PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Friday, May 27, 2005

 

A possible personal guideline


(I am appropriating a text message sent to me by a friend.)

Walk with purpose but with calmness.
Speak with passion but with peace.
Act with energy but with serenity.
Walk with the spirit today and everyday.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

 

Love and fear


(The ff. is my reaction to someone who told me this after I told him that it's okay to fear and love God at the same time: "A man who fears the occurrence of death and his destination in the hereafter, in my estimation, isn't served well by his religion.")


God's love and love of God indeed erases all fear. But fear has its good side, too. For the unrepentant and the willfully blind, fear is as effective and efficacious as love. Fear, in their case, may well be God's way of loving.

(For the record, I fear my Italian priest-confessor more than I fear God.)

Think about the effect of a doomsday message to the decades-long apostate suddenly going back to mother church's embrace. The thing is, God will most probably do anything, apply any approach, if only to save just one soul and turn the rebel into a potential prodigal son. Why don't you try to read the Book of Revelation to see the point a little more clearly?

What's wrong with fear anyway? "If we have to fear something or someone, fear nothing and no one but God," for indeed, only God has the power to condemn souls. Fear, taken in this context, is nothing but an expression of reverence for God, which in turn is another expression of love.

Fear of things and entities other than God... Now there's the kind of fear that doesn't affirm us and doesn't affirm life. And that fear has a name. Two names, in fact. Superstition and cowardice.

The thing is, fear of God is not one of cowardice but of reverence, something that's only proper and fitting for a deity, even if that deity is one given to giving love that's unconditional.


Monday, May 23, 2005

 

Work vs. faith, faith vs. work


Salvation by faith is a basic Christian tenet. This is something Martin Luther didn't like! What he insisted upon was salvation by faith alone (Sola fide). He found the Book of James offensive and erroneous because the Book James says you can't be saved without doing good works. (Further, Luther believed in sola Scriptura, that the Bible is the sole basis of truth and Church tradition is to be rejected.)

The funny thing is, while man is hopeless without God (that's what salvation by faith ultimately implies), he can't be saved without doing good works. Luther found this contradictory when it is not. It is, in fact, complementary.

This is because a life of faith automatically means a life of good works.

Still, it's not your good work that will save you. Ultimately, it's your faith in God
that will.

If you think about it, a soul is really useless in the whole scheme of things. If it disobeys God, God's plan is somewhat disturbed, but God can always raise up or train another soul whom He hopes will be more faithful and obedient.

In the final analysis, even the will to do good, to do good works, is grace, is a privilege, is an honor.

We don't do God a favor when we submit to doing His will. He's the one doing us a huge favor. It sounds illogical, but it's not. Ask any accredited theologian and he'll find this intellectually sound.


 

The architect and his carpenters


"God is the great architect of life and he has a great plan for us. But we are still the carpenters and we should construct our life according to his plan."


 

The secret reward of surrender and detachment


This secret is only revealed to those who are willing to take the risk: God rewards the surrendered soul with exactly a profusion of the gifts it has given up in the name of God's service.

Read the ff. passage:

Mk 10:28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus, "We have given up everything and followed you."

Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first."

Note, however, that these earthly rewards ("now in this present age") also come "with persecutions." A Christian is really never a citizen of this world. Christianity is never for the weak-hearted, the wimp, and the limp-wristed (I don't necessarily mean 'gays.').


Thursday, May 19, 2005

 

Openness/opening up is a risk

Openness to friendship (and love) may lead to rejection.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

 

Balancing act


In combatting sin, we rely on our own strength when it comes to the practical ways we deal with temptations, but we also anticipate/expect miraculous deliverance. We can't rely "solely on our own strength nor can we wait passively for some miraculous deliverance."


 

This life and the one beyond


"This life, its joys and struggles, are insignificant compared to the broad concept of eternal life." But our present life, down to its little, hidden details, has a bearing on the outcome of our own respective 'eternals.'


