Archive for July, 2012

Everyone if not most people know what I’m talking about, let me give you a scenario: Ever did something very naughty then getting punish by your parents such as being grounded, no games, no ice cream, time-outs or even worse getting hit the Chinese way? I’m sure in one way or another we faced this probably when we were young. I remember mine very clearly and I always say to myself, “My parents don’t love me!”, “This is definitely not love” or something along those lines. But the truth of the matter is they do love me, it would not be love if they didn’t do it, their actions were justified – I failed an exam, was rude, I lied, etc. Similarly with God, whenever we “FEEL” like God doesn’t love us because life isn’t going soo great, we need to look at the facts instead. Yes the torrid times we are facing in life can either be are on doing or it just comes by nevertheless it was willed by God because there is a lesson to learn from it.

What are the facts that God love us? Personally I know God still loves me because

I) The Bible tells me so

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14.27)

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16.33)

The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5.6-7)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalms 147:3)

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16)

 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

2. The people around me

God did not give you friends, families, siblings for no reason you know. We very often take these people for granted. This is why it is in of utmost importance to find friends who can you trust and rely on, those who will judge you out of love, who will listen, who understands. It is highly unlikely that both of you will go through hardships at the same time but even if that situation arises both of you can support each other. I have stress this many times, you do not have to be a PHD in counseling do be able to be there for someone, the sheer presence or very act to ask “What’s wrong”, “Is there anything I can do?” shows the other person you care for them. Sometimes people need someone to be there for them, sometimes they just don’t want to talk – don’t force them to talk, just be there for them. There is always one thing you can do for them involuntarily or voluntarily, PRAY for them.

The Servant Song by Richard Gillard

We are pilgrims on a journey.
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.

3. The Passion of Christ

Need I say more?

Reflection on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ 

The agony in the garden was really the agony in His mind. He suffered the passion in His mind before He suffered it in His body—to the point of actually affecting the latter by sweating blood. But from then on, it was His bodily suffering that affected His mental suffering.

At the base of all His suffering was the one thing that human beings dread the most: rejection. He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and abandoned by all the rest of His Apostles; those He had hand picked as His closest intimates. He was most rejected by those who put Him to death. They not only wanted Him dead, they wanted Him to suffer. They not only considered Him to be worth nothing, they considered Him to be worth minus nothing! This significance was not lost on Him. He felt fully the rejection as each physical agony reminded Him.

So we thank Him for joining us on our human journey and actually choosing to experience what we fear the most.

We thank Him for enduring the arrest and the cruelty of the guards and the Sanhedrin. We thank Him for enduring the cruelty of Pilate who allowed Him to be executed rather than risk his own political ruin—and for the cruelty of Herod who wanted to be entertained by having Him work a miracle. We thank Him for all the time He spent satisfying their preoccupation with themselves, just delaying His ultimate death. We thank Him for the anxiety of that night in a cell.

The next morning He was brutally scourged with such intensity and violence that He became as an aged man in a matter of minutes. His multiple wounds bloodied His entire body. The loss of so much blood not only severely weakened Him; it also caused a severe, throbbing headache that remained with Him for the duration.

We thank Him for this and for the mockery He received when they put a purple cloth on His shoulders and pushed a crown of thorns down into His head which intensified His headache. They blindfolded Him and slapped Him, insisting that He ‘prophesy’ who had hit Him. They spat on Him and beat Him.

He stood at the praetorium in utter disgrace according to the attitude of the crowd—while in reality, He stood in utter glory: almighty God, being present to every person who has ever suffered rejection, joining them in their moment of pain. It was there that He was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Physically, He was utterly miserable. He revealed to St. Bernard that carrying the cross was His most painful agony. He was so weak, He could hardly walk. Nauseous and thirsty, He found the weight of the cross on His shoulder almost unbearable. It most likely dislocated His shoulder. It is not surprising that He fell down on the stone streets that were filthy with animal dung—with the cross on top of Him. And He got up each time.

