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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Desire to be happy 

Do you want to be happy?   Doesn’t everyone desires to be happy? Have you ever met anyone who wishes to be sad? Nobody wants to be unhappy.  Even those who inflict pain to themselves such as  in extreme cases of suicide,  are looking for something that they feel is good such as to escape  an intolerable life.  Some try to find happiness through material wealth and success, having a good family life and relationships, recognition from peers, and a better health in order to be happy.

Paradox              

But there is a paradox:  our craving for happiness clashes with life’s temporariness and limits. Yet, human beings have the faculty for truth and goodness which cannot be   fully fulfilled by anything finite or limited. Even our ability to love is not exhausted by the reality of the world. Thus, the human aspiration for happiness also includes the desire to live forever—to be immortal.  By faith and reason we can accept as true and recognize that immortality as part of Christian truth.

Only an unbounded and eternal good could assure our yearning to be happy. The knowledge of God and of the immortality of the soul make life meaningful, Without God and immortality human life may be futile.  The most crucial questions for humans are the existence of God and immortality of the soul.

Knowledge and existence of God

By reason alone, man cannot know God.  The Holy Scripture states that “no one has at any time seen God” (1 John 4:12).  So how do we know God exists?   We know from what we see in the world the certainty and the wonders of creation, of life, laws and harmony, and the universe. The understanding of God’s creation allows us to comprehend that God is greater than the world, infinitely intelligent, wise, powerful and good.


Is God a myth?  An idea made by man to explain events not yet explained by science?  

The more we know the world; it becomes clearer to us that the world does not hold the basis for its own existence.  Let’s look at this: Christian faith assures us the fallacy of atheism. It is also logically inconsistent.  No one will be capable to show the non-existence of God. If we have relativism, it could not be possible to speak of an objective good and evil. Good may be deduced to something pleasurable and evil reduced to suffering. The danger is that it would lead us to selfishness and the struggle against everyone else. Without God, the very notion of human rights would have no meaning.  The Holy Scriptures says, “Only the fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Ps 14, 1).

Natural virtues, human perfection and the knowledge of God

Man is born and, in a sense, makes himself.  We can decide our path of life through our action. Through repetition of good acts, we obtain virtues which perfect us. For example, we can strive to be more loyal, more sincere, and more hardworking.  If one practices loyalty the result is that it makes that person more secure and stable. His words will have value and his commitments will be firmer. Loyalty could be reflected in his faithfulness to his family and friends and to his professional and social duties.

Virtues are acquired through sacrifice. It could be said of all human virtues.  Hardiness, resistance to pain, effort, fatigue, and difficulty require numerous little steps and efforts so as to keep away from sliding into a more comfortable condition.  Sincerity demands the continuous rejection of little lies, exaggeration and deceit.  Industriousness, the habit of work which is constant and well done, also requires frequent repetition of acts in order to take root and grow. Same goes with boldness which is needed in order to carry out great tasks and in overcoming small mindedness and timidity.

We ought to strive to be virtuous. An upright person is more in control of himself, freer to seek the truth in an honest way, and more courageous to commit himself for the truth. A virtuous person is someone who is better able to know and to recognize God, rather than someone who is disloyal, weak, false, lazy, or cowardly, and who will only be skilful in reasoning shrewdly like a fox.

Ultimate Purpose of Life is to Glorify God

All the things in the world manifest God’s supremacy and goodness (dominion and mercy).  They offer him glory.    At the end the day, the ultimate purpose of human life is to glorify God. This is consistent with man’s happiness and perfection since only the “infinite truth and good” can absolutely satisfy the mind and heart.  The secret to happiness is that in every action, for it to be perfect and for many to be happy in it, man must seek the glory of God.  This does not contradict the importance of the things of this world; on the contrary, it bestows on them their higher value: that of being the way whereby man gains knowledge and loves—is unified to-the Supreme Good and as a result becomes happy.

 

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Loving Our Parents

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that th...

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that th...


19 June 2011

Father’s day is celebrated in many countries on the 3rd Sunday of June. The special day  compliments Mother’s day on the 2nd Sunday of May. To give honor to our parents not only on special occasions but to do so everyday is ourduty and obligation to  God .

