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December 23rd, 2012

Your Disposition At Church Matters

Your Disposition At Church Matters

Sound disposition is required while going to church for mass. It doesn’t matter which apparel you are wearing, or what ornaments you have adorned. What matters is with what disposition we have come to church. With right disposition while at mass, we can be sure that our prayers and supplications will never be unheard or unanswered.

A disposition is a habit, a preparation, a state of readiness, or a tendency to act in a specified way. The terms dispositional belief and occurrent belief refer, in the former case, to a belief that is held in the mind but not currently being considered, and in the latter case, to a belief that is currently being considered by the mind.

Different dispositions from The Bible

In the Bible we see (Mark 1: 21-28) how Jesus drives out an evil spirit. It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in the synagogue. Verse 24 says “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: you are the Holy One of God.” This man’s disposition was that he had faith Jesus can drive out the evil spirit. He shouted that Jesus is the Holy One of God. Jesus delivers the man from the influence of the Devil, who strives to destroy those created in the likeness of God.

The woman who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years (Matthew 9: 20-22) had the disposition that if she just touches the edge of Jesus’ cloak she will be healed. And she was cured from that moment onwards.

Jesus knows what is good and what is bad for us. Jesus bestows on us HIS mercy even without asking. In the parable of the paralytic at the pool of Bethzatha, (John 5: 1-13), Jesus had compassion towards this man. Jesus just asked one question “Do you want to be healed?” In today’s intricate world, Jesus is asking the same question to us. Jesus listens to this man’s disposition and says “Stand up, take your mat and walk!”

Whats your attitude while at Church?

This is the attitude we should have while going to Church for mass. Sound disposition – that is faith which can be as tiny as a mustard seed. A mass is well celebrated with the people only if we come to Church with a disposition i.e. a state of readiness to receive Jesus sincerely. Thus the celebration of the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium-11).

It is written in the book ‘YOUCAT’ forwarded by Pope Benedict XVI that when we eat the broken Bread, we unite ourselves with the love of Jesus, who gave his body for us on the wood of the Cross; when we drink from the chalice, we unite ourselves with him who even poured out his blood out of love for us. The actual effect of the Eucharist is the transformation of man into God. (St. Thomas Aquinas [1225-1274]).

We should allow Jesus to perform miracles in our life by putting ourselves entirely at HIS disposal and with a right disposition. Sin is an obstacle to receive blessings. But we have hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our disposition should be that of surrendering our life to Jesus. And prayer should be “Abba Father, Let Me Be Yours.”

– – – written by Merly Simon

December 19th, 2012

God Opens Doors That No One Can Shut

God Opens Doors

During a Bible study session in college, we were going through the healing of the paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda in John chapter five.

The paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda

Jesus heals a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years. This man waits near the pool among so many other crippled, blind, paralyzed people with the hope of getting healed when the pool gets stirred. Jesus approaches him and asks, “Do you want to get well?” The answer he gives is, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Focusing on just one door

This answer struck me so much. He does not answer the question with a yes or no answer; rather he pours out his hopelessness and frustration without realizing that the one standing in front of him can and will help him in a new way. Often times, I feel like this paralytic man, focused on one way, that one door, which I think will answer all my uncertainties and anxieties. And life becomes so frantic, so disappointing if that one door does not open.

Many of us pray to God with an agenda. “God I want this and I want it this way and at this time.” It is good to pray persistently but when things do not get fulfilled the way we want, we get anxious, frustrated and hopeless. If Jesus stood in front of us at that time and asked the same question He asked the paralytic man, with a twinge of bitterness we would answer exactly the way he answered.

When God revealed His plans for Me

Let me share with you one occasion where He reminded me of this promise in a very personal and intimate way. I was going through a period where I was confused about my purpose, my direction and my future. Struggling through the uncertainty made me realize that I needed extra prayer and support.

