PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

 

Txt msgs

People with small hearts criticize. People with big hearts sympathize. People with God in their hearts simply give and share their love.

It is the goal that shapes the plan.
It is the plan that sets the action.
It is the action that achieves the result.
It is the result that brings the success.

God is so big he can cover the whole world with his love and so small he can curl up inside your heart.

One thing I have learned from God is how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation because Jesus is enough to cover everything.

The effects of kindness are not always seen immediately. Sometimes it takes years until our kindness pays off. Sometimes we we never see the fruits of our labor. But they are there, deep inside the souls of the ones we touched. (Just continue to be a blessing.)

It's not the glow of the sun that matters. It's how we use the light to see the good around us, to brighten other people's hearts.

Three things you can't recover in life: the word after it's said, the moment after it's missed, and the time after it's gone.

The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action. Mother Teresa

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

 

Return to the playground


At this point in my life, I can see plainly how I have deprived myself of play. When I was a child, I thought play was everything. Now as a mature man, I sense a need for me to go back to that time when play was the essence of my being. Play may no longer be everything to me now, but it still is necessary. I didn’t know that before until I got sick of working and working with no play.

Life should be fun and relaxing, at least after all the toiling. From time to time, I need to take to the swing, the see-saw, the slide, and the monkey bars of my childhood (by finding ways to amuse myself in adult ways, of course).

God himself set aside the seventh day for rest and recreation, re-setting and re-creation. Why should we mere creatures be any different?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

 

I am a sheep of the Good Shepherd

God is my Good Shepherd, and I am His sheep, destined for the heavenly pasture. Though I belong to a large flock, God knows me inside and out. He calls me by name. He feeds me, takes care of me.

This sheep tries its best to listen to the voice of my Shepherd. I constantly sift through the sounds of the pasture, to distinguish between His voice and the confusion of noises. I am always drawn to His voice because I know in my heart it is the voice of Love. I choose to listen to that Voice, so I always stay safe among his sheep and not get lost with the goats outside the fields of green. I want to remain with my Shepherd, for He is the true Shepherd -- the rest are impostors awaiting to entrap me.

As the Shepherd's own, I am bound to live in imitation of Him together with His flock. I seek the path of peace. I extend my hand in friendship. I am ever-ready to forgive. With the wisdom of the Shepherd, and His grace, I know how to do what is beyond a sheep to do. He shows me the right way to being an obedient sheep.

One thing great about being the sheep of the Good Shepherd is availing of the Shepherd's generous provision. "He lets this sheep lie down in green pastures, wanting for nothing," as the song said.

In case I lose my way, He goes out of His way to find His one lost sheep, leaving the other ninety-nine. In times I stray, I realize I am always the one abandoning the Shepherd. But the Shepherd, in His unconditional love, finds and rescues me, and brings me back to the fold. In my weakness, He is my strength.

The Good Shepherd is so good to me I can't even begin to fathom how He was able to sacrifice His own Lamb for my sake, so that I may live for all eternity, in His heavenly pasture. The sacrifice He asks of me -- following His will everyday -- is too little a thing, compared to what the Sacrifice Lamb that has been slain has done for me.

I am a blessed sheep of the Good Shepherd, my life a gentle witness to the great, inexplicable goodness and love of my Lord and my God.

Implications in day-to-day life:

As a son, I am duty-bound to love my parents through words and actions, share the goodness of God to them in every possible way, and help bring them to heaven.


As a brother, I am duty-bound to love my siblings and their respective families through words and actions, share the goodness of God to them at every opportunity, and help bring them to heaven.

As a community member, I am duty-bound to love my fellow members through through words and actions, share the goodness of God to them in every possible way, and help bring them and myself to heaven. I shall also witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in my life as well as the role of the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As a member of the Catholic Church, I am duty-bound to get to know more of God through the Magisterium's teachings and the writings of the saints and spiritual authorities and hope to experience God's love without any conditions.To Him, I can come as I am.