It is a natural human tendency to form a  family which is a community between man and woman and their children.  In a child’s development,  the family is the natural environment for youngsters to grow. Children learn to socialize  and learn about  their roles within the family.  The virtues of honesty,  sharing, respect, love, honour and sacrifice are learned from home. It is also within the family that a child learns about God through his parents.

Over the past 50 years, the family has been under constant attack from  those who want to  transform society. For instance, during the Cold War,  many children in communist societies were taken out of their families. These children live in camps  and are indoctrinated that loyalty to state is more important the their families. The sexual revolution in Western countries in the 60s and 70s also had an impact on the family life and values.

The liberal trend and the replacement of Christian humanity with secular humanity has led to the breakdown of many families.  As a result, there were significant higher rates of teen pregnancies, divorce and  promotion of same-sex marriages. In Asian countries where families are strongly linked by tradition, materialism and individualism are fast threatening traditional values such as filial piety.  In order to have a sustainable society, the family needs to be protected from the ills in modern society such as egoism, secularism, materialism which could harm the fabric of society.

The 4th commandment tells us to honor our parents. This commandment promises long life to children who honor their parents.  St. José Maria Escriva calls it the “sweet commandment”. We know that Jesus Christ was born in a family with Mary, the mother of God and foster father St. Joseph.  In the wedding at Cana, Christ’s obedience to his mother was manifested when he turned water into wine. It was not yet his time to perform miracles but Jesus obeyed his mother.  When Christ was dying on the cross, he asked John to take care of his mother Mary. Thus, up to the very end Jesus was concerned about his mother.

What does it mean to honour your father and your mother

Love is the cornerstone of the relationship between parents and their children.  However, it is not always easy to love our parents especially if they are not honorable or if they are abusive and provoke their children to anger. There are also children who send their parents to home care and never visit them because they consider them as burdens.  It is when we think of this difficulty that keeping the 4th commandment becomes important.

The 4th commandment bridges the first three commandments  which are focused on man’s relationship with God to the succeeding commandments focused on love of neighbor. Loving our parents is the first expression of our love for our neighbors.

Duties of Parents

  • Look after their children as long as they depend on them;
  • Provide spiritual and material needs, lead by example;
  • Respect their freedom; and
  • Not to provoke them to anger.

Duties of Children

  • Children should remember that they owe their lives and education to their parents;
  • Duty to love and respect;
  • Col 3,20 “Children obey your parents”;
  • Between obedience to God and parents, obey God; and
  • Remember that God is our father.

Benefits of obedience to parents

  • Lesson in responsibility and limits to freedom;
  • Respect  for authority and laws/regulations;
  • Learn self giving when having to take care of old parents;
  • “My son take care of your father, be considerate even if his mind fails (Ecll3)

Blessed John Paul II said that “to maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and children, each member of the family as to become, in a special way, the servant of the others”

Christ, the son of God submitted himself to both his earthly parents and God the Father. Following his example, we should treat our parents the way we would approach our heavenly Father (Hebrew 12, 9 and Malachi 1:6) Let us remember that even as adults, we cannot outgrow God’s commandment of loving and honoring our parents.

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Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ

Redemption

To begin again in Christ  is an apropos  message of Easter.  For Christians,  the season of Lent culminates on Easter Sunday which marks the resurrection of Christ after suffering and death from the cross.  Our Lord‘s passion  and resurrection has freed us from the bondage of sin.  Christ’s death extricated us by paying a huge price.   God’s love was immense that he paid the ransom price for us  to reunite us in  friendship with God.

Jesus Christ has won freedom for us (Gal 4,31).

When Christ said that “I came so that they may have life, and have it more abundantly,” (Jn. 10,10) he did not promise that life will be a bed of roses on earth. He was referring to eternal life. When he liberated us from sin by rising from the dead, he showed us the way.  He also made it  possible for us to defeat  or at least bear cheerfully other consequences of sin  in the world. The pain and suffering brought about by injustice and social ills were caused by sin.

Christ resurrected from the dead and conquered the world.  His rising from the dead was an evidence that love was stronger than hate and to follow Christ’s example, we should promote love. Pope Benedict said that we should  “start again from Christ and work together with him for a world founded on peace, justice and love”.

Jesus said that “my kingdom is not of this world” (Jn.18.36) .

