Sunday, July 29, 2007
If only Abraham had dared to 'reduce' the number a little more!!! If he had climbed the mountain of humility a little more...
This is an interesting reflexion on today's readings from mycatholic.com:
One Bread, One Body - Reflection for July 29, 2007
"Lord, teach us to pray." –Luke 11:1
When the Lord visited Abraham, He stayed behind to give Abraham an opportunity to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah (Gn 18:22). Abraham quit just before His prayers would have saved the cities from destruction. Like Abraham, we have not persevered in prayer for cities, world leaders (1 Tm 2:1-2), and international affairs. God has looked in vain for someone to stand in the breach (Ez 22:30). Consequently, many cities and countries have been destroyed, not by God but from within.
Have we lost our faith in praying for world events? We need to pray in the power of the Spirit, not in our own limited strength. Jesus told us prayer moves mountains (Mt 17:20) and expels demons (Mt 17:21, NAB), but how many Christians really believe this and make intercession for world events a priority? We have lost confidence in prayer.
In the past century, Satan had gotten away with world wars, massive deaths through bombings, and two holocausts (the Third Reich and abortion). However, we have hope. Mary tried to rally the intercessors at Fatima. She prophesied that we would see the conversion of Russia, if we would intercede in faith. Also, we saw a tremendous prayer-victory in the nonviolent revolution in the Philippines. This is just the beginning if we can climb again, by faith, prayer-mountain.
Father, teach me to pray like Your child should.
"He canceled the bond that stood against us with all its claims, snatching it up and nailing it to the cross." –Col 2:14
Praise You, risen Jesus! You prayed for peace and for Your cowering disciples, and they went forth and changed the world. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Growing in charity is also a matter of knowing how to make a difference between what is right and what is wrong with certainty. And also how to power ourselves up for the good action. Both of these are accomplished by abandonment of ourselves to the will of God. But how do we know the will of God? This book go throught it all. Below are few quotes. I like how it sound schoenstatt. Those quotes themselves explains something of the schoenstatt picture of grace of the MTA.
On then, my soul, on with head uplifted above earthly things, always satisfied
with God, with everything He does, or makes you do. Take good care not to
imprudently entertain a crowd of anxious reflexions which, like so many
trackless ways, carry our footsteps far and wide until we are hopelessly astray.
Let us go through that labyrinth of self-love by leaping over it, instead of
traversing its interminable windings.
On, my soul, through despondency, illness,
aridity, uncertain tempers, weakness of disposition, snares of the devil and of
men; through suspicions, jealousies, evil imaginations and prejudices. Let us
soar like the eagle above all these clouds with eyes always fixed on the sun,
and on its ways, which represent our obligations. All this we must needs feel,
but we must, at the same time, remember that ours is not a life of mere
sentiment, and that it does not depend upon us either to feel, or to be callous.
Let us live in the higher regions of the soul in which God and His will form
an eternity ever equal, ever the same, ever unchanging. In this dwelling
entirely spiritual, wherein the uncreated, immeasurable and ineffable holds the
soul at an infinite distance from all that is specific in shadows and created
atoms, it remains calm, even when the senses are tossed about by tempests. It
has become independent of the senses; their troubles and agitations and
innumerable vicissitudes no more affect it, than the clouds that obscure the sky
for a moment and then fade away, affect the sun.
Abortion is one of the things that some people even some churches are still confused about their evilnes. Fr. Corapi likes to say that the Devil's favorite color is not black as we usually think: It is gray!
The Devil confuses people. In all kinds of moral situation people don't know exactly if something is bad. If they feel that it arranges them, then they conclude that it must be okay since...this and that...even God can undestand this particular situation...etc.
The good thing about being Catholic is that our Church is not one of those ones who are confused about 'gray' issues. Dispite the largeness, or how many traditions, spiritualities, etc, the entire universal Church knows exactly what it wrong what is right in matters of morals and faiths. Jesus is with us. And He would never fail to answer you question cleary and to find a solution for it.
If you are confused about any matter you can be sure to get an answer. Here in the internet Catholic Answers' people can clear any doubt you may have.
On this blog, Theology of the Body, and Gospel of Life are themselves great moral resources left to us by our beloved pope John Paul II. They propose a deep and genuine undestanding of life, love, and truth based on the Bible, Reason and Faith .
