PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Sunday, August 26, 2007

 

When sadness is self-inflicted


(txt msg)

"Sadness is self-inflicted. YOu need not bother too much about every cr*ppy occurrences around you. But then again, you tend to get yourself invovled. Happiness is self-induced just the same. As they say, it's just a matter of perspective. So while you stil have the chance to shape your days' mood, choose: would you rather be sad or happy?

"Life is good. Life is bad.

"You decide."


Saturday, August 25, 2007

 

God vs. man


From a moving car:

God without man is still God. Man without God is nothing. -Gen. 1:1,26


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

 

Txt msgs


Beautiful souls are like lighthouses. They don't ring bells nor fire guns to call attention. They simply shine.

When we look back and wonder how we ever made it through, we realize it's not because we've been clever, but because God has been wise; no because we've been strong, but because God has been mighty; not because we've been consistent, but because God has been faithful.

Repeated experiences have but one aim: to teach you what you do not want to learn. -P.Coelho

No one is rich enough to buy back the past. But if you have the courage to do better things today, you would be the richest one tomorrow. -Is. 41:10

God is showing favor to those whom he wills shall achieve the highest possible virtue whenever he gives them some difficulty in life. For the wise man, all his adversities he counts merely as training. -Seneca

He who plants generously will harvest generously. Our generosity beenfits everyone. It helps the needy, inspires others to give, and build character in us: selflessness, temperance, compassion. it is our thanksgiving to God's own generosity toward us.

We must be emptied of what we are full, that we may be filled with what we are empty. -St. Augustine

Moses, Jonah, and Elijah didn't exactly like the mission they were told to do. They felt small. They were afraid. They were unwilling. But like them, when we realize we are mere instruments, we become more confident. There's strength in the humble acceptance that it's God's work, not ours.

Madman. That was john the Baptist. He wore sheepskin. He spent days in the desert and ate locusts. He went around telling people aloud to repent. It sure wasn't easy doing that. We'd rather stay pleasant and comfortable, be quiet and safe. But to proclaim Jesus' way isn't always easy. Are you mad enough?

God hides himself so that he may be sought and found; the search for him, even if profoundly painful, is part of the game of love, a necessary passage to a truer experience.

The finest part of a good person's life is the little unknown acts of kindness and love. We obtain happiness not because we do great things but because we do small things with great love.

Peter and Paul. Handpicked by Jesus, they were of contrasting educational and social backgrounds. Peter denied Jesus thrice, and is first leader of the Church; Paul persecuted Jesus and is the greatest missionary of all time. They shared the same passion for Christ and both died for Him in Rome. Jesus invites each of us, sin and all, to do a part for His Church. And to meet Peter and Paul in glory someday.

Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free. no one can hinder him. A.W. Tozer

The woman in the gospel has suffered from much bleedingfor 12 long years. Hoow desperate she must-ve been for a cure for her long suffering. She even wishes to just touch Jesus' cloak. Think of what's afflicted, troubled, or pained you for the longest time. Jesus tells you: "Courage, I will heal you."

A simple lesson from a children's show: "Why do it today, if you have tomorrow?" -Squidward. "You do it today 'cause today is yesterday's tomorrow." -Mr. Krabs.

We have two eyes and just one tongue, which means we need to look twice and talk once. We have two ears and just one mouth, so we need to listen more than we talk. We have two hands and one stomach, so we need to work twice as much as we eat. We have two major brain parts, the left and right, and one heart, so we can think twice,but love only one. It's amazing how our body parts remind us how to live right.

Life has great options, but you don't always have to pick what seem to be the best. Sometimes, the best and the perfect aren't always what makes you happy.