Christ lived in poverty, humiliation, suffering, and pain. Though his life, he showed that the physical and emotional pain are only means to an end  and that these physical evils are not the worst of evil.  Through our redemption from sin, we can partially overcome physical evils on earth until we go to heaven.  Christ showed us that by suffering and bearing our crosses, we can gain merits in heaven.

There is a painting that depicts Christ’s descent into the underworld  from Good Friday till Easter Sunday.  It  shows Christ  redeeming the holy fathers detained in hell solely on account of original sin and shed light of glory.  The opening of the  gates of heaven was only made possible through  Christ’s death  and resurrection. Christ’s death was a fulfilment of the scripture so that man can obtain eternal happiness in heaven.  Christ’s  passion resulted in the   grace that brings us to our friendship with  God and the promise of eternal life.

Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven

Christ’s passion and death were enough to save us from our sin. However, our salvation

Chora Church in Instanbul. Fresco in the parec...

Chora Church in Instanbul. Fresco in the parec...

is not automatic.  We have to earn it by applying Christ’s teachings in our lives and share them with others. Christ’s suffering and death on the cross would be meaningless if he did not win over death.

On the third day after his death, which he repeatedly foretold, Jesus rose from the dead.  His resurrection was the most significant evidence of his divinity.   Historical testimony  proves that he rose from the dead and that it was not just a tale  invented by the apostles.  Our Lord left numerous proofs of this episode for those who are willing to accept the truth and those who have the will to believe.  Some of the evidences of his resurrection during the forty days after his death include his appearance to the apostles and his followers. At one time, he appeared to more than five hundred of his disciples giving them the mission to teach his doctrine to the whole world and instituted the sacraments including naming Peter as the head of the Church.

A reading of the scriptures tell us that, “what good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?”  Can that faith save him? If a brother or a sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2, 14-17).

We also receive grace through the sacraments. Christians are not just holding through a doctrine because when our Lord ascended into heaven, he remains alive body and soul.  We are following a living person who is in heaven and who is present in the Eucharist, concealed in the form of bread and wine. Christ is not a historical figure but a living being.  As St. Paul says, “Jesus Christus heri et hoddie, ipse et in saecula” or  “Jesus is the same yesterday and today”.  As our Lord said before he went up to heaven, “I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28, 20).

Meaning of Suffering and Pain in  Our Lives

Suffering and pain has special meaning for Christians because of Christ’s example.  St. Augustine said that “the passion of Our Lord is enough to mould our lives completely”.   If we are to become authentic Christians,  how can we make a life o comfort bereft from suffering as our main concern?  In the book ‘the Way’ by Saint Josemaria Escriva, he said that “I am going to tell you which are man’s treasures on earth so you won’t slight them: hunger, thirst, heat, cold, pain, dishonor, poverty, loneliness, betrayal, slander, prison”(no. 194).

We cannot really escape from suffering. Sometimes it appears in our lives when we least expect it such as a death in the family or an illness.  God allows these things to happen to us but for a special reason. If we accept it cheerfully and offer it to God, we can offer it for the remission of our sins.  Though our own suffering and pain, we can redeem our lives and the world with Christ. As Our Lady was co-redeemer when she offered her suffering at the foot of the cross, so can we.

We learn from scriptures that  “he who loses his life for my sake will find it. For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss if his own soul?”  (Matt. 16, 25).  Since Christ died for us, what should we do for Him? (The Way, 299). Our response must be our complete surrender. It may be that what God wants from us is complete generosity to Him following the example of the apostles who completely gave themselves to the service of God (see Matt. 4, 20-22).   We can be assured, however, that God has rewarded them a hundredfold in heaven (see Matt. 19, 29).

As we enter the month of May, let us remember how Our Lord was dying on the cross, he saw his mother and St. John and said to his disciples, “Behold your mother” ( John 19, 26-27). It  was a momentous event and holds a special meaning for us Christians. Our Lord gave us his own mother to be our own.  Our Lady is our spiritual mother who will intercede for us.

Reflection:

St. Paul reminds us that “you have been bought at a great price” and as a result we must “glorify God and bear him in your body” (1 Cor. 6,20).  This is also in a sense a called to holy life of becoming a saint.

