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February 24th, 2013

Choose Only God, Not His Works

Choose Only God Not His works

Cardinal Van Thuvan was in jail for 13 years. The Vietnam Government had imprisoned him without proper trial. It was only 7 years since he was a bishop. He had a lot of dreams and plans for the Diocese. But in 1976 he was imprisoned. For 9 years he was put in isolation in a room without windows unaware of the day or night passing by. The incessant heat and dire loneliness agonized him.

Beyond them he was deeply deprived about the painful situation of the diocese and the people….oh! A shepherd less herd! He was disturbed about how the seminarians, schools and other institutions were working in his absence. Pondering over all these took away hid hunger and sleep. He feared that he might become insane.

One day he heard a gentle voice from the depth of his heart “why do you persecute yourself”? Understand the difference between God and Godly deeds. All the works you have done and going to do are worthwhile before God. They are indeed godly deeds. But they are not God. If God asks you to forsake such activities you must do it and believe in the providence of God. God could do better than you. You have chosen only God not His works.

These thoughts changed the attitude and mind setup of Cardinal Van Thuvan. Excessive attachment towards our duties and responsibilities can make it an idol. When our duties and responsibilities become an intoxicant it may be reprieved of the joyfulness of God.

If we are not able to discern between God and godly deeds even our spiritual life could shrivel up. When we think that nothing would work without me that becomes pride. God can work through anyone to get His works done by His grace. None is inevitable to do His work.

It can happen in our family, ministry, society and everywhere .When we are not ready to share anything, when we feel that we are inevitable factor we are forgetting God. So, it is time to choose God again. If you want God’s will to be fulfilled in your life you may have to forget your plans and positions. As Mary who even gave her virginity for God’s will our prime aim should be thy will. When Mary obeyed God she became the mother of whole nation.

Prayer: Oh! God give us the grace to discern between You and Your activities. Save us from the character of loving Your works than You. Bless us to choose You as the prime factor in our life. In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

– – – written by Benny Punnathara

February 18th, 2013

Poem : God’s Gifts

God’s Gifts

God gave me a pen and a paper
To write.

God gave me knowledge
To share.

God gave me a loving heart
To forgive.

God gave me a new life
To be good.

God gave me a wonderful family
To love.

God gave me money
To spend wisely.

God gave me difficulties
To make me strong.

God gave me power
To condemn evil.

God gave me a great job
To nurse the sick.

God gives me everything
I want in my life.

– – – written by Alon Calinao Dy

January 26th, 2013

God Wants Us To Be Humble

God Wants Us To Be Humble

What does our Master command, who has most truly said of Himself: “Learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart”, “Go, sit down in the last place?” When He came into this world, he was born in a stable, and died on a cross. Truly, no one, when born, could have found a more lowly place; nor, dying, a more disgraceful one. And while He lived, He was poorer, not only than men, but even than the beasts of the field: for the foxes had holes, and the birds of the air their nests, “but the Son of man had nowhere to lay His head.”

But what means, “Sit down in the last place?” This is the meaning: wherever you are, however great you may be, always consider yourself worthy of the last place. St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Galatians, gives a reason for this where he says: “If any man thinks himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (6:3).

He did not say, he who thinks himself to be great, or superior to others, either in wisdom, or power, or virtue; neither did he say, if any one think himself not to be great, or superior to others, but only equal to them; he said, “If any man think himself to be something.” In fine, he did not say, since he is poor, or unlearned, or ignoble, but, “Whereas he is nothing.” Thus the apostle could not descend lower, in order to designate the “lowest place,” and to give a worthy explanation of the words of our Lord.

But it may be said, it is necessary that men should be in high stations such as, prelates, princes, kings, emperors, and pontiffs. Be it so: but yet each one ought to sit down in the lowest place, until the Lord shall say, “Ascend higher.” Of this St. Augustine gives us an illustrious example, which I will mention in his own words: “From these that love the world I have separated myself: with those who govern the people I have not considered myself equal, nor at the banquet have I chosen the highest place, but the lower: but the Lord said unto me, “Ascend higher” But so much did I fear the episcopacy, that I would not have approached it, since among men the fame of a certain name had spread; and in this place I knew there was no bishop. I was on my guard, and endeavored  as far as possible, to be saved in a humble situation, not to be in danger in a high one. But, as I have said, the servant ought not to contradict his Lord.” (De Vitâ Clericorum)

Each one ought to think others better

St. Gregory teaches in his pastoral, and St. Augustine more clearly in his 109th Epistle: “Let your dignity” he says, “be honourable before men; but, before God, place it under your feet.” Each one ought to think others better, and therefore higher than himself. For he is properly and truly the greatest, who is the greatest in the sight of God; and he is the greatest who is the best; and he is the best who excels in virtue, whatever may be his dignity, riches, titles… Virtue alone makes a man good, not dignity, riches, or titles; and if virtues make a man good, greater virtues make him better, and the greatest make him the best. And they who possess virtue in a higher degree excel all others. Now, we may know that humility is one of these great virtues, because our Lord Himself says: “He that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

It is dangerous to prefer ourselves to others, but most useful to humble ourselves before all men. Wherefore, our Lord absolutely says: “Sit down in the lowest place.” But how many comply with this divine precept? For what do men contend more than for precedence? What labors do those endure who endeavor to reconcile men that quarrel about a point of honour! How many do we often hear using these words of Scripture, “I will not give my honor to another ?” And yet the Most High speaks thus in Isaiah, to whom alone such words belong. God alone ought not to be humble, since humility is the virtue that restrains a man from desiring to ascend above himself, but since God dwells in the highest heaven, nothing can be above Him. Wherefore, pride is intolerable, because a worm of the earth dares to say, “I will not give my glory unto another”.

And yet, these same worms whom pride so swells that they say with God, “ I will not give my glory to another,” humble themselves as to acknowledge they are the slaves of honor that is, of a false esteem. And so faithfully do these serve their master, honor  that they rather prefer to be cruelly slain in single combat, and to descend into hell, (and thus lose eternal life, and their temporal one at the same time,) than suffer any affront to be given to the idol of their honor  Vanity of vanities! Oh, how much doth this smoke of honor blind the eyes of the soul!

And yet we call ourselves Christians, and know that Christ heard from His enemies: “Behold a man who is a glutton and a wine-drinker Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil. This man casts not out the devils but by Beelzebub the prince, the prince of devils;” and yet no one heard Him exclaim, “You are a liar” but, because He was meek and humble of heart, “Who, when he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not: but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly.” (1 Peter 2:23)

Goto Prayers For Humility

– – – written by St. Robert Bellarmine

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