Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Humble learning

Being learned is indeed impressive, but the real wise men and women are humble seekers of the truth, ever keeping an open mind, realizing that they do not know everything.  Some who went to prestigious schools may think that they know everything as they come out.  They forget their roots and even what is basic, to respect their parents.  Such attitude of pride “goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18).

A good advice is not to believe anybody but because you want to go deeper, you keep on asking the important questions of life and destiny, as a little child does.  Truly did Jesus say, “Unless you change and humble yourselves as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3). On the other hand, beware of remaining ignorant all your life and remember “a little knowledge is dangerous.”

Words further reflect a person’s character. They mirror one’s inner strength, courage, wisdom and serenity that help shed light on one’s steps day by day. Honest words will win the trust of others;  humility will win their support.  Each day may the power of words find us inspired, strengthened, and abundant with God’s heavenly blessings.  May the words of our simple prayer keep us aware of our soul’s continued quest for Godliness which will spell lasting happiness.  May we be open to the small “epiphanies” of God’s presence and surprise blessings day by day—to stay blessed and continue to be a blessing.

The start of another year is a call to go to the deep (‘duc in altum’), learn more from God and creatures, and be humble enough to admit how little one knows, while being open to find the words that reveal a God of truth and love.  How wonderful to learn from Jesus and the Saints that humility is truth.  “He who humbles himself shall be exalted.  He who exalts himself shall be humbled” (Mt. 23:12; Lk. 14:11; Lk. 18:14).

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Blessed to be a blessing

Life is a mixture of good and bad, in the actual arena of one’s personal and social environment, and in the social media of varied ways of communicating.  Take texting for example.  The messages may be caring or scary; challenging or troubling; friendly or unfriendly; cheerful and uplifting for the downhearted.  The messages received at New Year were full of hopes for the good life, the “silver lining to shine through the darkest night” and other “magical” as well as spiritual aspirations.  A message also read like this: “Life is a mixture of both good and bad. It simply depends on how we make of it.  Consider these:  There’s “hell” in hello; “good” in goodbye; “lie” in believe; “over” in lover; “end” in friend; “ex” in “next”; and “if” in life.  Life is really how we live it! 

Seeing events with optimism, we may turn the tables from the negative ‘downs’ to positive ‘ups’, as: Sadness to happiness; sorrow to joy; desperation to inspiration; frustration to success; sickness to good health; hatred to love; war to peace.  The events need the right eye to recognize all events as “blessings” since nothing happens without God’s permission and unfailing aid for those who call upon Him in prayer.  God has given us the intelligence to reason rightly and the will to choose rightly so as to fulfill the right order.  The “Right Order” is the redeeming mission of Jesus [and ours] to atone for sin in order to reconcile the sinful world to the Father, and its Creator.  The work of reconciliation meant that Jesus had to share the lot of all sinners and expiate for all sin by His sacrificial death, as prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah.  At His baptism at the Jordan river, “Jesus answered John, ‘Let it be [baptized] like that for now; so that we may fulfill the right order” (Mt. 3:15).

The rising dawn and the sunrise are blessings of nature that we encounter every morning.  One may rightly say that God sends new blessings every morning; none we can call leftover blessings.  With each sunrise come new challenges, new opportunities, new beginnings, new reasons to smile. These are outpourings of God’s love and grace. The New Year is a time to “forget” the past and start life afresh with new hopes, aspirations and cheer.  It’s a time to grow and nurture the positive human values of the Christian order with God’s heavenly grace, walking in the steps of humble obedience of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the saints.  And no matter what, one is blessed to be a blessing to others.  Let each day of the year open our eyes to the countless opportunities to be channels of God’s blessings, letting the light of the Good News of Jesus’ Word and Life glow and vanquish the gaping darkness of evil and sin. “Your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:16).