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September 19th, 2012

Say No To Horoscope And Astrology

Say No To Horoscope And Astrology

God is in charge of your future life, there is no meaning in knowing it other than trusting God.

Human beings have always been tempted to pierce through the mystery of their future. One should be proud to be a Roman Catholic and live your life according to the Word of God and not according to the standards of the world. One should refrain himself/herself from reading horoscope, as it is sin.

In Deuteronomy 18:10-14, it is written ‘Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.’

You shall have no fortune-tellers among you

Astrology means predicting the future. But we see in the book of Daniel, at three occasions (Daniel 4:7; 2:10,11; 5:7,8); astrologers and other occult experts were requested to envisage the future. On every occasion they failed, but Daniel could succeed by God’s power. In the book of Deuteronomy 18:9-14,18-22 bible condemns magicians and fortune-tellers and then praises the true prophets. God’s people live by the Word of God, not only by the word found written in a book, but by what God says through the prophets.

Our future is in the hands of God

We see in the book of James 4:14 that no one can predict what will happen in the future. Whereas in the book of Daniel 2:27,28 we see Astrologers could not interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (a prediction of the future), but God could do so. In Isaiah 41:21-23; 42:8,9 – God rests His claim to Deity on His ability to predict the future. He challenges idols to prove they are gods by telling the future. In Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ In Isaiah 46:10, we see ‘I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.’

I say, ‘My purpose will stand.’ So it is evident from the bible that our future lies in the hands of God. We are seeking to have an eternal life which can be achieved only we obey and live according to the decrees of the word of God. In John 11:25-26. Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.‘ Do you believe this?’

Entrust and surrender your life to Jesus

Live your life according to the Word of God. This life which we are living is a gift from God. ‘Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.’ (Proverbs 30: 5). Again it is written in the Bible ‘For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power making it active, operative, energizing, and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and the immortal spirit, and of joints and marrow of the deepest parts of our nature, exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart (Hebrews 4: 12).

Daily we should live based on the law of God. ‘Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law’ (Psalm 119: 18). Surrender your life to Jesus. Romans 12: 2 says ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ Wisdom does not come from stars but from God. In James 1:5, we can see that ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.’

True meaning of Life

As the potter moulds the pot, in the same way Jesus Christ is the potter and we are the clay. He moulds and makes us into a beautiful being. Our character is also formed by our Lord. The only source where our character is formed is through the Word of God. By living according to the Word of God, we can be confident in Jesus and put our future into His hands and be prepared for the future.

We should not forget we all are sinners. Salvation, forgiveness of our sins and eternal life is achieved through Jesus Christ who died upon the cross for our sins to have eternal life. Why to go behind magicians and astrologers to know our future? Our hope is in the Lord, so is our destiny. Believe in Lord Jesus Christ, you and your family will be saved.

– – – written by Merly Simon, Bengaluru

September 11th, 2012

How To Make Our Life A Blessing For Others

How To Make Our Life A Blessing For Others

Many people observe spiritual life as one filled with tears and sorrows. They think it is a matter of saving our souls somehow, moving stealthily and struggling towards perfection. But the third letter of St. John speaks; ‘Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul’. These are the words written to Gaius, one of his disciples.

We should not be afraid. Our God is mindful of us. He is aware of the struggles that we go through in our life. He knows our efforts to succeed in spiritual life. God looks so tenderly in to our needs, failures and shortcomings. Even though you may fall, he will let you wake up by giving you a helping hand. For, our Lord wants and deeply desires our souls to be joyful.

God wants our life to be prosperous and fruitful

It is not merely the good state of the soul that He desires. God wants our life to be prosperous and fruitful in all the realms of life. If you are a farmer, God wants you to live for Him in that profession. It is also His wish that your agricultural land produce in abundance to make you economically stable.

Do not give up if your land does not produce well. Ask and pray to your Almighty God to bless your possession. Toil with your Lord. He will bless you abundantly. Isaac could harvest plentifully in the barren land of Garar when he worked hard with the Lord.

Do not be afraid of the painful and challenging life situations that you go through. Your God is ready to bless you. He promised Abraham that ‘You will be a blessing’ (Gen. 12:2). It means that Abraham is an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bless the land and nation. In order to be a blessing in your family, office, school, profession… entrust all who trouble you into the hands of the Lord and pray for them.

