Tuesday, November 14, 2017

On Jealousy

There are situations when we think we need to admonish someone because the action seems not right. However when we discern further, we will notice the rhythm of our heart saying otherwise. This is when discerning our real motives come into play. Are we really concern, or we are just subtly envious? Then we try to justify and talk to others for confirmation. In the end, we end up gossiping.

Pope Francis said something about jealousy in one of his homilies reflecting on the jealousy of Saul towards David. He said, ““How ugly envy is! It is an attitude; it is an ugly sin! And jealousy or envy grows in the heart like a weed: it grows, but it doesn’t allow good plants to grow. It harms everything that its shadow seems to fall upon. There is no peace! It is a tormented heart; it is an ugly heart! But the envious heart, too – we hear it here – leads to killing, to death. And Scripture says clearly: through the envy of the devil, death entered the world.”

“Envy kills,” the Pope said. “It does not tolerate others having something that I do not have. And it always suffers, because the heart of an envious or jealous person suffers. It is a suffering heart! It is a suffering that desires ‘the death of others.’”

But how many times, he asked, “in our communities – and we don’t have to look too far to see this – are people killed, through jealousy, with the tongue? Someone is envious of this, of the other, and they begin to gossip – and gossip kills”

“I too, thinking and reflecting on this passage, invite myself – and everyone – to see if, in my heart, there is any jealousy, any envy, which always leads to death and doesn’t make me happy; because this sickness always leads us to regard the good others possess as if it were against us. And this is an ugly sin. It is the beginning of many, many crimes.”

“Let us ask the Lord to give us the grace not to open the heart to jealousy, not to open the heart to envy, because these things always lead to death.”

“According to the interpretation of Pilate – who was very intelligent, but a coward – envy was what lead to the death of Jesus: the instrument, the ultimate instrument. They handed him over out of envy. Let us also ask the Lord the grace never, because of envy, to hand over to death a brother, a sister of the parish, of the community, or even someone in our neighbourhood. Everyone has their sins; everyone has their virtues. They are specific to each individual. Look at the good, and do not kill with gossip through envy or jealousy.

With excerpt from:

by aats

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Selfless Love

Unreciprocated love is cruel but mission makes it beautiful. It is in mission that we find joy and fulfillment in loving without expecting to be love in return. We simply find joy in giving; be it time, talent, treasure and yes ourselves. Why is this so? I believe it is imbedded in us, the desire to love and serve. (This is one more proof that God created us in His image and likeness, including the character that is of Him.)

I have asked some friends, “What do you prefer; to love or be loved?” Most answers if not all is that they prefer to love than be loved. They find beauty in loving the other more than the other loving them. The problem lies in the expectation that the other will do the same. However that does not happen always. The key then, is to expect not but rather focus on the loving.

On the other hand, if this selfless act is reciprocated it becomes a beautiful exchange of love.

However, even without love in return, it is beautiful still. In fact, it is perfectly beautiful because it is selfless. And so we love and continue to do so without expecting in return.

by aats

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Dreaming Made Him Brave

Consider the story of Saint Joseph. He is about to get married to a young woman named Mary. Then came along the news, she is pregnant and he is not the father, add to that is the explanation that it was from the Holy Spirit.

How could it be believable other than if you are a man of God? He was probably confused, fearful and at the same time angry, a mix of emotions! Questions arise and he might have felt betrayed.

Imagine you are about to get married and then at the last minute you know she’s pregnant and the father is not you?  

But based on his decision, Joseph is different; it shows he is a discerning man and his heart aligned with God. Why? Only a man of God can comprehend in faith what is happening around him. If not, it would have been easy to decide the other way.

Upon learning it and not knowing what to do, he might have said, I will sleep this over… meaning, I will fully trust in Gods will. And because he is connected with God, he understood that it was the angel of the Lord who appeared to him in his dream, he listened and he obeyed. The dream made him brave enough to wake up and decide to take Mary with him.

Saint Joseph, pray for us. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

O God, You Search Me

In one of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the conference of SFC last weekend, there was this communion song that I found beautiful. Written by Bernadette Farrell, here is the lyrics of “O God, You Search Me”:

O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you are before me,
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
And with love everlasting you besiege me:
In ev'ry moment of life or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future too.

Although your Spirit is upon me,
Still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:
Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

For you created me and shaped me,
Gave me life within my mother's womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.

O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you are before me,
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

What an affirming lyrics in a life were there is so much unknown. Put in our heart O Lord, trust and confidence in you, knowing that you know fully well. Amen.

by aats 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What Is It That You Really Desire?

When we find our true purpose, life becomes beautiful. It is therefore important to know ourselves better if we are to know our purpose. I am reminded by the conversation of Jesus and the blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus knew he was blind, and the first thing he would have thought was that Bartimaeus would have loved to see again. But Jesus goes beyond physical needs; he looks at the heart. “What is your hearts desire?” When we know ourselves, we will know what we really desire and then we find purpose in life.

Most of the time, when confronted with this question, we actually don’t know. So it is important that we befriend ourselves, look intently and then gaze towards Jesus and say with confidence like Bartimaus, “I want to see!”

What is it that you really desire?