Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Saints

"Let anyone who can hear listen: Those for captivity to captivity; those for death by the sword to death by the sword. This is why the saints must have perseverance and faith" (Revelation 13:10)

Who are the saints? These are holy men and women who had patterned their lives after the life of Jesus. They practiced the teachings of Jesus Christ. Their example is relevant for us today.

They show us that in every age and culture, it is possible to imitate Jesus. We learn a great deal from the study of the lives of the saints.

These men and woman inspire us by their heroic lives. Their reward was rich in faith, love, hope, peace and tranquility during their lives and after death, they inherited everlasting life.

St Paul

Friday, October 21, 2005


"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires" (Romans 13:14).

We "put on" Jesus in baptism (Galatians 3:27). After we have been configured to Christ through baptism, frequent reception of the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of reconciliation molds us into the image of Christ. St. José Maria Escriva writes: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ', says St Paul to the Romans. It is in the Sacrament of Penance that you and I put on Jesus Christ and his merits" (The Way, 310).

"So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first." (Matthew 5: 23-24)

"He is the Beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that he should be supreme in every way; because God wanted all fullness to be found in him and through him to reconcile all things to him" (Colossians 1:18)

"What is more, we are filled with exultant trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation." (Romans 5:11)

Books on the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
Sacrament of Reconciliation

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Top 10 Reasons for Hope

"But you are the chosen race, the King's priests, the holy nation, God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2: 9).

1. God has given everything its place in the world and no one can make it otherwise. (Esther 13:9)
2. Jesus is the light of the world. He who follows Him will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
3. God's word is always there to give me hope and console me when I am downcast. (Psalm 119:49-50)
4. God is always good to those who hope in Him, to those who are searching for His love. (Lamentations 3:25)
5. The rich may suffer want and go hungry, but nothing is lacking to those who fear the Lord. (Psalm 33:11)
6. Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours, says the Lord. (Mark 11: 23-24)
7. God has reserved a depth of kindness to those who love Him. (Psalm 30:20)
8. Those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways shall enjoy the fruits of their labor, they will prosper and be happy. (Psalm 127: 1-2)
9. We did not choose Christ. He chose us to go and bear fruit that will last. (John15:16)
10. Jesus did not come to call the virtuous but sinners. (Matthew 9:13)

Norman Vincent Peale
Robert Schuller

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"A Sign of Contradiction"

" Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Look, he is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed - and a sword will pierce your soul too - so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare.'"(Luke 2: 33-35)NJB

Mary heard explicitly the prophecy of the part she was to play in the life and death of the 'suffering servant of Yahweh.' The sword which would pierce the heart of Jesus would not spare that of Mary. Mary must have repeated her words at the annunciation: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word."

The Church expounds in The Documents of Vatican II (Lumen Gentium): "When Mary presented Jesus to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed" (cf Luke 2:34-35).

I tried to lookup the word CONTRADICTION and found the following:

bucking, conflict, confutation, contravention, defiance, denial, difference, disagreement, discrepancy, dispute, dissension, gainsaying, incongruity, inconsistency, negation, opposite, opposition

agreement, correspondence, corroboration

Why should Christ Jesus be a sign of conflict instead of agreement, a sign of dissension instead of corroboration? Why would the gentle Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace be a sign that is opposed everywhere? Look at the cross! Has the cross not always been a sign of conflict, denial and opposition? Always and everywhere?

When Simeon blessed the infant Jesus and his parents in the Temple, he said to Mary, his mother, "Look, he is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed - and a sword will pierce your soul too - so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare."(Luke 2: 33-35)

This is what Jesus said himself about his mission: ""I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two aganist three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." (Luke 12: 49 - 53)

Jesus Christ sees his mission as divisive, that is, a sign of contradiction. The Holy Spirit warns the Church not to conform to the world. The temptation is always there for the Church to think that if she conforms to the world, her message will be less divisive and therefore more acceptable. 2000 years of Church history has not validated this thinking.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jesus on Prayer

God provided us with prayer as one of the tools to help us achieve our life's purpose. Jesus' teaching on prayer is precise. What are the lessons from Jesus' teaching on prayer?

* Prayers of petition show our dependence on God as supreme provider of all good things. It is a very important subject to Jesus.
* God answers prayers.
* Jesus committed Himself that prayers in His name will be answered.

What are the conditions for appropriating Christ's promises on prayer?

1. Listen and understand what God's word is saying to your need.
2. Believe in God's promise.
3. Obey the word, i.e. act on the word.

Books on Prayer

Jesus on Prayer

  • "Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always find; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him." (Matthew 7: 7-9)

  • "Give us today our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11)

  • "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:9)

  • "Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and his righteousness, and all other things will be given you as well."(Matthew 6:33)

  • “And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18: 19)

  • "If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for it." (Luke 11:13)

  • "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they shall always pray and never be discouraged." (Luke 18: 1-8)

  • "And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer you will receive." (Matthew 21: 22)

  • "I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too. (Mark 11:24)

  • "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." (Luke 6:38)

  • "Whatever you ask for in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:13)

  • "If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14)

  • "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it." (John 15: 7)

  • "The Father will give you anything you ask him in my name." (John 16:23)

  • "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so your joy will be complete." (John 16:24)

  • "When that day comes, you will ask in my name; and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you, because the Father himself loves for loving me and believing that I come from God." (John 16: 26-27)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Mary and Pentecost

" With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.(Acts 1: 14)

Mary was over-shadowed by the Holy Spirit at the incarnation of the Son of God. She was present with the Disciples of Christ at Pentecost. With them, she was filled again with the Holy Spirit. With this gift, Mary was led to the fullness of the truth about her Son and his mission.

Leo XIII wrote in his Encyclical, Adiutricem Populi, of September 5, 1895,"With a generous heart Mary undertook and discharged the duties of her high but laborious office, the beginnings of which were consecrated in the Cenacle. With wonderful care she nurtured the first Christians by her holy example, her authoritative counsel, her sweet consolation, her fruitful prayers. She was, in very truth, the Mother of the Church, the teacher and queen of the Apostles, to whom, besides, she confided no small part of the divine mysteries which she kept in her heart."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Gods Plan for My Life

"Yes, I know what plans I have in mind for you, Yahweh declares, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

What will you do if you know for certain that God has a plan for your life? Seek it till you find the plan. God's word tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that God's plan for our welfare is a reality and that the plan is good.

Our welfare is first and foremost our spiritual welfare, that is, the eternal life that Jesus gave His life to bring us. God has a plan on how we are to obtain and enjoy this life. Our welfare also concerns our physical welfare: family, health, job, money, food and all the things we need for our life. God has a plan for each of us concerning these things.

If you are going to build a home, you need good tools for a solid foundation. If you are going to build your future, you need the best tools. God provides for our welfare through His plans. These plans are like excellent tools. We use the tools to find and achieve our purpose in life. Some of these tools are listed below. When we use these tools faithfully, God's plan of peace and prosperity for us will unfold.

  • The Eucharist

  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation

  • Prayer

  • The Word of God

  • Ministry Service

  • Examination of Conscience

  • Spiritual Direction