Saturday, December 01, 2007

Second Chance

"The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second time. 'Up' he said, 'Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to it as I shall tell you.' Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to Yahweh." (Jonah 3: 1-3)

The word of Yahweh is addressed to the prophet a second time. To which 'city' is the Lord sending me? What message does he want me to preach?

Father, I will go wherever you send me. I will say exactly what you want me to say. Jonah obeyed the Lord and delivered the message of the Lord. The result was a rich harvest.

"And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sack cloth, from the greatest to the least." (Jonah 3: 5)

I observe here a principle of apostolic productivity: Cast the net where Jesus asks you to do so.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Faith comes from hearing

"Lord, look upon us and hear our prayer. By the good works you inspire, help us to discipline our bodies and to be renewed in spirit…" (Eucharistic Prayer in Lent)

Lent is a time of grace; a favorable time to ask and receive God's favors. When we listen attentively to God's word during Lent, we may be inspired on the good works to undertake during Lent. Just as faith comes through hearing (Romans 10: 17) so too does God's inspiration. When we act on our faith, we are blessed. We pray during Lent that God will help us to act on the inspirations he gives us.

During the Lent of 1988, I got the inspiration to abstain from tobacco for Ash Wednesday. I did and then I got the inspiration to abstain from tobacco for the period of Lent. I acted on this inspiration and was completely freed from the curse of tobacco. In the Lent of 1999, I was inspired to discipline my body through self-control with regard to food.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Desert Journey

"Remember your mercies, Lord; your tenderness from ages past. Do not let our enemies triumph over us." (Psalm 25: 6, 3, 22)

Early in 1999, I confided to my journal the reflection below on the scripture above.

"Remembering God's mercies and tenderness from ages past is a bulwark against the inevitable struggles in our desert journey. Today, when I install my Epson 440 Printer, the first file I will print is Voyage So Far. This is a document celebrating God's mercies and tenderness to me dating from SJC63.

The enemies continue to wage pitiless war against us on all fronts. Father, may your mercies and tenderness protect me from every assault of the evil one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Purpose, Personality and Position

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own perception. In everything you do acknowledge him and he will direct your path." (Proverbs 3:5)

God knows the best. He has seen the whole pattern of the weaving with regard to my life's purpose. He is making a strategic match between my:

  • Purpose
  • Personality
  • Position (environment)

I trust God to arrange the best.

My purpose and personality are constant. My position is constantly changing. What I need above all is to have a firm faith in God's plan for my life. I like the way Isaiah talked about faith in Isaiah 7:9:

"If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all." (NRSV)

"Have firm faith or you shall fail to stand firm." (Revised English Bible)

"Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm!" (New American Bible)

"If you will not take your stand on me, you will not stand firm." (New Jerusalem Bible)

"You do not believe me? If you want me to protect you, learn to believe what I say." (New Living Translation)


Four of the above translations talk about the quality of faith in terms of firmness. I looked up "firm' in Merriam Webster Dictionary and found the following:

1 a
: securely or solidly fixed in place  b
: not weak or uncertain : vigorous  c
: having a solid or compact structure that resists stress or pressure
2 a(1) : not subject to change or revision (2) : not subject to price weakness : steady  b
: not easily moved or disturbed : steadfast  c
: well-founded

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Restraining our earthly desires

"Lord, may we who receive this sacrament restrain our earthly desires and grow in love for the things of heaven…." Opening Prayer in Mass in Lent.

The Eucharist helps us to restrain our earthly desires:

  • Food
  • Drink
  • Human affections

As we decrease in materiality, we increase in spirituality.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Doubts

"My God of justice, you answer my cry; you come to my help when I am in trouble. Take pity on me, Lord, and hear my prayer." (Psalm 4:2)

This is our faith: God is our Father. He is an utterly just God. He is the guardian of my rights. He comes to my help when I am in trouble. Mother M. Angelica says: "Doubts increase our Faith when we act according to our beliefs rather than our reasoning."

I will act as if God is with me in every step and every moment of this day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christ the King

"The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, 'He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God.' Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, 'If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.' Above him there was an inscription that read, 'This is the King of the Jews.' Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, 'Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." (Luke 23: 35 – 39)

The above scripture is taken from the Gospel on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 25, 2007. I watched the Mass of the Rings in St. Peter's Square in Rome carried by the EWTN. At this Mass, Pope Benedict gave rings to the new cardinals created in the Consistory of yesterday, November 24. Commenting on the above scripture he said that the enemies of Christ challenged him to come down from the cross in order to prove that he is the Messiah. But instead, Christ showed his regal power by choosing to remain on the cross.

The saints show the power of God by accepting suffering and death. Pope John Paul II showed the power of God through his patience during his long illness. Mother Theresa showed the power of God through her life of poverty and complete dedication to the service of the poor and the sick.