One night after the Eucharistic adoration and praise and worship at the Catholic Church on my college campus, I requested prayers for me from the priest and some members of the worship team. The next thing I know, I am sitting inside a circle with five people around me. They all started praying with their hands over me. It was an intense, overwhelmingly emotional feeling.

One of the group members who prayed over me was a seminarian who is also a visionary. I had heard that he has the charisma of vision and prophesy but did not really believe it. During the prayer the seminarian said, “I am seeing a vision of you sitting in a dark room and there is a door that is slowly opening. Light is coming out of that open door and that light is covering you. But I do not know what this vision means.” Everyone still had their hands over me and they kept praying.

A minute later the seminarian asked one of the girls to read Revelations 3:7. The scripture said “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of Him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied My name.”

Then the seminarian explained, “As soon as I got the vision, I was asking God what it meant. The one word that kept coming into my head was ‘Philadelphia’. I did not know what that meant but then suddenly I realized that there is only one reference in the Bible to the word Philadelphia and that is why I asked that portion to be read. And God has revealed what the door means and what he wants to tell you.”

The priest then added, “Listen to what God says after ‘I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.’ God knows about your faith struggles and weaknesses but He also knows that you have not loved Him any less.

At this point I was crying like a little child because God was revealing a lot about what I meant to Him and about His plans for me. I still have no words to explain what it felt like to be there that day. What are the chances that someone sees a vision about a door and keeps hearing the word ‘Philadelphia’ in his head and turns out that there is only one chapter in the Bible that has that word. And that passage talks about a door that God opens which no one can shut!

Every time I think of that day it gives me a lot of reassurance about who God is. He knows our struggles, yet He sees our faith and our efforts to keep His name. He has a plan for us; He actually opens doors and opportunities for us that no one can shut.

Every time I worry and I panic, I think of that day when God told me that He will open doors for me that no one can shut. And it brings in a sense of calmness, because I know that looking back at my life, He has opened a lot of doors that I never even thought would open up for me. I have also seen Him open doors for many others in numerous instances.

Our God can open up new doors

And in the Bible we see many people, including the paralytic, who had lost hope. God uses that same hopelessness and uncertainty to bring out His plan and to foster trust and steadfast faith. When things do not go the way we expect, when the ‘only door’ to answer all our problems gets locked, remember that our God can open up new doors, new pathways that is ultimately for our good and for His glory.

Also read When One Door Closes, Another Opens

Today, as I face my uncertainties, as I wait for His doors to open, I am prepared to be surprised, I am prepared to be overwhelmed and I am definitely prepared to keep my faith and proclaim His name through all of this.

– – – written by Treesa Antony

December 17th, 2012

Christmas Is The Birthday Of Love

Christmas is The Birthday Of Love

Helen Keller had become blind and deaf when she was just nineteen months old. She learned and experienced the world by touching the objects. Her teacher, Annie Sullivan trained her in this way of communication.

When Hellen was young, she asked her teacher, “Teacher, what is the meaning of love?” Teacher was in a dilemma. How can she explain to Helen who is blind and deaf, the meaning of the word love. It is much more than a word or deed.

Days and months passed. It was the season of Christmas. Teacher told Helen of the meaning of the feast of Christmas. One day all the children, including Helen were ready to receive gifts from Santa Claus. They lined up for the function. Helen got two big gifts from Santa.

Suddenly she noticed that the child who was nearby started crying. She had received only a small gift pack. Helen understood the reason of her cry and offered one of her gifts to the child right away.

As the teacher was noticing this, she wrote on Helen’s hand ‘this is love.’ Yes, Helen got the idea. Love can be explained. It is giving. Christmas is a feast of giving. As days passed by, Helen wrote on her diary with these words, ‘Christmas is the birthday of love.’

Let us pray during this Christmas, that love be born in our heart and families.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Christ, our Lord and Savior, we thank you for the salvific work you have accomplished for us. Holy Spirit, Spirit of love, come and fill us with your presence during this festival of love. Let love become flesh in our lives. Amen.

– – – written by Benny Punnathara

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