Thursday, January 21, 2016

So much for being of good cheer

For some reason today on my way to work while ofdaying the rosary and reflecting on one of the mysteries I had challenged myself to be patient and keep a smile to any coworker for what ever reason today at my job.  Not sure why I thought I could do it of all days but looking back it must be after having a good workout in the gym and being relaxed after spending some time in the spa.

Maybe I figured with some materialistically concept I could improve spiritually.  We are of course called to be charitable and patience with other's.  Its one of the cardinal virtues, which is the virtue of Fortitude which is noted on the CC 1808:70
' In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.'

Also as noted a virtue is to do good and more specifically the theological virtue directly ties what I was trying to do today. CC 1822
'Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.'

Well it turned out that I was totally reversed in my behaviours of being charitable of my coworkers or neighbor and of being "good cheer". In fact I was rude for most part, simply I let my pride take over especially in a embarrassing argument of me complaining doing reduntant work on an issue which was resolved without my knowledge.  I had completely missed that window of oppurtuniuty to be heroic.

What happened, well looking back, I didn't do much praying as I should and was more dependent on taking the challenge as doing something I could conquer for myself instead of just simply looking to improve my relationship with God through my neighbor.  However I hope through this reflection I can just try again knowing God is for sure patient and charitable with me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Are we sleeping in our faith , are we alert to Gods presence

Today's reading is about Samuel sleeping and hearing God call to him. (1 SM 3:1-10).

How often we sleep with our actions or behaviours toward God in our relationship to him.  Are we too tired to listen or pray to God?   Instead of responding to God's will or going to him with our concerns, are we like Samuel and going to other people for consolation or affirmation; or worst yet going to materialistic vices such as being totally junked up with social networking, or leaning to media for relief or distraction from our problems?  We know God is there for us in the Eucharist or present via adoration or in a chapel where he is in a tabernacle its here where we can say like Samuel when he realized God was reaching out to him; "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening".

Do we go to him for our needs like the apostles did in Mk 1:29.  It makes me chuckle a little bit that Peter would ask Jesus to cure his mother-in-law, one could only imagine that Peter was respecting his wife or he had a really god relationship with her, but the point is he wasn't afraid to ask the Lord for help, it's during these moments that Peter and rest of the apostles that they are fully awake of the Lords relationship with them.

However what happens during the Garden of Gethsemane, the apostles fall a sleep (Mat 26:40)  It's here the apostles decide their comfort is more important than our Lord, Jesus even points out that they would lead to temptations and qoutes "The spirit is willing , but the flesh is weak", and so we know from here because Peter is a asleep and not attentive, that he does everything wrong such as slashing the guards ear to denying Jesus in a matter of hours.

So let us reflect on how important we shouldn't be sleeping in our faith by lack of prayer, good works, doing our daily tasks well, going to mass , etc. Let's not only depend of the comforts of the world. Otherwise just like Peter in a short time we can sin and loose that relationship with God, but also knowing we can make that only temporary because God loves us and is willing to take us back no matter what.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How can we really love as Christians

How do we as Christians be truly Christians or even Legionaries. We do the following:

We must love God with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole mind; and our neighbour as ourself (Mt 22:37-39),

However as the Legion handbook notes:

It has fallen on many ears that are determined to be deaf. It would be evidence of this gravely incorrect point of view to regard the legionary standards as a sort of sanctity, intended for chosen souls only. For these standards are only elementary Christian ones. It is not easy to see how one can descend much below them and at the same time claim to be rendering to our neighbour the active love which is enjoined by the Great Precept, and which is part of the very love of God; so much so, that if it be omitted, the Christian idea is mutilated. “We must be saved together. We must come to God together. What would God say to us if some of us came to Him without the others?” (Péguy)
That love must lavish itself on our fellow-men without distinction, individually and corporately, not as a mere emotion but in the form of duty, service, self-sacrifice. The legionary must be an attractive embodiment of this true  pd201

In summary we must rely on each other, but to do that we need to first love God, then we can love one another.

