Saturday, September 14, 2013

Accept your cross, receive your crown

"But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."  (Galatians 6: 14)

Jesus Christ is the Way.  He offers us the way of the cross.  But this way leads ultimately to a crown.  We find Jesus daily in the crosses we are called upon to bear.  When we accept our cross, we embrace Jesus.  When we reject our cross, we reject Jesus.  Jesus embraced His cross and turned what history would have described as one out of many Roman executions into the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Show me my path to life

"You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever."  (Psalm 16: 11)

Path of life, pathway of life is the only Way of life.  Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  The way of life which Jesus Christ reveals to us is the Way of the Cross.  If there is any other superior way of life, Jesus Christ who is supreme Wisdom and Truth would have revealed this to us.

The only way He revealed is the true way, a great paradox.  By dying, we live.  By losing all we have for the sake of Christ, we gain everything.  Humility is up and pride is down.  Poverty of spirit is praised, foolish dependence on wealth is ridiculed.

Everybody's path to life is different.  For some, there is more physical suffering. For others, the suffering will be mental or spiritual.  Although the path to life is different for everybody, the result is the same although in different degrees for everyone:

"Abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Be merciful

Luke 6:31

"And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."

What do you want?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You died with Christ

"Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry."  (Colossians 3: 5)

Wash away my guilt, O Lord!

"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.
Thoroughly wash away my guilt;
and from my sin cleanse me.
For I know my transgressions;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your eyes
So that you are just in your word,
and without reproach in your judgment.
Behold, I was born in guilt,
in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, you desire true sincerity;
and secretly you teach me wisdom.
Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
You will let me hear gladness and joy;
the bones you have crushed will rejoice.
Turn away your face from my sins;
blot out all my iniquities.
A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.
I will teach the wicked your ways,
that sinners may return to you."  (Psalm 51: 3 - 15)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Great Physician healed them all

"Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all."  (Luke 6: 19)

Jesus Christ is in us, our hope for glory.  He is still healing today through His word and the Sacraments particularly the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

"In His sweetness God thinks sweetly of us.  He can think of nothing sweeter or better than that God should be in us in His divinity and humanity as a spiritual food, which nourishes our life and brings to perfection our union with Himself."  (St Albert the Great)

We touch Jesus Christ in His Real Presence in the Eucharist.  Everyone who touches Him is healed.  Where do you need most to be healed today?  This is the exact spot the Great Physician applies His healing.

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him." (Psalm 62:5)

Hope in Jesus does not deceive.

"You give me bread to feed me, soap to cleanse me, fire to purify me, and a chisel to shape my human form into one worthy of heaven.  You give me everything I need. What I seek elsewhere seeks me out and offers itself to me through all creation."  

Monday, September 09, 2013

God's Abundance in the Present Moment

"I intend to live according to my beliefs; and, as your will governs all things at all times and is always for my benefit, I will live on this vast income, which can never fail, is always present and always available to do the greatest possible good."

My Expectation is from Him

Psalm 62:5
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him."

From John Gill's Exposition of the Bible, we are grateful for the commentary below:

Psalms 62:5
"My soul, wait thou only upon God
Be silent and subject to him, acquiesce in his providences, rest in him patiently and quietly, wait for his salvation; (See Gill on Psalms 62:1); perhaps some new temptation might arise, and David's soul began to be uneasy and impatient; for frames are very changeable things; and therefore he encourages it to be still and quiet, and patiently wait on the Lord, and on him only:

for my expectation [is] from him;
or "my hope", as the Targum; the grace of hope is from the Lord, and the thing hoped for is from him; he is the author and the object of it; and his word of promise encourages to the exercise of it; or "my patience"; as the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions. The grace of patience is from the Lord; the means of it is his word; and it is exercised, tried, and increased by afflictions sent and sanctified by him; and "expectation" is nothing else than these graces in exercise, a waiting patiently for things hoped for Old Testament saints expected the first coming of Christ; New Testament saints expect his second coming; and all expect good things from him in time and eternity; nor shall their expectation fail and perish; and therefore is a reason why their souls should wait only on the Lord."

When my foot slips

Psalm 94:17-19

"17 If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
18 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
19 When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul."

Sunday, September 08, 2013

The sweetness of God in the Eucharist

"In His sweetness God thinks sweetly of us.  He can think of nothing sweeter or better than that God should be in us in His divinity and humanity as a spiritual food, which nourishes our life and brings to perfection our union with Himself." 
(St Albert the Great)

How God reigns in us

"It by this continual recognition of the will of God, as displayed and revealed in all things, that God reigns in us, that his will is done on earth as in heaven, and that he nourishes us continually." 
(John-Pierre de Caussade, SJ)

Jesus is the Way

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."( John 14:6)

Jesus is the Way.  His Way is the Way of the cross.  I find the commentary by Deacon Don Schwager below very interesting on this point :

"Jesus knew that the way of the cross was the Father's way to glory and victory over sin and death. He counted the cost and said 'yes' to his Father's will. We, too, must 'count the cost' and be ready to follow Jesus in the way of the cross if we want to share in his glory and victory. What is the 'way of the cross' for you and for me? When my will crosses with God's will, then his will must be done. The way of the cross involves sacrifice, the sacrifice of laying down my life each and every day for Jesus' sake. What makes such sacrifice possible and "sweet" for us is the love of God poured out for us in the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul the Apostle reminds us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5). We can never outgive God. He always gives us more than we can expect or imagine. Do you allow the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with the love of God?"
" Jesus' way to glory and power is opposite the world's way of glory, power, and success. The choice is ours, but the Lord does not leave us alone if we choose to follow him. Does the love of Christ compel you to put God first in all you do (see 2 Corinthians 5)?"

"Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple." —Lk 14:27

Isaiah 55:8-9
"8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Self-renunciation and discipleship of Jesus

"In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."  (Luke 14: 33)

Self-renunciation is a non-negotiable point for discipleship of Jesus Christ
Christ is the Way.  The Way is the way of the cross.  It is the way of suffering, contradiction, disappointment, delay and obstacles. The way of the cross passes through the 7 war zones: Health, Family, Finances, Job, Tools and Future.  Any or all of them can be the call for self-renunciation.

What do we renounce?  We renounce our will.  Our will stands between us and the will of God.  The will of God is supreme.  It is also our supreme good and our peace.  Our will is in perpetual contest with the will of God.  The will of God is revealed to us every moment of our life.  The providence of God is here and now.  It is in this step, this event and this moment.

The contest between our will and the will of God is a struggle between truth and falsehood.  The Truth is Jesus Christ Himself.  Satan is the Father of lies. Why does our will tend to gravitate naturally towards falsehood and evil?  Even after we become members of the family of God through Baptism, we still struggle all our life against the forces of concupiscence.

To defeat the forces of concupiscence, we just practice self-denial everyday, says the Lord.  We are challenged to take up our cross everyday and follow Jesus.  Blessed John Henry Newman teaches that self-denial must be daily.  He confirms the long experience of Christian tradition.  Taking up our cross everyday to follow Jesus is not so surprising when we remember that we are commanded to pray:  "Give us this day our daily bread."  What is critical to life must be done daily, always and everywhere.  Self-renunciation is not an exception.

Where am I called to renounce my will and take of my cross today and follow Jesus?  When I accept God's disposal of events for me which is His providence always and everywhere, I embrace the will of God and not my will.  Rejection of the cross is rejection of Jesus.  Acceptance of our cross comes with unbelievable joy and peace.