Archive for September, 2015

Fighting For What You Love??

Posted: September 30, 2015 in World On The Edge

file000342793028We fight for what we love.

And we love what we fight for.

Sound the same? They’re not.

We’ll fight for the things we love right now–members of our family, our home, our allegiances. We’d fight for these anytime or any day.

But then there are spur of the moment situations we may be forced into, where we must fight, and only afterwards discover that we’ve come to love the thing we’re fighting for. It may be a principle, it may be a person, it may be something we never imagined.

I did not know I loved the Catholic Church until I became a young teen and had to defend her.

I did not know I loved life, and babies in the womb, until I nearly lost one of my own.

I did not know I could love an enemy, until an enemy became a friend.

I did not know I would come to love simple things, until simple things were all I had.

I did not know I was able to forgive, until the lack of forgiveness nearly got the best of me.

And on, and on, and on.

We love what we have to fight for because these things make a great impression upon us. In fact, they cut into our hearts and change us inside. They change the perceptions we have of ourselves and of others.

Where does the strength of this Fighting Love come from? I believe it comes from God’s grace, sent to us when we need it. In the Catholic Church, we call this sort of grace, Actual Grace, which refers to God’s interventions, whether at the beginning of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification. Actual Grace is prolific–it has to be for imperfect Human Beings who are famous for ‘starting over’ again and again. If we ask, and allow Him to do so, God will intervene in our lives each time we need Him to.

This is Fighting Love. The kind of grace we need to get through this life, and into the next one.

file9511239215189Unless you’ve been living under a rock, no one can disagree that today’s world is obsessed with things sexual. Sex not only drives us as individuals, but also our society as a whole. We’ve come to a saturation point of sex in advertising, movies, music, books, and even changes in our language; all to accommodate this beautiful God-given drive within us that is now, so misguided.

“Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God,” said G. K. Chesterton.

All of us are looking for intimacy. All of us are looking for love. And what is the true definition of God? God IS love. So it is God we are looking for–even when we sin, or maybe especially when we sin.

This is how Evil uses us. This is how Evil changes the image we see of ourselves in the mirror of our hearts, replacing it with a false image, and false desire.

Addictive sex is one of many counterfeits we accept in place of a fulfilling relationship with God. There is a very good article about this: http://www.pureintimacy.org/ The page is sponsored by Focus on the Family and surely worth a read.

Personally, I don’t know how much more we, as a people, can take of this saturation of sex and still remain ‘higher than the animals.’ Because the sex drive in a human being, meant to be loving and pro-creative, is being debased to the level of a garbage dump.

In the media, it’s all a matter of giving people what they want. And if this is what we want, we are surely getting it, to the great detriment of the goodness God put within us.

file9471266159150“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein

Well, that would have to be the imagination of our Creator. With a magnitude that is inconceivable to us, only God knows all and understands all.

The root word in “imagination” is image. God used his imagination to create us. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are made with memory, imagination, and will.

Free will.

For Human Beings, it is our memory that leads to imagination. And imagination causes us to freely act.

We use our memory to recall events of our life, and those events can stoke our imagination positively, such as the memory of our best Christmas or Thanksgiving so far, and that leads to next year, and then the action of how we’ll create an even better Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Memory can also stoke a negative imagination. Someone did me wrong last week, and then the action of how will I get back at him?

Our memories are entirely our own. If we choose to re-hash and re-hash past hurts, it is no one’s fault but ours that we are miserable. It’s no wonder that our lives seem dark and confusing.

We have an imagination that can alleviate that.

Our imagination can bring light back to our lives when we look at the bad situation with a different perspective. Then with our free will, we can choose to ‘act out’ in a positive way.

All this, through our imagination. But too often, we don’t, or won’t, use it.

It’s our imagination that allows us to move on and keep going, because it allows us to forgive. Our Creator never remembers our sins once we’ve repented them. If we are made in His image and likeness, and by His imagination, then shouldn’t we try to do the same?

Got Thorns??

Posted: September 25, 2015 in World On The Edge

file8671251084098“God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. ” ~Pope Francis

Think of the stem of a rose. It’s not particularly beautiful. In fact it has thorns. We don’t look at the stem, except to avoid it. Instead we look only at the beautiful flower.