Today's scripture readings is about love, and what love should be; that we should learn how to love one another and love God.  Its was St. John calls perfect love.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.  In this is love brought to perfection among us,
that we have confidence on the day of judgement
because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
1 jn 4:17-18
So love is contrasted with fear (1 Jn 4:18), and the antidote to fear is prayer. Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that love increases through a relationship with God. Prayer is a conversation with God, with us doing most of the listening and God doing most of the speaking.
What do we fear of? In this case going to hell out of punishment of not obeying God's commands most likely, at least that is my fear sometimes.  St. John point’s out that we can't focus on fear which then will limit us to just doing things to avoid punishment and then just get by with the minimum. For example, it's like going to school and getting C's and D's just so we can graduate, but if we really care about furthering ourselves for the future and please our parents, then we go for better grades.  Similar is with our relationship with God. 
However, there has to be some fear in order to start loving, just like a child fears there parents out of respect of not doing everything it pleases to avoid punishment.  
Example: Like a child eating all the cookies from the cookie jar knowing that it was told by the parents to not eat cookies without permission otherwise there will punishment; and so the child respects the parents and later on it learns to love by sacrificing itself to not give in on eating the cookies from the jar even knowing it could get away with it.  
There can't be this love where we have no fear of offending others and just think about our needs only and not be considerate to those around close to us, in other words taking advantage of the situation and loving to gratify yourself knowing that person will stand for your "so called" weaknesses" and not hold yourself accountable. 
In so many ways this would be all of us with God. We sin but know he will always love us, and will forgive us no matter what, which is true. However, what if we don't have that moment to ask for forgiveness, the time passes, what then. Well we are not with God no more.

“Take away from love the fullness of self surrender, the completeness of personal commitment, and what remains will be a total denial and negation of it.” 
“Love consists of a commitment which limits one's freedom - it is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one's freedom on behalf of another.”
John Paul II, Love and Responsibility

Friday, January 1, 2016

The year of fear or not

Is this now the year of fear - 2016? Or have we left it behind - 2015

Today is the first day of 2016.  We leave a year with so many incidents of killings from terrorists, war , plane accidents; Paris shootings (twice), San Bernardino, Russian and Malaysia planes shot-down through terrorist bomb or missile from war, the list goes on.

We live in fear of someone coming in any time and shoot us, we live in doubt through our economy because the amount of debt we have accrued.

We live in fear of loosing some through suicide because of social media and online bullying

We live in fear of loosing now the sacrament of marriage or what the institution of marriage is which helps protect the core families we did have; but now put our social society in doubt now through civilly allowing homosexual marriages.  It's only matter of time the church will be pressured to marry or recognize these false unions.

We live in fear of now how are politicians take advantage of all what has been mentioned above and string us  like guitar strings and causing smoke screens, but not realizing the real needs we need from our government leaders; which is simply to be like St. Thomas Moore, serve the people justly.

I can't imagine if I was a person with no faith what we be going through my mind reflecting these fears, but since I'm a follower of Christ, I recall what he has said:

Mathew 6:25

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?o 27Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?* 28Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. 29But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. 30* If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ 32All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides. 34Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."

An then also from John

"Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever."

We must redirect our selves past the physical nature of ourselves; like loosing our body or spouse and children bodies, our homes, our cars, belongings, money, etc.

We can't be fixated on these things, we can do what we can to take care of our bodies and well being of those near us, protect ourselves, increase our security for the future of our family needs.  We can't however depend soley on them, we must look to better protect our souls first and those around us who we care about; we do this by example by being charitable, pray, patience and loving.   If we are able to accomplish this , then all the fears above wouldn't then overtake us and would be secondary.

In short, we need to trust God's will and be present in the day, we will have plenty of times we will fail, but plenty of times to restart.  Only can we do this by constant prayer and serving those around us.  So this is no ordinary New Years resolution; we were attempt to do it and give up and forget about it, but this is a resolution we need to make every day.