Saturday, December 29, 2018

Heeding the Call

Becoming fishers of men is a spiritual calling we must embrace as Christians.  With such a calling we’ll be awarded the crowns of saints.  These are the gifts by which we can rally unbelievers for Christ.  In having the right spirit – one with timeless principles, is a call from God.  But this faith comes gradually.  Thomas Aquinas (12251274), an Italian Dominican friar and Catholic priest said, “We can’t have full knowledge all at once.  We must start by believing; then afterward we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves.”  It takes time to develop this gift.  However we’ve to apply ourselves to be consistent, and watchful in bearing good fruit. 

God’s Initiative

Euripides (480 BC406 BC), a tragedian of classical Athens wrote, “Wealth stays with us a little moment if at all: only our characters are steadfast, not our gold.”  With persistence we’ll be able to have a bird’s eye view about what God wants us to do.  As Christians we’ll be able to energize our churches through faith.  It’s the Holy Spirit who anoints us to carry on his work.  With enlightenment we become steadfast in reaching out to men, women, and children.  These are the pathways when we’re called to be faithful.  The Holy Spirit guides us, and brings unbelievers into his fold.

Our Mission

As believers we’ve a mission to serve humanity by being quick to listen, and be guided by the Holy Spirit.  George Bernard Shaw (18561950), an Irish playwright said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”  Christians love the food which proceeds from the mouth of God.  By this gift they have fervor, and walk in the Spirit.  In Christ they spread the Gospel by becoming spirit-filled evangelists.

Service to Others

Ramakrishna (18361886), an Indian mystic wrote, “God is everywhere but He is most manifest in man.  So serve man as God.  That is as good as worshiping God.”  With such service comes fulfillment.  Believers must remember to be people-oriented, and treat others with respect.  With God’s joy let us show happiness when we reach out to the poor in spirit.  We’ll have a spirit of unity with Jesus Christ.  By loving God’s people we’ll have a religious awakening.

As Christians we ought to motivate ourselves in doing good.  Andrew Carnegie (18351919), a Scottish American industrialist said, “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive are their other talents.”  To be in Christ is to discover we’re the best there is.  For as Christians we no longer work under our own strength, but are guided by the Holy Spirit.  This Spirit teaches us all things.  Believers will know how to act, what to do, where to go, and what to say through this same Spirit.

Our mission will always be to win souls for the Lord.  We’ll be like fishermen casting our nets into the seas, rivers, and streams of the world.  Amazingly as we walk on the banks of the shores, climb hills and mountains, run through meandering landscapes we’ll be catching men, women, and children, who heed the call of Christ, their Savior.            

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Works of Mercy

In A.D. 29, with five loaves Christ’s disciples were reminded of the feeding of five-thousand; seven loaves, the four-thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers they took up (Mt 16:9-10; Mk 8:1-21).  This shows that nothing is impossible with God.  Gifts of feeding though could take many forms.  A Russian businessman and politician Roman Abramovich (b. 1966) said, “But charity is a very complicated thing.  It’s important to find an area where you can really help and you can feel the results.  Charity is not like feeding pigeons in the square.  It is a process that requires professional management.”  Unlike Jesus’ miracles the task of feeding thousands is great.  In our churches there will have to be much planning and organization to accomplish such feats.

Chores of People

People have to do a variety of chores to live effectively.  Gisele B√ľndchen (b. 1980), a Brazilian fashion model, and actress wrote, “I’m not a potato sack; I’ve never sat on my couch.  If I’m home, I’m cleaning, feeding my dogs, doing stuff.  Life is too precious to waste time.”  But some feel they have to keep busy to accomplish their tasks.  There are corporations promoting themselves to consumers as accomplishing tasks effectively.  A political activist and attorney Ralph Nader (b. 1934) wrote, “For almost seventy years the life insurance industry has been a smug sacred cow feeding the public a steady line of sacred bull.”  Nader was rather skeptical about the promises these companies made to their clients.  They might be selling benefits that aren’t exactly true.

It could all be about the environment where we work.  Some say we must select the right standards to meet our growing demands of consumption.  An author Napoleon Hill (18831970) said, “We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our mind is extracted.”  In having great expectations these may lead to wise choices.  Alternatively when bad ones are made they are counterproductive.

Giving & Achieving

Yet, they are those who believe what people put into their work they get back in return.  It’s therefore necessary to plant the right seeds in the ground.  Thomas Szasz (19202012), an academic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst wrote, “The proverb warns that ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you from feeding yourself.’”  Concerned with oneself is necessary to think about feeding others, especially the poor and destitute.

A social activist and Catholic convert Dorothy Day (18971980) said, “Together with the Works of Mercy, feeding, clothing and sheltering our brothers, we must indoctrinate.”  Works of mercy must be the means to an end, in letting people know that Christ is the answer.  By living to do the work of Jesus Christ we’ll be greatly blessed.  

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Peaceful Minds

Fruits of faithfulness grow with patience.  To be blessed with these gifts believers will find joy in the hope of the Gospels.  In their lives they will bear witness of the Christian faith by communicating Christ’s teachings to others.  These are the nature of many devout Christians in our society.  Their seeds planted in gentle hearts sprout blossoms that bloom in the world.

Rick Pitino (b. 1952), a basketball coach said, “Humility is the true key to success.  Successful people lose their way at times.  They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success.  Humility halts that arrogance and self-indulging trap.  Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focus and hungry to continue the journey of success.”  People must resist being cocky, acting as if they know it all, and seeing themselves above the fray.  Instead they should share their special gifts in building others up.

Liberty & Love

At times we’ll have to face trials.  We’ve to learn to handle setbacks patiently.  Our reactions to the stresses of life are true testimonies of our faith.  By focusing on Jesus Christ you’ll notice the secret of how he prevailed against the scribes and Pharisees.  He’s our model for evangelism about how we must show our love, and persevere.  These attributes are necessary to live with hope.