Let us gaze on the crucified Jesus, and let us ask in prayer: Enlighten our hearts, Lord, that we may follow you along the way of the cross. Put to death in us the “old man” bound by selfishness, evil and sin. Make us “new men”, men and women of holiness, transformed and enlivened by your love. -Pope Benedict (April 22, Way of the Cross)

Fatima Hymn:

http://www.myspace.com/andywilliams/music/songs/our-lady-of-fatima-48890456 (Andy Williams)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YW0MJQXvRE&feature=related  (Aiza Seguerra)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8NDvCChCFY&feature=related

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Embracing the Cross

Embracing the  Cross

The  cross is the symbol of Christianity .  From the Latin word “crux”,  the cross was used in Roman times to inflict pain and suffering to criminals. The same device was used to torture and execute our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is paradoxical that the emblem of shame and suffering is now the crest of our salvation. The cross signifies  God’s love and redemption of mankind.

Today  we see that suffering and pain or “embracing one’s cross”are to be avoided at all cost.  Individuals go through great lengths to find happiness by eliminating pain and sorrow. Business thrives in promoting aspirational products. Marketing and  advertisements play on human desire for pleasure and comfort. For example, car companies promote their products  to people who want to be considered sexy and powerful.  Beer companies sell  to men suggesting that  drinking that type of beverage will attract women.   Cosmetics and botox are sold to women promising youthful glow despite their age. Travel operators lure tourists to have that great escape in a secluded tropical island  if only for a fleeting moment. Nowadays, even toilet paper and vacuum cleaner use sex to market their products.  Unfortunately, people buy their marketing tricks for the wrong reasons.

Christ showed us a different path by dying on the cross.  He said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me  must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt 16,24).  It is a contradiction that  when we feel  the burden of our sins,  it is in that particular moment when God calls us lovingly. He comforts us and guide us to find a solution to our pain and suffering. Despite what people think, no amount of material and physical pleasure can replace the true joy that one feels with God’s loving embrace.

Lent is a time of self-denial, spiritual reflection, renewed commitment, self- examination, sacrifice and a time of intentional consideration of the things Jesus taught (gracerules.wordpress.com)

In Christ’s teaching, the path to salvation is through the cross.  As the St. Francis prayer for peace goes: “it is in dying that we are born to eternal life”.  The practice of mortification, or dying to oneself,  entails self-sacrifice and the right intention.

Some forms of mortification include ordinary practice of  delayed gratification  in food and drink as well as temperance in giving in to  bodily pleasure.  We could also mortify by helping those around us at work and in our home  by doing our duties and chores.  We can live the spirit of sacrifice by  getting up early in the morning,  doing our most difficult task first, working well, being punctual , smiling to person who annoy us, and generally going through the contradictions of life cheerfully.

The message of Christ is love and redemption.  He came down from heaven and  became man to die for our sins.  When we deny ourselves we embrace the cross and imitate Jesus Christ. Embracing the cross simply means that we willingly suffer for God or   we accept difficulties that come our way to atone our sins. Through self-denial, our life of sacrifice and penance becomes our path to holiness.

The forty days  of Lent which  culminates on  Easter Sunday, representing resurrection,  is a great opportunity for  us to practice mortification.    When we deny ourselves, we go against our inclinations and predominant passions in a physical or spiritual way. Voluntary enduring and accepting  pain and suffering can become a form of prayer  which is essential to live an authentic Christian life.

Reflection:

Do I willingly practice self-denial  by getting up on time, being punctual, and doing my duties  and my work well to help those around me?

Do I accept difficulties in life cheerfully to atone for my sins and to imitate Christ who suffered and died on the cross for the remission of my sins?

OLD RUGGED CROSS
George Bennard, 1873-1958
1.	On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
	the emblem of suffering and shame;
	and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
	for a world of lost sinners was slain.
Refrain:
	So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
	till my trophies at last I lay down;
	I will cling to the old rugged cross,
	and exchange it some day for a crown.

2.	O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
	has a wondrous attraction for me;
	for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
	to bear it to dark Calvary.
	(Refrain)

3.	In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
	a wondrous beauty I see,
	for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
	to pardon and sanctify me.
	(Refrain)

4.	To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
	its shame and reproach gladly bear;
	then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
	where his glory forever I'll share.
	(Refrain)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za1-e9zuGV0


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Prayer: Conversation with God

Jesus prays in the garden

Just like human friendship, our relationship and love of God can be developed and nurtured through communication.  When we converse with other individuals or  with our family and  friends, we get to know and understand them better. Soon, we will feel affection and love for them.