An other kind of 'grey' area we often experience is about understandig the will of God at any moment of our lives. At work, and real life I always get confused on how to testify for truth without sounding judgemental, or feeling prideful.
There is a schoenstatt song we used to sing in Africa. It said:
" If Mother send you to (complete here with any charitable deed you can do for your neighbor)
Will you go right away?
Ans: Yes, I will go, of course I will go right away...
Now, some case are very easy. However, others are just 'grey'. You can feel her sending you, but you just can't figure out which way to proceed. Or, you are not well disposed to act. In either case, if something goes wrong later, you can really fell hurt. Mother sent you to her child and you failed her. You can fell the sadness. If this happened to you, this is one of the things you can do (you probably know others :)).
But it is bette to find avoid it from happening in the first place. We are told that we need to arm ourselves because the devil is always 'closer than we think'. The commandement of the King is to love. But love can be sometime very confusing. It is amazing how some acts that we may think are out of love may be precisely the opposite. From keeping silence out of 'respect' to a mother aborting her child because she is not ready (so it is good for both of them), all kind of acts and decisions may seem to be out of love. So how do we tell real love? How do we tell the reel will of God? and How do we find enough strength to do it?
In my previous post I provided links about "crashing the head of the Old Dragon". Remember that this dragon is mostly preocupied by our Mother and us who try to keep the commendements. Well, we are the strategic 'points'. We should always remember that we are in dangereous positions of the front. We are not in the occupied area, nor on the unoccupied area. We are on the frontline. Fr. Corapi has a great series on his web site about this spiritual warfare: Surrender is Not an Option. I think it is probably still running on EWTN (saturday and sundays).
Again this is the wonderfull document about Divine Providence. Read it and don't loose your blessings or miss to deliver God's blessings to others.
We are once in a while if not always under siege by those vices. Friday is a best day to go about crashing them. Here they are and their remedies from 'The Sinner's Guide.
Remedies against Pride
SECTION I - General Remedies
SECTION II - Particular Remedies
Remedies against Covetousness
SECTION I - Against Covetousness in General
SECTION II - Against the unjust Detention of Another's Goods
Remedies against Lust
Remedies against Envy
Remedies against Gluttony
Remedies against Anger and Hatred
Remedies against Sloth
Other Sins to be avoided
Shorter Remedies against Sins, particularly the Seven Deadly Sins
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The french words translate: " You are a temple of life" His Holyness Pope Benedict XVI
Last night I had a very short but sweet dream where I got an unexpected wonderful smile. I wonder if it was because of this picture. I saw it yesterday and I had liked it very much.
Parce que l'Amour t'aime tu deviens amour
- Because Love loves you, you become love
Parce que l'Amour m'aime je deviens amour
- Because Love loves me, I become love
VATICAN CITY, JULY 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).
- Benedict XVI will meet with Boy and Girl Scouts and their guides in a celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the Scouts' founding.The Pope will meet the Scouts on Aug. 1, during the general audience.
More than 60,000 members of the International Union of the Guides and Scouts of Europe will attend the meeting with the Holy Father.
The Pontiff recently sent the Scouts a letter addressed to Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux and president of the French bishops' conference.
"For one century, through play, action, adventure, contact with nature, life as a team and in service to others, you offer an integral formation to anyone who joins the Scouts," said the Holy Father in his letter written in French.
Rosario Barone, general commissary of the Italian Association of Guides and Scouts of Europe, told Vatican Radio that the meeting will be "a moment to express our affectionate closeness to the Pope."
Aug. 1 marks the centenary of the first Scout camp, held on the island of Brownsea, in England, and organized by Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941), founder of the Scout Movement.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Today I rediscovered a french show I used to watch when I came to Canada. This show helped me to keep my faith for sometime. And then I started College, very busy, I started forgetting about it until I lost appetite for it. I think at one point I became as busy as Martha. My view of serving God had changed. Mary's way is the contemplative way: prayer, meditation, and then work. But we can guess that Martha's way was the opposite. That's what happen when we neglet prayer. We become weak, in fact the 'contemplative' way become unattractive. Instead we think that there are things to get done first and then we will go to the Lord. But those things keeps increasing until we feel that we don't have time for prayer anymore. Actually all that time is feeled with our own worldly things that we excuse and tell ourselves that they are part of God's plan... But the fact is, when prayer is lost we loose strength in all spiritual things. We may even loose spiritual life at the end.
