Sunday, March 27, 2011

Self Denial

The season of lent is a perfect time to practice self denial. Not only does it help us spiritually but also on self improvement. there are a few things we might have liked not to do or do but due to our human nature we find it difficult to. For instance one might want to read a bit more but most times finds it difficult because he/she is always facebooking. this lent instead of thinking of how sad and boring life would be for the next couple of weeks one can see it as how he/she would become much smarter after the next couple of weeks. its all in the mind and it also depends on how you approach the situation. Another instance can be if one is always used to taking the train or bus to close distances and wants to give that up, one could think of it as exercise. 
Prayer is another thing most of us find difficult, it doesn't mean we are evil, its just because it is quite difficult kneeling in one position for a long time and the average attention span of an individual is probably about 30 mins. One thing I think can be done (which has helped me a lot) is to think of all the people who need our prayers; our loved ones, family, friends, the world at large. we could think of natural disasters and how prayer can help the inhabitants use them as a means for conversion. we could think of our own needs and how prayer would help us combat our sinful nature. I'm sure by the time these things run through our minds we wont find it difficult to pray. Besides if one looks at it, if we knew for certain the world was ending tomorrow we would not mind praying the whole day! (I wont, ha ha!)
Ultimately its all for the love of God and remember, your mindset determines if lent would be fruitful or fruitless.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It Takes Time

It is not an easy task to write about our faith, not that it is difficult, it is simply because there is so much to be written and it is hard to know where to start. from the time this blog was made till now, it has been difficult to think of what angle to start from. I think I would just talk about issues that are particular to the faith.
as lent is here, we all know it is the time of fasting and abstinence. most of us know this because our parents have told us this is what we do. the church also has declared  a sensible form of  self denial so that we can unite ourselves with Christ's sufferings and also make atonement for our sins. Now some might ask "why must we fast?" " is it necessary?" "Jesus has died for us, we do not need to suffer again". well, as a catholic youth this is how I understand it and think it is the same as the church's view .
when we want to get good grades, we work hard to get them. we do not play around because we have a goal; to pass our exams. when we need to be somewhere on time, sometimes we set an alarm or wake up earlier because we want to get to our destination. these and many more show instances where we practice self denial for wordly things. I think the same is for heaven, I believe there is no crown without a cross. Jesus Christ had to suffer and die for us in order to redeem us and He was rewarded with the Kingship of heaven and Earth, although He already had this because He is God, in order to set an example for us He did this. We all know that in order to enter heaven we have to be Christlike, in order to be Christlike we have to follow in the footsteps of our Lord hence prayer and fasting. Yes Jesus Christ has suffered and died for us BUT we do not have a "free" ticket to heaven. we have to work hard for it and prove that we are children of God. Let us always try to remember that nothing unclean can enter heaven and for us to stay "clean" we have to fast and pray like Jesus did. from the psychological aspect, man always has a sense of fulfillment when he has denied himself of something to achieve a greater goal. for instance when a man works hard to get promoted or a huge salary; he has sleepless nights, rarely eats sometimes and even gives up many luxuries till he reaches his destination!  he fulfills his   basic need to  continue to climb the ladder to self actualization.
this is not the only reason why we fast or abstain. when you love someone, you would do whatever the person asks, no strings attached, just because you love the person and that is how it is with Jesus Christ. if we love Him we would try to keep his commandments. also when someone we love has been hurt, we usually try to show compassion for that person. we might  visit the person and do things that inconvenience us just to make the person feel better. that is how its supposed to be. in order to show our love for Jesus we should try to do things that would please Him. Let us reflect on this during the week and discover the numerous amounts of graces we can heap this Lent.
May Our Blessed Mother Mary help us, Amen.