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"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I..." Matthew 18:20
|Posted by frieda lara on November 16, 2020 at 6:00 AM||comments (0)|
Love is a most commonly abused word. I love this food, I love that dog, I love to go swmming. a lot more things we say we love. Do we really love this way? Do we even know how to love or do we know what love it and wha it is not?
When we love someone, we must desire and work for the good of that person, not according to what we think is good for him or her but only what God says is good for him or her. Before we can do that, we need to know what Godod means. It does not mean pleasant or comfortable or fortunate. Jesus says that "None is good but God." We do not even need to say that "God is good all the time." He stands OUTSIDE of time. In other words, He is the only good there is and everything good comes only from Him because He is goodness Himself.
The only purpose of our existence is to work for our salvation. In erthly terms, we seek our highest potential to be the best we can be. this is also the formula for loving another person. We do not love because we want to possess or be possed by another person. Marriage must e based on love because it ia the groundwork for a family that must be cohesive. But love in general is the desire for the well-being of another person, which often does not involve owning that person. Quite often, it means allowing that person to grow out of you in order to allow him or her to reach his highest potential as a human being and achieve salvation.
Love, therefore, is not a feeling but a willing, an act. I ia conscious act of contributing to the well-being of another person -- a child, a parent, a sweetheart, a friend, anyone. It is not a sentiment but a deliberate commitment to the good of another person. It entails constancy and comlete but since sincerity. The self muyst stand out of it. But not at the sacrifice of our lor ourselves FIRST!
We can love another person only if we already love ourselves ENOUGH and sufficiently. There is no such thing as loving someone more than urselves. Where are we ging to get extra love if we do not have enough for ouzselves? We can love another person from an excess of love for ourselves. And that is not selfishness. It means the very same thing -- desiring our own goodwhich is achieving the highest potential we can reach and working for our salvation.
|Posted by frieda lara on November 16, 2020 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
God Who is unfailingly generos is all-knowing and just and cannot be outdone in generosity. He sees every little or big thing we do and we have no need to announce the good deeds we do, the simplest and smallest favors we give others selflessly. He keeps faithful record of these and give us back what we give several times.
This is the motivation for good deeds even if we do not receive such rewards at the time we expect them or in ways that we we perform good acts. In His wisdom, Glod returns the good deeds we do very often in situations and ways that are beyond our understanding. Only the greedy and ungrateful will not recognize the countless gifts and favors they receive without asking for them. They may thik that they have these advantages and possessions because they deserve them. And then desire more . We should nt forget that we now possess is not permanent. They can get stolen or destroyed or cease to be profitable or useful. Only by constantly being sensitive to the needs of others and supplying their need according to our resources will the flow of grace into our lives continue. Nothing is kept secret from the yes of the Almighty.
|Posted by frieda lara on November 15, 2020 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
St. Paul, the first Christian, revealed and related to the Philippians the secret of contentment (Philippinans 4:11-13). He taught them to be content in whatever state they find themselves to be. He warned against greed and the unrelenting desire for anything that is not given or acquired or is lost. He shared his learning of how it is to be both full and hungry, to be in plenty as well as in want or shortage, how to be praised and how to be humbled. He was able to learn how to live in contentment in either extreme because he believed that he could do all things, conquer all travails in Him Who strengthened him.
A true Christian is a reproduction of the Savior who live in an idnifference towards both extremes that St. Paul eventually llearned and taught the Christian communities of his time. Living simply and feeling thankful and contented with what you have at the moment is that secret. Being thankful for what God sends at that hou. If there is anything that you need, ask Him in prayer and petition as well as thanksgiving for what you already have. God knows what we need before we ask Him, but St. Paul teaches that we can still approach the Lord for what we want/ That approach, however, should be in the spirit of praise and thankfulness and trust that he Lord will send what we need in order t help us accomplish the purpose for which He gave us life and the resources to achieve eternal life.
What makes life an agony is the greed for more or the unwillingness to accept what we cannot change.
|Posted by frieda lara on November 14, 2020 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
The Word of god in the Scriptures is the code of conduct that God Himself bestows upon humankind so that he may live in the way God has designed. It is not replaced by traditions, mostly physical and material, established for centuries by church leaders from the rigid laws of Moses. These are largely verbal or assumed rules of practice that bind the spirit of people rather than free it. That is why Christ Himself condemns those practices as the Pharisees attempt to use in place of inner honesty, obedience, sincerity and humility.