Talib Kweli (b. 1975),a hip hop recording artist from New York wrote, “I think once you’re in the public eye, whether you’re a boss, a teacher or whatever you do, that you’re automatically in the position of role model.  You have people looking up at you, so whether you choose to accept it or not is a different question.”  That’s why as Christians we ought to walk by showing our caring ways.

Joy of Hearts

Helen Keller (18801968), an author, and political activist said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”  People’s patience, faithfulness, and perseverance show such attributes that are contagious.  These gifts are often expressed by the simple things we do in this life.  To be exuberant we must act like athletic pilgrims showing peace and justice wherever we go.   

The Light of Joy

When the going is tough in situations God’s children will be at peace.  The apostles Peter and Paul told us about these truths in their calamities.  Their accounts should embolden our faith and renew our spirits.  These blessed ones are the bridges that enlighten our trust in the Holy Spirit.  But how can we live successfully?  Swami Sivananda (18631902), an Indian Hindu monk wrote, “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even the smallest acts.  This is the secret of success.”  Yet people still find some wishing to do big tasks when the simple ones go unnoticed.  We must therefore redefine the way we think in knowing our true priorities.  These gifts can be attained by prayers and discernment concerning what we’re called to do.  By so doing these good deeds we’ll discover the joys of peaceful minds.               

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Catalysts of Love

Let your heart express boundless love.  Kindle it with tenderness and affection.  Let your output be like that of a fiery furnace that’s perpetually burning.  Live a life full of love by reaching out to everyone – the rich and poor alike.  Allow love to become the joy of your heart, and you’ll be like a shining light in the midst of darkness.  Joseph Addison (1672 1719), an English poet, and essayist wrote, “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”  So work for peace and love humanity. Let us beat our swords into plowshares.  

Indestructible Love

Your love is a pathway to hearts.  Capture its true essence and follow its goodness.  Be triumphant in your quest, by embracing, and kissing an indescribable love.  In so doing you’ll discover joy shining brightly like the sun in a clear blue sky.  In short you’ll be one of many lights in the world just like the saints.  Hosea Ballou (17711852), a Universalist theologian and clergyman wrote, “Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams.”  Now, do express this empathy when you are touched by love’s beauty. 

Beyond Love

Let true love beyond love, be your battle cry.  Seek out hearts willing to receive it.  By longing for a deeper fulfillment this is perfection setting one’s heart afire.  In such a relationship let us reach out to families, neighbors, and friends - even to the length, and breadth of the world.  This is when you’ll be bringing joy, peace, and delight to others.  This is the serenity people find in Jesus Christ.  A French soldier Ferdinand Foch (18511929) wrote, “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

Belief of Power

Love is a dynamic force that starts by warming hearts.  It’s replete with goodness and its fundamental tenets are found in the Gospels.  By faith readers of such works are able to know what it means to live in the Spirit.  A Bengali literary figure Rabindranath Tagore (18611941) said, “Faith is the bird that feels the light when dawn is still dark.”  This power of love stirs our imagination and guides us.  It reaches out triumphantly in our world turning everything into true bliss. These blessings raise our consciousness to elevated planes, like in loving Jesus Christ, who’s the Creator of this reality.  His sacrifice, death, resurrection, and ascension are glorious.  Christ showed his supernatural power as the foundation of salvation. 

It took Jesus’s humble act of submission to accomplish extraordinary feats.  Only through grace can we begin to appreciate his actions.  Inevitably, he’s the epitome of the power of love.  His was a clarion call to us to know these blessings, but still there are doubters about his saving grace.  Even one of his own disciples Thomas had to touch his wounds to believe.  Those of faith are able to express this superb love with the belief, “Love conquers all.” This faith-propelled belief is the catalyst of supreme love.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Many Faces of Love

The faces of love are many and sustain all things.  They unite people to live harmoniously.  Love is the greatest creative force with which we are endowed.  Loving others call for unblemished, pure, and sincere hearts.  With such expressions people are joyful when they light up, and express their faith.  An early Christian theologian and bishop St. Augustine (354 AD 430 AD) said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the rewards of this faith is to see what you believe.”

Evangelistic Love

Evangelistic love is one of friendship.  It’s in the light that shines brightly that fills hearts and souls.  It’s God’s deep love for us.  Christians projecting this love believe in this heavenly gift with all their hearts.  They know the full meaning of love.  Proselytizing saints become more mature as they grow in God’s grace.  As they encounter others a communion develops centered on Christ.  This comes mainly by helping the poor in our midst.  These yearning souls are blessed with new hearts in encountering the living Christ.   A Roman Catholic religious sister St. Teresa (19101971) wrote, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”

Communicating Love

Let’s the devoted community, plan on loving in the right way in showing their care that reaches out to all.  This is greatest when there’s love in families, with our neighbors, friends, and those we greet on the highways, and byways of life.  It’s showing concern that comes by those we love.  Mahatma Gandhi (18691948), a leader of Indian Independence movement in British ruled India said, “It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.”

Love of Life

Oscar Wilde (18541900), an Irish author, and playwright wrote, “Keep love in your heart.  A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”  Self-love that doesn’t extend itself to others isn’t good.  Love ought to be steadfast in promoting what’s best in the world, by touching those unloved and isolated.  Let us love our brothers and sisters, showing them we really have their interests at heart. We experience this joy when our hearts burn in embracing the elderly and forgotten.   Our goals must be in professing this kind of love.  Morihei Ueshiba (18831969), a Japanese artist and founder of the martial art of aikido said, “Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout.”  These sprouts are special kinds of love.  Undoubtedly love’s true profundity can only be found through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.