It was only with the help of Simon of Cyrene that He made it to the top of Calvary. There they drove the nails into the carpal tunnels of His hands, causing pain throughout His upper body. The nail in His feet registered great pain through all the sensitive nerves there. When the cross was righted, His up-stretched arms squeezed His lungs and He began to pant for lack of oxygen. So He had to push down on His crucified feet to push His body up in order to fill His lungs with air. This took great effort because He was so weak. Yet He managed to maintain such effort for three hours of agony which increased gradually as He became weaker moment by moment.

By the end of the third hour, His agony was at its peak. He had come to the point where His strength simply gave out and He suffocated. In this eternal moment as He died, He gave us His life. Transcending time, this moment of divine love is present to us in the tabernacles of the world.

Thank you, Lord. We adore you O Christ and we praise you. By your holy cross, you have redeemed the world 

 

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Love – A so familiar term yet distorted in today’s world. I’ve touch on what is TRUE love and I suppose this is a follow up to that post in a way. Over the pass few months, I was going through a roller-coaster period with the faith. It was really a tug of war – one point I was refreshed to face the world and the next second filled with despair and hopelessness. But through it all, there’s this particular item that always remained unchanged – God’s unconditional love for me. I’ve said it many many..MANY times, God’s love can truly be found in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

All of us, if we humble ourselves, realize that we are truly useless, evil, envious creatures. WHAT? I hear you say? If you compare yourself to God, you know what I mean. Feel angry towards another person because you think he/she is not giving you equal attention unlike his/her other friends, getting angry/annoyed when someone is driving slow or is dangerously driving, parents are running late to pick you up, teachers are being inconsiderate human beings, refusing to help or say a word of thanks because you’re just plain out lazy/unappreciative and the list goes on and on. And yet He still allows me to walk on this earth, how unworthy am I.

This is how much God loves us despite all out shortcomings ;-

I am the thorn in Your crown – Refusing to to trust in God’s love and peace, anger towards another person

BUT You love me anyway

I am the sweat from Your brow – Refusing to allow God to enter in your life especially through the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, not appreciating mass, not taking the catholic faith seriously, fail to take prayer seriously, leaving mass early, hatred towards another siblings/friends/another human

BUT You love me anyway

I am the nail in Your wrist – Not trusting God’s providence for the future, unable to let go of the past, kept hurts/pains away from God, committing sin daily big or small

BUT You love me anyway

I am Judas’ kiss – Deliberately miss mass, receiving Holy Eucharist in the state of mortal sin, worshipping/loving something/someone else more than God such as grades, boyfriend/girlfriend, popularity, power, backstabbing someone out of jealousy/anger

BUT You love me anyway

“See now, I am the person who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with this smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life”

You see all of us are the crowd on that Holy Thursday, we shout “Crucify him, crucify him, crucify him!!!” by the way we live. We are content with what we have. This especially happens when life is great, good grades, no family/friend problem – we are “happy” but how “happy” is happy? How can one be truly happy without God in the equation? When the storms of life come, it is only then we realize that we need God, we treat God like a Emergency-Go-To which shouldn’t be the way. Life is a journey that should be walked with God on a daily basis. Why?Cause God will always be there, be it the good times and bad times. Let’s just put it this way, think of a horrible period/event in your life right now. Got it? Think of it in detail as if you were going through it again. okey? How did you manage to pull through, you are after all reading this, so somehow you must have gone through it right? Who are you going to give credit to?Yourself?Friends? Have a bad outcome? – You’re still alive aren’t you? What I’m trying to say is count your blessings and give credit to God all the time and everywhere because it is only Him that can make all things possible and use those bad events for something amazing.

Ever doubt God’s love for you? Meditate on the passion every time that happens. Just as we Christ entered into His passion on Holy Thursday, crucified on Friday we relate to Him during our struggles, big or small, He CARES, He wants to KNOW, He wants to HELP, He wants to COMFORT you, He wants to LISTEN to you. But similarly as He rose from dead on that first Easter Sunday rest assure we will rise above our problems.

“It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, creator of the world and source of all life.

You never abandon the creatures formed by your wisdom, but remain with us and work for our good even now. With mighty hand and outstretched arm you led your people, Israel, through the desert. By the power of the Holy Spirit you guide your pilgrim Church today as it journeys along the paths of time to the eternal joy of your kingdom, through Christ our Lord.”