Thursday, May 12, 2005

 

foodforthesoul week 172


foodforthesoul week 172

sow your fields to feed others
and you shall be fed a hundred fold

eastwind

**
ENTIRE foodforthesoul FOLDER
OF 500 PLUS PRAYER-POEMS NOW AVAILABLE
THRU EMAIL ONLY UPON REQUEST
IN BEHALF OF SR RAQUEL REODICA, RVM
CANCER-HEALER OF THE LORD

PARTICIPATE IN HER HEALING MINISTRY
BY PASSING THIS TO FRIENDS
SO THE LORD WILL BLESS YOUR UNDERTAKINGS
for healing inquiries write eastwind@edsamail.com.ph
or text 'JESUSHEALS' to 2355 (Globe)
or 'mytxt(space)JESUSHEALS' to 211 (Smart)

the Lord reigns in cyberspace

for guide on how to save/ print this html file
or TO UNSUBSCRIBE write eastwind@edsamail.com.ph

**
WHEN YOU CALL ME

when you call Me
when you pray to Me I shall listen to you
when you look for Me you shall find Me
when you seek Me with all your heart
I shall be with you, I shall change your lot
and gather all of you together
from all places where I have banished you
and bring you back to your home

jeremiah 29:12-15

**
think one day at a time
today is your entire life
live it with full intent
every morsel you eat
every person you meet
every prayer you whisper
live it for the Lord
leave tomorrow to tomorrow
so you will be fulfilled today

eastwind


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

 

Defining paradoxical


Paradoxical doesn't mean contradictory but only seemingly so. It's because the logic behind a paradox is deep that it is not readily evident. Contradiction is irony, if not illogic.


Friday, May 06, 2005

 

God's will and free will


**
the Lord is always on your side
but you have to will it

He will not come if you will not let Him
God's will waits for your free will
to make the first move
to pray and listen to Him
before He makes things beautiful for you

that is the dialogue and relationship
between God's will and your free will

total surrender to His will
whether you are in joy or pain
light or darkness, illness or well being
the merging of God's will and free will
is the perfect teamwork

sr raquel reodica RVM


 

The child in you


foodforthesoul

week 171

**
THE CHILD IN YOU

the adult in you puts up defenses
the child in you bares all
the adult in you pretends to be brave
the child in you is brave

the adult in you wants to talk
and be in charge
the child in you wants to listen
and be in tune

the adult in you breaks down in crisis
the child in you laughs at crisis
the adult in you is logical
the child in you is intuitive

the adult in you keeps ideas
the child in you shares ideas
the adult in you studies people
the child in you looks to the heart

the adult in you relies on caution
the child in you throws it to the wind
unless you become a child
you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven

eastwind


ENTIRE foodforthesoul FOLDER
OF 500 PRAYER-POEMS NOW AVAILABLE
THRU EMAIL ONLY UPON REQUEST
IN BEHALF OF SR RAQUEL REODICA, RVM
CANCER-HEALER OF THE LORD

PARTICIPATE IN HER HEALING MINISTRY
BY PASSING THIS TO FRIENDS
SO THE LORD WILL BLESS YOUR UNDERTAKINGS
for healing inquiries write eastwind@edsamail.com.ph
or text 'JESUSHEALS' to 2355 (Globe)
or 'mytxt(space)JESUSHEALS' to 211 (Smart)

the Lord reigns in cyberspace

**
for guide on how to save/print attached html version
or TO UNSUBSCRIBE write eastwind@edsamail.com.ph


Monday, May 02, 2005

 

'The door is narrow but it opens to the fullness of life'


On Christian repentance:

"Peter quickly directed the crowd’s attention to his source of power: the God to whom they had long prayed but perhaps had never encountered in a life-giving way. Peter minced no words: Such an [inspiring] encounter [with God] could only take place through the narrow door of repentance.

"[But t]his door of repentance opens us to the fullness of life as well. Peter didn’t hesitate to name the sins of his audience: denying and delivering up God’s servant Jesus, and failing to listen to God’s chosen messenger. However, he also reminded them that they were children of the heavenly Father—the One who had sent Jesus not to condemn but to bless them, blot out their sins, and pour refreshment on them."

From Word Among Us


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