I was reading the first chapters of the "Dark Night" and I was surprised on how they relate to the Interior Castle, this story of Marth and Mary, and today gospel of prophet Jonah. Those chapters describe what happen when a soul is about to enter the dark night of a soul. It seems that a soul like Martha who really love the Lord can be mistaken in certain ways to a point when it realises that it has lost Him. But because it loves Him, it will not get lost. It will eventually find the way back and this time it will be more "purified of its imperfections" as St. John of the Cross explains.
The three nights in the big fish for Jonah can be considered a dark night. He got afraid of testifying, and the three nights made him stronger enough to do his job. They striped him not of the fear but of the reasons of his fear. His imperfections were removed. But we can undestand that this would not have happen if he had prayed enought to be above his fears. In one of the previous post I mentioned how St. Francis de Sales explains the necessity of prayer.
1. Prayer opens the understanding to the brightness of Divine Light, and the will to the warmth of Heavenly Love--nothing can so effectually purify the mind from its many ignorances, or the will from its perverse affections. It is as a healing water which causes the roots of our good desires to send forth fresh shoots, which washes away the soul's imperfections, and allays the thirst of passion.
2. But especially I commend earnest mental prayer to you, more particularly such as bears upon the Life and Passion of our Lord. If you contemplate Him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with Him, you will grow in His Likeness, and your actions will be moulded on His. He is the Light of the world; therefore in Him, by Him, and for Him we shall be enlightened and illuminated; He is the Tree of Life, beneath the shadow of which we must find rest;--He is the Living Fountain of Jacob's well, wherein we may wash away every stain. Children learn to speak by hearing their mother talk, and stammering forth their childish sounds in imitation; and so if we cleave to the Savior in meditation, listening to His words, watching His actions and intentions, we shall learn in time, through His Grace, to speak, act and will like Himself. Believe me, my child, there is no way to God save through this door. Just as the glass of a mirror would give no reflection save for the metal behind it, so neither could we here below contemplate the Godhead, were it not united to the Sacred Humanity of our Saviour, Whose Life and Death are the best, sweetest and most profitable subjects that we can possibly select for meditation. It is not without meaning that the Saviour calls Himself the Bread come down from Heaven;--just as we eat bread with all manner of other food, so we need to meditate and feed upon our Dear Lord in every prayer and action
The above comments point directly to Mary at the feet of Jesus. If we remember that Mary Magdalena was the one who was saved from being stoned to death we can see that she most likely undestood how to get healed. She undestood the importance of prayer better than Martha.
Those comments also point to the Interior Castle. St. Teresa says that 'prayer' is the door to this castle; meaning that we can't know ourselves unless we pray. Praying is connecting with Truth and Life (Jesus). Entering this castle is important because we really undestand what is going on around us. St Therese described it wonderfully that she shows that it is the building in which we live. The more we live in, the more our lives will be fulfilled. But she explains that the first rooms are filled with obstacle that prevent us from seing the Majesty of God inside. Only a big desire to know Truth can defeat those 'reptiles' as she calls them.
But if we stay outside our own house (our soul and live in confusions, etc) and we don't care to do something about it, we face the clear consequences. That's why Jesus responds:
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earththree days and three nights.
We will see the miracle of Jesus. We will undestand what it means. Because we will wish we can get out of the belly of the whale, and we will only get out throught the prayer in the name of the cruxified Jesus. God explains it to St. Catherina of Sienna in Treatise on Divine Providence:
"Do you not know, dear daughter, that all the sufferings, which the soul endures, or can endure, in this life, are insufficient to punish one smallest fault, because the offense, being done to Me, who am the Infinite Good, calls for an infinite satisfaction?
"However, I wish that you should know, that not all the pains that are given to men in this life are given as punishments, but as corrections, in order to chastise a son when he offends; though it is true that both the guilt and the penalty can be expiated by the desire of the soul, that is, by true contrition, not through the finite pain endured, but through the infinite desire; because God, who is infinite, wishes for infinite love and infinite grief.
"Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways: in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator; in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me. Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is, are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether spiritual or corporeal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty, although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt, their pain is held worthy.
