa Benedict, the former Jewish agnostic philosopher converted to Christianity by contemplating on the cross in a Carmelite chapel, is quoted also as saying this: “Do not accept anything as love if it lacks truth, and do not accept anything as truth if it lacks love.”

The Bible, God’s unmistakable word, teaches: “Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbor; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments” (Rom. 13:10).  God’s word, the standard of justice and right living, asks of us only love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and unity (2 Tim. 3:10-17).  St. John Paul II challenges the modern apostle with these three phrases in the work of evangelization: use “new methods, new expressions, and new fervor.”  In the end, the Church follows the way of the Savior through the Cross of discipleship amidst the lure of secularization. 

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