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November 24th, 2013

What Do You See?

What do you see

“Do you see half full or half empty?” – that’s an oft heard question now. But still, it demands an honest answer. Interestingly, the Scriptures portray God asking a similar question to a young man, Jeremiah – “What do you see?”

Why is it important to see? Here are three major reasons.

1. It provides Precision

Every work needs clarity. Or else, nothing good will be accomplished. That’s why Proverbs 29:18 says, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed”.

Walking in God’s revelation helps us to see and act according to God’s standards and will. Precision precedes productivity!

2. It amplifies the Objective

How do we measure our growth or success if the goal is vague and blurred? It is our ability to see which clarifies the goal to be reached.

Luke 11:33 says, “No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going”.

3. It releases Excitement

Matthew 2:10 records, “When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy”.

If you can’t see your goal, you can’t experience your goal! Seeing releases an emotional response. It brings satisfaction as well as motivation to go to the next level.

– – – written by Joe Abraham from

November 23rd, 2013

5 Tips For The Race Of Life

5 Tips for the race of life

All of us are called to run a race. For some, it may be a lengthy one while for some others, it may not be so long.

We are not called to stand still. It may appear sometimes that standing still is the best option. Nevertheless it has a negative side also. Too much of ‘standing still’ can lead to too much more of ‘standing still’!

God’s original plan for each of us is to be ‘a mover and a shaker’. In other words, God wants us to keep ourselves engaged in the act of moving and doing. In spite of one’s failures and weaknesses, moving forward is the divine command that’s already been given. Look at Adam, the first man in the Bible. He was put in a lavishly wonderful garden, not to live lazily (“eat and sleep for tomorrow I die”!), but to work promptly.

Work isn’t a curse. It was ordained before any curse came on earth. Work is obedience to God because it was commanded by God Himself. It’s not wise to complain about your work because you are not there by accident but by divine appointment. You may like to see a change in your work. However God wants the work to change you – to change you into someone better, stronger and wiser.

It’s not enough to be satisfied with your work. You are given that work to bring improvement to your life and life skills. Being satisfied shouldn’t be connected to being comfortable. Even while being stretched, you can enjoy work.

Here are five ways to get back on track if you sense you have missed it.

1. Know Your Purpose

Jesus said in John 12:27 (ESV) “…for this purpose I have come…”. Here are three questions you must ask yourself to know your purpose.

a) What am I here for?
b) What are my goals?
c) What has my past taught me?

Answering these will give clarity to understanding your purpose in life.

2. Know Your Passion

Everyone has different passions. One may be interested to run a business. Another may be interested to be a missionary. Going for Scriptural examples, Joshua’s passion was different from that of David. Nehemiah was passionate to build while Elijah was passionate to prophecy.

What’s your passion? Find it to get back on track.

3. Know Your Potential

God has given each one of us great potential. We are accountable to Him for what He has given us (Matthew 25:14-30). It is said that only around 5% of people are interested in finding and developing their potential. Are you one among them?

Find out what you are good at. Find out how much you can grow in it.

4. Know Your Place

All of us are not called to function at the same place. A doctor has a different part to play compared to an engineer. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers have their own parts to do in the church (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Find out what’s your role on this earth.

5. Know Your Package

You are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). So you have a unique individuality and creativity.

Apostle Paul didn’t preach or write like apostle Peter. You have got something special to give to this world. You are different. Your product is different. Even when you do a job similar to others, you can mix it with your unique styles and tastes and offer it as a unique work. Bring out your unique and distinct package.

It is never too late to get back on track. Whatever has happened, now is the right and the best moment to get back on track if you are ‘standing still’. Jesus has promised to be with you all through the journey. So get back on track and enjoy the race!

– – – written by Joe Abraham from

November 17th, 2013

November – The Month Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory

The Month Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Church commemorates all her faithful children who have departed from this life, but have not yet attained the joys of heaven. St.Paul warns us that we must not be ignorant concerning the dead, nor sorrowful, “even as others who have no hope … For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven … and the dead who are in Christ shall rise.”

The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone into eternity. Even in the Old Testament prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought “well and religiously concerning the resurrection.” It was believed that “they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them” and that “it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into heaven.

November is the month of Holy Souls in Purgatory, those faithful Christians who have died and gone before us but who still must atone for their sins. The time they spend in Purgatory cleanses them so that they may enter Heaven free from all effects of sin. Praying for the dead, especially for those we have known, is a requirement of Christian charity. Our own prayers and sacrifices can be offered up to relieve their suffering.

How long will a soul stay in Purgatory?

Purgatory is not eternal. Its duration varies according to the sentence pronounced at each particular judgment. It may be prolonged for centuries in the case of the more guilty souls, or of those who, being excluded from the Catholic communion, are deprived of the suffrages of the Church, although by the divine mercy they have escaped hell. But the end of the world, which will be also the end of time, will close for ever the place of temporary expiation.

God will know how to reconcile His justice and His goodness in the purification of the last members of the human race, and to supply by the intensity of the expiatory suffering what may be wanting in duration. But, whereas a favourable sentence at the particular judgment admits of eternal beatitude being suspended and postponed, and leaves the bodies of the elect to the same fate as those of the reprobate; at the universal judgment, every sentence, whether for heaven or for hell, will be absolute, and will be executed immediately and completely.

How can we help the souls in Purgatory?

Having entered into the night “wherein no man can work,” the Suffering Church cannot ripen to its final blessedness by any efforts of its own, but only through the help of others—through the intercessory prayers and sacrifices (suffragia) of those living members of the Body of Christ who being still in this world are able in the grace of Christ to perform expiatory works.

The Church has from the earliest times faithfully guarded the words of Scripture that it is a holy and a wholesome thing to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins. [2 Macab. 12, 43] The suppliant cry of her liturgy: “Eternal rest give to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them,” can be heard already in the Acts of the martyrdom of SS. Perpetua and Felicitas (A.D. 203) and is represented in numerous sepulchral inscriptions of the most ancient period, while theologians and Fathers of the Church, beginning with Tertullian, have supplied its substantial proof.

The Catholic is jealous to expiate and suffer for the “poor souls,” especially by offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice, wherein Christ’s infinite expiation on the Cross is sacramentally represented, and stimulating and joining itself with the expiatory works of the faithful, passes to the Church Suffering according to the measure determined by God’s wisdom and mercy.

3 Things about Purgatory

How to obtain indulgence?

By the practice of Indulgences, the Church places at the charitable disposal of the faithful the inexhaustible treasure accumulated, from age to age, by the superabundant satisfactions of the saints, added to those of the martyrs, and united to those of our Blessed Lady and the infinite residue of our Lord’s sufferings. These remissions of punishment she grants to the living by her own direct power; but she nearly always approves of and permits their application to the dead by way of suffrage, that is to say, in the manner in which, as we have seen, each of the faithful may offer to God who accepts it, for another, the suffrage or succour of his own satisfactions.

A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory.

A plenary indulgence, again applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

A partial indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, can be obtained when the Eternal Rest (Requiem aeternam) is prayed. This is a good prayer to recite especially during the month of November: Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligences, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfill their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: “Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Want to know more about Purgatory?

Biblical Evidence for Purgatory – 25 Bible Passages

The Purgatory – Part 01

The Purgatory – Part 02

The Purgatory – Part 03

The Purgatory – Part 04

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