Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gratitude, Forever and Ever

Sometimes the good things in life make one so happy. A loving family, good friends and good luck which can be interpreted as the grace of God. With so much happiness surrounding someone it is hard to remember that there are those who suffer and are deprived of such love and happiness.
When I was younger my mum always told me never to waste food. Sometimes I thought, 'isn't it my food? I can't finish it so why don't I throw the rest away? and then she would see my sulking face and say ' you have excess food to eat while there are those who do not have even a grain of rice to eat'. A grain of rice might sound far fetched but there actually are people in the world who experience terrible famine and have to scrape the dust of the earth to find food. I watched a news broadcast of  Ethiopia and I was moved to tears. I wished I could retrieve all the food I secretly disposed of when I was younger. It might look so long ago and one might think it doesn't happen anymore... well... it does.
Many of us do not realize how lucky we are. We wake up everyday with no inkling of what must have happened while we were asleep, we go about our everyday work with or without stress, we are ALIVE! and I think that is one of  the most precious things we have. Its not really easy to convince someone going through a hard time that he/she is lucky to be alive because it seems like nothing, especially if he/she is going through really tough times. But one can look at it this way, at least one still has the chance to change the bad situation into good. With the help of prayer nothing is impossible with God.
Some  say when bad things happen it means that God has forgotten His people or the grace of God has left someone. I don't think I agree, bad things happen for a reason just like good things. There are many cases where more good comes out of something bad or evil, the most common being Christ's death on the cross. I think when something terrible happens to someone it is a test or challenge for one to make the best out of it, to use it to gain merit and once that is done the reward is countless. One could be reminded of Job in the bible  who got a million fold what he lost all because of his perseverance and trust in God.
Sometimes life on earth is so wonderful and sweet that one might not want to leave it and I think that is why many are afraid of death, mainly because they love their lives too much and because they do not know what lies in store for them after this world. Well, that's why Christ keeps calling us to be like Him, that way we would not fear what lies beyond the passing shadows of this life.
Sometimes one might think he/she is heaven bound, more often than naught thoughts like how long eternity is might flood one's mind, how endless and infinite forever and ever is. If 20 billion years pass, eternity hasn't started, 50, 100 even 2000 billion years! it could be quite depressing thinking of eternity but I think what should make one depressed is where one would be! eternity in Heaven would know no bounds, it would be beautiful and ecstatic! however eternity in Hell would be terrible and horrible. So I think we should thank God for the life He has given us to be able to work out our salvation so that we spend eternity in the right place. Maybe if we think of that we would be grateful for  life at least.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dear Catholic Youth

Visiting one of the oldest cathedrals of all time as well as viewing ancient religious art, architecture and relics got me thinking; have we grown closer to God or far away?
 Over 2000 years ago Christ lived and died among us and over a thousand years after that Christians have died for our faith. Some were boiled or burnt alive, some  beheaded or roasted, some eaten by Lions and some left to starve- all because they believed in the one true God and held fast the faith which was brought from Heaven.
Can we do the same thing now?
It is very easy to say that if anyone should ask us " do you believe in Jesus Christ or the Catholic Faith?" we would say yes but let me ask you again. Imagine you are walking home one night and you are ambushed by a group of people who kidnap you and drag you to a room filled with torture instruments, even seeing this sight alone would make many tremble. One asks and you say "yes" another yanks your nail off, then you're asked again, feeling brave you say yes then this time your whole finger goes. How many would even say yes before the first torture? to be honest not many. Another scenario could be that you are in a bus and armed robbers come in, they circle you out of the multitude, place a bullet firmly on your head and ask you. To be honest many of us might deny the faith there and then!
what gave the early Christians strength to withstand terrible persecution was their love for Jesus Christ and the knowledge that they stand for Truth. Although we do not wish for misfortunes to harm us but even the slightest persecution we face we recoil. Once a group of people don't agree with our principles we try to change them because we want to be accepted in society or we do not want to be seen as prudish nor "uncivilized". Well, we all know what Christ said about those who reject Him in public.
I just had a slight argument with someone concerning Homosexuality. This has become a great topic in the world especially now that Gay marriages have been legalized in America. I explained to him that we do not hate people who are gay, we HATE their actions! such as God loves the sinner but HATES SIN!  The male and female anatomy are created in such a way that favors procreation and this is the only way such could be done, this is the way God sanctioned. As far as I am concerned it is society who tries to convince people that nothing can be done. Take away God from a country and you get all sorts of things. Very soon people will rise up and say they are in love with animals and decide to marry them! rallies from all over the world would state that animals have the same rights as human beings and should be treated as such. the unborn are slaughtered everyday, they do not have a right to live and yet people rally the world over for animal rights! Human nature brings about anarchy and that is why God, our Blessed Mother and the holy angels and saints are here to help us. God will never lower His standards for anybody. We water down our christian teachings to accommodate those who do not appreciate the precious thing we have all in the name of "moving forward"! well, on judgement day Christ will not ask us how much we "fit" in to society but how much we loved Him and stood by Him in the greatest of trials! I am proud to be Catholic and I have been ever since. If an armed robber should come to me and say "if you say you believe in God I'm going to pump two bullets into your head!" I pray to have the strength and courage to say with firmness "I believe" because that is the only way I would secure my salvation, by standing for the truth regardless of all the friends I lose and all the hate I receive.
Dear Catholic, it is not that hard, I don't think any of us would be having a bullet planted into our heads if it be  God's will but there are other ways you and I can stand for Him. with our actions, by learning about the church, our faith! getting to know Christ and understanding how much love he has for us. We also have to show our belief in our behavior and that is the only way we can be Christlike. Faith alone cannot save man and we are bound to Christ through the Precious Blood shed for our salvation.An act of kindness is a Christ like attribute. Whether we believe or not we are part of Christ, anytime we do good we are acting on our "perfect" nature and Christ is perfection.
So dear Catholic Youth, please try to stand up for your faith! and do not worry,you are not alone! we are all in this together!

Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.- Matthew 5:12-13.