Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Proven Help

“God is both refuge and strength for us, a help always ready in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

Can I apply my faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament to the above scripture? That is to believe that in every trouble, delay, disappointment and obstacle that God is a truly present and ready to help. This belief empowers and transforms the situation completely.

Once upon a time, I went to bed at night for the usual night rest. At the middle of the night, a thief broke into my home. I saw him from the bedroom window upstairs walking to my front door. In spite of my knowing the Jesus prayer, that is, simply repeating the name of Jesus, I did not think of God as a present help in time of trouble. What did I do? I started shouting for human help and I was disappointed. I forgot completely that “God is both refuge and strength for us, a help always ready in trouble.” Several hours after the crisis, I remembered the correct thing to do.: to ask God who is a proven source of help before I shout for human help.

Lord, grant me the grace never to forget this lesson. Help me in crisis to seek your help first of all and then to do whatever you tell me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I waited; I waited

I waited; I waited.

“I waited, I waited for Yahweh, then he stooped to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)

In 1996, I confided the following reflection in my journal.

“Today, I am waiting for Yahweh to intervene in my circumstances, that is, to help me to get something doing. Something that will be of service to him; something that will give him glory. I see volunteer service as a good start but I am not sure that MAS is a good place for me. I called CRA and obtained an appointment for interview for volunteer work.

In a chat with Isaiah at the library yesterday, he said that all that I need in my situation is patience. He repeated the same idea many times. I saw his words to me as an inspiration.

This morning, Psalm 40, my scripture par excellence confirmed my need for patience. Psalm 40:1 indicates that at times, it may be necessary to wait for a longtime for Yahweh’s intervention. “I waited, I waited for Yahweh.” The good news is that one day he will stoop down to me and answer my prayer. I look at all the answered prayers in my life in the past two years and my heart is filled with joy and hope. I achieved a major breakthrough in the Enterprise in October. With this marvelous act, God “put a fresh song in my mouth.” (Psalm 40: 3) Those who knew of what God did for me were “awestruck at the sight and will put their trust in Yahweh.” It is wonderful. I am resolved with the help of God’s grace to keep steadfast in my winning way, that is, “put my trust in Yahweh.” (Psalm 40: 4)

O Lord my God, may my delight be to do your will. Amen. (Psalm 40:4; Psalm 119:57)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Vision

The Vision

“Write down the vision

Clearly upon the tablets,

So that one can read it readily.

For the vision still has its time,

Presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;

If it delays, wait for it,

It will surely come, it will not be late.”

(Habakkuk 2: 2 – 3)

Where does risk-taking begin? You take the first risk when you accept a vision in your life. The road that leads to the fulfillment of a vision could be as long as that from Egypt to the Promised Land. Without faith, the attainment of the promised land of our vision is almost impossible.

What is my vision today? I borrow the words of St. Ignatius Loyola to express my vision:

To know the heart of Christ intimately

To love him passionately

To follow him everywhere.

It occurs to me at this moment that if I am to follow Christ everywhere, I must be light and free from baggage.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Correction and Discipline

Correction and Discipline

“Yahweh, do not correct me in anger, do not discipline me in wrath.” (Psalm 38: 1)

During my Desert Experience, Yahweh corrected, disciplined and pruned me. But praise my Eternal Father, I was not corrected in anger or disciplined in his wrath. A full three years before the beginning of the Desert Experience, I had returned to Yahweh. Some months before the start of the Experience, I had read and signed this covenant:

“Yahweh your God commands you today to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.

‘Today you have obtained this declaration from Yahweh: that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his customs and listen to his voice.” (Deuteronomy 26: 16 – 17)

The above declaration was signed on 10/30/94. When I started experiencing the discipline of Yahweh that I call the Desert Experience in 1995, I knew Yahweh was doing it out of love.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What are my heart's desires?

What do you desire?

“Put your trust in Yahweh and do right; make your home in the land and live secure. Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart’s desires.” (Psalm 37: 3 – 4)

If I make Yahweh my joy, he gives me my heart’s desires. How do I make Yahweh my joy? I remember Matthew 6: 33 which says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” I make Yahweh my joy by desiring what Yahweh desires, that is, the establishment of his kingdom. Yahweh is my joy if I know his mind and do what he requires of me today.

To make Yahweh my joy is to make his will my food. Psalm 37 promises that if I do this, Yahweh will grant my heart’s desires

· To know the mind of Christ

· To love Jesus with all my heart

· To serve him with all my time, talent and treasure.

· To enjoy his peace, provision and protection

“Put your trust in Yahweh and do right; make your home in the land and live secure. Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart’s desires.” (Psalm 37: 3 – 4)

“Commit your destiny to Yahweh, be confident in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37: 5)

“Stay quiet before Yahweh, wait longingly for him.” (Psalm 37: 7)

“The lives of the just are in Yahweh’s care, their birthright will endure forever.” (Ps 37: 18)

“Now I am old, but ever since my youth I never saw an upright person abandoned, or the descendants of the upright forced to beg their bread.” (Psalm 37: 25)

“Put your hope in Yahweh, keep to his path, he will raise you up to make the land your own.” (Psalm 37: 34)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Taking Risk

Taking Risk

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6: 33)

Jesus promises us fulfillment if we take the risk to put the kingdom of God first in our life. Isn’t it true that our lives improve only when we take chances? Learning to take risks is learning to operate from higher grounds.

We find security, peace and prosperity in proportion to the risk we take. And the best risk is to seek first the kingdom of God and his justice.