Conversation with God is the same.  We get to know  God better and have a stronger connection with Him. Thankfully, God has given us the facility to speak with him directly.  Such gift of personal dialogue with God, speaking and listening to Him, is unique to humans.

Intimate Conversation with God

In order for us to have an intimate conversation with God, we have to know Him. Constant reading of scriptures, particularly the Gospel, provides us knowledge of God through Christ. By reading the bible, we become close to Christ. We can even put ourselves as one of the characters in the Bible as we read and meditate the holy  scriptures.

We must also  realise  that God is close to us and that He loves us. He is present in our lives and sustains us.  God is interested in the what we think, what we say, in what we do.   God lovingly listens to us.

As a human father  watches over and takes care  of his children, God our Father watches over us.  As children, when we show our love for our parents, they like it.  In the same manner that God appreciates it when we show our affection to Him.

Continuous Dialogue with God through Prayer

Humans have a natural predisposition to communicate. If we are not talking with another person, we tend to talk to ourselves.  Even in our   dreams,  we go over our troubles and our memories.

Through prayer, Christians have the great opportunity to dialogue with God continuously.   If we  fervently pray habitually to God,  we will have a life which is centred on God and not on ourselves.  The effect of the habit of prayer is immense. Prayer and conversation with  God  strengthens our friendship with Him, our love of God deepens, and our intentions become purer.  Through prayer, our impulse to do good increases and our tendency to do evil decreases.

Mental Prayer

We have to give priority to our prayer life because it is our life-line to God.  Even when we are busy we have to decide to pray and “make time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up.” (CCC 2710)

At first, the habit of prayer requires effort but with perseverance and love of God, it becomes second nature to us.   We can consider committing a few minutes each day  in mental prayer apart from vocal prayers.

According to Blessed Mother Theresa, “holiness is impossible without mental prayer”.  St. Alphonus Ligouri,   doctor of the church on moral theology, said that “all saints have become saints by mental prayer”.

Mental prayer  is a chat with God similar to the way we talk with our friends.  We tell God our joys, sorrows, challenges, failures, our weaknesses and our needs.  We are not afraid of disclosure and removing our masks. because we know God loves us.   Our prayer and conversation with God  is our response to His love that allows God to enter and take control of our lives.

The Angelus (1857–59) by Jean-François Millet ...

The Angelus (1857–59) by Jean-François Millet

‘Lord, teach us to pray!” (Lk 11:1)

We ask God to help us to pray. We tell Him if we don’t know how to pray and He will guide us. Many times, we are distracted in our prayer. However, be assured that involuntary distraction does not lessen the value of our prayer in the eyes of God.  Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us how to pray in “Our Lord’s Prayer”. It is a beautiful prayer which  provides a model of prayer through adoration, thanksgiving,  asking forgiveness, and petition. Such prayer is also present in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

Prayer of Petition

Our Lord  has said,  “Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find; knock and and it shall be open to you”(Mt7.7).  At times, we may feel that God is not listening to us despite our fervent prayers. Perhaps, it is in those moments that God is answering our prayers through the ordinary events of our lives.  We just need to listen. If it is good for us, God will surely give it to us.

Meditation:

Do  I try to form the habit of  mental prayer?

Do I try to listen to God’s  holy will   through spiritual reading, mental prayer and in the ordinary  and events of my life?


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Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Denial of God

The first commandment tells us that we have to  love God above all else.   If the premise comes from such belief, then if we give unqualified boundless love to ourselves or to any creature more than God, then we are violating the first commandment.   We must give our glory, adoration, and service  only to God.

The holy scriptures tell us that “You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourself.. you shall not bow before them or worship them. For I the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” (Ex. 20, 3-5)

Idolatry does not have to mean worshiping idols. Anything we do that does not put God at the top of our lives is idolatry. Even our good deeds such as being dedicated to our family or our profession could be perverted if they become the main purpose of our lives. It does not matter how lofty they are or how intrinsically good they might be but if we place them on top of our lives other than God, then we are committing a sin.

The three theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity. When practiced, they enrich and strengthen our relationship and love of God. However, when we commit mortal sin, we violate the first commandment which makes us reject God.  In particular, the sins against faith, hope, and charity are opposed to the love of God. When we deny the truth of our faith or when we willingly doubt our faith we commit  sin against faith.  However, temptation might set in but we must counter this by praying  for an increase in faith.