To this day, such traditions are observed in lieu of the personal reading of the Word of God that is required in order to live right before the eyes of God and to enter in His friendship an kingdom. Someone who professes to be Christian has to be a great lover and reader of God's word. There is no other way or substitute. What God sees in the person's heart is the basis of God's judgment, not what the person does with his or her body, not the rituals and devotions, tithes and other observances. Christs places emphasis on what is inside a man and not what is outside of him/.
The Bible is the mnual of Christman life and it is unthinkable that one who wants to enter heaven will not read it but rely on human trditions. There is no substitute for the Scriptures.God knows if we want to know His will and the Holy Spirit will shed light on us to know and perform His will.
|Posted by frieda lara on November 14, 2020 at 7:40 AM||comments (0)|
True Christians are not of this world. They follow an entirely different, if not entirely opposed, way of life from tht of the rest of the world. Jesus predicts that there will be very many offenses and offnders in the world. But among true Christians or disciples, Jesus established the procedure tosolve aeguments, conflicts and quarrels, which is entirely the reverse of how they are hanled lin the world.
True Christians are still human and at times yield to temptation and offend one another. The formula of settling an issue amopng His followers does not include going to court, hitting back or avoiding the other party. He ants problems to be solved. The first step is for the offended person to apprroach the offender in private and tellthe offender about the offense. If the offender repents and atones, the broken relationship is repaired and healed. If the offender does not repent but fights bak or disputes the offendse, the offended party must call two witneses who shall establish the facts of the offense. If the offender repents and atones, the broken relatinship is repaired and healed. But if he or she does nto repent or atone, the problem should be reported to the church that must decide on the problem. If the offender still dont repent, the church shall consider him or her an unbeliever and cast. out.
Is this the way modern self-professed Christians deal with disputes?
|Posted by frieda lara on November 14, 2020 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
In Matthew 10:8, Jesus emp;hasizes that a true disciple gives freely what he rceives freely from God. And everygood thing that comes to us comes from God thorugh others or our own effort. And in Matthewe 5:2, He says that his true follower must give to the person what that person asks of him and not to turn away what a borrower asks for. Are there many who do this?
The way of the world is giving only if something is given back in return or ahead of the giving. But the way of God in Christ is the exact reverse. That is because He Himself will supply what the Christian freely gives. There will be no conditions to the giving between and among Christians, as there is no condition for God to give us what we ask for. This is the difference.
Yet the common scenaro is that of supposed Christian or Catholic who never misses a single Mass and prays lots of devotions but find sit hard to give selflessly. He or she goes to Church or kneels before an altar to praise, thank and ask God for things. But when he or she goes out into the world, his or her ways become that of unbelievers, seeking things in exchange for what she or he gives. What Christianity is this?
|Posted by frieda lara on November 14, 2020 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
In Matthew 10: 1, 7-8, Jesus enumerates the powers He gave His disciples. They are amazing gifts that are real gifts if we are real believers. We are today's diciples with these real powers, but do we exercise them? If not, the Lord's investment in us is wasted and for which we will account at the day of judgment. These powers that Jesus Himself passed on to heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons. They are unbeliable powers that only a few have faith enough to use or do. Are we surprised that there is so much suffering, so much darkness in the world?
A true believer or true Christian is an extensio of Christ. That is why he or she is called (a) Christian. Christ lives in that person and uses His powers through tht person. That person's life must transform if Christ lives in Him. Christ is not found in the Church only or in the sky or the mountain. He is found in the very heart of every true believer when Christ wants to live. We If He lives in us, we should be able to know His will by instinct, hear His voice within and behave as He would behave in our place. We will not need to ask others to pray for us. We can and should be able to communicate with Him directly and inwardly and receive the answer to our prayer that very instant.
The true Christian lives the life of Christ Himself. We all hear the Gospel read to us at Mass. We all studied the Catechism. We know the 10 Commandments. In beif, we know the rules. He does not leave un-instructed or misguided. So we know that there is much drkness in the world insread of light because there is little faith in the world. There are simply few real Christians.
|Posted by frieda lara on November 9, 2020 at 3:40 AM||comments (0)|
That we use only 1/10th of our potentials is just as true spiritually as it is spiritually. If we realize that we are the only soverign in our world, we do not need to suffer as much as we all do.
