Friday, August 09, 2013

Planted by Water

Jeremiah 17:7-8
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The Way of the Cross

Matthew 16:24-25
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

"Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and all my will, all that I have and possess. You have given them to me; to you, O Lord, I restore them; all things are yours, dispose of them according to your will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is enough for me." (Prayer of Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556)

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Built on solid rock

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."  (Matthew 16: 18)

Matthew 16: 18 is the words of Jesus Christ.  It is also a prophecy.  It is one of the prophecies in the Gospels that proves the Gospel's authenticity.  Put briefly, Jesus Christ says that the Church can never fail come what may!  The question is:  Has the Church failed?  The answer is obvious.  St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is built over the tomb of St. Peter, the Apostle who was addressed in Matthew 16:18.  Pope Francis, the present Bishop of Rome is a successor of St. Peter in a long line of unbroken succession that numbers about 265 popes since St. Peter.

In the 2000 years history of the Church, the Church had faced many near death experiences.  For over 250 years, the Church lived through a period of relentless persecution by the Roman empire.  The Roman empire became defunct and extinct just like other empires in the West and in the East.

The devil, the arch enemy of the Church attacks the Church not only from the outside but also from the inside with schisms, scandals, heresies, fratricidal wars, etc.  The Church is still standing.  Many governments had risen and fallen and forgotten by history.  What makes the Church different?  The Church has no army, no police force, no large mineral resources or gold mines. The Church has faced dire financial crisis.  But the Church is standing.

The reason why the Church is still standing inspite very severe crisis in its history is the promise of Jesus:
"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."  (Matthew 16: 18)

No army, no financial crisis, no scandal, no apostasy can nullify the promise.  It is a promise built on solid and immovable rock and that rock is Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time.
Enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him forever.
(Reinhold Niebuhr)

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Listen! Understand! Act!

Luke 9:35
“This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”

Psalm 95:7, 8
'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."

John 2:5
" His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you”

Monday, August 05, 2013

How God provides His man

"He said in reply, “It is written:
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God."  (Matthew 4: 4)

How does God support His man?
Not by bread alone.  Since God is not only God but Father, He is first and foremost a provider.  Unlike the human father, He has no limitations as to how, what, where and when of His provision.  He created the human person and therefore knows what he needs.

Man also does not live by money alone.  Money is only a means of exchange.  God can choose to provide directly what we need and bypass money altogether.  God's perennial and pervasive ability to provide whatever we need, when we need, the amount we need and where we need can only be poorly compared to a universal and unlimited credit card.  The main point of difference is that while the plastic card is an inanimate unthinking thing, God is pure thought Himself.  He knows exactly what we need, how much, when and where we need it.  And He is always able to satisfy all our needs big or small.  Read below how He taught this lesson:

"What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"  (Luke 11: 11 - 13)

God is not a wicked Father.  He knows what we need and would never give us a snake for a fish or a scorpion for an egg.

When He instructs us to pray, "Give us each day our daily bread" (Luke 11: 3), He is teaching us two lessons:  First, Prayer is the efficient cause of answer and secondly, He wants us to trust completely in Him for our provision.  One day at a time.  Because this is the most efficient means of supply and living.  If you do not wake up the next morning, you need a coffin and not bread.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Is all truly vanity?

"Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!"  (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

" Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices."
(St Teresa of Avila)

What is happiness?

I like the answer below from the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1723:

1723 The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement - however beneficial it may be - such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:
All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . . that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world - it may be called "newspaper fame" - has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration.
Do you measure happiness by wealth?

Vanity of vanities

Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

" Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices."
(St Teresa of Avila)