To sometimes experience disgust is something quite natural. The virtue which at times is of heroic proportions, consists in being able to overcome disgust, for the love of Jesus. -Mother Teresa

Spiritual friendship is desirable not because we can think up some way to squeeze the juice out of it, but because we can see it has a stature of its own. It needs no apology. Its fruit is itself, and our admiration is reward enough. -St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Prayers are very powerful. The devil smiles when we're weak, he laughs when we're too busy, he giggles when we're afraid. But he trembles when we pray. Don't let the devil win the game.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always a challenge that needs to be worked on. But no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good that you can thank God for. Always have a grateful heart. Thank god for His goodness.

Have you got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Have you got any mountain you can't tunnel through? God specialies in things called impossible. He can do what no one else can do. God will never bring us to where his love can't fill us, where his grace can't endure us, where his power can't preserve us, where his presence can't go with us, and where his resources can't provide for us. With him, all things are possible. (Mt. 19:26)

In life, if you're intelligent, you're admired; if you're wealthy, you're envied; if you're powerful, you're feared. But if you're blessed with a good heart, you're remembered.


Monday, August 20, 2007

 

Peace and division


Fr. D. is such a wonderful preacher. His sermons are focused, well-researched, unified, and endlessly insightful. Last Sunday, he dwelt on Jesus' rhetorical line, "I came to bring war/division, not peace," in order to shed light on division as seen from the Christian viewpoint and how it is not that bad and certainly not incompatible with the concept of peace. I was almost despairing of the fact that I couldn't catch all the wisdom he had uttered, but I will try my best to distill here what I did catch.

"Why does Jesus speak here about division, when He speaks about peace in other stories? (Fr. D. quotes different passages from different books.) Why speak about fathers against sons, sons versus fathers, and so on? Why can't we say, 'Let's all just get along'?"

"Then again, God also speaks about division elsewhere in Scripture. The Bible is filled with images of division. Remember that Jesus came into this world amidst great division. Recall how Herod ordered the massacre of innocents. There was great division. Recall how in Revelations, God promises to separate the sheep from the goat." (Recall passages about the wheat and the weed.)

"Sometimes, division is necessary because peace cannot possibly coexist with evil. It's false peace if it is in conflict with truth. We can't make peace with sin."

"Sometimes, division is not a mere consequence. Sometimes it exposes the division already present in the hearts of men."

"We are all familiar with division. We know what division means in the family, in society, even within ourselves. When we are torn between two things, there is division."

Division, clearly, is not a very enjoyable or happy thing. But it is unavoidable, even necessary, if we are to be faithful in living out our life as Christians. We should be ready to face opposition, especially in issues of faith that have popular interpretations (interpreted popularly for the sake of friendship or the respect and approval of men).

(Fr. D. then recounts a riveting story of how Bishop John Fisher of Manchester, England was beheaded (literally divided!; I can't remember the year) because he wouldn't compromise with sin (the reigning king's (King Henry VIII?) legitimization of his divorce and adultery) that he'd rather have division. What I remember the most about the story is that this bishop not only encountered division with the reigning royalty and elite but also with his brother bishops; he was called a "troublemaker" or rabble-rouser. This is the saddest part of all. Like Thomas More in his time, he was reportedly the only one who opposed the king, and he paid dearly for it. He was eventually canonized as a martyr of the Church.

(I hope I didn't get the history all mixed up.)


Monday, August 13, 2007

 

Mistaken identities


People who grew up with a problem in their relationship often end up with mistaken identities. They say that with the absence of close father-son or father-daughter relationship, a child will have a hard time conceptualizing God as a father figure. He/she reportedly will have a hard time with the concept of authority, the concept of inheritance. Access to God is not reportedly easy because there's no Biblical image of 'sonship'/'daughterhood'.

It is strongly advised that a Christian with such a father issue will do well to consult scripture and memorize by heart and believe what it says on God the Father:

Lk. 4:22 - On Father-son relationship
Jn 5:23, Mt. 3:17 - On authority
Rom. 6 - On access to God; on anyone having a claim/right to it
Many passages also dwell on a Christian's inheritance of eternal life.

To sum up:

Jesus Christ's perspective - "I no longer call you slaves, but friends."
Father God's perspective - "You are all sons and daughters of God."


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