Saturday, October 29, 2005

Found in the Temple

"My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you."(Luke 2: 48).NJB

Jesus had remained behind in Jerusalem to listen to the teachers of the Law. The incidence teaches us a number of lessons about Mary and Jesus. Mary was not omniscient. She did not know that Jesus was in the temple. Mary also felt acutely the pain of a mother who had lost a son. We admire Mary's patience and perseverance. Jesus already shows a singleness of purpose with regard to His mission even at the age of twelve.

The Documents of Vatican II, Lumen Gentium comments: "When the Child Jesus was lost and they had sought Him sorrowing, His parents found Him in the temple, taken up with the things which were His Father's business. They did not understand the reply of the Son. But His Mother, to be sure, kept all these things to be pondered over in her heart (cf. Lk2: 41-51).

Friday, October 28, 2005


"Furthermore, my child, you must realize that writing books involves endless hard work, and that much study wearies the body.”
(Ecclesiastes 12: 12)NJB

The desire to write is one of my earliest ambitions. I started the habit of keeping journals towards in the end of my high school and discontinued this habit when I left college. . During my desert experience, I went back to serious journal keeping. There was no particular method to my journal keeping. I tried to jot down something everyday.

What are the contents of my journal? Reflections on scripture passages; insights from my desert experience; events that I consider significant during the course of the day. When I have nothing to write, I write down the mundane activities of the day. One habit I would like to form is to review my journals on a systematic basis. Whenever I did this, I have derived some pleasure and sometimes insights from it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spiritual Direction

"How could I, unless I have someone to guide me? (Acts 8:31)

Do we need a human guide in our journey of faith? If the Holy Spirit leads and guides us, why should we need a spiritual director?

Books on Spiritual Direction

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Top 10 Spiritual Books

"Dear Theophilus:
In my first book, I wrote about all the things that Jesus did and taught from the time he began his work until the day he was taken up to heaven. (Acts 1:1-2)

God in His wisdom decided to put His words in a book. Throughout the centuries, God's book, the Bible has given birth to other scriptures or biblettes. Holy men and women who had fed and digested God's word had shared their personal reflections on this word with their fellow men. Some of these works have become classics. Below are 10 books in my reading list. O that I would be able to read all before I leave this earth!

1. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
2. Mary of Nazareth by F. Suarez
3. Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis
4. Francis De Sales : Introduction to the Devout Life
5. Confessions of St. Augustine
6. St Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul
7. Blessed Josemaria Escriva: The Way
8. St Louis de Monfort: The Secret of the Rosary
9. St. Teresa of Avila: Interior Castle
10. St. John of the Cross: Dark Night of the Soul

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

We all labor and are heavily burdened with problems of money, health, family, job, cars, etc. Jesus knows us individually and is aware of our situation. He invites us to come to Him to find solution to our many problems. We come to Jesus in the Eucharist. We meet Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. When the Church gathers in prayer in His name, He is there. When we accept the word of God with faith, it changes our lives and our circumstances.

Prayer for geniune contentment
"My God, in your creation of this world you made all things to be very good. I thank you, Lord, for all the goods of this world, and especially all those who have provided for me and my loved ones.
But remind me, Lord, that only you are the true Good, and that all earthly goods are but shadows of you. And should I become very attached to any fleeting good, and let it obstruct my love for you, grant me the holy desire to have it taken from me. Through Christ Our Lord, the King of glory who has no pillow to lay his head. Amen."

Listen to Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness.
"Set your mind on God's kingdom and His justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own."
(Matthew 6: 33-34)

Monday, October 24, 2005


"I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

St Jerome wrote: "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

I have listed below ten out of hundreds of scriptures that have provided me with healing truths. As St Paul tells Timothy: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed" (2 Timothy 4: 16-17). These scriptures have helped me to gain victory in life's big battles.

1. "Do not be afraid! Stand firm, and you will see what Yahweh will do to rescue you today: The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. Yahweh will do the fighting for you; all you need to do is to keep calm." (Exodus 14: 13-14)

2. "Have the book of this Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may carefully keep everything that is written on it. Then your undertakings will prosper, then you will have success. Have I not told you: Be strong and stand firm? be fearless and undaunted, for go where you may, Yahweh your God is with you." (Joshua 1: 8-9)

3. "Be strong, stand firm, have no fear, do not be afraid of them, for Yahweh your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you." (Deut 31:6)

4. "Trust wholeheartedly in Yahweh, put no faith in your own perception; acknowledge him in every course you take, and he will see that your paths are smooth.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

5. "Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing. In grassy meadows he lets me lie. By tranquil streams he leads me to restore my spirit. He guides me in paths of saving justice as befits his name. " (Ps 23: 1-2)

6. "Bless Yahweh my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name; bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases, he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness; he contents you with good things all your life, renews your youth like an eagle's." (Ps 103: 1-5)

7. "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." (Jeremaiah 29:11)

8. "Then Yahweh answered me and said, 'Write the vision down, inscribe it on tablets to be easily read. For the vision is for its appointed time, it hastens towards its end, and it will not lie; although it may take some time, wait for it, for come it certainly will before too long. You see, anyone whose heart is not upright will succumb, but the upright will live through faithfulness." (Habakkuk 2: 2-4)

9. "Set your mind on God's kingdom and his justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own." (Matthew 6: 33-34)

10. "If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them. Take care not to find yourselves fighting against God." (Acts 5: 38-39)

Commentaries on the Bible
Bible Concordances
Thesaurus of the Bible

Sunday, October 23, 2005

They Did Not Cling to Life

“They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word to which they bore witness, because even in the face of death they did not cling to life.(Revelation 12: 11)NJB

Is there a link between sin, suffering and salvation? Sin brings suffering and deprives us of the abundance and affluent life that God had planned for us. Our sufferings if accepted can be redemptive and lead us to God. There is a mysterious link between sin, suffering and salvation.

The psalmist acknowledges: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. I know, O Lord, that your ordinances are just, and in your faithfulness you have afflicted me. (Psalm 119: 71, 75)

Understanding the meaning of the cross opens our minds to understanding the mysteries of the kingdom, whose power cannot be perceived by those attuned to the wisdom and power of the world. Michael Ramsey in his book 'THE HOLY SPIRIT' said: "But those who, humble and made wise by the cross, belong to the new order, have gifts of wisdom and knowledge. As the precondition of entrance into this new order is the cross of Christ, so its outcome is to share in the 'mind of Christ.'

Deepak Chopra wrote in his book, "CREATING AFFLUENCE": "Affluence is the experience in which our needs are easily met and our desires spontaneously fulfilled. We feel joy, health, happiness, and vitality in every moment of our existence."

What does Christ say about affluence? Jesus made a contrast between genuine riches and material wealth that can rust and be stolen by thieves.

Books on Sin, Suffering and Salvation