This is often the way we view people. We like the flamboyant, the showy. We pay attention to the beautiful, the successful. Most especially we pay attention to people we think will do something for us. We want flowers. We don’t want thorns. Thorns are dangerous. They can hurt.

But don’t we have thorns as well? I know I do. There are times when my own actions disappoint me so much that I feel very unworthy to be God’s child. But I am, and so are you. Even when– not if–we are covered by the thorns of life. God is in with us—-in fact, within us.

Between our thorns, no matter how thick, stiff, or close together they are, there is a small space. And often from this place comes the brand new sprout of something we may never have considered. It is tender and new in the beginning, but it has the possibility of becoming something gorgeous. We ought to look at others in this way, too. The thorns don’t take away from the purpose of the Rose.

Jealous?? Selfish??

Posted: September 24, 2015 in World On The Edge

ENVY

Remember the jealous queen in Snow White? “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

And when the fairest wasn’t her, what happened?…

The poisoned apple.

Jealousy and envy are poisonous traits to have in our personalities. No one wants to be thought of as jealous or envious. And no one wants the repercussions of someone who actually is.

Jealousy has been called Love’s Destroyer.

Throughout history, jealousy has been a destroyer of families, and of nations, too.

One personal trait that if seen to, i.e. fixed; could change lives for the better, but instead jealousy is often nursed by those who have it, until it becomes huge and destructive.

Beloved:
Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.– 2 Jas 3:16—4:3

Rambling Man???

Posted: September 23, 2015 in World On The Edge

BRAKING UP

There are people who throw off personal responsibility.
These are the people who say, “Well, you know me. That’s just the way I am.”
What they mean is: You’ll have to put up with me because I’m not going to change.

But what if the way you are is hurtful?

What if you’re leading others astray, especially younger ones who look to you, who think you’re wonderful. Younger ones who love you—and who will follow you.
Shouldn’t we take responsibility for what we do around these impressionable ones?

Or, are we just too narcissistic, or even too lazy, to change?

Oh, how many excuses we can make for not changing! Not my fault, the way I was raised, my father left me, my mother left me, my husband left me, my wife left me, I didn’t have what everybody else had…blah, blah, blah.

They say stupidity is to continue to do what you’re doing when what you’re doing isn’t working at all.

It doesn’t matter anymore what happened in the past. We’re not living in the past. Now is what counts.

But many of us just ramble around, maybe to look busy, or maybe to avoid the effort of change. Because change is difficult. The status quo is always easier.

There are times when we absolutely need to put on the brakes, take a good look at ourselves TODAY, and start the process of changing what needs to be changed.

And today is the day to do it. Don’t t put if off until tomorrow–remember, tomorrow never comes.

walk while ye have lightWe Christians are in need of a spiritual awakening. We are dulled to our own lives as children of God. We are blunted to examining the actions of our lives in that context. Have we lost our religion, big time?

Catholic historian Christopher Dawson, (1889-1970), an Englishman who strongly believed in the importance of religion’s influence on society, wrote: “A society which has lost its religion becomes sooner or later a society which has lost its culture.”

Look at our culture today. Read about it in the news. We, as human beings, are on front pages and prominent media screens, with scandal after political scandal, murder after gruesome murder–including well over 50 million aborted children since Roe v Wade. Seventy four per cent of students admit to cheating. Premarital and extramarital sex have nearly become the norm. And still, most people believe in God or in a higher power.

Of course, we are sinners. We’ve been sinners since evil reared its head in the Garden of Eden. We were sinners before and after the time of Christ and we’re sinners now. But after His awful Crucifixion, Jesus left us with the grace of His Holy Spirit, allowing us to experience moments of awakening if only we choose to recognize and make use of them.

Are there moments in your life when you’ve felt a Spiritual Awakening. Maybe it’s when you take a walk in your mind back to the place of your roots, your upbringing, or even recall a statement someone made that struck you. Have you ever wondered, “Do I really feel the way I feel? Or is there something I should return to, something bigger and more important for me?”