"Paul explained this when he said: If I had the tongues of angels, and if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and have not love, it would be worth nothing to me. The glorious Apostle thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love."
"I have shown you, dearest daughter, that the guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain which is sustained purely as such. And I say, that the guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love, and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul; inasmuch as desire and every virtue is of value, and has life in itself, through Christ crucified, My only begotten Son, in so far as the soul has drawn her love from Him, and virtuously follows His virtues, that is, His Footprints.
"In this way, and in no other, are virtues of value, and in this way, pains satisfy for the fault, by the sweet and intimate love acquired in the knowledge of My goodness, and in the bitterness and contrition of heart acquired by knowledge of one's self and one's own thoughts. And this knowledge generates a hatred and displeasure against sin, and against the soul's own sensuality, through which, she deems herself worthy of pains and unworthy of reward."
Many fantastic movies have been produced trying to illustrate the drama of souls, but I wonder if no director or producer ever discoverd the Interior Castle to make something visual out of it. Something more illustrating and undestandable than Constantine or more true than the Lord of the Ring or the Matrix.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Theme Song RECEIVE THE POWER (International version)
Cross and Icon of WYD:
They have been almost everywhere in the world. In my home countries Burundi and Rwanda. On the war between the two Corea, and many other areas where Christ is deepley needed.
WYD 2008 - Sydney - Austraria
Dare you to move
Testimonies from previous WYD-2008
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Mother Teresa said that We can find God in two presance: The Eucharist, and our fellow neighbor.
Any visitor we get is the Lord and if we are not hospital we may miss a lot from him like Martha.
Taken from Sunday's reading, and explanation by Scott Hann from St. Paul Center.
Waiting on the Lord
God wants to dwell with each of us personally, intimately - as the mysterious guests once visited Abraham's tent, as Jesus once entered the home of Mary and Martha. By his hospitality in today's First Reading, Abraham shows us how we are to welcome the Lord into our lives. His selfless service of his divine guests (see Heb 13:1) stands in contrast to the portrait of Martha drawn in today's Gospel. Where Abraham is concerned only for the well-being of his guests, Martha speaks only of herself - "Do you not care that my sister has left me by myself...Tell her to help me." Jesus' gentle rebuke reminds us that we risk missing the divine in the mundane, that we can fall into the trap of believing that God somehow needs to be served by human hands (see Acts 17:25).Our Lord comes to us, not to be served but to serve (see Mt 20:28). He gave His life that we might know the one thing we need, the "better part" which is life in the fellowship of God. Jesus is the true Son promised today by Abraham's visitors (see Mt 1:1). In Him, God has made an everlasting covenant for all time, made us blessed descendants of Abraham (see Gen 17:19,21; Rom 4:16-17, 19-21). The Church now offers us this covenant, bringing to completion the word of God, the promise of His plan of salvation, what Paul calls "the mystery hidden for ages."As once He came to Abraham, Mary and Martha, Christ now comes to each of us in Word and Sacrament. As we sing in today's Psalm: He will make His dwelling with those who keep His Word and practice justice (see also Jn 14:23).If we do these things we will not be anxious or disturbed, will not have our Lord taken from us. We will wait on the Lord, who told Abraham and tells each of us: "I will surely return to you."
Once Jesus said that he saw satan fall like a lighning from the sky. And St. Paul said that God put us on heavenly places. St. John 15:7: If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you. It is by prayer that we get to abide in the Lord and stay above, far from the fallen angels and their influences and harrassement. When we pray constantly we are lifted hight above sin.
But when we don't pray the reverse happens.
This is what St. Francis de Sales says of prayer:
Prayer opens the understanding to the brightness of Divine Light, and the will to the warmth of Heavenly Love--nothing can so effectually purify the mind from its many ignorances, or the will from its perverse affections. It is as a healing water which causes the roots of our good desires to send forth fresh shoots, which washes away the soul's imperfections, and allays the thirst of passion.
Read the rest here.
Some people may argue with me, but... have you noticed how many changes occured in the World with the coming of Jesus? Civilization had come and fallen for thousands and thousands of years. But after Jesus sent his desciples to fish people and teach the whole world that there is one God, the constant of history changed. A new constant of unity emerged. The Church teaching and calling all people into herself introduced an new spirit of universal brotherhood. I am not putting other churches down, but when I read Roman Catholic Church in Wikipedia (particularly point 6), the role of monks point to the role of prayer in the course of history.