Suffering or pain is, indeed, either legitimate or it is not. It is legitimate when it is true and unavoidable. And it is not legitimate when it is unreal and unnecessary. The trouble is that few of us are able to process what hurts us or brings us down. Most of us are too much in a hurry to avoid or quash suffering, sometimes even deny it. None of these wlll work.
Legitimate suffering is suffering that we cannot escape from or solve, but trhe good news is that it is few and not common. Most of our agonies are really not legitimate but are caused by a disordered perspective, traumas, or an over-emphasis on convenience or the search for pleasure as well as pride. Examples of legitimate suffering is bearing the ill consequences of the weather that we do not have the resources to overcoe. But in many cases, this inability can even be reduced or avoided. Another example is the attitude of others that we are unable to modify despite the vest efforts. Still another is the entire range of physical development stages. Growing old is something we cannot halt but the proper attitude can make it a fulfilling experience every moment, depe3nding on our attitude towards ourselves and the wisdom of nature.
Legitimate suffering, furthermore, can be reduced. Aging is now slowed down by new diets, medications, and practices. Habitual contemplation has also been known to delay aging. As few as it already is, legitimate suffering can be reduced, slowed down or delayed. And the person who does so can also make every aging moment happier than those of her or his earlier years because of the wisdom collected as one grows old. other
Illegitimat suffering covers all other types of throes, anguish, distress and hurts. Not gaining, or losing something or someone need not be so agonizing as to be beyond endurance. Defeat, failure, disappointment, defects, social disapproval and all other sorts of pain are, in fact, illegitimate in that they are not necessary. In ur world where we make all the ordinances un-opposed, we can decide not to suffer, or at least not to suffer long enough to distub our peace and equilibrium or damage our self-esteem. We suffer only because we allow ourselves to suffer. There is such a thing as giving up on what you cannot gain withut sour-graping. As long as we retain enough self-esteem and we survive physically, we can decide to restore the equilibrium that results from a missed goal or preference. We need not fall apart.
|Posted by frieda lara on November 7, 2020 at 6:10 AM||comments (0)|
Are we aware of the power of the past, especially our childhood, has on us as we grow old? The past never really passes. It is planted in us and controls our subconscious, unconscopus and conscious minds without our realizing it. A dreadful experience in the past (at any age) may affect some of us but not others, and very often, the image of a given painful experience can last very long and weave through any aspects of our lives than we can know and control. We may find ourselves avoiding something or someone because of a mistortune and those who diid not have the experience may not react to it at all. It depends on the impact of the experience and our personality mnake-up.
If we are awre of the traumas of our past, our problems at present will not be as many as we not confront.That is because very often, most of us tend to push unpleasant experiences down into our unconscious or subconscious mind in the hope of keeping it from troubling us. But the fact is that it will trouble us when we are least ready. It becomes obvious that ALL traumas must be confronted. This is a herculean task. Mental disorders and diseases develop because of the human tendency to avoid anything painful or unpleasant. Many laugh off their problems, try to forget or take risky steps to quiet a turbuluent memory or trauma. Yet confronting the ghost that haunts is the only way to stop the haunting.
Our connection with the past -- and all the traumas in it -- is what perpetuates the fear of a recurrence of the same experience. It compels us to avoid the very specter of it even getting near. Yet every day is new. People come and go, change for the better or worse. People do not remember of mind what we mind. Or mind what we do not. The solution is to disconnect ourselves mentally and emotionally from that experience. If it is a person, you can think hard about his or her effect on you and consciously and emotionlally disonnect from the pain he or she caused you. You are the only thinker in your universe. You can control the pain that plagues you. If you can do this with your emotions, outward circustamcnes will be more manageable.
Forgiving an offeder from the past involves this emotional disconnection. That alone will provide the space to forgive. If you disconnect emotionally, the pain will stop haunting and forgivveness can occur. You shall conquer the painful experience.
|Posted by frieda lara on October 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
if judging the guilt or innocence of others is improper and unjust for imperfect human beings to do, why don't we abolish all the courts in the world? Are judges and jurors perfect? No. they only render verdicts according to the law, which is in itself imperfect. This is done because of our yearning for justice. No human knowledge is ever complete or final. Only God has that attribute and can (and will) render perfect justice. In the meantime, we need to establish order and peace in society, so we need a substitute and this is the judicial system. We know that many verdicts go wrong but we continue to bring cases to the courts. Does it not prove that perfection is not a requirement for judging?