Promise of the Word of God

The Word of God promises; ‘You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; you children will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.’ (Ps. 128:2-5). Read with care, these words reveal an order of blessings. First you are blessed, then your family and nation. Now gaze at the face of the Lord who promised to bless you, lifting your eyes from the life situations clouded with despair. Repeat the promises that He has given you. Once you pray using the Word of God, Satan who pushes you back will run away with fear. You will be filled with God’s light and joy.

I pray a lot, but nothing happens?

Now you may think that you pray very much but the life situations remain unchanged. What should be the reason? There is no change for God’s Word and His promises. They should not be doubted. Reasons could vary in this case.

God has chosen a specific time to bless each one. It depends on our eagerness and success in using this specific time plan to be blessed in life. For example, an old man would have enough leisure time. His blessing depends on the way he uses the time given for him. He can never enjoy life, if he complains and murmurs every time. Thus he causes pain to himself and others. Instead if he uses this free time praying for his family, children and grand children, it would make the difference. Through him the family as well as the future of the land will be blessed. He can be fruitful even at this old age.

Suppose an officer is very punctual in his office, anyone who approaches him happily meets his/her needs. People would like to approach him for help. He is a blessing and cause of joy in other’s life. Instead if he causes trouble in the life of others making them come again and again for a single need… when people realize that it is useless to approach him… He is a curse for others and the nation.

Each human being is called to bear fruit

Make an examination of conscience and learn where you stand. As a fruitful tree or a block to others happiness? In order to be fruitful in life, we should live for God. One who works hard for himself/herself cannot find true satisfaction in life. If we deny ourselves and thirst for the kingdom of God, real joy and happiness will enshroud our life. We are not sure whether we will be alive for the next moment. What is given to us is this moment. Use it carefully and with great love. Be a people builder.

How was it that the thief on the right side of the Lord, could obtain salvation? He used his opportunity well. He had a little time, but it made difference in his life.

Let us think of prophet Elisha who responded promptly to the call of the Lord. ‘He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.’ (1 Kg. 19:21). The yoke and oxen earned him day-to-day living. But he was ready to burn it, as not to return to the work again. His decision was firm. There may be many temptations calling you back. Unless you kill them, they will kill you. Say ‘Amen’ to the Lord at the proper time.

Let us pray: Lord, I thank you that you call me now. Give me the grace to turn my heart to you unconditionally. The blocks for my blessing are in me. Give a repentant heart. Let me become an instrument in your hands. Holy Mary, mother of God, St. Joseph, pray for us. Amen.

– – – written by K.J Mathew

August 20th, 2012

People Are What Makes Them And Not How They Look

People Are What Makes Them

Let us think whether our conclusions are so fast. There is the famous quote which all of us might be very familiar which says “Do not judge a book by its cover and a person by his face.” It’s definitely a beautiful saying with a lot of relevance to today’s world. Most of us in our day-to-day life tend to judge things without knowing and analyzing its depth leading to problems innumerable.

The Shocking Incident

A few days back I also faced a situation like this. On the way to college while walking a few miles I heard footsteps behind me. As the usual human tendency I turned back and was little shocked and scared to see a thin short guy with a dark face and shabby hair behind me.

His first look made me feel scared and since there were no many people on the road I was left with no option but to walk fast… My heart was pounding as I could hear the footsteps of this man behind me. Not knowing what to do, I decided to walk a little slowly and let this man go ahead of me. Well my plan worked and this shabby looking man walked ahead of me.

Feeling relieved I followed him slowly… As I took small steps I saw quite a few banana peels on the road which could have led to the fall of many if unnoticed. But I was shocked to see this man bend down and pick up all those banana peels. I was wondering what he would do with this and my eyes simply followed him. On walking a little more this man throws the peels in the public dustbin and moves ahead.

Lessons I Learned

This made me realize so many things. Firstly a simple man like him was so selfless to pick up those dirt from the road just to ensure others safety, while educated people like us turned a blind eye towards it. Secondly, he was a great man by his deeds while I mistook him to be someone who was bad just by his looks.

Most of us today select our friends, houses, relationships and life partners just by looking at the outer beauty and glory…. How right they will be? The incident above thought me the lesson never to judge and assume things about people.

We fail to realize JESUS himself was born in a simple manger. He chose to roam around with the downtrodden and the rejected people. If the son of God could love and accept everyone equally why can’t we His creatures love one another and accept one another for what they are, irrespective of how they look outwardly.

Let us always remember, that people are what makes them and not how they look. Let us take a little while to understand people. Judge situations and then come to conclusions… This would lead to a happier and stress free environment around us.

– – – written by Sonal Lobo

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