As a writer, I am duty-bound to "tell the world of His love," like a popular song said.
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

 

Talk 5: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit


We have learned that the Christian life is about God initiating an invitation for us to love Him and our own response to that invitation, based on our own free will. This talk is an extension of the talk on the Holy Spirit. The aim is to make us more aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, so the Holy Spirit is not an abstract idea but a divine entity that we can experience.

What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? We need to undergo a baptism of the Holy Spirit for this purpose. This way, the Holy Spirit we have received from baptism and confirmation is released and empowers us to live out the Christian life. In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we claim this promise (Lk. 11:11-13).

But first, we must desire to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Also, we prepare ourselves by confessing our sins before being prayed over.

What will happen during the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

- Renewal of baptismal vows by recommitting ourselves to Christ.
- Exorcism or casting out of evil spirits, so they don’t get in the way (because the devil hates this activity).
- Pray-over by community members (Mt. 18:19), by calling upon the Lord, who is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
- Asking the Lord to give us His promise of spiritual empowerment.

How do we receive God’s gifts during the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

- Ask for our spiritual needs and the gifts we think we need (courage, strength over temptation, knowledge of God, etc.)
- Ask, in particular, for the gift of tongues. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we receive this gift by first praising God from our heart in our own words. If we don’t receive it at once, we should not worry; it will come later.
- Relax, don’t be afraid or anxious, believing that we will experience God’s love in a new way.
- Don’t allow Satan to tempt us with doubt.

What do we expect after?

- In the coming days, we can expect a lot of things in us to change. However, not everything will change right away, and not all of our problems will be solved, although many will be.
- Expect God to touch us in a special way, which proves to us convincingly how the Holy Spirit is real and is actively involved in our lives.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

 

The Lord's Prayer, the play

(A forwarded email I almost deleted without thought)

----------------------------
"Our Father Who Art In Heaven.

Yes?

Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.

But -- you called ME!

Called you?

No, I didn't call you.

I'm praying.

Our Father who art in Heaven.

There -- you did it again!

Did what?

Called ME.

You said,

"Our Father who art in Heaven"

Well, here I am...

What's on your mind?

But I didn't mean anything by it.

I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like fulfilling a duty.

Well, all right. Go on.

Okay, Hallowed be thy name.

Hold it right there. What do you mean by that?

By what?

By "Hallowed be thy name"?

It means, it means.. .good grief, I don't know what it means. How in the world should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?

It means honored, holy, wonderful.

Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before. Thanks. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Do you really mean that?

Sure, why not?

What are you doing about it?

Doing? Why, nothing, I guess.

I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control, of everything down here like you have up there. We're kinda in a mess down here you know.

Yes, I know; but, have I got control of you?

Well, I go to church..

That isn't what I asked you.

What about your bad temper?

You've really got a problem there, you know.

And then there's the way you spend your money -- all on yourself.

And what about the kind of books you read?

Now hold on just a minute!

Stop picking on me!

I'm just as good as some of the rest of those People at church!

Excuse ME..

I thought you were praying for my will to be done..

If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones
who are praying for it.

Like you -- for example..

Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups.

Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.

So could I.

I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things.

I would like to, you know, be really free.

Good.

Now we're getting somewhere.

We'll work together -- You and ME.

I'm proud of You.

Look, Lord, if you don't mind, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

You need to cut out the bread. You're overweight as it is.

Hey, wait a minute! What is this? Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.

Praying is a dangerous thing. You just might get what you ask for.

Remember, you called ME -- and here I am.

It's too late to stop now.

Keep praying. (pause . . )

Well, go on.

I'm scared to.

Scared? Of what?

I know what you'll say.

Try ME.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

What about Ann?

See? I knew it!

I knew you would bring her up!

Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories. She never paid back the money she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her!

But -- your prayer --

What about your prayer?

I didn't -- mean it..

Well, at least you're honest.

But, it's quite a load carrying around all that bitterness and resentment isn't it?

Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her. Boy, have I got some plans for her. She'll wish she had never been born.

No, you won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. You know how unhappy you are --

Well, I can change that.

