PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Monday, September 29, 2008

 

Txt msgs


Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires" (St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).




Monday, September 08, 2008

 

Q&A


On community, 2

Q. Do you think that communities should focus only on the person's spirituality? Why do such communities exist?

A. No. They should reach out not only through the spiritual (Christian Life Program), but also through participating in things that concern and the Church, and those things include everything that advances the Christian's ultimate concern, heaven. Communities should be convincing witnesses that God is good and is alive.

Q. I agree with you. It's a big no. To fully live out one's life includes all aspects of being human, which includes mind, body, emotion, and spirit, plus it should support and live out the teachings of Mother Church.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

 

Mary's "magnificat, fiat, and stabat"


In honor of the BVM, I'd note a new word I've learned that was used to refer to Mary: stabat.

Magnificant, according to Wikipedia: "The Magnificat (also known as the Song of Mary) is a canticle frequently sung (or spoken) liturgically in Christian church services. The text of the canticle is taken directly from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:46-55) where it spoken by the Virgin Mary upon the occasion of her Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. In the narrative, after Mary greets Elizabeth, who is pregnant with the future John the Baptist, the child moves within Elizabeth's womb. When Elizabeth praises Mary for her faith, Mary sings the Magnificat in response."

Fiat: "Let it be done to me according to your word."

Stabat, according to Wikipedia: "Stabat Mater is a thirteenth century Roman Catholic sequence variously attributed to Innocent III and Jacopone da Todi. Its title is an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat mater dolorosa ("The sorrowful mother was standing"). The hymn, one of the most powerful and immediate of extant medieval poems, meditates on the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ's mother, during his crucifixion."


 

Q&A


On wealth

Q: Aren't the rich dysfunctional because of their wealth?

A: I'd hesitate to make any connection. Being rich can be a given. It's how the person deals with the wealth that matters. I remember how, according to the account in The Little Flowers of St. Francis, rich young men were easily converted to monastic life despite their high breeding. Even aristocrats have become instant saints in the history of Church canonization.

Wealth is indeed a strong tempter, and the rich person could be easily get corrupted; it's not easy escaping the corrupting tentacles of worldly wealth. But, like I said, kings and queens, princess and princesses, have become saints without having to give up their wealth. Poverty per se - and wealth per se - aren't conditions to holiness. It's what inside us that counts.


 

Q&A


On community

Q: What will make you join and stay in a community?

A: Common goals, genuine fellowship, i.e., a place where I can be emotionally naked (feel authentic) and yet would feel safe (won't be the subject of gossip and cheap intrigue) and unjudged. Because that's something I am wililng to risk giving.

Q. Sounds like a good description of individuality, like living your life to the full potential of your own person, you can lose yourself in the midst of the crowd but with the knowledge that you'll gain it again, not [in an] individualistic [way] but [in terms of] growing in full personhood. It's a mystery that we attain our fullness as individuals if we see ourselves as part of a community yet a community will attain its fullness if it sees itself in the individual.

A: Wow.


 

On forgiving oneself


How does one forgive oneself? Harry says, one solution is by feeling the pain, i.e., being aware of one's feelings, acknowledging that one feels this or that way. Expressing the feeling is healthy, provided the emotion is managed at a decent level. Not acknowledging that you've been hurt will stress one out, possibly causing diseases (but we're not about to jump to conclusion here: we're not saying all diseases are caused by self-repression).

The next step, Harry says, is to make a conscious decision to forgive one's offender and most especially oneself. Someone correctly adds: Nobody's perfect. Acceptance of oneself, together with all of one's faults, though, can be impossible without one crucial stumbling block: pride. It takes humility not to be too harsh or too hard on oneself.

Another key ingredient, says John Powell (in Fully Human, Fully Alive), is courage. Without courage, we won't have the strength to face whatever negative emotion is associated with confronting and forgiving ourselves. We need to first face the facts about ourselves, our feelings, before we are able to forgive. There has to be clarity so we'll know what we are forgiving and why.

How does one know one has forgiven oneself?, I ask. Has he or she already made a decision to forgive?, Harry answers. If yes, one can take a look at a possible indication: one is now able to look back on what happened and talks about it with others without bitterness.

Confession leads to healing, another discussion participant adds, quoting James 5:16.

Then I remember what a priest once said: Another strong sign that one has forgiven oneself is when one looks back and finds everything funny.


 

Txt msgs


Growth is always a gradual process even if there are glittering moments of insight and a divine revelation. You do not have to change, grow, or good in order to be loved. Rather, you are loved so that you can change, grow, and be good. God is forever loving you. - Powell

We can understand and accept ourselves realistically only when someone outside ourselves first understands and accepts us. - Powell

Christ has no body now on earth but yours; yours are the only hands with which he can do his work. Yours are the only feet with which he can go about the world, yours are the only eyes through which his compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world. Christ has no body on earth now but yours. St. Teresa of Avila.

Nothing starts easy. Everything begins at some level of difficulty. Even waking up requires certain efforts. But one thing beautiful about life is the fact that what is most difficult is also the most rewarding, and the most satisfying.


The first important effort must be a full, accurate and conscious awareness of our emotions before they guide us to the perceptions from which they come from.

Serenity - to walk when others are running; to whisper when others are shouting; to remain calm when others are restless; to smile when others are angry; to know inner peace in spite of everything; and to sleep in th emiddle of a storm.

One day, the villagers decided to pray for rain. ONe the day of prayer everyone gathered and only one girl came with an umbrella. That's confidence. When you trhow a 1 year old baby in the air, he laughs because he knows you will catch him. That's trust. Every night we go to bed, we're not sure that we'll get up the next day, but still we make plans for the coming day. That's hope.

God, I don't understand it, but I trust You. And I'm not going to spend all my time trying to figure out why certain things have happened. I'm going to trust you to make something good out of it. You're a good God, and I know You have my best interest at heart. You promised that all things will work together for my good.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

 

Before you complain...


There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She
hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for
her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I would
marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came
off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her,'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The
girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his
closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of
looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying:
'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they
were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a
very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their
side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who
has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's
crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went too
early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who desires
children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep -
Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks
the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the
unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another -
Remember that not one of us is without sin.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your
face and think: you're alive and still around.


 

Txt msgs


The unreflected life is not worth living. -Socrates

Thou seemest, Lord, to give severe tests to those who love Thee, but only that in the extremity of their trials they may learn the greater extermity of Thy love. St. Teresa of Avila

To know God and to live is the same thing. God is life. Leo Tolstoy

When I get lost in God, I find myself.

Man must be restored to himself that making in himself as it were a stepping stone, he may rise thence and therefore be born up to God. St. Augustine


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