Sometimes I see great saints as generals of God. The more vigorous orders or movements in the world are also the most prayful. One example is the franciscan of St. Francis of Assisi.
Today the world is running away from prayer, but it is also falling apart. There is not doubt that it will soon or later come back to the Church. This time not trough conquests, but through a spiritual renewal of the world.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
To measure whether we are progressing toward Hell or Heaven, we have to somehow sens our hearts and check how much love for others we have and how much it grows or decreases in time.
We always have to remember that we are always judged on love. The temporal judgement as well as the last one. They are all based on the commandement of the Judge: "Love God with all your mind, heart, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself".
We should take God seriously about the matter of love, sin, and judgement. It is not for nothing that Jesus suffered and kept talking about Hell throught all his teachings.
About judgment, here is The Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh of India. It is important to understand this kind of reading in light of the teachings of the Church.
Finally, we have to remember that Jesus gave his disciples power to forgive sins. Priests in the confessional are judges of mercy and we are both the accuser and the accused.
Schoenstatt prayer of contrition:
Father, may the Savior's Precious Blood
atone for everything
which grieved your fatherly heart
because we did not love you enough.
Heed the pleas of our Mother
and let her be our advocate.
Kindly accept her merits
and look on us with a father's mercy.
Our hearts were often obstinate
when the world enticed us.
We were often inattentive
when you expressed your wishes.
Many hidden reservations
made our hearts tired and cold,
while many evil passions
diminished the strength of our love
Often our deeds angered you
what our preaching and words
had continuously proclaimed.
Often we misused our time
and missed opportunity to do good.
Our omissions weigh heavily upon us
for they have deprived us of your grace.
Our ideal was therefore darkened
and caused you anguish
the day's struggle was uninspired
because spirit was lacking and deeds were few.
(examination of conscience)
Friday, July 13, 2007
I originally wrote a very longo post, I decided to remove some information which I will post under a different subject.
For a long time I have always believed that numbers have special meanings. The Bible clears shows use numbers such us 3, 6, 7, 10, 12 in a particularly loud way. Since it was on Friday that Jesus was cruxified, "5" seemed to indicate to me horror, pain, sorrow, etc. This belief was reinforced in my by what keeps happening in my personnal life. When I was 5, I lost my first little sister at birth, When I was 10, the war broke in Rwanda where I was born, the same war which culminated on the genocide. When I was 15, my parents divorced, and I ended up with two step-families. When I was 20 (that is the year 2000), I lost my family (mom, step-father, and three siblings) in a massacre. This event was particulary filled with 5s:
It was on Friday, five people died, and were buried after five days. Few months earlier I had joined schoenstatt, so I was trying to make sense of all of this in terms of divine providence. because of the state of their new 'marriage', my parents were not in communion with the Church. I remember seeing the in Church on Christmas or Easter and wondering how it must feel not to receive communion. But they were good people. They tought me to love people and everybody without distinction, which was a strange attitude in those countries of Great Lakes of Africa. It is this attitude which cause the massacre: We had refused to support an extremist side of a political party. Considering the status of my step-father, a highly educated doctor who had refused to go oversee for a better life, but chosen to remain with fellow countryman and help them, and his involvment in peacetalks that were working to restore peace in my country, we were considered worthy of extermination. But me and my little sister survived. Throught out the horrible event which lasted less than 10 min, we were praying the Jesus prayer.
But before I had prayed a novena to the divine mercy. When I prayed it, my first intentions where for other many people we had lost earlier, but for reason unknown to me I had decided to include '5' random people for my current living family for whenever God will chose to call them. I had found this novena from a friend at school, and it looked like a unusual treasure in wich I had to use to the maximum. God heard this prayer in all unexpected ways shown in little before and after the tragedy. But "5" still felt like an alarming signal for a sad event.
