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June 23rd, 2013

Poem : Faith In God

Faith In God

I was four years old
When I didn’t believe in God.
I thought God was not true,
But He helped me when I felt blue.

In my dream, I saw the Lord Jesus Christ.
He told me He died for us
For the forgiveness of our sins
And for the fulfillment of the New Testament.

When I woke up that night,
I cried so hard.
Now I truly understand
And I won’t let Jesus out of my sight.

I know there are things that are hard
For someone like me to comprehend,
Yet I never lose my hope and faith
Because God is my food of strength.

Today I promise myself to be good
And spread the words of our Lord God
Even in my own little ways
I’ll serve him all my remaining days.

– – – written by Alon Calinao Dy

February 8th, 2013

Give Me Childlike Simplicity And Purity Of Faith

Give Me Childlike Simplicity

Practicing virtue without humility is like carrying dust against wind.

In the Gospel according to St. Mathew 11:25-27, Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. Jesus’ prayer tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time, goodness and loving care for all his children.

Jesus’ prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us away from the love and knowledge of God. Pride is the inordinate love of oneself at the expense of others and the exaggerated estimation of one’s own learning and importance. Intellectual pride, coldness of heart, and stubbornness of will shut out God and his kingdom. Pride is the root of all vice and the strongest influence propelling us to sin. It first vanquishes the heart, making it cold and indifferent towards God. It also closes the mind to God’s truth and wisdom for our lives.

Jesus contrasts intellectual pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like “little children” in the sense that they see purely without pretense and acknowledge their dependence and trust in the one who is greater, wiser, and more trustworthy. They seek one thing — the “summum bonum” or “greatest good” who is God himself. Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards grace and truth.

St. Teresa of Avila tells us that she obtained her greatest graces whenever she humbled herself the most. Just as pride is the root of every sin and evil, so humility is the only soil in which the grace of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him as God to do all. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6). Only the humble in heart can receive true wisdom and understanding of God and his ways. We can have no virtue without humility. Practising virtue without humility is like carrying dust against the wind. It will all blow away.

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-collector

We see it in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector. The Pharisee did many good things: he fasted twice in a week; he gave one tenth of his income to the temple. But he ruined all these with his pride. The Tax-collector did many evil things. But he was forgiven for all these and made right with God because of his humble prayer.

In this prayer, Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make: He is the perfect revelation of God. One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally.

In Jesus we see the perfect love of God

The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us personally to know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like.

In Jesus we see the perfect love of God — a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the revelation of God — a God who loves us completely, unconditionally and perfectly. Jesus also promises that God the Father will hear our prayers when we pray in his name. That is why Jesus taught his followers to pray with confidence, Our Father who art in heaven .. .. give us this day our daily bread. Do we pray to our Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for us?

Today, Jesus invites us to learn humility from him. He says: “Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart.” It is especially from his Passion that we learn humility. Scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns, mocked, spat upon, and finally nailed to the cross, he died on that infamous gallows. It was to cure us of our pride. How can we look at Jesus crucified and still be proud?

Let us often look at the Crucifix and say: “Jesus meek and humble of heart, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.”

– – – written by Fr. Vincent Korandiarkunnel OSB

January 10th, 2013

Why Should I Be A Catholic?

Why Should I Be A Catholic

I believe that my stay in the Church is on account of the gift of faith granted to me by God. In my student days I had my disbelief and confusion. Those days I spent time to read the Bible, and many other books. Slowly the turbulence died down and my mind was firm that Jesus is true, without a blemish and He would not cheat.

Jesus told his disciples “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (Mat. 6:44). There may be many ways God chooses for the individuals. It may be very difficult to understand the theory, but if we believe Him we have to believe the word of Jesus. God loves us and He wants to perpetuate His love through His promises and His Word.

The promise of the Holy Spirit

The greatest gift that God has given the Church was the Pentecost day. Jesus ascended into heaven after forty days of his resurrection. He and the Father sent the gift of Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Mary when they were praying in the upper room where Jesus had celebrated the last Supper. They heard a great wind and the Holy Spirit descended on them in the form of flames of fire.

They who were afraid of everything were filled with courage given by the Holy Spirit. Also the Holy Spirit helped them to remember all what Jesus told them and to understand its deeper meaning and guided them in what they were to say and do. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would always guide and protect the Church until the end of time.

The leadership

Jesus also gave the gift of leadership. One day when He was with his disciples, He asked them who people said He was. They answered that the people were saying “prophet” “John the Baptist” and so on.. Hearing this He asked them who they thought He was. Peter answered that He was the Christ, the son of the living God. At this point Jesus told Peter that the revelation came from God. He commanded him to lead and guide the Church. Ever since then the Church has been guided by a successor of Peter whom we call Pope or Holy Father.

The past 2000 years have witnessed many turmoil, confusions, reformation, threats and sufferings,, even fights for power in the Church, but the Church stood on its feet and survived all threats and difficulties. The most modern crisis is the clergy sexual abuse. Apart from the sins and shame it brought about, the enemies want to make the opportunity to humiliate and threaten the leadership. We know the Church has nothing to fear. The Catholic leadership is not a dictatorship, but a collegiality, with all the bishops of the world as leaders. We have the bishops who guide the local Church, assisted by priests.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession

Jesus died on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. This Sacrament enables us to experience repentance and forgiveness in a very real way. In the Old Testament we hear the prophets asking the people to repent. Jesus in many parables spoke of the joy God has, when the sinner turns back from sin. Same joy God feels when we go for confession. God through his priest tells us how much he loves us and forgives us.

The Holy Eucharist

Jesus is God and savior . He died for us all generations till the end of the world. He wants us to remember his death and resurrection. So he wanted something to perpetuate the memory Jesus therefore instituted the Holy Eucharist and asked us to remember him through the celebration of the Eucharist.

He has to be remembered as the one who came down from heaven, lived among people, suffered, crucified, died, buried and risen to save us. It is a great privilege for a believer that he/she can eat his body and drink his blood in memory of him and get strengthened in body and spirit.

Other Sacraments

Confirmation, matrimony, Holy Orders and anointing the sick – Through all these sacraments grace is poured out to the believers, the bride and bridegroom, the priests and all.

Word of God

The Bible which contains the Word of God is another great gift of the Holy Spirit. When we listen to the Word of God, we feel his proximity. The Word of God is a light in our path and strength to our souls.

The Tradition

The Church is guided by traditions also, for it is one of the ways that God reveals His will. It is defined as practice and beliefs that were not written down but which have been passed on to us throughout the history of the Church. Therefore Bible and Tradition are sacred.

We have so much for which we can be grateful. Possibly the most precious gift is our Catholic faith. We have received a gift that not everyone has. Those who have not got this gift are not bad people or condemnable people. But we who have the gift should work to make it grow in our lives and be willing to share it with others. This is best done by becoming a good Christian in all our words and deeds.

I am happy to be a Catholic because I believe that the Catholic Church is the depository of all truth and wisdom.

Why Be Catholic, Dad?

Are Catholics Christians?

– – – written by K C Thomas

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