The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day

3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

-St. Paul to Philippians

Friday, May 30, 2008

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart to everyone!
Or I hope everyone had a great one!

Ever since I was a child there was the well known picture of the Sacred Heart around. But I never really stopped and think about it until recently.

Have you ever stopped and looked closer?

We see the fire he has come to set on earth.
We see the thorns and blood of his suffering...

I think it was this 'hurting' aspect which had caused me unconsciously for a long time not to set my eyes on it for a long time. The picture looked odd.

Yet we feel it often or causes others to feel it without realising it. How many time we hear or see people 'hurt'. I find that it can help us to realise that every hurt is represented by at least one of those thorns. Didn't Jesus say that whatever we do to one of our neighbor we do it to him?

It also help to remember this picture when we are hurt ourselves. And suffer in communion with the Lord.

I find that whenever I unite my heart with Jesus I share in the real Reality. The reality of God's love for us. Remembering that our heart is a sacred Temple where the Lord reside. And that he is in us since we received him in the Holy Eucharist. Is good to remember that whenever they have been a Eucharistic miracle when the Lord shows his flesh to his people, he often show a 'beating heart' or a tissue of flesh of a human heart.

So if you lower your head into your heart, and see yourself as in a little Temple, you are not imagining things. It is real. That's how we are fully the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Temple of God. Tabernacles of the living God. As we stay in grace, we share the heart of Jesus, so we can share in that sacred fire of love which endure all things, believe all things, last forever...

Someone asked about the meaning on this site of 'civilization of love'. I would say that it is the civilization that springs from this fire that the Lord has come to set on Earth. A fire which has been burning on Earth for 2000+ years and is still being spread around the globe. But we often quench it when we sin.

Let's us love one another, and pray for one another that "we may keep his commandments and so be able to abide in his love" in his heart.

God bless

Monday, May 19, 2008

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity: God is love.

I can't believe it has been more than a month since my last post!
Many things distracted me which includes participating in some interfaith forums. It can be good for evangelising but it is not that good when one start to forget home. So I am trying to take a break for them. My friends knows that I take this kinds of break often, well, this is an other one:)

Few days ago, Christians from other denominations were discussing the Holy Trinity. As you are aware of this, many have different views which include a view that Jesus is the Holy Spirit :(.... All this started in a topic which was about trying to prove that our Holy Mother Mary is not the Mother of God.
I think I have to ask prayers for our Faith, for us, and for the separate brothers.
Below is a copy of my contribution. For me as I indicated at the beginning this blog, my basis of understanding the mystery of the Holy Trinity is the basic idea that God is love.

Few hours ago it was the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Hope every one got relevant blessings

[8] He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.

A deep meditation on this fundamental christian belief lead us to see that God is not lonely. And for a Christian Jesus has revealed that God is not lonely but a unity of three divine persons.
And men have been themselves called into this unity in Christ by following his commandment of love.

Love is incompatible with loneliness. A non-Christian may say, that well, that's why God he does not be lonely. But this is a false notion of God. Because God is completely satisfied with himself. So he did not create out of necessity, but out of love.

Jesus revealed to us the deeper mystery when he invited us in the household of God.
Paul put it beautifully:

[19] So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
[15] if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

We enter the Church through baptism and the formula of valid baptism as indicated by the Lord Jesus is:
"in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

To me this look like a person inviting you into his house, and introducing you to his family. And telling us (as we are adopted children) how from now on, as long as we live in this household we have to live according to their lifestyle.

John 14:
15] "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. [16] And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, [17] even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. [18] "I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. [19] Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. [20] In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. [21] He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." [22] Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" [23] Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

The only distinction between the persons of the Trinity is their mutual relations. None of the persons exists in respect to himself alone, but each exists relatively to the other two:
...the ``three persons'' who exist in God are the reality of word and love in their attachment to each other. They are not substances, personalities in the modern sense, but the relatedness whose pure actuality... does not impair unity of the highest being but fills it out. St Augustine once enshrined this idea in the following formula: ``He is not called Father with reference to himself but only in relation to the Son; seen by himself he is simply God.'' Here the decisive point comes beautifully to light. ``Father'' is purely a concept of relationship. Only in being-for the other is he Father; in his own being-in-himself he is simply God. Person is the pure relation of being related, nothing else. Relationship is not something extra added to the person, as it is with us; it only exists at all as relatedness.
....the First Person [the Father] does not beget the Son in the sense of the act of begetting coming on top of the finished Person; it is the act of begetting, of giving oneself, of streaming forth. It is identical with the act of giving. (Joseph Ratzinger Introduction to Christianity, pp. 131-132; cf. Augustine, Enarationes in Psalmos 68; De Trinitate VII, 1, 2.)
Each of the persons of the Trinity lives completely for the others; each is a complete gift of self to the others. The complete self-giving not only constitutes the individual persons of the Trinity, but also their inseparable oneness.
Thus, for Christians the very basis of all reality is the loving communion of persons that is the Holy Trinity.

This is the how I understand the oneness in the Trinity, and also the oneness that Jesus prayed for. By living as Jesus commanded us, we achieve, we also, the oneness the Lord prayed for. If we live the way of of the Trinity, the way Jesus commanded us to live:

[12]"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
[16] By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.