This discouraged me, because it made me think that at this signal tragedy was simply unavoidable. During 2005, I dismissed lots of divine providence signal to act. Always fearing that my action my provoke s0mehow a 'tragedy', I will only pray and say to myself that God is all powerfull. If I pray, God will give me clarity, and will see and do his will... which He gave. But because my prayers were not enough, doubts and fear overloaded my spirit. I should have thought of Jesus in the Garden of Getsemani and listened carefully to what he told the disciples. Here, Jesus prayed for his sacrifice for his Church, his Bride. When he prayed: " if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. " he indicated that this 'Friday' was not a day of horror and fear, but a day of sacrifice for love. Unfortunately, the weakness of disciples made it for themselves a day of sorrow and fear. We only need to read what happened next. The disciples became weak and fall asleep, when they woke up, they run away. Peter tried to stay with the Lord as far as his poor heart could allow him to. Out of fear, he cut the ear of one of the soldier, but that was not the Lord's way. Later, Peter denied Jesus three times.
How hard it must have been for Peter after he had denied Jesus. It can be hard to deny a friend, or more a dear friend, but how about God? Peter was the first to affirm the divinity of Christ. Plus imagine if God had shown you your destiny and in a matter of few hours, you destroy it yourself. Jesus, had told Peter that he was to be the foundation stone of his Church, his Bride. After denying Jesus, three times, Peter could very well be tempted to think with a quite high certainty that Jesus could not dare to trust such a person for such high business. But, Peter dared to hope that Jesus will forgive him. With his faith, he knew that God fix destiny once for all, from eternity. So, if Jesus had made a decision, nothing, no sin could prevent God's will to be done. He trusted Jesus, and later Jesus who is always faithfull kept his promise. Peter was made our first Pope. The faith of Peter is the faith of the Church and the faith of christians: The belief that God's Mercy is greater than any sin we can comit, the belief that the Church will last until the last day. The following verse show us that the only place where God's will is not done is outside of Eternity, outside of Reality (Jesus), that is in Past and/or Future.
But the angel said to me, "Why marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to perdition; and the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will marvel to behold the beast, because it was and is not and is to come."--Revelation 17:7-8
You can see that the Beast is not in the "Present", only in the Past and in the Future. We have to remember that this Beast is Satan, the Liar, the Accuser, the Murderer...from the Beginning. He destracts us from the present to behold the past (for remorse/pride of our deeds) or the future (in prideful ambitions or despair).
But Jesus who is Reality is in eternity. By his incarnation he brough eternity in time. "In Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, time becomes a dimension of God, who is himself eternal. With the coming of Christ there begin "the last days" (cf. Heb. 1:2), the "last hour" (cf. 1 Jn. 2:18) and the time of the Church, which will last until the parousia. " As the Third Millennium Draws Near So that thrugh the 'narrow way' (way of Jesus) we can live in eternity while we are in time. We are written in the Book of life only when we love like Jesus. The "Beginning" means eternity because Jesus is himself "The Beginning" (the Alpha). Being written in the book of life means being connected and rooted in Jesus: Living in Jesus Christ.
Dispite the fact that disciples disapointed Jesus in his hardest time, they were only able to look in his eyes, and be confident enough to be his apostles, only after they had understood the mystery of death and resurrection. They accepted his eternal love in them. They started to see things as God sees them. They were not ashamed or proud of whatever their past was. Their past was sanctified and was used to radiate the Glory of God who is pure love and all powerfull.
For Peter, Good Friday was not longer a day of shame/horror/fear, but a day of God's love. God allows human weakness to show so that he can destroy it by the power of his love. Isn't the purpose of our live "to know, love, and serve God"? The purpose of our existance is to know what Love is. To know that Love is all that there is and that it is powerfull and nothing stands against it. To know the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and that alone, it is worth our praise as long as we live.
It was on that same Good Friday that Jesus said that he was going to be in paradize with the 'good thief'. They were three crosses on calvary. To me they symbolize that whichever way we take in our life, we will always end up on a cross because our nature has fallen. All we can do is to chose which cross we have to end up with.
- The cross of Christ. Cross of innocent victims or heroic saints.
- The "good thief" cross is the ones of those who accept their guilt and offer up their cross to God in praise of his divine justice, but also his mercy: "Remember me when you are in Paradize".
- The "bad thief" cross is the ones of those who live through their suffering with curses. Who hide behind their pride, and sometimes end up in suicides like Juda.
Suffering is unavoidable. Between our world and the lost Paradize there is the cherubs of Genesis and their flaming swords. We can only go back to paradize by passing through these swords, that is through the right cross. We have to go through the nigh of death on the appropriate cross so we can wake up in paradize.