It is also necessary that we protect our faith.  For instance, if we want to take care of  our body, we try to avoid certain drinks and food which are bad for our health. In the same manner, we also have to take care not to put our faith at risk.

There are many popular books by atheist writers these days. These authors deny God’s existence.  It could be argued that it is good to read their books if only to gain a perspective of their views and to counter them. However, unless one has a strong formation and faith,  it would be better for an ordinary Christian to abandon reading them. We may put  our faith at risk if we gladly read books that are contrary to faith. We run the risk as well if  we engage in activities which can harm our faith.

The sin against hope may come in two forms: despair and presumption. Despair occurs when we abandon all hopes and even deny  the possibility of God’s will and mercy.  Some people also lose hope in God by believing that heaven can be created on earth. Presumption also is  sin against hope when we presume that God will save us even if we do not do our part in saving our souls.

Hatred of God is the worst sin against charity just like the sin of the devil. Indifference to God is also a grave sin and happens when we lose that supernatural understanding of the need to struggle to do God’s will. When we let ourselves be led by our desires, love of comfort, and laziness,  then we may become lukewarm.

The bible tells us that:  “I know your works; I know you are neither cold nor hot. I wish  you were either cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3, 15)  and “To those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent” (Rev 3, 19)

Reflection:

Have we placed our faith in danger by going to certain places or going with groups that are harmful  to faith and morals?

Have we been lukewarm in our faith, hope, and love of God?


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Loving God

LOVING GOD

When Jesus Christ was asked what was the greatest of all the commandments, our Lord answered:

“The most important commandment is this, Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”

A reflection of the commandment handed down to us by Christ guides us to what God expects from us.  He expects nothing else but our whole selves. As St. Augustine said “He who made you asks for everything that you are”.

Love of God versus Love of Self

We love by impulse. This human love is natural.  The love that God expects from us is not human but supernatural.  The love that is expected of God’s children is a choice between loving God with our whole self or loving ourselves.  This divine love that God wants from us  requires us to either choose God or ourselves.  One cannot love God and at the same time prefers oneself. If we prefer to give in to our personal desires, we become selfish and only think and do what is in our best interest without regard to God’s plan.

St. Agustine said that there are two types of love, the love of God to the point of disregarding oneself, and the love of oneself to the point of disregarding God.  In other words, the love of God is heavenly while the love of self is earthly.

Love in action

We love God through our deeds and not by mere emotions or sentimentality. We love God first and foremost by adoration or by glorifying God.   We also love God by  doing our ordinary duties as a Christian, as a member of the family, in our work and in society.

We can do this by focusing our actions towards God’s glory even in the little things that we do. “Whether you eat or drink or do anything else, do all of the glory of God”(1 Cor. 10.31).

So how do we know that we  are glorifying God?

When we do our ordinary work, we could pause and ask ourselves: Is this pleasing to God? By doing so,  we could  base our actions toward pleasing God which naturally makes us prefer less of ourselves.

When we purify our intentions, even the little things we do on a day-to-day basis such as washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, or studying, or working on our projects could be forms of prayer.   In so doing, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the commonplace becomes special. These forms of adoration when done in God’s presence, are truly pleasing to God.

Keeping God’s word

Loving God means that we keep his commandments. The scriptures tell us that “for this is the love of God that we keep his commandments “ (1 Jn. 5,3).   Our Lord Jesus said “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him”(Jn 14,23)  Jesus also warned that “not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of the Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 7,21).

We can’t do it alone, We need God to increase our faith

The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character.

Loving God is divine. It is   supernatural love with faith.   We cannot please God without faith (Hebr 11,6)  To have faith means that we believe in God’s revelation. But how do we have faith? Can we do it alone? Is it enough that we want to believe? The scriptures tell us that we have to ask God to increase our faith since faith is a gift from God.

Rewards

The reward of having abiding faith and love of God gives us hope that we will one day see God  and that he will grant us eternal happiness. The three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity are supernatural and only God can grant them to us.

Let us seek the intercession of Our Lady for God to grant us the grace and to increase our faith, hope, and love.

Reflection:

Do I pause and ask myself if what I am pursuing is pleasing to God?

Do I love myself more than I love God by giving in to my desires and love of comfort even if it is against God’s commandments?

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