You can? How?

Forgive Ann. Then, I'll forgive you; And the hate and the sin, will be Ann's problem -- not yours. You will have settled the problem as far as you are concerned.

Oh, you know, you're right. You always are. And more than I want revenge, I want to be right with You . . (sigh). All right, all right. I forgive her.

There now!

Wonderful!

How do you feel?

Hmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all! In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight. I haven't been getting much rest, you know.

Yeah, I know.

But, you're not through with your prayer, are you? Go on.

Oh, all right.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place
where you can be tempted.

What do you mean by that?

You know what I mean.

Yeah. I know.

Okay.

Go ahead. Finish your prayer.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?

No, but I'd like to know. I want to please you now. I've really made a mess of things. I want to truly follow you.. I can see now how great that would be. So, tell me . . . How do I make you happy?

YOU just did".









Wednesday, September 05, 2012

 

Txt msgs

Carrying a lantern into a forest night doesn't guarantee you'll see all the trees. It only means that you can see a few steps ahead of you, far enough to keep your footing sure. Likewise, as the Lord lights your path, He may not shine all the answers to the shadowy questions in your mind, but He will give you all the light you need to scale life's obstacles with confidence and agility. (via Ian)

For human beings, the most daunting challenge is to become fully human. For to become fully human is to become fully divine. -Fr. Keating (via Malou)

The wealthy man rarely has compassion -- otherwise he would not be wealthy. Fr. Nikon, monk (via Malou)

Friendship is not looking for a friend to make you complete, but finding a friend who will learn to share the incompleteness within you. (via Alfie)

When we comne before the Lord with our naked self, don't be surprised to see the walls we've created being torn apart. Our true strength lies in our eing defenseless before Him. (via Malou)

By embracing our crosses, be it our unruly relatives, lingering illness, conflicts, confusions, oppressive works and advocacies, or our financial difficulties, we too can become victorious in our passion and death and enter life eternal. (via Waldy)

Two most important thoughts a person should bear in mind: Use things not people. Love people not things. (via Alvin)

What is the difference between bravery, sacrifice, confidence, and trust? Bravery is saying no to what you believe is wrong. Sacrifice is saying no to (...) (via Ian)


Contentment is when you reach a certain point and you realize that life is not a race and you're not a rat. (via Romel)

Repentance means to change the direction in which you are looking for happiness. - Fr. Keating (via Malou)

More knowledge of God leads to a higher form of worship. - Anon. (via Mel)

Joy can be so great that it is painful. - Fr. Keating (via Malous)

Every time I begin to feel that there just isn't any more strength in me, I end up knowing that there is more in Him. (via Malou)

Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. Malcolm Muggeridge (via Mel)

Contemplative prayer brings us face to face with the false self; we discover that our idnetity is deeper than our psychological awareness. It initiates a divine therapy. - Fr. Keating (via Malou)

Life is God's novel. Let Him write it. - Isaac Bashevis Singer (via Mel)

Forgiving someone does not mean you are saying the other person is right. (via Malou)

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark, that creates extraordinary results. (via Annie)

The world can offer so much but even having them all won't ensure our contentment. What we value defines our happiness. What we keep spells our purpose. (via Annie)

If everyday you've always wished for the same thing, for someone to love and will love you back. Today wish for something else: For the wisdom and maturity to realize that you won't find wha you want by looking for it; not to expect someone else to give you what you never gave yourself; that you're not a half waiting to be whole; and even if that special person may or may not come along, you'll be just fine. (via Annie)

Life is pretty simple. If you ask for apples and you get lemons, make a lemonade. If you are on your way aoutt and it starts to rain, at least you don't have to water the plants. it is a matter of seeing things in perspective. The benefits may not be immediate or obvious, but we have to know that there are problems and struggles. have faith. Enjoy life. Take it easy. if today you are pricking the grapes, tomorrow you will be drinking the wine. (via Joe)

A person's most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge but a heart full of love, an ear open to listen and a hand with a willingness to help. (via Joe)


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