"Whoever does what I command, the Father will love him, and we will come in him and dwell in him" says our Lord. With Love we have the Trinity within us. We seek the Father's justice by offering the sacrifice of the Son, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. On this Earth our lives are sacrifices. Christian life is a sacrifice. There may not be happyness, but there should always be joy.
But prayer is the first requirement in order to know the right sacrifice to offer. Many people suffer and they think they are sacrificing themselves for Love. But We have to remember Jesus in the Garden. Let's see again what happen in the Garden.
22:39. And going out, he went, according to his custom, to the Mount of Olives. And his disciples also followed him.
22:40. And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation. 22:41. And he was withdrawn away from them a stone's cast. And kneeling down, he prayed. 22:42. Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done.
22:43. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer.
22:44. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.
22:45. And when he rose up from prayer and was come to the disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow.
22:46. And he said to them: Why sleep you? Arise: pray: lest you enter into temptation.
22:47. As he was yet speaking, behold a multitude; and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus, for to kiss him.
22:48. And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss?
22:49. And they that were about him, seeing what would follow, said to him: Lord, shall we strike with the sword?
22:50. And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
22:51. But Jesus answering, said: Suffer ye thus far. And when he had touched his ear, he healed him.
Jesus, prayed hardest and offered the perfect sacrifice
Peter prayed less and fell asleep, he fell into temptation and offered an unproper sacrifice
Juda was not even there he offered the worst sacrifice.
That is how prayer is proportional to the sacrifice we offer and what our "5" may mean for us.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
The vital process of the jar
Much can be said – theologically, psychologically, from the aspect of Schoenstatt theory – to explain the phenomenon of the jar, the Biblical reference, the Treasury of Grace. Or, it can be made simple, counting on the power of the vital process. Professor Hubertus Brantzen opted for the latter. He invited those present to come up, one by one, to fill the jar…..he invited them to take a small piece of notepaper (there was one in the program booklet), the pen and to think, and then to write down what is difficult, what is really troublesome, what weighs one down, what makes one happy, a decision or task which is underway, what is fearful, what is paralyzing. Mother, I give you what makes me happy, I give you a painful experience.
I ask you for the persons who are important to me, for what moves me, for my special intentions. I bring you my life…..
He invited them to deposit the notepaper into the jar which the children had been passing around among the people since the musical presentation. And now, here, Mary can be heard: Lord, they have no more wine. To live Biblically means to do what is in the Bible. It means to fill the jar with water because the Lord wants this, exactly this and nothing else. When the wine runs out – in marriage, in the profession, in the parish, in the Church, in the hot topics of society – the Lord does not want us to make wine appear through some sort of magic. He wants our water in order to transform it into wine.
The jars are taken to the altar at the offertory of the closing Eucharist. After Holy Mass, the notes will be burned. "What is written on them is only read by the good God," said Professor Brantzen. Surely, He reads it…..
Read the full article here.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Amazing stuff happening these times. I wish all the things I am discovering now, I had discovered them say around 2002. Lots of things would be really different!
But always, Thanks and praise be to God the almighty and most merciful!
“For you were called for freedom”
How then should we live this Word of Life? Paul himself tells us how: “For you were called for freedom… serve one another through love.” He explains why we must serve with love: “For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Gal 5:13-14).We are free – this is the paradox of love – when we begin to serve others out of love, when, going against our selfish inclinations, we forget ourselves and we focus on the needs of others.We are called to the liberty of love: we are free to love! Yes, “in order to have freedom, we need to love.”
“For you were called for freedom”
Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was imprisoned because of his faith and he remained behind bars for thirteen years. During those years, he felt free because he could at least love the prison guards.“When I was put in isolation,” he recounted, “I was watched by five guards: they took turns so that two of them were always with me. Their officers had told them: ‘You will be rotated every two weeks with another group, so that you will not be “contaminated” by this dangerous bishop.’ Later on they changed their minds and said: ‘There will be no more rotations otherwise this bishop will contaminate all the guards.’ “At the beginning the guards hardly ever spoke to me. They only answered ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ It was really a sad situation…. They avoided conversing with me.“One night, this thought came to me: ‘Francis, you are still very rich. You have Christ’s love in your heart; love them as Jesus loved you.’“The next day I began to love them even more, to love Jesus in them, by smiling, offering them a kind word. I began to tell them stories of my travels in other countries…. They then wanted to learn a foreign language: French or English … My guards had become my students!” (Testimony of Hope, Pauline Books and Media, 2000).
There was a time when I used to fly in my dreams. Seriously :). I had just joined Schoenstatt, it was around 1999. I was on fire for Christ, our Blessed Mother, and our Church. I had read several schoenstatt books, I was praying the rosary very regularly, fasting every tuesday and friday. All that just by God's grace and thanksgiving. I was not praying for anything in particular. The Blessed Mother had captured me in her mantle and installed me from around 1997. At that time I was in Congo, former Zaire, and it was terrror every where. The rosary was my weopon. In the midst of all the troubles that followed, I was unconsciously working trought it with such a peace that when I look back I just can't believe my memory.
But when I got here in Canada. I continued my devotions for a while, until one day that I though that I was getting too used to doing things mechanically. So I thought I should do things 'because I love God'. I made a terrible decision of voluntarily breaking my regural habit of rosaries. I didn't completely stop. But I became less strict on my self. It felt terrible on my heart. I don't know what I was thinking. Frankly I could feel our Mother's desapointment. Unconsciously I thought I would 'study' God from outside and come back to him with increased love. Now, I realise how stupid the decision was.
I have seen people who look very devoted, but who aren't really as loving as they 'claim'. I was very afraid of being like one of them. So even though I could fell my heart breaking up, I could convince myself that I was doing the right thing. But it was terrible, never do it. Today, I realise that I could have continued with no interruption, but this time, start asking seriously about true devotion. I don't know how this thought didn't come to my mind. I wish it had come, and it was strong.
As I said, I didn't quit praying, but I became sporadic. And my good habits which had became so easy, I was taking effort to keep up. Recently, I realised that now I am almost only praying to ask for something. Or when, I am in contact with a strong event, like watching WYDs, Papal visits, some Church events, etc. I have lost my wonderful dream. I feel like it was a metre to remind me later that I had fallen some how.
Now, I am re-climbling the 'mountain' of faith. It takes effort, but it is always beautiful to see how Realiy is revealed more and more as I climb. I am rediscovering the rosary as a 'climbing' prayer. The differance with last time is that I was doing it unconsciously, now, it is consciously. Every 'Hail Mary' is like a step.
With the Rosary, our Mother really takes our hands and lift us up to great heights where we can see Reality with our own eyes. We don't believe things because we read or were told about them and can make sens of them, but because we can actually see them. It is amazing how after a certain amount of rosaries, we can see a particular fact of reality more fully. Of course Reality is Jesus himself, and Mary has the mission to give Him to us.
May be I had 'descended slowly' because I had lost touch with Schoenstatt. Ever since I have rediscovered it, I feel like I am re-installing my self in our Mother's arms. This time is a little difficult because I am not just doing it for thanksgiving (for saving/protecting me) as it was the case before. There is also many things to pray for. Getting used to saying the 'yes' until it become almost unconscious. It is at this point that we can say that we are in the 'garden of the Immaculate Heart of Mary' as Father Corapi would put it. At that point we can fly like the eagle around the surface of the Earth all day long without feeling tired. I want to have my dream back.
All my friends pray for me!
But, in fact, all true and living devotion presupposes the love of
God;--and indeed it is neither more nor less than a very real love of God,
though not always of the same kind; for that Love one while shining on the soul
we call grace, which makes us acceptable to His Divine Majesty;--when it
strengthens us to do well, it is called Charity;--but when it attains its
fullest perfection, in which it not only leads us to do well, but to act
carefully, diligently, and promptly, then it is called Devotion. The ostrich
never flies,--the hen rises with difficulty, and achieves but a brief and rare
flight, but the eagle, the dove, and the swallow, are continually on the wing,
and soar high;--even so sinners do not rise towards God, for all their movements
are earthly and earthbound. Well-meaning people, who have not as yet attained a
true devotion, attempt a manner of flight by means of their good actions, but
rarely, slowly and heavily; while really devout men rise up to God frequently,
and with a swift and soaring wing. - What True Devotion Is -